Swamp Thing #18 sees Scott Snyder wrap up the Green’s battle with the Rot and give a compelling end to the complex relationship between Swampy and Abby. But in the end, All New X-Men #8 sees Brian Michael Bendis keep bringing compelling character interactions with the original five X-Men being part of the present day. One freaks out, another is freaky. I’ll leave it at that.
2013 kicked off the year with a good range of titles for your reading enjoyment.
We first tackle Batman Inc #6, as Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham keep the pace going in Batman’s quest to stop Talia’s reign with Leviathan. Some great character dynamics with Bruce and Talia and a shocking death at the end that upped the ante. Burnham’s pencils are the real story, bringing every emotion to life as this war rages on.
We then say see you later to American Vampire with issue #34′s look into the past and future. Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque breathed new life into the vampire genre for the last 3 years and while the hiatus is not something we like to hear, it’s only going to mean better stories when the creative team is ready to move forward with this mythology.
Lastly, the pick honors go to Bendis and Immonen making All New X-Men a treat with issue #5. We’re really seeing a resurgence of X-Men in the last few years and this keeps the trend going. One could have easily balked at bringing the original five to the current timeline and call it a fad, but it’s brought some excellent character interactions and dialogue that Bendis is known for. Immonen is the icing on the cake with his slick pencils, though you have to wonder how long he can keep it up with this book seemingly coming out weekly. It’s a ride I’m enjoying nonetheless.
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We’re closing out the last arc soon of this magnificent series before it goes on hiatus. Snyder and Albuquerque once again keep building things up to a boiling point that could see some significant changes to the lives of Pearl and Henry. You can trade wait at this point, but really – don’t you want to a piece of the action now?
Scott Snyder’s penultimate issue of this mini-series keeps delivering the goods with great action and more great history of Carpathian vampire lore. He does what great monster movies tend to do, which is build up the presence of a great evil without actually showing him. And having Dustin Nguyen on hand to create this aura/presence is what makes this mini-series just as fantastic as the main one.
Snyder, along with Greg Capullo, also gets to play with New 52 origins with Batman #0. Bruce Wayne’s origin story is not anything we haven’t seen before, but is still solid enough of a build as we get into next month’s Death of the Family arc. James Tynion IV’s back-up story though was great, as we see the impact of Batman on his eventual partners’ lives.
And then there’s Avengers vs. X-Men #11. If you didn’t catch my rant on Twitter or Facebook last week after reading this issue, then you’ll want to listen to this.
It was a small week for comics, so I kicked things off with some trade talk. I get into some Gotham Central talk with volume 3 of the acclaimed Ed Brubaker/Greg Rucka run. One of the many great books I missed during my interim period that I was out of comics. This is something TV networks would be wise to pick up (*cough* CW *cough*) any time soon. Brubaker’s Catwoman is next on my list.
Then we get into Batman #12 and another well-written issue from Scott Snyder. The Court of Owls epilogue focuses solely on Harper Row and her interactions with the Dark Knight as she struggles in a not-so-great neighborhood. What really surprised is how much I loved the Becky Cloonan art and its Scott Pilgrim similarities. I need more of that in a Batman arc in the near future.
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.