This Week in Comics—April 16, 2014

4-16-batman-eternal-#2-jim-gordon-arrested-review-cover-billboard
 

Batman got a question for the Riddler, Gordon’s one of America’s Most Wanted, Ms. Marvel learns she isn’t bulletproof, and Aric finds everyone wants a piece of him.

This week was a rather slim week of comics.  I had whole-heartedly intended to pick up X-Files Annual 2014 and a few more comics until seeing the hefty price for the X-Files Annual…maybe later at a convention.

This week was a solid week of books with no real stinkers, but nothing that really jumped out.  I had no real favorites among this batch.

This Week in Comics reviews Batman (2) #30, Batman Eternal #2, Ms. Marvel (3) #3, and X-O Manowar (3) #24.

Batman (2) #30

Publisher:  DC Comics

Cover Price:  $3.99

Writer:  Scott Snyder

Artist:  Greg Capullo

Date:  June 2014

Title:  “Savage City” Part 1 Zero Year

4-16-batman-#30-zero-year-final-act-review-cover

Batman (2) #30

The Riddler has taken over Gotham and the people are held hostage by his evil riddles.  Bruce Wayne finds himself waking up to learn that unless the Riddler can be stumped, the evil will continue…but challenging the Riddler could mean death!

Batman continues to be one of my “look forward to” books.  I have never been a big Batman fan and always enjoyed his supporting cast more.  I’ve now been reading Batman since Snyder took over and at almost three years I’m still liking the series.

Zero Year feels like it has been going on forever and we’re finally into another meaty story.  I always wonder what other heroes of the world are doing when events like this are going on and at least the New 52 kind of retcons the fact that they haven’t really appeared…sort of?  I guess that means it up to Batman to stop Riddler since other heroes aren’t heroes yet.

The art for the series continues to be fantastic.  I love Capullo’s art which has the good aspects of Frank Miller combined with artists like Mike Mignola.  I want him to do more series but I would hate for Batman to lose him.

I have been enjoying Zero Year but I’m glad to seeing it winding down.  Zero Year almost feels like a series within itself rather than Batman.  I wish Snyder had put Zero Year as a limited series like Batman Eternal instead of putting it in the middle of Batman…it is too enjoyable to not be explored more, but also disrupts the current Batman story.  I could see this continuing on as an ongoing “Zero Year” series which explores other heroes during this period.

Batman Eternal #2

Publisher:  DC Comics

Cover Price:  $2.99

Writer:  Scott Snyder/James Tynion IV/Ray Fawkes/John Layman/Tim Seeley

Artist:  Jason Fabok

Date:  June 2014

Title:  —

4-16-batman-eternal-#2-jim-gordon-arrested-review-cover

Batman Eternal #2

Jim Gordon is under arrest for causing the accident that killed dozens of innocent victims.  Now, Batman is out to prove Gordon is innocent and that someone else is pulling the strings.  Unfortunately, someone Batman thought he was finished with has returned to Gotham…and Gotham could be brought to its knees.

Batman Eternal #2 continues the new weekly Batman series scheduled to run a year.  With a team of writers and artists, the series smartly only charges $2.99 to capture viewers and thus far is providing a standard, solid Batman tale.

Batman Eternal I’m assuming is going to become a “Batman Family” book, but thus far is pretty Batman-centric.  I have always loved Batman’s supporting cast and I’m looking forward to them taking center stage since as stand-alones, I haven’t been compelled enough to read their individual books regularly.  I hope this is almost a best of Batman as the series progresses…plus, we get the Spectre rearing his head.

The art for Batman Eternal is quite strong and I hope that the weekly book maintains quality.  It can sometimes be jarring for weekly books to jump artists.  I hope that when this happens, that they don’t try to just copy each other, but actually stylize the book.

Batman Eternal could end up being a great series or go bust part of the way through its run.  I hope it is good, but worry that it could lose steam as the year trudges on.  I am interested to see how it ties in with Snyder’s Batman book and hope that it brings a nice mesh without necessitating reading of each other.

Ms. Marvel (3) #3

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Cover Price:  $2.99

Writer:  G. Willow Wilson

Artist:  Adrian Alphona

Date:  June 2014

Title:  “Side Entrance”

4-16-ms-marvel-#3-annie-wu-variant-cover-review

Ms. Marvel #3 Variant Cover

Kamala Khan finds that she has trouble.  Her appearance as Ms. Marvel is making the news and she’s still trying to gain control of her new powers.  With boy problems with Bruno, Kamala is about to get a real test of her powers.

Ms. Marvel has been a fun addition to the Marvel Universe.  G. Willow Wilson’s writing of the character is giving it depth but I hope with the “shock” ending of the comic that we will get some advancement in the story and see Kamala take a more active role.

For me, the Inhuman storyline running through the Marvel Universe just isn’t working for me.  I loved the old Inhumans but feel they have been squandered and abused in recent years.  Thus far, Ms. Marvel is the only good thing to come out of the genetic bomb…and I hope it keeps up.

I like Adrian Alphona’s art and enjoyed his stuff on Runaways.  With a character that is a shapeshifter, he is almost limitless on the character design.  I also think this ties into an interesting story aspect…will Kamala continue to masquerade as a white, blonde haired woman or will she hone up to her race like on the issue’s cover (leading to what could be an interesting social clash).

The challenge for the series is to be more than “the comic book with a Muslim hero”.  Marvel faced a similar problem with Arana who also quickly fell into the “Hispanic hero”.  It is valiant for them to try to write characters that both female and characters of diverse backgrounds, but the comic has to find a tricky balance between being an issue comic and being disrespectful to the cultures.  Hopefully Ms. Marvel will keep that balance.

X-O Manowar (3) #24

Publisher:  Valiant Comics

Cover Price:  $3.99

Writer:  Robert Venditti

Artist:  Diego Benard

Date:  April 2014

Title:  “Diplomacy” Prelude to Armor Hunters

4-16-x-o-manowar-#24-variant-cover-review

X-O Manowar (3) #24 Variant Cover

Aric finds himself in a battle for his life in space against an alien who wants the armor.  As Aric questions how his allegiance to the United States could affect the welfare of his people, another force is headed to Earth…and vowing to stop the armor once and for all!

I really enjoy X-O Manowar.  It is a very basic and old feeling comic book.  The battles are big and bold and rather pointless…but I enjoy it.  It feels like a throwback to ’80s DC and Marvel and has a bit of fun that seems missing from many of the mainstream titles.

The one thing hurting X-O Manowar right now is that X-O Manowar is the center piece of the Valiant Universe.  As a result, it is always part of the big events.  First it was Unity and now a lead up to the Armor Hunters mini-series is being built.  Venditti does a pretty good job of keeping the story logical and doesn’t get it too buried in crossovers.

The art for the series also is basic but strong.  Diego Bernard isn’t a very experimental artist, but he is a solid artist.  I wish that both Venditti and Bernard would work together and start developing some “super-villains” for the characters.  The Vine and other enemies just haven’t been very distinctive yet.

X-O Manowar is worth picking up even if you are a Marvel and DC reader.  It is just a solid Iron Man meets Conan the Barbarian type of comic and has continued to be a fun trip.  I’m looking forward to next month’s big X-O Manowar #25 issue.

Preceded By:

This Week in Comics—April 9, 2014

Followed By:

This Week in Comics—May 7, 2014

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response