Clever Titles are for Better Writers Comics Round-Up 04/17/13

The Netflix original series House of Cards is about as well set-up and firmly grounded as an actual house of cards built by your extraordinarily dull cousin, except the house he built is probably better written. Negativity’s in the air tonight, maybe to make up for the good week of comics. KOMIKSY, sometimes you want to translate a word a bunch of times because introductions are hard to do properly.

Adventure Time #15 written by Ryan North, drawn by Shelli Paroline & Braden Lamb, colored by Lisa Moore, lettered by Steve Wands, “Give Us Back BMO” Backup story written and drawn by Jeremy Sorese:

“Don’t do any dumb ironies on us!”

Considering North’s trademark gift at delivering memorable and humorous dialogue, it’s pretty impressive that he can do away entirely with it for a good half of the issue, and still craft a well-made book. It’s a bold choice, to dismiss a skill he’s clearly crafted from years of working on Dinosaur Comics to take advantage of an oft-underused trick that can only work in the comic book medium.

EISNER NOMINATED? Yes, Best Kids Comic

Bloodshot #10 written by Duane Swierczynski, penciled by Barry Kitson, inked by Stefano Gaudiano & Barry Kitson, colored by Brian Reber, lettered by Rob Steen:

“I was talking to the machines in my blood.”

It’s nice to see that Barry Kitson’s still got the moves, even if his line-work’s bludgeoned by Reber’s coloring. Either way, Kitson’s work this issue is way better than the last time he drew a Valiant book, Harbinger #6. Swierczynski’s got a good handle on the action-movie vibe of the title, and even with Reber’s coloring, this is a solid book.

EISNER NOMINATED? HAHA, are you kidding, this is a book about a half-naked man with robot blood leading a bunch of psychic kids through the desert to destroy a rogue mercenary wing of the government. Not nominated.

Captain America #6 written by Rick Remender, penciled by John Romita Jr., inked by Tom Palmer, Klaus Janson & Scott Hanna, colored by Dean White, lettered by VC’s Joe Caramagna:

“Kidnapping a child does not make you his father.”

It’s kind of amazing that a comic with three different inkers on one penciler is able to look as consistent as this book does. Part of that credit has to go to Dean White, whose otherwordly coloring is a huge part of what makes the setting feel real. On the writing side of things, I just can’t seem to make up my mind about how I feel about it. The concept is really interesting, but Remender’s always been good at introducing concepts, so that only takes it so far. It really comes down to the fact that I don’t want to read about depressed Captain America that loses everything and betrays his morals to win. I want to read about a Cap that struggles against impossible odds, and wins because even though he’s just one man, one man can always make a difference. This story on the other hand has been taking the express elevator to despressing-ville and the population that lives there is just you, me, and Charlie Brown, and that is piss-poor company. At least the inkers help Romita’s children look more like children and less like hideously mis-shapen dolls.

Eisner Nominated? Nope. This is pulp comics pure and simple, the kind of comics that don’t win awards no matter how solid it’s built, and this comic’s built on quicksand.

Chew #33 written and lettered by John Layman, drawn by Rob Guillory, colored by Rob Guillory and Taylor Wells:

“And you fuckers are about to enter a world of pain.”

Chew is just about the perfect monthly title in that Layman and Guillory are able to consistently begin and complete a story arc that fits within 20 pages, all while building on a larger story arc, deepening character interactions, and packing each page with enough jokes, puns, and references to make one issue feel like an Omnibus. It’s simple from an outside perspective, but there’s a lot of careful craft going on in every issue. This is good comics.

Eisner Nominated? Not this year, which speaks more to the quality of the comics that came out this year than the quality of Chew this year.

Danger Club #5 written by Landry Q. Walker, drawn by Eric Jones, colored by Michael “Rusty” Drake & Garry Black, lettered by Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt:

“Execute them. Execute her.”

Wow, it’s been a while since the last issue of this came out, huh? I just looked it up, and it came out in October! Honestly there’s no real reason besides my own impatience for me to be buying this comic in single issues, since it’s playing a long con, and will almost certainly read better in trade. Still, this is a solid comic, with subtle character development and excellent artwork. Really, the only problem with the comic is the pacing, but considering how the last comic Walker and Jones worked on turned out, (Adventures of Supergirl in the 8th Grade) I’m sure it’ll come together excellently by the end.

Eisner Nominated? Nope, part of that is that only four issues came out in a year and part of that is that stories about superhero sidekicks brutally murdering each other rarely ends up winning awards.

SPACE JAM OF THE WEEK

Daredevil #25 written by Mark Waid, drawn by Chris Samnee, colored by Javier Rodriguez lettered by VC’s Joe Caramagna:

“Run for your life!”

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve made Daredevil my Space Jam of the Week, but it’s a title that deserves it with every single issue released. Waid,Samnee, and Rodriguez are going to go down in the Hall of Fame of Incredible Collaboration on a Superhero comic. There’s really not enough praise I can heap upon this comic that equals the inherent craft.

Eisner Nominated? Yes, Chris Samnee for Best Penciler/Inker, although Waid and Rodriguez probably deserve a nomination too.

Mara #4 written by Brian Wood, drawn by Ming Doyle, colored by Jordie Bellaire, lettered by Ming Doyle:

“Dismissed.”

Two issues left in the mini-series and I am having serious doubts that Wood can pull this off. The plot, what little there is, is familiar to anyone who’s read “Superheroes in the Real World” stories, and the dialogue isn’t enough to pull the comic into a good place. A shame, really, since the original pitch for the series sounded like a really interesting story. It doesn’t really matter though, since Doyle and Bellaire are putting in some incredible work in the art department. All I can hope for is that Wood brings his A-game to his next project, and that this encourages Doyle and Bellaire to work together in the future.

Eisner Nominated? Nope, although Doyle will probably snag one in a few years, and Bellaire even sooner.

X-Men Legacy #9 written by Simon Spurrier, penciled by Tan Eng Huat, inked by Craig Yeung, colored by Jose Villarrubia, lettered by VC’s Cory Petit:

“It’s about a guy with so much power he forgets how to be human.”

This comic is just stunning. Taking Professor Xavier’s illegitimate son, a character that’s about as mired in the most-incestuous ball of continuity of the X-Men as possible, and just shifting the perspective a little bit to make something new. It’s amazing how just moving a character into a new place with a new series hook can turn a superhero book into something that genuinely feels new and exciting. It actually reminds me a lot of Morrison and Case’s run on Doom Patrol. Not just because of the similarity of a slightly off-balance superhero whose multiple personalities comes complete with their own superpower, although that’s certainly a factor. Really the two books are more similar in that they both are about rejuvenating a discarded concept with heroes that pursue a different form of super-heroics than the status quo in a way that feels fresh. Each issue of Spurrier and Huat’s run has been fantastic and surprising. Statistically, you’re not reading this comic, so you should really get on that.

—————————————————————–

And now let’s go to Bearwatch.

This was actually the worst Bearweek we’ve had in a while, with not one single appearance of Nature’s greatest predator in any of the comics I could flip through at the shop, not even in a Wolverine comic where he’s in the jungle. Even the webcomic Bearmageddon, normally an easy number boost had no bear appearances in this week’s installment. It’s with a heavy heart that I have to tally this week’s Bear Appearanaces as:

Bearwatch: 0

Still, here’s a comic strip about a bear by a very talented cartoonist. 

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