***”Weekly Comic 100s” keeps it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***
By Rob Siebert
Calls it Soda. Not Pop.
The other day I said I wanted to feature the X-Men a little more. So this week I tossed in X-Men #1 from back in November. Along with DC’s digital-first stuff, of course.
TITLE: X-Men #1
AUTHOR: Jonathan Hickman
ARTISTS: Leinil Yu, Gerry Alanguilan (Inker), Sunny Gho (Colorist), Clayton Cowles (Letterer).
RELEASED: November 14, 2019
Jonathan Hickman intimidates me. He tends to go a little too far out of this world, and I get lost.
Thankfully, X-Men #1 is relatively straightforward. Mutants have established their own nation on the island of Krakoa. And of course, there’s a group of humans that don’t like mutants that are trying to destroy them.
Had do to a Marvel Wiki search on Cyclops to see how the hell he could be leading the team again. He’s a more interesting character than most casual fans give him credit for.
TITLE: The Flash: Fastest Man Alive #2
AUTHOR: Gail Simone
ARTISTS: Clayton Henry, Marcelo Maiolo (Colorist), Rob Leigh (Letterer). Cover by Cully Hamner and Dave McCaig.
RELEASED: May 1, 2020
Clayton Henry’s style, let’s call it moderately cartoony, is a perfect fit for Flash. When Barry’s zipping around in the costume, Henry stretches his body just a bit for effect. But at the same time, all the scenes about his civilian life have the weight they need. He can exaggerate, but he doesn’t overdo it.
Once again Simone gives us a scene that’s unintentionally poignant given the times, as Flash saves a pair of kids whose mom is a nurse.
Cool time-travel shenanigans make this the highlight of DC’s digital releases this week. (Or at least the ones here.)
TITLE: Aquaman: Deep Dives #2
AUTHOR: Michael Grey
ARTISTS: Aaron Lopresti, Matt Ryan (Inker), Hi-Fi (Colors), Wes Abbott (Letters). Cover by Philip Tan and Elmer Santos.
RELEASED: April 30, 2020
Aquaman vs. Russian Mobsters? Not a pairing I expected, I’ll give you that. But it works.
The Sea Devils make an appearance in this issue. If you have no idea who they are, I was right there with you. Somehow they’re in one of the few corners of the DCU I haven’t explored yet.
Not an amazing issue from a story perspective. But mad respect to Aaron Lopresti, who’s low key one of my favorites, for drawing fish deformed by poison dumped into the sea. Legit creepy.
TITLE: Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace #2
AUTHORS: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti
ARTISTS: Daniel Sampere, Juan Albarran (Inker), Hi-Fi (Colors), Travis Lanham (Letterer). Cover by Conner and Paul Mounts.
RELEASED: April 29, 2020
So here we have Diana in another team-up issue, this time with Lois Lane. I’m curious if this is just a coincidence, of if they wanted to throw another big name character in there to help support her. With the Gal Gadot movie under her belt, and another one coming out in the near future, I’m not sure Wondie needs it right now.
We get a really nice fight sequence between her and what basically amounts to a demonic abominable snowman who spouts textbook supervillain speak. (“Give up impudent morsel! Death awaits!”) Steve Orlando gets Wonder Woman and knows how to write her. But from a story perspective, I haven’t been overly impressed by these last two outings.
TITLE: Batman: Gotham Nights #2
AUTHOR: Michael Grey
ARTISTS: Ryan Benjamin, Richard Friend (Inker), Alex Sinclair (Colorist), Troy Peteri (Letterer). Cover by Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, and Lucas.
RELEASED: April 28, 2020
Pretty standard Batman stuff here. It’s not bad, but it’s not overly remarkable either. Crime involving an old theater, theater lead traces back to…well, you can probably guess based on the cover.
My favorite line in this issue: “Who was it that said every villain is the hero of their own story? Probably a villain.”
TITLE: Superman: Man of Tomorrow #2
AUTHOR: Robert Venditti
ARTISTS: Paul Pelletier, Andrew Hennessy (Inker), Adriano Lucas (Colorist), Clayton Cowles (Letterer). Cover by Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona and Tomeu Morey.
RELEASED: April 27, 2020
Another great issue from Venditti, Pelletier, and the crew as our Man of Steel faces off against a new villain called the Gambler.
In addition to a great “shirt opening” sequence, this issue contains a panel reminiscent of a famous Alex Ross painting where Superman is sitting in a chair with his shoulders slumped a bit. Like he can feel the weight of the world on his shoulders. Only in this issue, he’s holding what looks like a beer bottle. It’s soda, of course. I love that.
He’s got a few great one-liners too. “Don’t bet on it, Gambler!”
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