Round-Up September 2021

SILVER CITY continues to be a good read about what happens after death, but the big thing for Aftershock this month is the final issue of BABYTEETH that was long delayed but finally arrives – and it’s an odd one. There’s a big time jump which I don’t normally hold with, but at the same time, the pay off works, I think. Sad to see it end.

It’s BLACK HAMMER all the way from Dark Horse – the VISIONS miniseries ends on a great story while REBORN and UNBELIEVABLE UNTEENS both continue with solid story telling, though the art on UNTEENS doesn’t really work for me, if I’m honest.

Bit of a bumper month for DC, helped by two issues of INFINITE FRONTIER and a GREEN LANTERN ANNUAL. BLUE AND GOLD is good fun, glad I picked that up, and SWAMP THING steadily continues on its course, but the best series was definitely INFINITE FRONTIER, though I have to wonder why Darkseid is just wearing briefs on the cover of #6?

Despite the cover and the title, there’s actually been no element of DEJAH THORIS VS JOHN CARTER so far. INVINCIBLE RED SONJA, despite the delay, is working well, though I was unhappy to hear the news that Amanda Conner is stepping down as co-writer after #6, and artist Moritat is leaving after that issue as well, as they were both big draws for me buying this title.

COMMANDERS IN CRISIS comes to an end, wrapping up twelve splendid issues that would be worth tracking down in a trade if you didn’t get the singles. GEIGER sneakily goes about world building with plans for a series focusing on another character next year, as well as some history that was dropped almost surreptitiously. Nicely played, Mr Johns. And INKBLOT is still enjoyable despite being random as all hell!

Round-Up August 2021

As it has been for the last few months (years, maybe?) Dark Horse is still just the BLACK HAMMER titles for me. UNBELIEVABLE UNTEENS is Lemire’s take on the X-Men in the Hammerverse and is a great start with a comic book writer/artist being contacted by one of her characters who reveals that she used to be one of the Unteens. VISIONS continues a look at other characters and this one-shot is splendidly done.

Despite the promise of fun implied with the first issue’s cover, GREEN LANTERN continues down a grim path with dozens if not hundreds of Lanterns being killed as I mentioned a few weeks back. INFINITE FRONTIER is fun, though, in a crazy multiversal sort of way, but that’s one of the things I like when it’s done well. JUSTICE LEAGUE has me tired of Brian Michael Bendis – every character sounds the same, with everyone producing the same snappy, witty asides, meaning none of them sound as they should, Black Adam in particular. I recently picked up the collections of his YOUNG JUSTICE series and it’s much the same – even the Dr Fate of Earth-22 (the KINGDOM COME Earth) talks as though he’s in a teen-oriented sit-com. SWAMP THING is rolling along nicely, though the reveal of the big villain they’re building up to has been telegraphed since issue #1 and I sort of wish they’d get on with it. CRIME SYNDICATE, though, was just superb from start to finish, and if the heroic team from INFINITE FRONTIER are getting their own mini-series later this year, the anti-hero team from Earth-3 should get one as well. Really enjoyed that mini-series.

COMMANDERS IN CRISIS is heading towards its finish line and it’s been a good run, too, with both writing and art pleasing to the eye. Unlikely there’ll be any more tales in this world as they’ve basically started with the equivalent of the end of the world, but it’s been good. GEIGER continues to impress, with Johns doing some world building and Gary Frank’s artwork never less than spot on. HEY KIDS! COMICS! is Howard Chaykin kvetching at the history of the industry and part of me wonders if it would be more enjoyable if it didn’t feature about four time periods per issue. But maybe that’s just me getting old and wanting a simple storyline to follow. INKBLOT is still enjoyable though hasn’t really shaken off the impression that it’s being made up as it goes along.

A quiet month this one due to some delivery issues for my local comic shop so I’m expecting (or at least hoping) for a bumper haul next month.

Round-Up June 2021

After a hiatus of maybe a year and a half, BABYTEETH has returned to finish off its run, with the final issue due to land in September. And, as it has been throughout the series, it’s bloody good fun and highly recommended. THE BEQUEST was a fun four issue mini-series (I’ve mentioned before about Aftershock and their policy of never actually telling you something is a mini-series or an ongoing) that was worth a look, and for two issues in, SILVER CITY shaping up nicely as a “what happens when you die” story.

As it has been for a couple of years now, Dark Horse is just the BLACK HAMMER books for me; VISIONS is a nice collection of done-in-one tales by different creators and the main series has just returned with REBORN. So glad I picked this up a couple of years ago.

And it’s the staples from DC for me – JUSTICE LEAGUE and GREEN LANTERN – along with a few mini-series. GREEN LANTERN is back to some nice straightforward superheroes defending the galaxy after the convoluted and (for me) unsatisfying Grant Morrison series; INFINITE FRONTIER is shaping up to be some fun multiversal shenanigans, something I’m a sucker for; but still the best book out of the lot is CRIME SYNDICATE; if there were any justice in the world (this one, not Earth-3) this would be picked up for a sequel at least or an ongoing at best.

While I wait for the new Dejah Thoris title to land, Dynamite’s offering is just THE INVINCIBLE RED SONJA which I’m enjoying thanks to the writing of Palmiotti and Conner, and the gorgeous art of Moritat.

BIRTHRIGHT finished in June, 50 issues of top-notch writing and stunning to look at art – I honestly don’t think there was a dull issue in the whole run. COMMANDERS IN CRISIS is still fun as heroes from multiple earths try to save the last one there is. GEIGER‘s shaping up nicely, as well, with lots of hints at world building promising that it’s not just going to be one straightforward adventure. HEY KIDS and INKBLOT are enjoyable for different reasons (I still have the feeling that INKBLOT is made up month by month) but some good news from the September solicitations – ADVENTUREMAN is returning! I loved the first four issues last year and am glad to see it’s back soon.