I read comics. Then I write about them. Then you read about them. The circle of life continues!
Hawkeye #5, written by Matt Fraction, pencils by Javier Pulido: I can get over my annoyance with Marvel’s double-shipping because damn it, this is a book I want to read twice a month. Unfortunately, this means that Javier Pulido is (yet again) doing art instead of regular David Aja, and I want Aja back (he will be, next issue).
At first this looked like a Cliff Barton book, but it seems to have settled into being about Barton and Kate Bishop, the other Hawkeye. I had no idea what her backstory was going into this (I should probably exercise my Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited privileges and address that), but the two have a fantastic rapport. This has rapidly established itself as my second-favorite series, behind Batman.
Swamp Thing #15, written by Scott Snyder, pencils by Marco Rudy; and Animal Man #15, written by Jeff Lemire, pencils by Steve Pugh and Timothy Green: Once again, two issues of Rotworld a month feels pretty stale. Each issue has a dramatic twist at the end, but as soon as you’ve read one issue you’re totally prepared for the twist in the other. Each book also ties in thematically to other titles by the author (Batman for Snyder, Justice League Dark for Lemire) that I’d rather be reading.
Up until recently these had been some of my favorite books in the New 52, and the elements are there for them to continue being among my favorites. I’m just not feeling Rotworld.
Action Comics #15, written by Grant Morrison, pencils by Brad Walker and Rags Morales, with backup by Sholly Fisch and Chris Sprouse: Up until now, Grant Morrison’s run on Action has been two things shoved together: one is a look at Superman the character at a very personal level, the other has been a lot of confusing argle-bargle that is pretty much Morrison’s trademark. The first part was wonderful; this was very clearly a Clark Kent who was dressing up as Superman, not the other way around, and he was passionate about helping people no matter the cost, which made him interesting. The rest was a real let-down compared to that.
Uncharacteristically for Morrison, this issue is a giant exposition dump that makes all that argle-bargle make perfect sense. We also get another look at Superman the person, which has been sadly missing ever since the series started amping up the weird. This issue has all kinds of weird, but laid out plainly so you have a snowball’s chance in hell of catching up to all of it.
The backup does what Fisch has done so many times — spin a sweet and endearing tale out of loose threads from Morrison’s stories. I may miss Fisch more than Morrison when this run ends.
Scooby Doo, Where Are You #28, written by Sholly Fisch and Alex Simmons, art by Robert Pope and Scott McRae: It’s December, so that means holiday issue. And there’s a menorah on the cover, which means Sholly Fisch is writing Scooby Doo, thank God. And speaking of God, yes, Scooby and the gang are solving a mystery at a Jewish temple. Complete with history lesson. You’re welcome.
In the second story, by Alex Simmons, Shaggy questions why he’s in Mystery Inc, and gets a lesson via a knock-off of “It’s A Wonderful Life.”
Detective Comics #15, written by John Layman, pencils by Jason Fabok: Okay, so this happened:
I cannot wait to buy the action fig… you mean that isn’t an action figure, that’s from a current issue of Detective Comics? Oh. Oh I see.
Otherwise there’s a long plot about Batman convincing Clayface that he’s not married to Poison Ivy, a Death Of The Family tie-in that adds nothing to the event but gets us this really cool die-cut cover, and a Penguin story line that I don’t really care about. Fabok’s art (when he’s not drawing Agent Orange Batman, coming soon to a retailer near you!) is very good, but I’m just not feeling this story arc at all. I’m taking this book off my pulls.
Amazing Spider-Man #699, written by Dan Slott, pencils by Humberto Ramos: I asked Dan Slott on Twitter today what I should be reading on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited to catch up to this, he responded “EVERYTHING! ” That was… less than helpful.
I did read Spider Island on MDCU recently, which was a great help in having the big reveals in the middle make sense to me. But a lot of it flew right past me. So I’m not the best person to review this book, I suspect. But for someone that hasn’t been following Spider-Man, it still packs quite the punch. Superior Spider-Man may have to end up on my pulls at this rate.