Astro City #10
Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson wrap up Winged Victory’s solo arc in one of the more human and warm moments of an already big-hearted comic. Busiek’s carefully-thought-out story is as much a discussion of how we treat women in our society as it is a superhero brawl, something rare in comics, and even rarer in how nuanced it is. Highly recommended.
Abe Sapien #11
This book wraps up a sad arc, less about the zombies and more about the aftermath. As always, it’s a contemplative book, and worth reading.
Daniel Maia takes over for Eric Nguyen on Duane Swierczynski’s ongoing gritty action seris, and the art does a lot for the issue, which can be summed up as “X gets the ever-loving hell beaten out of him for about seventeen pages.” Seriously. There are conventional beatings, and then there are Duane Swierczynski beatings. I’m still not sold on this book as anything other than a remnant from the ’90s, but it’s fast-paced and action-packed, so it’s hard to complain beyond that. Worth a read for gritty action fans.
Justice League Of America #13
Matt Kindt, Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira continue their take on being trapped in the prison of your own mind. Tied into Forever Evil, what’s most compelling about this is Kindt’s sensitive take on Stargirl: Her self-doubt and courage make the book stand out. Sadly, this appears to be Kindt’s last issue, before the rebranding as Justice League United, but hopefully he’ll be back.
Star Wars #15
Brian Wood, Stéphane Créty, and Julien Hugonnard-Bert spend an issue talking about the political aspects of the Rebellion, and also reminding us that Luke is still in some ways a pouty teenager. And this is probably going to end badly, but hey, at least there are exciting spaceship flights.
Marvel’s best book takes a break from its plot to deliver what is, supposedly, a children’s cartoon, hilariously rendered by Chris Eliopoulos. Quickly, though, it becomes yet another clever issue of the series, with Matt Fraction using the grammar and style of bad holiday cartoons to explore Clint’s insecurities in the face of being just the guy with the bow, surrounded by gods, geniuses, and super-soldiers. It’s a smart, funny, offbeat issue and it shows yet more heart and intelligence from an already superb series. Highly recommended.
Bloodshot And The H.A.R.D. Corps #20
So, you think you can distract Armstrong just by getting him drunk? Silly H.A.R.D. Corps. The already amusingly silly Mission: Improbable crossover hilariously rockets into the ridiculous with this issue. And he’s not even the most dangerous person in this issue; that’s a surprise on the last panel we’ll save. Highly recommended.
Zero Year continues, although it feels a bit drawn out at this point; why it needs to go for another issue is an open question. Still worth reading, but we’re looking forward to this being wrapped up and the Batbooks moving on.