The Reading Pile #18

I feel like calling this the 3/3.5 issue as everything was fairly enjoyable, but nothing really blew me away.

Wonder Woman 59, DC Comics, 11/28/2018
Writer: G. Willow Wilson
Artist: Cary Nord

So if you follow this column with even a semblance of regularity, you know I am a huge WW fan. Hadn’t been too happy with the last couple issues, but issue 58, with a new creative team, was something I liked. Let’s see if this continues.

First the Jenny Frison cover for this one is REALLY great. She’s done action poses before, but this one is cool. It’s a profile and I really like looking at all of the subtle shading and lines to see how Frison achieved various angles. Check these articles out from Mike Morello and Clint Joslin for more info on Jenny Frison. The interior art reminds me of a cross between Eduardo Risso and Cliff Chiang; not normally what I want for a Wonder Woman book as it is kind of cartoony, but it is energetic and fun.

Decent issue, fluctuating between two stories: Wonder Woman battling Aries and Steve Trevor being a captive of some ancient Greek mythological creatures. There was also a great ad for the new Martian Manhunter mini-series and lots of cool Aquaman movie promotion. I love this cover and I'm thinking about getting it slabbed. 3.5/5

Heroes in Crisis 3, DC Comics, 11/28/2018
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Clay Mann, Lee Weeks

Loved the 1st 2 issues (reviews here and here), but I found this issue to be kind of “meh.” The more Sanctuary is featured, the less interest I have and it’s featured pretty prominently in this issue. Booster Gold is conflicted, there’s this Lagoon Boy character and a really weak rendering of Harley Quinn towards the end. They can’t all be winners. 2.5/5

Postscript: I'm not going to do this a lot, but check this review of the issue here. It's detailed, thorough and has me rethinking my lack of patience for this book.

Doomsday Clock 8, DC Comics, 11/28/2018
Writer: Goef Johns
Artist: Gary Frank

Kind of hard to see where this fits in with the last couple of issues, especially with this being a quarterly book, but once this got going it was quite dramatic and sucked me in. Lois Lane saying, “…my drawers were locked,” at the beginning of the book has to be a euphemism, right? 3/5

Black Hammer: Age of Doom 7, Dark Horse Comics, 11/21/2018
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Rich Tommaso

The art in this is annoying. I was hoping the Rich Tommaso art in the last issue was a one off. Having said that, it really does serve the story of Colonel Weird in this strange universe of “stories that were imagined but never finished.”
Look, I understand the need for levity, but can we get back to the main crux of what made Black Hammer great? Unfortunately, I fear this will be a six issue arc or something. Ok, I’m wrong, looks like we are back to the regular series after this issue. There’s some Grant Morrison inspired “creators in the comic” panels/pages that makes me roll my eyes a bit. Quack! Quack! Quack! Thankfully, looks like we are getting back to the regular story after this issue. Reboot? What? 3/5

Bitter Root 1, Image Comics, 11/14/2018
Writers: Chuck Brown, David F. Walker
Artist: Sanford Greene

Man, I am behind on new releases. This is in my unread stack, so here goes…

A very cool 2 page spread to start things off; this book just got my attention. 3 new words to look up from the panels: sagacious, heuristic, insalubrious. Wow, this book has fantastic art, colors are really nice.
So this yarn takes place in 1920's Harlem and I’m going to bullet some plot points:

  • The Sangereye are a family that have a history of fighting and capturing a demon like monster called the Jinoo.
  • They capture these beasts and inject them with serum that restores their humanity.

There’s some other subtle things going on here, but you’ll need to read this yourself to find out. Andy Tomberlin had a few things to say about this book here, too.

Lastly, the creators hit on some elements of racism at the very end. Not what I look for in comics, but it’s skillfully done. 3.5/5

Justice League 13, DC Comics, 12/5/2018
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Guillem March

Last couple of JL books haven’t been my cup of tea. Issue 11 had art I found distracting and had little patience for; issue 12 was better, but concluded in another book, lame.

Lucky number 13 is part three of the Legion of Doom series and starts with a Joker/Luthor confrontation. Things are tense! These two are going after each other! Joker is jealous of The Batman Who Laughs, who Luthor has been scheming with. Joker gets the upper hand on Luthor and dramatically quits the Legion of Doom all the while scaring off new recruits: Riddler, Scarecrow, Grundy, etc. Not a whole lot else happened, but this was fun. 3.5/5

Martian Manhunter 1, DC Comics, 12/5/2018
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Riley Rossmo

No huge reveals here: mostly alternating between J’onzz life on Mars and a detective case he’s covering on earth. This one checks in the “weird” box quite well and it’s pretty funny, too. Check out our protagonist copulating on his home planet. Didn’t pull me in like I thought it might, but it was good. Nice ending, too. 3.5/5

That's all, folks. I missed some titles, Shazam and Grumble, that I particularly wanted to read. I am actually going to go out now and see if I can find them. See you next time.

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