Hello comic friends! No video content this week – family visiting and other hectic holiday elements made it a bit tough to record. However! I do have a handful of books to chat about so let’s dive right in!
Radiant Black #10 [Kyle Higgins]
Woo! This one was a doozy! First of all, it elevates its unique visual style with a blacklight-edition issue. If you have a blacklight to take full advantage, I highly recommend it, but even without it the artwork is particularly stellar. Taking it a step further, the emotional weight of the latter third of this issue helps to provide even more narrative depth to Higgins’ already surprisingly nuanced story. I say surprisingly because on its surface it seems like a Power Rangers-esque series, but in reality there’s much more simmering beneath the surface. A fantastic read.
Hulk #1 [Donny Cates]
Well, after a notable delay, Hulk has finally landed, freshly headed by the insanely talented Donny Cates writing and Invincible superstar Ryan Ottley on the art. With such a dynamic duo, it’s no wonder that the issue launches with an equivalent amount of promise. Bruce Banner is a broken man, distraught after an undisclosed event in El Paso sets him on a dark path. After the events of Immortal Hulk, Bruce has a greater understanding of Hulk’s abilities, and has reached a new level of control over the beast within – channeling the Hulk’s rage to power a frighteningly powerful suit.
This was a really fun read. Ottley’s art complements Cates’ writing style very well, and I’m beyond excited to see what the pair can do in the weeks and months to come.
Time Before Time #7 [Rory McConville/Declan Shalvey]
Tetsuo’s time-hopping and Syndiate-ducking continues in the latest issue of Time before Time – and I’m still fully enjoying the aesthetic and vibe of the series. While the closing pages make me feel like maybe we’re headed on a narrative goose chase that I’m not particularly fond of, the overlapping timelines and various players coming into the spotlight make for effective tension-building. Bring on some more!
Gunslinger Spawn #2 [Todd McFarlane]
Whew! A brutal and gruesome issue as Gunslinger Spawn does battle with heavenly hosts and tries to protect his ticket back to his timeline. Spectacular art and bombastic action makes for a traditionally entertaining issue, save for the ending.
Following a seriously heavy narrative plot-point, the book pulls a hairpin turn to comic relief without giving the reader a moment to breathe. It was honestly a baffling decision that had me legitimately wondering if some a page or two had been cut as a misprint. But, it seems to be as intended…
I’m not dropping the run over it, but I think if you read it you’ll get exactly what I’m talking about.
The Tales Of Exandria: The Bright Queen #2 [Matthew Mercer/Darcy Van Poelgeest]
Some more wonderful lore to fill out the lush and vast world that Matthew Mercer continues to spin for steadfast fans on Thursday nights. The revelations of the Bright Queen’s fate is appropriately tragic, and the art is solid as well. As I mentioned to someone earlier today – you might not have 1,000+ hours to sink into catching up on the campaigns, but you should certainly be reading into Critical Role comic content! It’s good stuff!
The Death of Doctor Strange #3 [Jed MacKay]
MacKay is at it again, weaving an amazing story in The Death of Doctor Strange that only gets better as the growing threat of the Three Mothers and their mysterious “child” begins to properly consume the minds of the Avengers and other remaining defenders of the world. Hoping to get his hands on some key magical items to aid their fight, the time-warped Doctor Strange of the past may find himself on a crash course with the Three Mothers once again…!
Superb art and MacKay’s consistently solid narrative construction makes this event one of my favorite runs at the moment.
Thor #19 [Donny Cates]
You know, I was beginning to get a little bummed out at the lull in one of my favorite titles out there, Thor. The last couple of issues have been a bit lackluster, but this issue kicks the door open on a new arc that has all the characteristics of the sweeping, cosmic narratives that Cates does so tremendously well. There’s some fantastic lore in here around Mjolnir, invocations of gods and cosmic forces that we have not yet seen, and generally just some awesome action to go with it.
Basically, this is a really good issue. Stoked for this upcoming arc!
Leruhs [Brooks McCoy]
Recently I had an interesting opportunity: a young man named Brooks McCoy (14 years old) had written and drawn a comic, and a family member was working on spreading the word and finding some support within a Facebook comic group that I frequent. Intrigued, and eager to support an enterprising young creator, I arranged to purchase a signed copy, and it arrived in the mail today.
Reading through it, the narrative was set up like any proper Dungeons & Dragons adventure would be – a mysterious attack by demons, sorcerers up to shenanigans, a townsperson’s daughter in distress. Hunter Daron and wizard Leruhs are on the case, of course, and their banter is amusing to watch unfold. The art is also a promising foundation for what’s to come in the future with continued practice and diligence, which Brooks has already demonstrated by putting this story together.
If you’re interested in checking out this story, you can find Brooks McCoy on Instagram, as well as support his Kickstarter for more of these stories here. Proud to have this one in my personal collection.
That’s it for this week! Keep your eyes open for more content from Comic Con Special Edition this weekend. Until next time, enjoy those comics!