You know, I can’t let Robert have all the funny of reviewing stacks upon stacks of monthly adventures involving capes, whatever the hell is trendy enough to warrant being an Image book, Image Jr aka Boom, licensed property from your childhood aka IDW and whatever tickles my fancy. Considering just this past weekend was free comic book day and all of us here market this place as a comic book site, why not some reviews?
Here’s some ground rules before I get into the picks.
Considering that I’ll actually read some series from start to finish – I won’t bore anyone with constantly gushing over my man crush on the fantastic writing skills of Tom King or how Tristan Jones makes your nightmares come to life with some heavy ink in Aliens Defiance (GO BUY THE FIRST ISSUE, SECOND COMES OUT NEXT WEEK I THINK), I’d rather point out the highlights of those or stick to the freshness, the hot fresh of a debut title but it’s a bit rare.
Still reading? Well, there’s more after the jump.
In general, some event books came out this week such as All New X-Men (lining up for that Apocalypse flick), the 4001 A.D event with X-O Manowar (future event centered around Rai, Manowar and even Shadowman), and DC is wrapping up some of their ongoings before Rebirth so this week it’s Action Comics as Supermen meet face to face for the first time and James Tynion gets a crack at taking over Batman for Synder in Batman #52.
This week also has the debut of the ALL NEW Wasp in All New All Different Avengers, Gotham Academy wraps up their guest writer/artist spotlight as the Year Book arc comes to an end and the second issue for Ta-Nehisi Coates run on Black Panther, fresh from his bad ass debut in Captain America: Civil War.
As for my actual picks, it’s a bit slim this week as two series I’ve been following are wrapping up.
Kennel Block Blues comes to a finish as we get into big clash of prison gangs. It’s been a pretty interesting series with some weirdness of our protagonist, Oliver, as his hallucinations have finally stopped – he’s accepting his place on the block and ready to give it all to fight for his fellow friendly inmates. The previous issue was all about how Oliver ended up arriving to the Kennel and it was pretty heartbreaking. Oh, and the real draw of the book is the whole animals as people angle, the cover makes it pretty obvious but sometimes they get a bit meta with it as Oliver’s flashback is less cartoonish dog as a man but more of him as a wee puppy that falls on hard times due to his crappy owner – Like I said, heartbreaking but a good pick if you’ve read Blacksad or just want an interesting prison drama that is like dogs re-enacting Shawshank Redemption.
Going on with the animal weirdness theme, the second issue of Grizzlyshark Returns. It’s a reprint of the first run but in glorious colour as a goofy premise from the mind of nine year old is written with some 30 year old snarky satire, it’s over the top comedy gorefest as a mere drop of blood unleashes chaos. It’s like that shark tornado weather but less shitty acting and not wearing out it’s novelty by being over an hour and a half long.
The last pick involving animals are of a ninja kind as the Batman/TMNT crossover comes to an end. The pacing could have been a bit quicker but the real highlight was the weird animal makeovers that Batman’s rogue gallery got an upgrade courtesy of the Shredder and some mutagen. Who doesn’t enjoy the idea of Mr Freeze becoming a polar bear but still wearing his cold suit? The only downside is that unlike the Ghostbusters/TMNT crossover, this event probably won’t be considered canon for TMNT and certainly not for Batman, ah well.
Making a debut this week is a comic adaption for showtime’s Victorian Goth Drama named Penny Dreadful. As being a fan of the show in itself, the timing for this is pretty good considering that season three just started three weeks ago. This comic series serves as a prequel to the show as it involves Vanessa’s search for Mina and ties into some major events with Timothy Dalton’s character, Sir Malcolm and his trip to Africa. If you’re a fan of the show, it’s worth checking out as I can’t imagine that it’ll run that long.
Lastly, the second issue of House of Penance comes out this week. The premise of the series involves the construction of infamous Winchester House as the widow Sarah Winchester has just employed a mysterious gunslinger named Warren Peck. It relies a bit on the real world strangeness of Winchester House that is known for having some really crazy architecture as Mrs Winchester would constantly make changes to the design, demanding to make adjustments to appease the spirits of those that died from the rifles of her name sake. There’s actual tours setup to go through the mansion and it’s one of those things that makes a pretty good backstory to base a decent horror story that ties back to Dark Horse’s horror comic roots that established itself with titles such as Hellboy.