I knew I said this would be a weekly feature, but the last couple of weeks have been really busy.
However, I really feel I'm going to have to re-evaluate my current pull list. I had to pick up two weeks worth of books last week, and it was a pretty big hit. I blame this mainly on the price increase from $2.99 to $3.99 of some DC titles, and, it appears, most of the Marvel line. (at least the popular books)
Anyway, this week's pull...
Written by Judd Winick
Art by Mark Bagley and Rob Hunter
Cover by Tony Daniel
Mark Bagley is my favorite modern artist, hands down. I'm really of the opinion that the man is the most skilled monthly artist working today. His layouts are dynamic as hell, his work detailed, but cartoony enough to simply be fun to look at, but, and this is what really makes him unique, HE GETS THE WORK DONE ON TIME. No one is as fast, and good, as Bagley. Winick can be hit-or-miss as far as writing, but I generally like his Batman work, and he seems to be right on top of this "Batman Reborn" arc, with the apparently dead Bruce Wayne replaced by former Robin/Nightwing Dick Grayson. Winick seems to understand Dick, and the weight he's carrying, quite well.
Jonah Hex #47
Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray
Art and cover by Cristiano Cucina
I will say this over and over until more people start buying this book; the most consistently good monthly book on the shelf. It also rises to excellent quite often, usually depending on what artist in on the job. The title has been known for single-issue tales since it's inception, but "The 6 Gun War" brings us the first multi-part epic from Palmiotti and Gray, who've been on the title from issue #1. I wish I could say this tale lived up to the one-offs, but it doesn't. It's good, definitely worth reading, but I think the writers are struggling a bit with pacing. I quite like Cucina's art, but he doesn't reach where, say, Jordi Bernet or Darwyn Cooke have with Hex.
Justice League: Cry for Justice #3 (of 7)
Written by James Robinson
Art and cover by Mauro Cascioli
*sigh* I cannot for the life of me tell where this mini-series is headed after the first 2 issues. Other than to Robinson's run with the aforementioned Mark Bagley on the regular Justice League title. I think I'm still buying this with the idea that it's going to inform their run on the regular title. There's much to like, the heroes involved are a really odd mix (Congorilla, really?), and the artwork is pleasing to the eye. However, on the flip side, Robinson's dialogue is a bit simplistic (which is really odd for him), and Cascioli art, while pretty, also suffers the problem with all painted art, it feels a bit stagnant and undynamic. A $3.99 price point, without the back-up feature that DC has, smartly, offered (Learn something, Marvel) with their other $3.99 books, doesn't help.
Wednesday Comics #9 (of 12)
Various Writers and Artists.
Three more to go. I'm so torn on this series. I'm, flat-out, in love with the format, and I accept that there will be serials I love (Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Connor's Supergirl -Adam and Joe Kubert's Sgt. Rock), mixed with those I hate (Eddie Berganza and Sean Galloway's Teen Titans), or just do not work at all (Ben Caldwell's Wonder Woman, where the main sin is ambition. The art is finely detailed with many, many panels on the one page. The coloring on the newsprint muddies the entire thing. I have no idea where the story is going anymore, because I simply cannot read it.) It's a turkey shoot. Some work, some don't, but the art is almost always stunning. The problem is, at $3.99 every, single week for 12 weeks. It's an expensive Turkey shoot. I hope DC continues this exploration, but I would really suggest a lower price point.
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #2
WRITER: Brian Michael Bendis
PENCILS: David LaFuente
INKS: David Lafuente Garcia
COVER BY: David LaFuente
I know, I know, I said I was getting off this train. The Ultimatum crossover, and it's path of wanton destruction bored me, and the restart with new numbering, along with the price jump to $3.99 (with no content to compensate...MARVEL, LOOK AT WHAT DC IS DOING!), had left me bitter and angry. Then I read the first "new" issue. Damn you Brian Michael Bendis, once again your utter magic with these characters has sucked me in. Plus, the art by David LaFuente is far more suited to this title that what Stuart Immonen was doing. I'm in, Brian, as long as you keep this kind of quality up....even at $3.99.