One would think I’d be tired of the Rotworld arc going into Animal Man #13, but I like the new direction it’s taking. Just when you thought Buddy Baker and Swamp Thing had it all figured out, the Rot plays its wild card and takes us into the future where the Rot has won. Jeff Lemire continues to bring the goods with this story while still keeping Buddy and family in mind.
And if you’re looking to get out of the New 52 and get good old-fashioned Batman storytelling going, look no further than Legends of the Dark Knight #1. This was well-missed when it was cancelled back in 2007 and it makes a great comeback with an impressive array of talent in Damen Lindelof, Jeff Lemire, JG Jones, and Nicola Scott for starters.
And lastly, there’s that giant elephant again with the final issue of Avengers vs. X-Men #12. I’ve said my piece already about the previous issue and it unfortunately continues to hurt it here. Jason Aaron does what he can to wrap things up (and it was fine enough), but not enough to get over the inconsistent pacing, unexplained appearances of characters, and lack of meat to a story that had 12 issues to tell it. That being said, art continues to win with this event and Adam Kubert delivered it in spades.
Did you think in a million years that I’d be picking a Clint Barton solo book? That’s because Matt Fraction and David Aja did an incredible job convincing how great of a series it’s going to be. The same team that brought us the Iron Fist series takes us to the grounded reality that is Hawkeye’s adventures outside the Avenger life. Not sure how long that’s going to last, but I’ll definitely enjoy this ride while it lasts. Aja brings fantastic art that almost had me confused with Chris Samnee.
Speaking of Samnee, here’s another talented artist that gets to work with the best in Mark Waid’s Daredevil. Issue #16 takes us to Matt Murdock’s aftermath of his ordeals in Latervia, followed by a cliffhanger that takes us in new directions for the character. Whether or not that’s going to take us back to his dark days during the Bendis and Brubaker days remains to be seen. Regardless, it’s still a fun ride that should not be missed.
And then we finally arrive to the year-long culmination of Buddy Baker and Alec Holland’s battles against the Rot with the prologue issues, Animal Man #12 and Swamp Thing #12. Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire have been patiently building to this third act and it’s a great primer for those needing to know why these two are teaming up against a nasty evil such as the Rot.
Despite a small stack for me last week, I can always depend on Jeff Lemire to keep bringing the goods with more misadventures of Buddy Baker and family. Animal Man #11 wraps up Buddy Baker’s ascension into the role of protector of the Red’s avatar, as he comes blazing with bigger powers and a cool fight with his former husk. Pure fun and Alberto Ponticelli’s art compliments the past work of Travel Foreman, but also stands out with some dynamic figures. Great stuff as we inch closer to the epic crossover with Swamp Thing.
If you need to catch up, DC released the first trade a couple of months ago. Buy it before the Rot gets you…
How about that Jeff Lemire fella? On the heels of him becoming the new writer for Justice League Dark, he still continues to produce great content with Animal Man #6 being the next to shine. John Paul Leon though really shined, taking up the bulk of the art to give Travel Foreman a break, bringing a darker vibe to Buddy Baker’s previous stint as an actor. All-around great filler issue before stuff hits the fan in the upcoming issues.
Over in Marvel land, Venom #13 starts the “Circle of Four” story with Venom, Red Hulk, X-23, and Ghost Rider all getting a piece of the action as hell comes to Las Vegas. Fun and nonsensical, you can see Rick Remender having a lot of fun with this series. And Tony Moore’s pencils will wow you.
If you want your fill of Bucky and former KGB spy hunting, look no further than in Winter Soldier #1. This is a return to form for me after Bucky got lost in the shuffle as Captain America when Steve Rogers came back and then was “killed” in Fear Itself. Ed Brubaker shines when he gets to focus on select characters and tell great spy thrillers. Put this one in that category as well.
Music provided by Agnostic Phibes Rhythm and Blood Conspiracy – Wolfman Franz
Somebody pinch me on the calf. This is a great way to start your Tuesday.
Just announced on the DC Source blog and his personal blog, Jeff Lemire is taking over the Justice League Dark book starting with issue #9. This will come right after the team’s crossover with the I, Vampire book for issues 7 and 8. Mikal Janin is staying on art.
There’s a lot of enthusiasm from Lemire, as he gets to write a character he has treasured for ages and has been itching to gets his hands on. From his CBR interview:
“What got me really, really interested in comics was Alan Moore’s “Swamp Thing” run, so I feel like Constantine’s always been a part of my life as a reader of comics. He’s such a simple character yet so compelling and he just never gets old. I love that he’s back in the DC Universe because I love seeing him interact with all of these things that he despises, like superheroes. He just really doesn’t want to be a part of the bigger DCU but he doesn’t have much choice and that creates an interesting tension, which I like exploring.”
Peter Milligan’s start to this franchise was a good start, albeit it was a very slow burn that I think turned some readers off. Sure enough, Lemire being awarded this franchise is a sign that DC sees more potential in what he could do based on his continuing success with Sweet Tooth and the break-out hit of the new 52 in Animal Man. It definitely has me excited as I’m sure others are too who still love the Vertigo-like qualities of this new DCU.
Onward we go as we approach the end of 2011. After a scary light week in the last week of November, DC rebounded back with some solid offerings:
- Animal Man #4 continues to defy my expectations and really make a case for series of the year.
- OMAC #4 is plain old Kirby fun. Remember the days when comics were fun?
- Action Comics #4 is close to veering off in way too many directions, but it still has a lot to offer to the Superman lore.
As always, sign off with your thoughts on the show!