This Week in Comics—January 29, 2014

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Aquaman finds himself in a life and death battle with a giant crab, Batman opens up about his past, Medusa takes control as queen of the Inhumans, and the confrontation between Gwendolyn and her ex-fiancé Marko heats up!

The obvious winner this week is Saga which continues to be one of the best comics on the market.  This issue wraps up the third volume of the series and sets a break point for the series.  Earth 2 Annual #2 also had a strong showing but Inhumanity #2 was a rather poor event.

Featured in “This Week in Comics” are Aquaman (5) #27, Earth 2 Annual #2, Inhumanity #2, and Saga #18.

Aquaman (5) #27

Publisher:  DC Comics

Cover Price:  $2.99

Writer:  Jeff Parker

Artist:  Paul Pelletier/Netho Diaz

Date:  March 2014

Title:  “Life & Death”

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Aquaman (5) #27

Aquaman finds himself in a battle with a behemoth attacking a coastal city and learns that it has ties to old Atlantis.  As Aquaman tries to tap into the creature’s memories, he finds that simply killing the creature might not be the way to stop it.

Jeff Parker’s second issue in his Aquaman run feels a lot like the first issue.  Unfortunately, not much happens in the issue which concerns me a bit about the future of the series.

Jeff Parker has always been a solid, yet very basic writer.  His stories are very similar to the old writing of classic series, but in the modern world, one-shot issues aren’t always good…It seems like a bit of a stretch when he tries to spread them out into a multi issue format.  I hope the series picks up some speed, but it is a potentially bad sign.

The art for Aquaman continues to be strong.  Paul Pelletier gets the character and give him a dynamic appearance.  What I suspect is Netho Diaz is a little raw and doesn’t mix as well with Pelletier’s style.

Aquaman has had a nice run in the DC relaunch, but it could be hitting hard times.  I have enjoyed my reading of the series and I’m going to finish up this storyline, but if it doesn’t improve, I might have to drop it.

Earth 2 Annual #2

Publisher:  DC Comics

Cover Price:  $4.99

Writer:  Tom Taylor

Artist:  Robson Rocha

Date:  March 2014

Title:  “Origin”

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Earth 2 Annual #2

The truth about the mysterious Batman is out.  As the world stands at a moment of crisis Batman reveals his true past to his new allies and how Batman who was supposedly killed by Darkseid’s invasion can be leading the battle now.

Earth 2 is a great read and Earth 2 Annual #2 continues the tradition by once again helping create an Elseworlds’ story that is still centered in the DC Universe.  This Elseworld question…What if Batman’s father Thomas Wayne had survived?  The exploration and future ramifications are something to look forward to.

I didn’t really enjoy all the toying with Thomas Wayne’s past in the Grant Morrison Batman stories but since this is an alternate timeline, I’m ok with it.  I did find it interesting that the Taylor also incorporated Miraclo into the story with Wayne boosting his power (and keeping himself alive) with stolen Miraclo from Rex Mason…You get Batman and Hourman in one!

The issue is a bit more packed than a standard issue, and you kind of expect that in an annual.  I really hate the trend to include artwork, sketches, scripts, etc. in comics as filler.  In the day of internet, almost all that stuff is already available to you and if you really want to seek it out, you can find it.  If I’m paying extra money, I want extra story…and Tom Taylor and Robson Rocha deliver.

I do really recommend Earth 2 and you could probably jump in when Tom Taylor took over if you can’t track down all the back issues.  The series is a fun and different take of what essentially is still the DCU…If you don’t like the New 52, it still might satisfy you in that it is another reality and kind of doing its own thing…which I hope continues.

Inhumanity #1

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Cover Price:  $3.99

Writer:  Matt Fraction

Artist:  Nick Bradshaw/Todd Nauck

Date:  March 2014

Title:  —

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Inhumanity #2

Queen Medusa of the Inhumans is still reeling from the death of Black Bolt and the disappearance of her son.  As the world deals with the release of the Terrigen Mists from the fall of Attilan, Medusa finds her people demanding that the missing children be found.  Medusa however learns that something more dangerous is facing Earth’s new Inhumans as the pods containing people altered by the Terrigen Mist are being collected for sinister reasons.

I really have to say I hate how Marvel is rolling out Inhumanity.  They have made so many mistakes recently (including the weird soft renumbering of series with the old number below and a blazing #1 in the corner).  I thought with the first issue that Inhumanity was the new series…but it is just the two mini-series leading up to the new series simply titled Inhuman.

I have always loved the Inhumans and I really enjoyed Earth X and this feels like Earth X-lite.  This rehash doesn’t have much substance nor does it feel like a mini-series.  What happened to mini-series that told a story?  Now you just get parts of a whole…it isn’t even an officially numbered crossover…they provide a little checklist in the back, but the series should probably have more direction.

I am also not a big fan of the art combo of Nick Bradshaw and Todd Nauck.  The art feels all over the place and is sometimes too cartoony when compared to other pages.  I am glad to see that Marvel seems to be sticking to Medusa’s old costume because it was always my favorite.

Inhumanity is just one example of Marvel’s problems right now.  I can’t imagine a kid who has never read a comic picking it up, reading it, and say…I want more!  It is meant to be a jump on title for Inhuman book and it is mostly a half-crafted story…I love Hawkeye (which manages to keep its nose out of big events and is one of the strongest books out there right now as a result) and I expect more from Fraction.

Saga #18

Publisher:  Image Comics

Cover Price:  $2.99

Writer:  Brian K. Vaughan

Artist:  Fiona Staples

Date:  January 2014

Title:  —

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Saga #18

Heist has been killed by Gwendolyn, and now Gwendolyn could mean the death of Alana, Hazel, and even her former lover Marko.  When Prince Robot IV begins to malfunction, he could become what is needed to save the day.  The final confrontation is coming and the future of Hazel and her parents will be determined.

Saga is hands-down one of the best comics on the market right now.  With tone, art, and even coloring, it is a perfect package that is just fun.  I go into each issue of Saga with no clue what is going to happen, and each time I’ve been surprised…in a good way and not with disappointment.

The story in this issue rounds out the third volume of the series.  Vaughan’s writing continues to be great and poignant with tons of clever moments.  Not only is the story always a surprise, but the rich dialogue of the series is fun too.

Saga is just the real deal in art.  Fiona Staples’ art is great and carries a lot of weight and tone needed for the story.  Vaughan often leaves it up to her to really give the expression of emotion needed and the coloring also pops off the page.  I commend Image for giving Saga such a nice clean package with no ads AND at a great price.

With it, the next storyline jumps ahead a bit with Hazel as a toddler and the group (unfortunately) is taking a couple months off.  I am going to be waiting anxiously for the next installment.  As mentioned in the issue, the Saga Volume 3 will be released in March and I can’t recommend it (or Saga—Volume 1 and Volume 2) enough.

Preceded By:

This Week in Comics—January 22, 2014

Followed By:

This Week in Comics—February 5, 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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