Comics

Top 10 Comics for the Week of 9/26/2020

So this was a solid week of comics. I enjoyed more than I didn’t I would not say this was a week of all-out amazing books and to be fair those weeks are rare. Still, cutting this list down to 10 was quite difficult as issues like Shazam #15, Miles to Go #1 and Wicked Things #5 were super close to making the cut.

 

10. Savage Dragon #252

Writer/Artist: Erik Larsen

Publisher: Image Comics 

Description: “SUNDAY FUNNIES Another wildly experimental issue wherein each doublepage spread is told in the style of a classic newspaper comic strip-from a Peanuts parody to a Dick Tracy sendup, from a Doonesbury lampoon to a Blondie satire, this issue is sure to amaze and inspire.

Why it Made the List: Before I get to this issue I think it is worth taking some time to comment on the incredible achievement Erik Larsen hit when he wrote and drew two hundred and fifty issues of Savage Dragon. That is a type of longevity is something to celebrate and something that will probably never happen again. With all those issues and years keeping things fresh is not easy. That leads to things like this issue where we get a celebration of the Sunday funnies. From Dick Tracy to Calvin and Hobbes the world of Savage Dragon was transformed. It was a well-done homage and you had to appreciate the dedication to utilizing classic techniques all the way down to the coloring. When I think about it the Sunday Funnies were probably the first exposure I had to comics. You can easily forget their place in the history of the medium and the importance they hold. 


9. Shadow Service #2

Writer: Cavan Scott

Artist: Corin Howell

Publisher: Vault Comics

Description: Captured by supernatural secret agents, Gina faces the mysterious head of MI666. With her powers turned against her, the witch-turned-private investigator must risk everything to escape. But with her enemies closing in, can Gina resist one final call for help? Infernal Intrigue from Cavan Scott (Star Wars) and Corin M. Howell (Dark Red).

Why it Made the List: In the second issue of Shadow Service the series is beginning to show itself. What at first appeared to be a supernatural P.I. story has beginning develop a number of new dimensions including what appears to be some supernatural secret agents. Magic is a tough game to play. You have to set rules that make sense without bogging down your story with endless exposition. The horseshoe scene in this issue is a great way to do just that. It demonstrates that there are limitations but that they are also a way around those limitations if you are creative enough. Those moments will pay major dividends as this series continues. 


8. Suicide Squad #9

Writer: Tom Taylor

Artist: Bruno Redondo

Publisher: DC Comics

Description: This issue, it’s the shocking death of Deadshot! The man who never misses has been on the front lines of Task Force X since its inception—bomb in his neck, gun in his hand. He’s seen teammates blow up and countries fall. He’s faced down heroes and villains alike. Now the Suicide Squad has one final mission: bring down the man who enslaved them, then put a bounty on their heads when they escaped: Ted Kord. But to finish the job, the world’s deadliest assassin will have to do the one thing he’s never done for the cause: die!

Why it Made the List: Whenever you have a comic that tells you there is going to be a death before you even open a page most likely some trickery is afoot. Rarely would someone show their hand so plainly. When Tom Taylor is behind the story there’s reason to have faith. Taylor has a strong grasp of the father-daughter relationship with Deadshot as he is making a vow that goes against his very name. I know many were concerned with the way Ted Kord was being used, however, this issue might help minimize some of those complaints. It is also great to see a climax where characters use their brains not just their brawn.  


7. The Autumnal #1

Writer: Daniel Kraus

Artist: Chris Shehan

Publisher: Vault Comics

Description: Following the death of her estranged mother, Kat Somerville and her daughter, Sybil, flee a difficult life in Chicago for the quaint — and possibly pernicious — town of Comfort Notch, New Hampshire. From NY Times best-selling author, Daniel Kraus (The Shape of Water, Trollhunters, The Living Dead), and rising star Chris Shehan, comes a haunting vision of America’s prettiest autumn.

Why it Made the List:  I am not sure what is in the water exactly but we are seeing a lot of stories of people going back to their rural roots for the first time in a long time only to discover that town has some supernatural elements. Just within these last two weeks, we have had Stillwater, An Unkindness of Ravens, and of course The Autumnal. One issue in and the overall narrative has not fully come into play. Despite that issue, the dedication to character is where it succeeded as this dysfunctional mother and daughter try to figure out their place in a world they clearly do not fit. Maternal themes will seemingly play a major role as Kat Somerville tries to work out her broken relationship with her recently deceased mother. The art also this seasoned texture as if you are reading through a story you have flipped through time and time again. Fantastic design is nothing new for Vault comics. They know making a good comic includes doing the little things as well.


6. Dark Nights: Death Metal – Speed Metal #1

Writer: Joshua Williamson

Artist: Eddy Barrows

Publisher: DC Comics 

Description: It’s the drag race from hell! Taking place after the events of DARK NIGHTS: DEATH METAL #3, the Darkest Knight is after Wally West and his Dr. Manhattan powers. Thankfully, Wally has back-up in the form of Barry Allen, Jay Garrick, and Wallace West! It’s a knockdown, drag-out race through the Wastelands as the Flash Family tries to stay steps ahead of the Darkest Knight and his Lightning Knights!

Why it Made the List: I was super hesitant to read this issue mainly due Metal simply not clicking with me in any way. Considering this is Joshua Williamson’s last hurrah with the character of The Flash it was worth checking out. Nearly all the pieces tied to the Metal story did not quite work with me but seeing Wally come to terms with the hero he really is made everything worth it. Wally has been that character that DC has not known what to do with since his return in Rebirth and this seems like they are finally figuring things out. 


5. Gideon Falls #25

Writer: Jeff Lemire

Artist: Andrea Sorrentino

Publisher: Image Comics 

Description: “WICKED WORLDS,” Part Four The Bishop will finally reveal the secrets of the Multiverse to Angela…IF she can survive long enough to hear them!

Why it Made the List: With Gideon Falls set to end at the end of the year we are starting to get more and more answers to what is really happening. I have a strong feeling by the time things end a lot of questions will still be left for interpretation, which is probably the right choice considering how massive the scope of this book has become. When this first came out I thought it was going to be this straightforward story about a small town and how it is secretly haunted. Oh, how wrong I was. This issue is a transition to the massive finale’ and it begins by clearing this up to set a foundation for what is to come. Pages that could be mindless exposition are rendered with the insane creativity this series has brought since it started. One thing I about picking up a book when Andrea Sorrentino is the artist is that there is a good chance you will see something that has never been done in a comic book before. 


4. X of Swords: Creation #1

Writer: Jonathan Hickman, Tini Howard

Artist: Pepe Larraz

Publisher: Marvel 

Description: X OF SWORDS, CHAPTER 1. A tower. A mission. A gathering of armies.

Why it Made the List: It has begun. X of Swords has launched part one of its twenty-two parts. You cannot falt this crossover for lack of ambition. By this point either you are clicking with Hickman’s vision of the X-Men or you are not. This first issue is not going to convert anyone who did not enjoy House of X or Powers of X as it has the same type of verbose style Hickman is known for is present as ever. A narrative is rich with theological allegories-some more heavy-handed than others and plenty of plot threads to fill those twenty-two issues. Pepe Larraz is back and as good as ever. He is beginning to define what these X-Men look like for this generation. Who knows if this can follow through with its promise. So far so good. 


3. The Flash #762

Writer: Joshua Williamson

Artist: Howard Porter

Publisher: DC Comics

Description: Barry Allen and the Reverse-Flash race for the last time in this fast-paced conclusion. For years, Eobard Thawne has tormented Barry Allen, and now the Flash knows the only way to win is to make sure the Reverse-Flash never runs again! The story years in the making comes to a close as Joshua Williamson finishes his epic 101-issue run on The Flash!

Why it Made the List: And then there was none. Joshua Williamson ends his run on The Flash with this issue and his work deserves massive applause. He has written since the launch of Rebirth which includes over a hundred issues. Considering he is doing this in the era of double shipping it is a small miracle the quality maintained as much as it did. He ended on one of his best arcs and  I was happy to see Howard Porter come back. This and his Year One work may be my favorite of all of Williamson’s run. Considering Flash is a character predicated so much on fluid motion and the ability to showcase speed someone like Porter is ideal. Not to mention the man drew more characters in these last three issues than should be humanly possible. The last issue was the massive fight as pretty much every Flash character to ever exist showed up to join the fray. This was more of putting the genie back in the bottle as Barry Allen and Reverse-Flash saw their long running feud finally end…for now. I appreciated the way Allen defeated Reverse-Flash. It wasn’t a speed force Deus ex Machina that tends to end all these Flash skimirishes. Instead, it was more character moment to show Barry can make the hard choices. 


2. Canto II: The Hollow Men #2

Writer: David M. Booher

Artist: Drew Zucker

Publisher: IDW

Description: Book 2 of Canto continues! Canto leads his friends on a journey to save his people and his first stop is his friend Aulaura, the mysterious warrior who helped him fight the Furies in the City of Dis and escape from the Shrouded Man. But what shall they do when they find Aulaura’s village full of hollow men?

Why it Made the List: I love that monthly comics has a book like Canto. A fantasy adventure tale that can appeal to a large audience. One the most engaging aspects of this series is that it is full of characters that love and respect one another. Considering the way of the world right now that piece is a welcome change of pace. These are characters you want to get behind and they are placed in an adventure full of fantastical challenges. It reads like a great chapter book as each issue brings you deeper into this world and nothing comes easy. This could be one of those series that goes on for a long time with how much potential has been built. 


1. Skulldigger + Skeleton Boy #4

Writer: Jeff Lemire

Artist: Tonci Zonjic

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics 

Description: With mayor-hopeful and once-superhero Tex Reed in the clutches of a homicidal maniac, both the police and the violent vigilante Skulldigger are one step behind and on a collision course with disaster.

Why it Made the List: This was not a week of comics where one book stood far and ahead of the rest. Simply when I looked back at everything I read the reason I choose Skulldigger + Skelton Boy #4 as my favorite book of the week was that it was the one I was the most impressed with throughout. What stood out the most was the shifting art styles page to page and panel to panel. At times looking at a down and dirty classic noir and at others a more cartoonish children adventure. In a week full of these massive stories and crossovers it was refreshing getting a comic that was a self-contained well constructed human drama. Despite being part of The Black Hammer universe this series stands alone so it does not matter if you read anything else prior. Every mini-series that has come out of the Black Hammer universe has had its own distinct style and voice. Despite mostly coming from the same writer it is one of the most diverse lines currently in comics. 

Back to top button