The Five Best Comic Books Of The Week - July 27, 2022
To be fair, almost no Marvel books showed up on time at my LCS this week, so...
Let’s just dive on in.
Superman: Space Age #1. Written by Mark Russell. Illustrated by Mike & Laura Allred.
It’s a fresh, deconstructed take on the origin of Superman! I know. I know. But this one’s actually pretty darned good. Written by Mark Russell, who wrote Not All Robots and One Star Squadron, this book takes place in the 1960s, when the threat of nuclear war pervades the collective consciousness. It features a sheltered, inexperienced young Clark Kent when he first takes on the mantle of Superman.
Russell tends to infuse his writing with biting sarcasm and social commentary. That’s hidden a bit more under the surface here. But this book really is, other than being a fresh retelling of Superman’s younger years, a commentary on humanity’s obsession with war and violence and the toll it takes on everything. Mike and Laura Allred collaborate on the art. Their artwork is, as always, spectacular. Mike was born to draw silver age heroes, and his clean line work shines here. Laura’s colors enhance the artwork fabulously.
I’m really looking forward to seeing where this book goes. If I have one complaint, it’s that it was a $10 book. Yay inflation! Corporate profits! Greed! Russell should write a book about that.
Public Domain #2. Written and Illustrated by Chip Zdarsky.
This book has a lot in common with the Fast And Furious franchise. Okay, not really. But F is for Family! This issue delves more into the familial relationship of the 2 sibling main characters and their somewhat distant father, the creator of The Domain, the most popular fictional superhero in all the land.
Zdarsky does all of the heavy lifting in this title and you can tell it’s a personal story for him. The first issue really felt like a jab at Marvel comics and their treatment of comic creators. This issue shifts the focus to the toll that creating something the public loves can take on the creator and those around him. It’s a quiet, angry, poignant little title.
A Righteous Thirst For Vengeance #10. Written by Rick Remender. Illustrated by André Lima Araújo.
This issue is pretty much one big fight scene. Sparse on dialogue, high on action, like most of the series. It’s a difficult book to write about without spoiling things, but, needless to say, it’s freaking awesome.
Remender again lets Araújo do the heavy lifting, choosing to let the illustrations tell the story. And damn. Yeah. André can draw one hell of an action scene. Well choreographed, clearly told, and bloody. It’s everything I want in a book that’s mostly silent. This issue could have big ramifications for the series moving forward
Swamp Thing #15. Written by Ram V. Illustrated by Mike Perkins.
The penultimate issue! Penultimate is such a cool-sounding word with such a lackluster meaning. Second-to-last? Eh. Whatever. This series is setting up to wrap up with a bang. Or at least with a resolution of sorts to an enormous conflict. Nature vs. machine. Humanity vs. the planet. Brother vs. brother. It’s all in here. Everything Ram V and Mike Perkins have set up over the course of their run is coming to fruition.
Ram V captures the tone of the Swamp Thing universe perfectly. This book drips with gothic horror goodness with just the right touch of fantastic sci-fi elements thrown in for good measure. He introduces new elements to the mythos while respecting what came before. Perkins is the perfect collaborator for this endeavor. His art is gritty and grim and mostly grounded. He’s clearly having fun drawing this book and it shows. My one minor complaint is that the coloring by Spicer feels a bit too bright for the title. That said, I can’t wait to see how this series ends
The Sandman Universe: Nightmare Country #4. Written by James Tyrion IV. Illustrated by Lisandro Estherren and DaNi.
Like Swamp Thing, Nightmare Country effectively adds to the universe of what came before it. This is Tynion at his best. Paying homage to the original Sandman series, filling in details without stepping on toes, and telling a downright creepy story to boot. This is the best issue of the series thus far and the one that most closely resembles something that Gaiman may have written. Mr. Agony and Mr. Ecstasy continue their pursuit of Madison. The Corinthian continues to be mysterious and creepy, and there’s a rich old guy with questionable motives.
Tyrion directly ties this book into the original Doll’s House issues of Sandman. He expands on the background of a mostly minor character in a way that makes sense and makes him more interesting, all the while keeping the tone dark and grim. The painted artwork by Lisandro Estherren is sketchy and expressive and horrific and fits the book perfectly. The interior inset art by DaNi is a bit looser and isn’t quite as effective, but it’s still solid.
This is one of those books that’s really going to depend upon the ending. The first few issues were a slow burn but the action ramped up in this issue. It could end horribly or it could end well. We’ll see.
Those were my top 5 comics of the week. Let me know if you agree with my picks or if you think I’m a wee bit nuts.
As always, you can watch my reviews of every new comic I read this week here Cranky Comic Book Review - 7/27
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