On the whole, it was a pretty great month for comics. A lot of excellent books came out in all four weeks of the month, from all publishers. From Action Comics #19 in the first week to Jupiter’s Legacy #1 a few days ago, there were always good books to read this month. Not to say that there weren’t bad ones, but that will be saved for later. (Oh, and since I didn’t do reviews for the first week of this month, none of these books will be from that week. Sorry.)
5. Hawkeye #9
Hawkeye has consistently been one of Marvel’s best series, and one of the best series overall as well. But no issue has yet been as good as this one, which takes everything that is so awesome about this series and meshes it into a single comic. First of all, it’s downright hilarious. And sometimes, that’s nice, especially in between all of DC’s extremely negative, no-fun comics. Essentially, Hawkeye #9 is about his relationship issues, which sounds like the worst possible premise for a comic – but it’s handled right and is a lot of fun to read. But this issue is also a key chapter in Clint Barton’s story. It ends with a major plot reveal, pushing the story forwards. But the best moment from this book – hands down – is when Katie tells him he isn’t a bad person and then he just – walks away. The book was a lot of fun, up until the end, when everything starts to get serious.
4. Justice League #19
As DC prepares for Trinity War, the set up already seems to be happening in this book. And, because of that, there’s a lot to love. The first couple of pages, with Red Hood and Alfred in the Batcave, are top notch, and Johns does a great job with both of them. And then, when the Batcave is broken into, there are quite a few Easter eggs in the cave – the Tumbler and the Matches Malone suit being two examples. Obviously, all this is great, but there are two stand out features of this book. The first is, of course, the Trinity of heroes (Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman) arguing. Already, we can see Wonder Woman going to a dark place, and Superman following her down that path. All the while, Batman is trying to talk some sense into the two of them, and that dynamic is great. Another great dynamic in this book is also the most fun this book has been, and that’s Firestorm and The Atom’s relationship. I love the new Atom character, and I’ve always been a Firestorm fan, so their moments on the Watchtower are great, especially since they’re so well written.
3. Wonder Woman #19
After the semi-climactic conclusion of issue number eighteen, issue nineteen continues the story at full speed. And man, is it fun to read. Wonder Woman, obviously, continues to be a great character, and really shows her skill at being a leader here. The group dynamic is extremely well done by Azzarello, and, as always, Orion is the stand out. He’s a character that I really enjoy, but should really hate. Wonder Woman bringing him down, though, is the best moment of the book. Meanwhile, however, we get some great material with the Olympians, which I have never found to be as good as the actual Wonder Woman material. However, with the first son of Zeus continuing his rampage, we get to see an interesting dynamic evolve between him, Poseidon, and Hades, who have allied themselves for purposes of self preservation. And, up on Olympus, the same behind the scenes, political struggle is also present, which is entertaining, while, at the same time, serving to push the story forwards.
2. Jupiter’s Legacy #1
This was one of the books I was most excited for this month. And, as with all of Mark Millar’s work, it really failed to disappoint. Already, you can see the epic scale of the story begin to unfold, as the first issue introduces us to all of the book’s lead characters. All of them are different, but share one trait: they are the children of the last generation of superheroes. So they have powers, but most of them aren’t really interested in fighting crime like their parents. In some ways, connections can be drawn to DC’s Kingdom Come, but at least these super powered humans don’t go on murderous rampages across the world before having to be reigned in. I can see that happening with some of the characters in the future, but, for now, Mark Millar is focusing on introducing the characters to the reader, and, so far, he’s doing a great job, with a cast that is varied and interesting. And then, of course, there;s Frank Quitely’s art. I have never read a single book that he has illustrated where the art has been top notch, and he continues his trend of excellent art with this book.
1. Daredevil #25
Mark Waid, throughout his current Daredevil run, has never once disappointed me. Not only is issue #25 not an exception to that rule, it’s also, at least in my opinion, the best issue of the series. The issue is essentially one, long extended chase scene, and with Chris Sami doing the art for this book, the chase scene looks amazing, and plays out excellently. The fight between Daredevil and his new opponent is just brutal – in many ways similar to Batman fighting against the mutant leader in The Dark Knight Returns. But what this issue is really about is breaking Daredevil. Despite his blindness, he’s supposed to be the man without fear, the one hero who doesn’t get scared of his enemies. Alas, by the end of this issue, this is no longer the case. In some ways, I find this surprising. Waid has done his best to never make this book emotionally taxing, but the last page of this issue is emotionally taxing. Incredibly so. But it’s just so, so, good, and it works so well. More than any other issue of the series, this really has me pumped for next month’s issue.