Yep, Wolverine is going to die. But he’s not going away quietly, as you might have guessed. A full review, plus looks at comics from DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Image, Boom! Studios, and Dynamite!
The Death Of Wolverine #1
Wolverine doesn’t have a healing factor, and he’s pretty much completely screwed. His bones are radioactive, his body is full of vicious superbugs, and it’s essentially just a matter of time before he’s a greasy stain. But this is Wolverine, and as Charles Soule and Steve McNiven are happy to point out, this is not a man who goes down without a fight.
Is it a gimmick? Sure. But truthfully, Soule and McNiven get so much out of Wolvie it’s hard not to like this book. If you’re even a casual Wolverine fan, this is worth picking up.
The Names #1
Sadly, Peter Milligan’s effort for Vertigo this go-round is a fairly generic thriller. Leandro Fernandez delivers some disturbingly distorted faces that gives this a little edge, but, overall, it’s not particularly compelling or unique.
The Future’s End One-Shots
DC has a lot of Future’s End one-shots coming out this month, and I’ve got five of them to cover. Honestly, of the five I was sent, Grayson: Future’s End stands out for its unusual backwards structure, implemented by Tom King. Green Lantern: Future’s End works better as a story of fathers and sons and what loss really means in a world where death is mutable at best than as the superhero brawl it wants to be. Batman: Detective Comics: Future’s End is a nasty bit of business more interesting as a one-off story than as any sort of tie-in. And Green Arrow and Earth 2 just fill in story blanks, even if the former features Andrea Sorrentino’s superb art. In short, buy the first three if you’re looking for good comics, and buy the other two if you’re looking to fill in story beats.
God Hates Astronauts #1
There’s a thin line between snarky and obnoxious, surreal and gibberish, entertaining and dull, and this book manages to fall on the wrong side of all three. It’s got its funny moments, but it feels nothing so much like somebody knocked off Axe Cop and made it about astronauts. Sadly, not a book I can recommended.
Grendel Vs. The Shadow #1
Yep, it’s Matt Wagner’s gangster vs. the pulp hero, and honestly, it’s… pretty cheesy. It feels less like a modern comic and more like a book from the ’80s, for both better and worse. Wagner’s art is clean and precise as always, albeit his writing is pretty florid, but really this is more for fans of either character than general readers.
Concrete Park #1
Tony Puryear and Erika Alexander deliver a book best described as the California Lovin’ video, but with more pin-up art. Honestly, the book relies a little too heavily on readers going through the previous arc, and the story just has a few too many moving parts to really gel. Mostly it’s about Puryear’s pin-ups, which, if that’s your thing, you’ll probably like this book. But it’s hard to find anything compelling beyond that.
Despite the magic gimmick, this is a pretty straightforward “thief works for the government” type story, and Caleb Monroe doesn’t do much with it. Similarly, Mariano Navarro’s art is solid, but nothing unique. A decent book, but not a world beater.
The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage #1
Jan Van Meter and Roberto De La Torre deliver an interesting, complex story of an occultist dealing with shady characters and, well, the afterlife. It’s not a speedy book, but it’s rich in character and Doctor Mirage is a fully drawn, fascinating protagonist. Definitely worth a read if you like your comics with strong characters.
Part of Dynamite’s “Creators Unleashed” initiative, Duane Swiercyznski delivers… well, pretty much what you’d expect from the title and the name. Keith Burns could stand to imitate Howard Chaykin a little less on the art, but overall, this is a good book for noir fans and those looking for a little grit in their sub pile.
Spider-Man 2099 #3
Miguel O’Hara continues to try and influence his grandfather to not be such an awful human being. Considering this issue centers around Alchemax selling Spider-Slayers to a brutal dictator, that’s not going very well. This continues to be a solid, fun, book, and David uses Spider-Man villains in funny, interesting ways. Not perfect but definitely a fun read.
Southern Bastards #4
Jasons Aaron and Latour wrap up their first arc of this Southern noir with a lot of violence, and a little insight into the high school football coach who runs Craw County. It seems like an ending, but let’s just say there’s more on the way than you might think. Highly recommended.
Big Trouble In Little China #4
Man, Eric Powell and Brin Churrilla just keep getting better on this book. Funny, action-packed, and with a surprisingly sad interlude that gives Jack a little edge of sadness, it’s truly great and a must-read.
Terminator: The Enemy Of My Enemy #5
This book continues to be better than half the movies in the Terminator franchise. Seriously, Paramount, just give Dan Jolley and Jamal Igle carte blanche; they’ll make a far better movie than anything you’ve got going.
The Woods #5
James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas’ fascinating SF book takes an equally fascinating turn. It turns out there are humans in these woods, and not from the high school dumped on this alien planet. It also helps that we’re away from the Lord of the Flies situation in the high school itself and spend the entire issue with the interesting characters. Definitely worth picking up, especially if you’re interested in the budget trade Boom! is putting out.
Moon Knight #7
Brian Wood and Greg Smallwood take over for Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey, which are a hell of an act to follow. Disappointingly, Wood steps away from the one-and-done structure Ellis has launched the book with, but he does deliver a well-written action story, and Greg Smallwood, who you might know from his superb work on Dream Thief, delivers some great art. The jury’s out on whether this is up to the standards of the first run of the book, but it’s definitely solid, and it might be great. Worth picking up, especially if you’ve been wanting to get into this book.