This was a good week for me as I found myself liking pretty much everything on my pull list and the selections for this post run the gamut from a day in a dog’s life to a new book from an industry heavyweight to the return of the World’s Finest team to a coda for one of the worst miniseries ever that is actually pretty enjoyable.
AGE OF ULTRON #10AI
The first book to come out post-AGE OF ULTRON is this spotlight on Dr. Hank Pym and how he is dealing with all of the events that transpired during the 10-issue miniseries.
Final Verdict: This books almost makes up for the ten issues of pure undiluted mind-numbing garbage that Brian Michael Bendis gave the world in AGE OF ULTRON. Waid, in one issue, creates the best story to focus on Hank Pym in years all without dwelling endlessly on what a loser Pym is supposed to be. Instead Waid gives us a Pym that has realized that he matters and sets out to show the word just how much. And the origin stuff that takes the reader all the way back to Pym’s childhood was just pure gold. The only gripe I had with this book was that some panels of art by Andre Lima Araujo did not do a good job conveying what was actually supposed to be happening. But that is just a small complaint in an otherwise great read. It’s too bad that the series that is being borne from this will not be written by Waid because he has a really good handle on the character.
This book teaming up the two most famous comic book characters in the DCU jumps off with a retelling of their first meeting by fan favorite writer Greg Pak (WORLD WAR HULK) and superstar artist Jae lee.
Final Verdict: Greg Pak immediately shows he knows how to write for not Superman and Batman but their non-costumed alter egos too. The first meeting of Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent was my favorite parts of the book, even more than the first meeting between Superman and Batman. I only wish more of the book focused on that instead of jumping right into the machinations of the villain of the story even though this villain is quite intriguing. And Jae Lee, whose work I have never been a major fan of, really knocks it out of the parti with this book. Usually I feel like his stuff is too dark but he somehow is able to convey darkness and light simultaneously in his artwork. This may be the best stuff he has ever done and it only serves to make the 6 or 7 pages that are set in the present and drawn by Ben Oliver pale in comparison.
JUSTICE LEAGUE #21
Shazam takes center stage as his origin story that has been running as a back-up in this book takes over the entire issue for its conclusion.
Final Verdict: If you are a fan of The Big Red Cheese then this issue should leave a big goofy grin on your face the entire time you are reading it just because of all the things that hearken back to the earlier incarnation of the original Fawcett Captain Marvel character and his supporting cast. Everyone from Mary Marvel to Mr. Tawky Tawny gets some shine as well as the appearance of one of the most important characters in Shazam continuity. And Gary Frank’s art is incredible as usual especially this splash page and this one too. Someone needs to get that guy on regular series ASAP.
Matt Fraction and David Aja give us a glimpse into a day in the life of Hawkeye’s dog, Lucky better known as Pizza Dog.
Final Verdict: This may be the strangest but most enjoyable book about a dog I read all week. Pizza Dog is a lover and a crime fighter (at least in his dreams) and getting a peak into what he does while Hawkeye and Girl Hawkeye are off having adventures ( I especially liked the visual depiction of how a dog processes thought) was an unexpected but welcome move on the part of Fraction and Aja.
In a world where The Haves are outnumbered greatly by The Have Nots it becomes necessary to take precautions and in the case of The Carlyle Family that precautionary measure involves using technology to enhance their daughter forever into a super-soldier with one mission…protect the family at all costs.
Greg Rucka is in rare form doing one of the things he does best…writing a very intriguing and complicated heroine. In the case of Forever Carlyle he has a winner because I was instantly drawn into her reality and the conflict she feels by performing her duty to her family especially the parts of said duty that involve killing people in some very brutal ways. I also liked the description of the trauma Forever goes through when she has been killed and then resurrected. Too many books with characters with this particular skill tend to gloss over the fact that even though the character comes back to life they did have to go through the process of dying first. Thankfully Rucka is just as interested in delving into that subject as I am to read about it. And the art of Rucka’s GOTHAM CENTRAL collaborator Michael Lark. Lark’s art is very moody and full of shadows and that style fits with the muddled morality at play in the story.