It’s a light week as everybody prepares for the holidays, but there are still some great comics on the stands. What made the top twenty?
1) Art Ops #3
There’s an old art movie called Can Dialectics Break Bricks?, where a kung-fu movie is dubbed over with philosophical arguments, and increasingly Art Ops feels like that movie in comic book form. Michael Allred’s riotous imagination is perfect while Shaun Simon’s ability to turn intellectual arguments into superhero comics deserves more love. Increasingly one of Vertigo’s best and a must-read.
2) Venus #1
Rick Loverd’s script doesn’t waste any time; the first manned colonization mission to Venus goes to hell within the first page. Huang Danlan’s art helps contribute to the urgency, with a particularly nice eye towards design. It’s a sturdy, thrilling book and one worth picking up.
3) Jupiter’s Circle Vol. 2 #2
One of the fundamental flaws of any comic set in anything resembling the actual 20th century is there’s a lot of horrible things that happened in the world that you’d think superheroes would address. Well…yeah, Mark Millar doesn’t avoid the Watts riots, and Wilfredo Torres is oddly well-suited to depicting a superhero crashing into history. It’s a bold choice, but Millar avoids his trademark shock value in favor of characterization; Skyfox’s turn from self-involved ass to torch-the-system type makes sense. It’s a smart, considered book, and worth reading.
4) Wild’s End: The Enemy Within #4
Dan Abnett and INJ Culbard’s mashup of talking animals and alien invasion takes a massive twist and turn for the worse in this issue. It’s odd that such a weird mix would be so thrilling, but Abnett’s characterization and dry humor combined with Culbard’s thoughtful, grounded art make for a superb thriller.