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Comics Haul 2/4/2014

So an ever-shrinking number of weekly buys, especially as the number of new series finally slowly starts to subside again… although this week both DC & Marvel have one. So onwards with the reviews…

Aquaman and the Others #1 (Dan Jurgens, Lan Medina, Allen Martinez)
Aquaman, as a hero, isn’t really my cup of tea; he’s just never really come together for me as a reader. This comic has done nothing, unfortunately, to change that. The broad cast of characters has a lot of potential but it’s never really delivered on in this issue, as they all seem to just fall flat as soon as they’re grouped into one place, and even before that the ways they react to threats are disturbingly identical; indeed, at times dialogue appears to have been simply recycled wholesale. It’s really unfortunate in part because the strong representation of PoC in this comic is great, especially WoC, but with a plot that seems identical to Marvel’s (3-month-old) All New Invaders but less well directed, I’m not sure what the point of continuing to pick this up would be.

Inhuman #1 (Charles Soule, Joe Madureira, Marte Gracia)
The Inhumans are a long-running Marvel franchise, and Marvel’s follow-up to Infinity was the Inhuman-focused Inhumanity, but neither of those facts really plays into this review. What does is that the comic is basically dull; it’s a workmanlike introduction, getting across who is involved, the different factions in play and their different ideologies, but not really any reason for a reader not already invested in the events and characters the comic portrays – difficult, with only one character following through from prior work – there’s absolutely no reason to read this; its “ideological struggle” element  is unoriginal, its characters flat, its writing dull. Really not worth your time.

THE FOLLOWING MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Loki: Agent of Asgard #3 (Al Ewing, Lee Garbett, Nolan Woodard)
This issue of Loki focuses on the Loki who appeared on the scene at the end of Loki: Agent of Asgard #1; the older, evil, original comics Loki. This comic is, rather than being a simple present-day adventure or joyous piece of fun writing as the first two issues were, is instead Loki interacting in the Norse mythology; stealing Gram from Sigurd (who is black – racebending joy!) and tricking Odin. Indeed, this is a very differently written issue, much more heavily narrated, with Ewing showing a certain range not previously clear; I find it rather fascinating as well as, on its own merits, a brilliant piece of writing – and indeed a story one could simply pick up this issue and get, as has been the case with each issue of Loki: Agent of ASgard so far, although reading the series does give more back.

Moon Knight #2 (Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey, Jordie Bellaire)
This comic somehow feels more like a Warren Ellis work than #1 did; the combination of political concerns, characterwork, and brilliant approaches to the combination of art and words really feels like the work of a master, and the control of the action on display from Ellis and Shalvey is absolutely stunning. The pallete used by Bellaire emphasises the action fantastically, and the first eight pages are a beautiful slow building, with incredible use of white space; this comic knows how to use blankness as well as colour to create action and mood. This is the best comic, by a distance, I’ve read this week, and I highly recommend it to you all.


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