This Week in Comics—April 9, 2014

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Gun or no gun?  Gordon has issues while trying to protect Gotham, more humans are Inhuman, Iron Fist learns that he’s got a reunion with K’un-Lun, Magneto hangs out with homeless people, Magnus finds humans can be kind of rude in the world of robots, Moon Knight picks a fight with a sniper, Nightcrawler bamfs back into the X-Men’s lives, and Nika and William fall in love time and time again.

With a week off (maybe this should be This Bi-Weekly Week in Comics), there are a number of big books I read.  Some were great…others floundered.  The big winners of the week were Nightcrawler (2) #1, Dynamite’s Magnus:  Robot Fighter #2, and Trillium #8 which ended the series.  On the fence about a couple series which were good, but need to continue focusing on direction including Iron Fist:  The Living Weapon #1, Moon Knight (6) #2, Magneto #2, and Batman Eternal #1…and one stinker in Inhuman #1 who was just meh.

Hopefully, next week I’ll keep up…but I keep saying that.

Batman Eternal #1

Publisher:  DC Comics

Cover Price:  $2.99

Writer:  Scott Snyder/James Tynion IV

Artist:  Jason Fabok

Date:  June 2014

Title:  —

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Batman Eternal #1

There’s a new officer named Jason Bard in Gotham, but he’s come at a very bad time.  When Batman and Gordon try to stop Pyg and an ally, Gordon accidentally causes a massive train derailment…killing many.  Now, Gordon’s under arrest and only Batman can help him!

Batman Eternal #1 kicks off DC’s plans for a yearlong weekly “Batman” book with a rotating writer core sharing plots and also plans to look at Batman’s supporting cast.  The series was previewed in Batman (2) #28.

I already am a bit worried about Batman Eternal.  This first issue is pretty good and interesting, but taking Batman Eternal on is a pretty big commitment.  I read 52, Countdown, and Brightest Day which took similar formats and felt a little burned by them by the end of the year.

This issue is quite strong.  I have been reading Snyder’s Batman and it is actually the longest run of Batman that I’ve ever read.  Batman Eternal #1 builds on these storyline and shows some promise to a dark ending.  Unfortunately with years of big events, I’ve grown a bit weary of “dark endings” so I hope that it doesn’t go too dark.

If Batman Eternal can maintain this level of writing and art, I’ll stick with it.  The trick of the series is to reel in readers and get them so deep that it would be a waste to quit.  I hope I don’t want to quit, but I am cautious.

Inhuman #1

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Cover Price:  $3.99

Writer:  Charles Soule

Artist:  Joe Madureira

Date:  June 2014

Title:  “Genesis”

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Inhuman #1 Variant

The Terrigen Bomb has been exploded and the gases are slowly spreading out over the globe.  As a result, everyday people are discovering that they are more than they ever knew and that they have Inhuman genes.  As the new Inhumans are born, Medusa tries to get control of her kingdom as an Inhuman named Lash sets out on a different mission.

I find it rather weird that Marvel is really forcing the Inhumans on the readers.  I liked the old Inhumans with traditional team but haven’t really liked what has been done to them since the Inhumans limited series by Jae Lee and Paul Jenkins.  I can’t say I really loved Inhuman #1 either.

The odd thing about this whole series is that it pretty much is a retelling of the far more interesting Earth X.  The story’s basic concept is the same and you’d be better off reading Earth X (though it was an incredibly dense series).  I just want my normal Inhumans.

I don’t think I’ll be getting Inhuman #2.  The series just didn’t grab me and I can’t see it getting better.  If Marvel had stuck with the core Inhumans, I might have been interested.  Every time new Inhumans are created, they just seem like lame mutant rip-off that are less developed and interesting…fortunately the new Ms. Marvel is an exception.

Iron Fist:  The Living Weapon #1

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Cover Price:  $3.99

Writer:  Kaare Kyle Andrews

Artist:  Kaare Kyle Andrews

Date:  June 2014

Title:  “Rage” Part 1

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Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #1 Variant

Danny Rand is sleepingwalking through life.  He is a living weapon since his childhood in the mythic Himalayan city of K’un Lun and with his wealth finds himself free to live as he likes.  When he is attacked by ninjas at his home not only does he find something is wrong with  the Iron Fist, Danny learns that he must return to his home of K’un-Lun immediately.

I have always been an Iron Fist fan.  I loved Power Man and Iron Fist as a kid and enjoyed the fun team-up feel of the unusual book.  I really enjoyed Brubaker’s relaunch of the series a few years ago but wasn’t able to consistently read it.  Now Iron Fist is back and that’s a good thing.

The comic shows a lot of promise though not much happens in the issue.  It seems like Danny is always needing to “return to K’un Lun” but I hope that Kaare Kyle Andrews does take the comic in new directions.

In addition to a relatively positive story, I love the art which is also provided by Andrews.  The colors and style of the flashbacks are fun throwbacks to older comics and the modern day events are stylized in their own way.  I hope with such detail that the artist/writer can keep up.

Iron Fist has earned a second issue and I am looking to see what direction that Andrews takes the character.   The art is fantastic but I hope the story does develop into something new for the formerly light hearted character who is seeing hard times.

Magnus:  Robot Fighter (4) #2

Publisher:  Dynamite

Cover Price:  $3.99

Writer:  Fred Van Lente

Artist:  Cory Smith

Date:  2014

Title:  —

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Magnus: Robot Fighter #2

Magnus is a prisoner of the robots and is learning that his whole life in Maury’s Peak was a lie constructed by A1.  Branded as a terrorist, Magnus faces off against the robot’s human agent Leeja Clane and learns that his special abilities might just get him killed.

I’m really enjoying Magnus:  Robot Fighter (or is it Magnus Robot Fighter?  Both versions are used within the book).  It is a fun action story that brings back a weird character.

Magnus was always one of those characters I wanted to like more than I did and now Fred Van Lente is turning him into a character I can like.  I do like this idea of Magnus being a terrorist instead of the hero and the robots trying to shut him down.  The A1 reality world also provides good flashback material to show how A1 trained him.  It also could lead to some nice resentment when Magnus meets up with A1 again someday.

The art for the series also is strong.  Cory Smith does some interesting things to make the generic looking robots look good without betraying the character’s roots.  I like the style and coloring of the series, and it is a nice slick package.

If the first two issues of Magnus:  Robot Fighter are any indication, this is going to be a fun series.  I look forward to see where Magnus goes…I could see this almost be like The Incredible Hulk TV series or The Fugitive with Leeja dogging Magnus as he explores his new world.  I hope it is a long and fruitful trip.

Magneto #2

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Cover Price:  $3.99

Writer:  Cullen Bunn

Artist:  Gabriel Hernandez Walta

Date:  June 2014

Title:  —

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Magneto #2

Magneto is out to see who is turning humans into mutant killing Sentinels.  As he patrols the homeless population searching for suspects, Magneto remembers a childhood incident during World War II that could have changed the course of his life.

I enjoyed the first issue of Magneto and enjoyed issue #2.  The series is a fun and solid look at a character that has been around for years and in a world that always turns villains into heroes (usually badly), Magneto is coming off as still a dark and messed up character.

I don’t know much about Cullen Bunn other than I had a little debate with him on Twitter once and afterwards saw he wrote one of my least favorite characters (Deadpool…another character forced on readers).  I do rather like his take on Magneto, and I am interested to see which way he goes.

Magneto is also backed by solid art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta who almost has a noire style of art for the series.  Magneto has done the costume thing, but for the most part he’s walked around as a normal citizen which almost works better for the story.

Magneto has me hooked a bit.  I’ve been rather impressed by Marvel’s recent launches especially since I’ve been disappointed with Marvel as of late.  I hope Marvel is turning it around and writing for readers again instead of movies and collections…the Inhumans storyline however says otherwise.

Moon Knight (6) #2

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Cover Price:  $3.99

Writer:  Warren Ellis

Artist:  Declan Shalvey

Date:  June 2014

Title:  “Sniper”

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Moon Knight (6) #2 Variant

A sniper is killing seemingly random people around the city, and Moon Knight is out to stop him.  As Moon Knight fights for his life, the truth of the sniper’s actions are revealed.

Moon Knight (6) #2 shows what is good about Moon Knight and what is bad.  I have always loved the character (I got his first appearance back when it was affordable), but I have often had a hard time getting into the Batman-esque character’s stories.

Warren Ellis is a 50/50 writer for me.  Half of his stuff is great and the other stuff is meh.  Moon Knight is leading to be a great title, but it also is suffering from the overly artsy aspect.  Moon Knight is always written as a Punisher type character more than Batman who he closer resembles.  He battles non-villains like this issue’s sniper and it can get old…here it is done in an interesting manner, but hopefully the comic will get more direction than these one-off issues.

The art for Moon Knight is fantastic.  Moon Knight has always lent himself to being an artist’s character and Declan Shalvey is taking advantage of it.  The character’s look is amazing but more about style than functionality…I’m ok with that for the stories that have been told.

Moon Knight will continue to be a fringe book for me which has always been Moon Knight’s downfall.  I hope to see some more Marvel Universe interaction and some nicely composed storyline (preferably not involving Specter being insane).

Nightcrawler (2) #1

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Cover Price:  $3.99

Writer:  Chris Claremont

Artist:  Todd Nauck

Date:  June 2014

Title:  —

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Nightcrawler (2) #1

Nightcrawler is back among the living and trying to rejoin his life with the X-Men.  Things however have changed since Nightcrawler died, and Nightcrawler has some catching up to do.  A visit to his girlfriend Amanda Sefton leads to an attack and a new adventure.

Nightcrawler was my favorite X-Man growing up…and also one of the toughest X-Men to write.  With his high morality, some writers make him too religious and take the circus out of him.  Other writers, just make him a performer and forget the religious side which is a factor of the character.  Claremont probably has written Nightcrawler the most and I’m glad to see him reunited with the character for some solo fun.

The issue just is fun.  Much of the X-Men issues have become too heavy handed.  X-Men were always mopey but they still could have fun on occasion.  This issue keeps the fun alive and also taps into one of my other favorite series in Excalibur.

The next great thing about this issue is the art.  I love Nightcrawler’s old costume and I’m glad that it continues to be his wear.  Todd Nauck’s style of art really does remind me of early “new X-Men” art from Byrne’s run with Claremont.  I hope he’ll stick with the book.

Nightcrawler is worth the investment and if you are a long time reader of X-Men you should probably pick up this book.  It fun, light, and a bit of a throwback to a better time in comics.  Keep it up team!

Trillium #8

Publisher:  DC Comics/Vertigo

Cover Price:  $2.99

Writer:  Jeff Lemire

Artist:  Jeff Lemire

Date:   June 2014

Title:  “Two Stars Become One”

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Trillium #8

The end is here!  Nika and William have finally been reunited in the future and find the human race hangs in the balance.  Facing a tough decision, William and Nika must decide between their love and the future of mankind.

Written and illustrated by Jeff Lemire, Trillium has been an interesting ride.  In this final issue, two sides (William and Nika) finally come together.  The series which often dealt in experimental storytelling has a rather mainstream issue with an ending which is kind of interpretational.

Trillium often had you flipping, twisting, and alternating between William and Nika’s story.  The ending sequence leads you to believe that a lot of this had to do with the timelessness of entering the black hole.  It is a bit of question mark, but it does show that they saved the human population (and indicates they are forever joined in the stars).

Trillium’s last issue features a host of great imagery form Lemire.  There are a number of great splash pages that highlights his art and style.  With such an unusual storytelling method throughout the series, this was a rather traditional issue.

It will be interesting to see how Trillium is collected.  It is such a weird series with so many different ways to read each issue.  I have enjoyed the series, but I am glad to see it reach a conclusion.  It definitely wasn’t for everyone, but it was a unique read.

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This Week in Comics—March 26, 2014

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This Week in Comics—April 16, 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.

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