Batman Double-Up:Streets of Gotham #13 & Detective Comics #866: Now look. Neither of these issues were bad. It was fun to read a Batman comic written by Dennis O’Neil again, and Streets of Gotham had some great Hush moments. And though I usually love Dustin Ngoyen’s covers...look at Batman’s pose on two covers and tell me that they didn’t come from the same sketch. Then consider that these comics came out on the same week and appeared right next to each other on the rack. C’mon DC. Just...c’mon. You’re not making it very easy to defend buying more than one Batman comic, let alone three (including Return of Bruce Wayne), in one week. More simply put, one bland cover gets under my skin, two bland covers make me want to drop comics.
Joe the Barbarian #6: It’s hard to review this issue without just repeating what I’ve said in past reviews. So to keep it brief, I’ll just say that if you’re not reading this series you’re really missing out. Even if you find yourself experiencing a bit of Morrison-fatigue as of late, Joe the Barbarian is worth it for Sean Murphy. Though Morrison is handling the script and story, a lot of the actual storytelling weight and world-crafting weight rests on Murphy’s artistic vision. It’s also important to note the ubiquitious Dave Stewart, for doing such beautiful work with the colors of this diabetic-fantasy.
King City #9: Not only is King City fun to read, it’s also just damn fun. Brandon Graham always adds a bit of something extra to every issue, and this most recent issue features his most ambitious add-on yet. Inside King City #9 you'll find a connect-the-dots page and a full-on board game, cut-out pieces included. It’s also got a sci-fi cat named “Earthling,” some of the best nerd puns and in-jokes around, all wrapped in Graham’s signature graffiti-cartoon style. Remind me again why you’re not reading King City?
Sea Bear & Grizzly Shark #1: Sea Bear & Grizzly Shark is pretty much exactly what one would expect from a comic called Sea Bear & Grizzly Shark. Actually, it’s exactly what you’d expect. It grew from a joke/conversation between Robert Kirkman, Jason Howard, and Ryan Ottley, which tells you something about how awesome it is to work in comics. Reviewing this seems a bit futile as you’re either going to be into a comic like Sea Bear & Grizzly Shark or you’ll think it’s incredibly stupid (or both). So instead, I'll just summarize: the book is actually two separate stories, one about the Sea Bear, one about the Grizzly Shark. The Grizzly Shark story is funnier than the than the Sea Bear making it the superior of the two, but we'll never really know 'cause they never fight! C’mon! At least on SciFi we get to see the Mega-Shark fight the Giant Octopus.
Avengers #2: Seeing as it’s written by the same guy and features at least two of the same characters, I’m not sure why I’m not quite as harsh on Bendis’ Avengers as I am on New Avengers. Maybe it’s because despite one or two shake-ups, the New Avengers are essentially the same team they’ve always been. Maybe I’m just a sucker for John Romita Jr. and Klaus Janson. Maybe I’m just a sucker for Thor. Maybe I feel like we only need one Avengers team, so why not go with the A-List team? Whatever the case, I actually like where Avengers is going...for now. My main fear is that the team is just too damn big (again), and that the book will eventually crumble under it’s own character weight. How do you give equal time to Thor, Iron Man, Wolverine, Spider-Man, Captain America, Hawkeye and Spider-Woman? I mean, holy hell. It’s a bit ridiculous. That being said, it’s kinda cool that this story seems to be tying into that Next Avengers animated film.
Wolverine: Weapon X #14: Ah-HA Aaron! It turns out that not only is your “Tomorrow Dies Today” arc an homage to Terminator, it’s also an homage to Robocop. Well played sir. Well played indeed. Since this is then penultimate issue of this arc, I’ll keep it brief (a theme of this week’s reviews) and give it a bit more once the story has concluded. I will say that this was one of the better issues of the arc, mainly because it was told from the perspective of a Deathlok.
GATTS BOOK OF THE WEEK:
DARKWING DUCK: THE DUCK KNIGHT RETURNS #1 (BOOM-STUDIOS; Ian Brill, James Silvani, Andrew Dalhouse): This comic is everything it should be: funny, fast, and full of fowls. Darkwing Duck has always been a great take on the Batman/Masked Avenger genre. Though less iconic than The Tick, I'd argue that Darkwing Duck is just as funny. This first issue really gives me hope that the story will thrive in the comic book format. We catch up with Drake Mallard a year after the final flight of Darkwing Duck. Now Mallard is a busy working schlub for Quackwerks, the all-powerful corporation that took over St. Canard with the help of their all-seeing Crimebots. That's right: the terror that flaps in the night is fighting a corporate police state. (For those of you who are counting, that's two Robocop homages in one week!) Between this and The Muppet Show, Boom is proving to be the publisher to beat when it comes to the all-ages comics.