Dream Thief: Escape #2
Jai Nitz and Greg Smallwood deliver the best superhero noir on the stands. What I love about this book is how cleverly Nitz throws twists at us: This book seems to be setting up an over-the-top jailbreak before taking a sudden, hilarious twist. Similarly, Smallwood cleverly evokes period and atmosphere with careful coloring choices and smart moments of layout and design. It’s a sharp, clean, twisty and even emotional book. Highly recommended.
Kill Shakespeare: The Mask Of Night #2
The clever, complex, and superbly written miniseries continues, this time with action on the high seas. It’s a cleverly done book, as always, evoking the style and cadence of Shakespeare while being its own story, and Andy Berlanger, the artist, shows off a powerful sense of action and violence in these pages. It’s some of the best comics on the stand, and if you’re not reading it, you’re missing out. Highly recommended.
Warren Ellis’ book about aliens that don’t care about us takes an interesting turn, focusing more on the people than the aliens. Which is as it should be. If you haven’t been following this book, pick it up from the beginning; it’s well worth a read.
Axe Cop: American Choppers #3
Axe Cop goes all theological on us in this final issue. Pretty amusing, but if you’re not a fan already, this won’t change your opinion.
Conan The Avenger #4
This book hops genres as nimbly as possible, going from fantasy to detective story to palace intrigue from issue to issue. It’s probably the most deft and engaging Conan book on the stands right now, and decidedly worth reading. Highly recommended.
Velvet, still reeling from the punch she just got in issue five, decides to go exactly where she shouldn’t be: Straight back to the spymasters hunting her. Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting do a brilliant job of reinventing the ’70s espionage drama, making this one of the best comics Image is putting out. Highly recommended.
Afterlife With Archie #6
Sooooo, Sabrina was banished to the netherworld for unleashing the zombie plague on Riverdale… what’s she been up to since? Oh, you can just ask her doctor, a certain Howard Phillips Lovecraft. A must-buy just for the art from Francesco Francavilla, it’s a gripping horror read that mixes lots of little Lovecraft nods with a cleverly written and disturbing plot. Highly recommended.
Archer & Armstrong #22
“SIR! MOVE ASIDE YOUR INTIMIDATINGLY LARGE PENIS!”
Did I have to say anything else? OK, fine, Fred Van Lente actually manages to make this book’s goofy New Age conspiracy theories not seem utterly ridiculous, while subtly commenting on the nature of fame. Also there are dick jokes. Buy it.
Zero Year finally wraps up with a pleasing finale of the Riddler getting his ass kicked. Great storyline, if a little long, guys. Now can we please actually have the next one?
Basically, Johns gives Superman a nice kick to the groin, reminding him that hey, he’s still totally alone in the universe and his family’s dead. The character of Ulysses is an interesting one, though, and the arc is definitely of interest.