This week is full of some of my favorites. As my American readers enjoy a four day work week and remember the sacrifices of war, and international readers keep doing those crazy things they do, here’s some titles that I really recommend checking out!
Young Avengers #5
I love this cover. Very creative use of negative space, and other art-words. Anyway, it just looks great! Some comic book artists have very distinct styles, but I find a lot of those are pretty paintings but muddy storytelling. For me, I’d much rather have a more typical style but excellent use of creativity like this to make things interesting, make the story flow, and provide clarity.
One of the themes that Gillen established in his Loki-centric Journey Into Mystery arc is Loki’s adventures being largely unobserved by anyone else, and his heroic acts ending up going mostly unnoticed or misunderstood. And similarly now, he’s in big internal trouble, but in a way that nobody has noticed. I expect this to bear excellent fruit in coming issues.
There’s a lot of the fightyfighty this issue, but the creative layout and artwork make it interesting to read. And in the end, it’s set up for the team to find it difficult to go back to their non-heroic lives, and stick together for a while. Which is good, because they’re an interesting team. (I particularly want to see more of Miss America, latina powerhouse with an attitude!) This is one of the smartest superhero comic books around, and everyone who likes that sort of thing should try it!
Adventure Time #16
In this issue, Jake and Finn and the Ice King discover an old dungeon that the Ice King built (but mostly doesn’t remember), and decide to conquer it. (Plus, LSP was there too. Lookin’ Lumpy, LSP!) What makes the title work is the dialogue, which is maybe even better than in the show. For instance:
Finn: Jake, I was kinda born for this. I was kinda LITERALLY BORN to explore dungeons. Jake: I was literally born on account of other, more biological reasons!!
Well, it made me laugh. The whole title is just dripping in this kind of stuff. We learn as we go that the dungeon seems to have been created as part of the Ice King trying to resolve some of his personal issues after going through a bad breakup, and it’s got that special mix of sad and messed-up that really captures the awesome mess that is Adventure Time’s Ice King.
Plus there’s some short backup stories! They’re usually not that great, but this one was kind of okay I guess. I don’t really care, because the main story is so good. If you like the TV Show, check out the comic! It’s mathematical!
The Superior Spider-Man #10
Kudos to Dan Slott. He set up the Ghost of Peter Parker in Otto Octavius as Spider-Man’s head, and we all bit on it. This was the path to salvation, Peter was going to take over again, and things would go back to normal. Except… that’s not what’s happening now.
Having defeated and deleted the Parker-Ghost, Spider-Man is all Superior now. There’s no Spark of Parker left, which his closest loved ones are starting to pick up on – but is it too late? He doesn’t care, he’s moving on to being his awesome self. And things seem to be going swimmingly – his ubiquitous surveillance society is putting him in control of crime, he’s going back to get his PhD and acing it, he’s getting dates with cute smart women, J. Jonah Jameson loves him. Live is good.
This is, of course, a set-up to a fall from grace. A new villain, or perhaps old villain in a new suit, calling himself the Goblin King is active, and has figured out how to disrupt the spider-bot surveillance system, something that Octavius is too arrogant to consider. And he’s building up a goblin army, from the remnants of the crime gangs that Spider-Man is busting up. This is going to get bad very soon.
And Parker’s ex (his other ex, the police woman Carly) is really onto him, but trying to figure out a way to prove it and what to do about it. That’s now the Peter Parker fan’s biggest hope. But Slott has already pulled the rug out from under us a few times, and I doubt this is the last twist. Things aren’t going to spin to a tidy resolution any time soon. And that’s one thing I’m loving about this story.
Give these titles a try if you haven’t already! They’re superior! And mathematical! And sassy!