Thank God It’s Wednesday!!! This week I take a gander at five books that represent a healthy cross section of comics from the Big Two (Marvel and DC), the Mid-Size One (Image) and a little indie book that caught my eye.
THE WALKING DEAD #110
Ever since King Ezekiel showed up with his flowery language, loyal subjects in his self-professed Kingdom, and toting a live tiger on a leash, I have been wanting some sort of explanation about just what the hell was up with this guy and hopefully the explanation would bring the character back down to the same grittily realistic tone that the rest of the series has. Well this was the issue where writer Robert Kirkman gave us a peek into the man behind The King and explained just what was up with that tiger. And it was a pretty well done bit of character exposition that showed Ezekiel to be not as much of a delusional madman as he has seemed while at the same time creating some potential for a relationship between him and Michonne.
In other events Jesus went on a hot pursuit on horseback to try and prevent a traitor from spilling the beans on the coalition plan to attack Negan’s group. I would have preferred more time spent on Ezekial’s back story plus the resolution of this subplot was a bit too pat for my tastes.
Final Verdict: Showing more sides to King Ezekial was necessary and done well enough that I am back to being on the character’s bandwagon and can now envision him becoming a part of the series moving forward as well as wanting to see him pop up on the TV show sometime soon. And Michonne’s reaction to The King on their first meeting was just vintage Michonne and set the stage for the deeper look at Ezekial while also laying the seeds for the future relationship between him and Michonne.
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #3
The team does battle with some Justice League robots, Vibe gets to flex his powers, Catwoman goes undercover and Stargirl is turned into a spokesmodel for the team under threat by Amanda Waller. Oh yeah and Green Arrow makes an ass of himself. None of this is nearly as much fun as it should have been and the only thing that got my geeky little heart pumping was the appearance of two New 52 versions of members from my favorite old school incarnation of The Secret Society of Super-Villains. The ending gives me hope but writer Geoff Johns really needs to get this team involved in something that is more interesting than them arguing with one another or fighting robot versions of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.
The Martian Manhunter backup that explored what goes on while J’onn J’onnz is digging around in other peoples brains was good and revealed some unsettling details about this version of the character. I think its time we all accepted that the friendly Oreo eating, lovable Martian uncle J’onn is long gone.
Final Verdict: This book has all the elements necessary to be really good but it seems to be in a bit of a holding pattern in anticipation of the big TRINITY WAR crossover that is coming this summer and as a result each issue has failed to live up to the hype.
UNCANNY AVENGERS #8
The Apocalypse Twins continue to wreck shop as they begin putting their mysterious plan for the future of the planet into motion but really their antics were secondary to me…what I loved about this book was the interaction between Sunfire and Thor. I think it has been a long time since Thor has had to deal with a person who is as extremely and smugly self-confident and the banter between the two was the highlight. I am also enjoying how writer, Rick Remender is continuing plot threads from his amazing X-FACTOR run and when the details of what Wolverine was up to as the leader of Cyclops’ black-ops mutant hit squad, I think the warm fuzzy feelings that the other Avengers mainstays like Thor and Captain America have for him will fade away.
On the down side, I don’t know why Remender has decided to make Wasp such a gigantic “See You Next Tuesday” but he needs to reel it in because she is coming off as very unlikable and making me wish she had stayed “dead”.
Final Verdict: The interaction between Thor and Sunfire is neck and neck with the interaction between Scarlet Witch and Rogue as being my favorite parts of this book; the art was really good once again as Daniel Acuna is making me hope that John Cassady never comes back to this book. If only Remender would tone down the heavy handed way he is trying to insinuate acrimony between the core Avengers and X-characters this book would be almost perfect.
CHIN MUSIC #1
Image Comic’s new series, CHIN MUSIC grabbed my attention based on its inventive premise (an alternate world story where the exploits of Elliott Ness gets mashed up with magic doings), written by horror maestro Steven Niles (30 DAYS OF NIGHT) and drawn by one of my favorite artists Tony Harris (STARMAN/EX MACHINA). Sadly this book fails to live up to the hype. Harris’ art alternates between being absolutely beautiful and too dark and muddled while Niles’ plotting is far too confusing due to his decision to be stingy with the dialogue. Things happen but I will be damned if I am truly positive exactly what those things are.
Final Verdict: A first issue of a series that seems to want to make it as hard as possible for the reader to be drawn into the works that Harris and Niles are trying to create. Hopefully Niles will add some exposition scenes to let the reader in and make this potentially great comic live up to that potential.
AMELIA COLE AND THE HIDDEN WAR #1
This follow up to the AMELIA COLE & THE UNKNOWN WORLD min-series finds out eponymous heroine now firmly ensconced in the job of Protector of her newfound home and she starts the first issue off trying to apprehend a serial magic mugger with the aid of her trusty companion Lemmy and her magic wrench (Amelia aint got time for no wands!). This was a fun little story that shows the growing pains Amelia is going through in her new gig while also taking us along with the previous holder of the Protector title as he begins a life in the military. But the main reason to get this book is to witness the awe-inspiring might of a giant demonic Corgi. It is worth the price of the comic alone.
Final Verdict: One of the more whimsical independent comics with a great premise and really engaging lead character. This first issue sets up the world Amelia is living in perfectly for those who have read her previous run as well as for those who are newbies. Really worth picking up.