Swamp Thing’s new creative team continues to impress, Animal Man and Aquaman both reach series highs, while Harbinger Wars gains steam and Hawkeye continues to be an amazing book. Here are this week’s comic book reviews.
Action Comics #20
Andy Diggle is certainly a tough act to follow. Action Comics #19 was one of the series’ bets issues yet, and, sadly, was the only one written by Andy Diggle. With issue #20, Tony S. Daniel takes over, and he does a pretty good job. He’s working with the story outline that Diggle had set up, which is a good thing, since the story seems pretty awesome. Unlike many Superman stories, this one at least feels fresh. The writing is decent enough, but, really the issue doesn’t get really good until the back up, which takes place in the past on Krypton. And, needless to say, it’s pretty awesome.
Animal Man #20
That latest issue may as well have been an issue of Hawkeye. Everything, even the art style, was similar. Is that a bad thing? No, not at all. Sure, it was still a pretty dark book, but DC needs more books like Hawkeye. Jeff Lemire is pretty much the last person I expect that from, and least of all in Animal Man. Buddy Baker doesn’t even show up in this issue until the last two pages, instead, the book focuses on Red Thunder, and my, is his tale an interesting one. He goes from superhero to corporate tool (Basically Booster Gold) and back in the space of one issue. Above all, this was an issue about what it means to be a hero.
Ever since the end of the Throne of Atlantis event, Aquaman has traded the superhero aspect of Arthur’s life for the political aspect of it. In many ways, the series has become similar to Game of Thrones, and is, above all, a political thriller. It’s light on the action, but heavy on the political struggles. If, like me, you enjoy that, then you’ll find a lot to love about this issue, especially the few pages with Orm talking to his lawyer. And then there’s all the backstabbing that seems to be going on in Atlantis. Then, of course, there’s the cliffhanger at the end, which was done extremely well. I think that this may well be one of the best issues of the series.
Earth 2 #12
Finally, after dragging the Wotan conflict out for far too long, it’s brought to an end in this brief, yet satisfying, conclusion. Sure, the issue wasn’t great, due to the scattershot-like manner of the plot and the all too brief conclusion to the Wotan story, at least we’re back on Earth and Hawkgirl and Green Lantern are back in the fold. And now, the conflict is really starting to ramp up, with Steppenwolf making his move and going to war with the World Army. Still, it’s taken far too long for the team to be established – and I’m not even sure it is yet. I’m not really sure how much longer they can drag this out, to be honest.
Injustice: Gods Among Us #16
As usual, the Injustice comic continues to impress. I haven’t gotten my hands on a copy of the game yet (no spoilers, please), but I am reading the comic. In recent issues, it’s loosened up a little. I mean, there are jokes. I know, jokes in a DC book. It’s astounding. They’re great jokes though, and I appreciate them being there. But man, this issue was really taxing. I mean, the ending was so depressing, but it was really powerful. I mean, Damian killing Dick? Wow. That was intense. But it wasn’t just for shock value, it actually meant something.
Green Arrow #20
And that was another issue of, well, the same thing we’ve been seeing since the beginning of this. Komodo fights Green Arrow. Except this time, Green Arrow wins! It seems repetitive, yes. The brawling is awesome, and the panel when Green Arrow stabs Komodo in the eye screams “iconic!”. However, we were promised answers at the beginning, and, well, we don’t get any. I don’t think that this arc is being drug out in a bad way, in fact, I mostly enjoyed this issue. Still, something new would be nice in the next issue.
The Movement #1
I’m a big fan of Gail Simmone’s work. I loved her pre-New 52 run on Birds of Prey, and I’m loving her Batgirl run right now. The Movement, however, has me torn. Simmone usually excels at characters and how they interact with each other. Granted, this is the series’ first issue, and it seems interesting enough, but it felt unfocused, and her traditionally strong character work wasn’t really around. The first few pages of the book are great, but, from there, it goes downhill, and, while it never becomes a bad book, it certainly doesn’t match the rest of her work.
Swamp Thing #20
Sadly, Superman and Swamp Thing didn’t actually brawl with each other. But this issue was still great. This book went deep into Alec Holland’s psyche, showing us just how much of a tormented soul he really is. We get to see what would have happened if he hadn’t given in to being the Swamp Thing, the life that he always wanted, but that he can now never have. Like Animal Man, this was another issue about what it means to be a hero. Superman’s brief speech at the end sums it up pretty well – he connects with people. It’s so great.
Age of Ultron #7
So that was awesome. With this issue, we get to see the effects of Wolverine and Sue Storm’s journey into the past. The death of Hank Pym resulted in a lot going differently, one thing being Secret Invasion. So now, Tony Stark has control of the entire world, with his team, The Defenders, well, defending the world. And now, Sue and Wolverine stumble right into it. This is a time travel story done right, and the repercussions are going to be felt throughout the Marvel universe.
Hawkeye #10 seems to happen at the same time as Hawkeye #9, and, while not quite as good, is still an awesome issue of an exceedingly excellent series. First of all, while the art is usually really good, it’s even better in this issue, due to the guest artist. The story, however, makes this book. And – for this issue, at least – it does away with the light, fun tone of the past couple of issues. Sure, it still has some light moments, but this issue is dark. It gives us the origin of the man who killed Grills at the end of last issue, and this issue also ends with him killing Grills. Now I really can’t wait for the next issue.
Harbinger Wars #2
My only problem with this book is the fact that there was so little Renegades. Yes, they have their own book, so it makes sense to focus on the other two groups, even though Deadhshot does have a solo title as well. Regardless, this was another excellent issue, as Valiant continues to show everyone else how to do a crossover event. The book has great action, as well as a great plot, and it all built up even more steam in Harbinger Wars #2. Everything seems to be coming to a head, and now we know that Harada actually can be beat, in a scene which was nothing short of awesome.
So? What are your opinions on this week’s books? What books are missing from these reviews that I should check out?