Top Five Comics For The Week of 8/24/2022
Yeah, this is a bit late. I kind of forgot about it because I’m old and addled.
Swamp Thing #16. Written by Ram V. Artwork by Mike Perkins.
This is the end of it all. Ram V wraps up his 16-issue run on this title in a satisfying fashion. It’s not an adrenaline-filled slugfest but it does address all of the major themes that have been running through the title. Man vs. machine. Humanity vs. itself. The destructive nature of all aspects of life. If you haven’t read this title I highly recommend picking it up once collected. It’s one of the finer runs on Swamp Thing, and that’s saying something.
Ram V adds to the mythology and introduces a new Parliament that’s a force to be reckoned with and, hopefully, sticks around for a while and affects future stories. Perkins’s art is grim and dark and fits the story. He draws a fantastic Swamp Thing and pairs very well with V’s writing. There’s not a whole lot negative to say about this book. If I had one minor nitpick it’s that I think the coloring is a bit too bright for the story. But that’s a small complaint.
Department of Truth #20. Written by James Tynion IV. Artwork by Martin Simmonds.
This is the issue that explains it all! Or does it? What’s true? What’s fiction? Is this even a real review? Who knows. Department of Truth had been wearing out its welcome a bit by the extremely slow-burn nature of the story. But this issue does pick things up a bit by shifting the point of view to what was previously an ancillary side character. It gives readers a way in to the story and gives Tynion a chance to explain things a bit. Ish. If it’s true.
Tynion’s writing on this title has always been slow and vague. At times it’s been a frustrating read because it felt like the story wasn’t really going anywhere. The plot itself hasn’t really progressed much and this issue is no different. But it does give a way in for newer readers and finally pulls aside the curtain a bit revealing the real wizard in emerald city. Or that’s what it’s appearing to be at least. It could be yet another mind game, but it’s a fun mystery. Simmond’s art is gritty and textural and shady and fits the obtuse nature of the book very well. It’s not always clear what’s going on but it’s a visual feast.
Wynd: The Throne In The Sky #1. Written by James Tynion IV. Artwork by Michael Diaylynas.
This is the start of volume 2 of Wynd. The title started as a fairly straightforward young adult tale about Wynd, a misfit character in a fantasy world trying to hide his true nature and just get by in life. In true fantasy fashion, he finds himself thrust into action and a whole lot of folks are chasing him. Volume 1 was a surprisingly fun read and volume 2 is off to a great start.
The story by Tynion has become increasingly complex with various political factions all after the protagonist and a charming, well-rounded cast of side characters each with their own issues. The artwork by Dialynas has also grown up a bit. It’s becoming less and less cartoonish as the story progresses. It’s subtle but it fits the nature of the story. It’s all growing up and I’m down for it. it kind of reminds me in a way of the Harry Potter novels. Not in the world-building or in the style but just in the way that, as the characters age, the books ‘grow up’ a bit as well. Looking forward to seeing how this one continues.
Rogues’ Gallery #2. Written by Hannah Rose May. Artwork by Justin Mason.
Issue number one of this book dealt with toxic fandom and the entitlement of an audience that thinks they are owed certain things. It was an okay issue but it didn’t really grab me. I wasn’t expecting a whole lot out of issue number two. I was pleasantly surprised. This issue flips the script. The point of view changes to that of the actress playing a superhero. She’s worn out, exhausted, and frustrated, but loves the character and generally loves her fans. She’s a sympathetic character and instantly makes this book more compelling. It went from being a middle-of-the-road title to something that has the chance to be special if it continues down this path.
Hannah Rose May has pulled off the neat trick of writing a second issue that’s much better than the first issue. That’s rare. Usually, books take a dip after the initial effort. But I really enjoyed this sophomore issue a whole lot more than issue 1. Justin Mason’s art is…fine. His faces are oddly cartoonish in places and don’t really fit the tone of the story. He does do a good job of drawing environments and his figure work is strong.
Public Domain #3. Written and drawn by Chip Zdarsky.
Ostensibly it’s a book about creators’ rights and the ownership of intellectual property. In reality, it’s about a fucked up family. Okay, so all families are a bit fucked up. That’s kind of the point. Zdarsky does a great job making the familial dynamic feel real. It’s an always shifting, amorphous entity. There are no real heroes or villains in the family. It’s just people trying to get by in the world and dealing with the revelation that the father, aka the creator of the fictional universe’s most popular superhero, might actually own the rights to the character and might be owed a whole lot of money. It’s kind of a slow burn, but every issue has been great. This one is no exception. It’s not going to please folks looking for an action-packed romp, but if you like character-driven tales this is a good one. The art is, well, it’s Chip’s art. It’s solid and serviceable but it’s not the strength of the book. The effectiveness of this as a final product will probably depend upon the ending but I’m enjoying the journey thus far.
Those were my top 5 for this week. Have you read them? What were your favorite books this week? Let me know. As always, you can watch my review of every comic I read this week here - Cranky Comic Book Review
Thanks for reading and don’t be a dick.