Well, Marvel is certainly killing it these days. Of all the issues I bought, all but two were Marvel and almost all of the Marvel issues were incredibly good. So let’s dive into it, shall we? Here are some of the comics for the week of 2/3/16.
The Vision #4, written by Tom King, with art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta and colors by Jordie Bellaire.
What can I say about this book that hasn’t already been said? For those who haven’t been reading this book: 1) shame on you and 2) this book is about what the Vision has been doing when he’s not Avengering. Which is creating a family and trying to be “normal” with his synthezoid wife Virginia and synthezoid children Viv and Vin in the small Washington, DC, suburb of Cherrydale.
The problem, however, isn’t that the Vision’s goal isn’t achievable (even though it isn’t); the problem is that both the Vision and his wife will stop at nothing to achieve this normalcy. And this leads, inevitably, to tragedy.
I once thought that this book was a psychological horror story, but it’s not. It’s a Shakespearean tragedy. And you should all be reading it.
Spider-Man #1, written by Brian Michael Bendis, with art by Sara Pichelli and colors by Justin Ponsor.
Miles Morales is back! And now he’s in the 616 universe (or Prime Universe or whatever it’s called), so he can hang out with the Avengers...if he doesn’t mind flunking out of school.
Honestly, this issue is pretty much a “Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World” issue, just as it reintroduces Miles and Ganke to readers. It’s not much, actually, but it is nice to see Miles in his own book again. Although I do hope that they introduce some Miles-specific villains — it doesn’t seem like he fought any new villains over in the Ultimate Universe.
Doctor Strange #5, written by Jason Aaron, with art and colors by Chris Bachalo.
Do you know how good this book is? It’s really good. Almost nothing happens in this issue (aside from an interesting retcon) and yet it is still really good. So here’s the plot:
For the past few issues, Stephen Strange has been investigating a strange loss of magic and it has finally been revealed to him (although the readers have known since issue one) that this is due to the Empirikul, a technological dimension that destroys magic. In this issue, they unleash their Witchfinder Wolves to hunt down all magic users and the shit has official hit the fan.
Why? Because the next arc is called “The Last Days of Magic,” that’s why. (Seriously, read this book, it’s so good.)
A-Force #2, written by G. Willow Wilson and Kelly Thompson, with art by Jorge Molina and colors by Laura Martin.
The first issue was good, but suffered from having to set everything up. This issue is much better, because it just grabs a hold of each character and thrusts them together into a team in order to stop a bad guy named Antimatter from harming the cute starry girl named Singularity.
Important things to note: Dazzler is no longer working as a singer. Instead, she is on a roller derby team, as “Ali-STUN Blaire.” Yes, that’s right, Dazzler, queen of disco, is now running around in roller skates again. It’s as awesome as it sounds.
Scarlet Witch #3, written by James Robinson, with art by Steve Dillon and Chris Visions and colors by Frank Martin and Chris Visions.
While her ex-husband is trying to achieve normalcy, Wanda is instead trying to achieve atonement through the judicious use of magic to help people. And in this issue, she goes to Ireland, because, well, it’s dying. There’s a curse on the entire country and it’s up to the Scarlet Witch to fix it.
The art isn’t quite as good as the previous issue (although I still like Steve Dillon’s art, it just doesn’t seem to fit here) and there’s no real emotional punch to the story...until the very last scene, where Wanda has to go to the “Witches’ Road” and the art style suddenly changes and we’re left with a very, very interesting cliffhanger.
This book may not only be the most interesting Scarlet Witch story in years, but also the best thing James Robinson has done in years, too.
Howard the Duck #4, written by Chip Zdarsky, with art and colors by Joe Quinones.
Can you believe that this is the sixth volume of Howard the Duck? I mean, really, how much comedy can they mine a talking duck for? Well, the answer is: a lot. So Joe ‘n’ Chip present:
“Foul Movement!” ugh no no that sounds terrible how about “Duck! Duck! Loose!”
Last we saw our erstwhile feathered friend, Howard had become a living Nexus of All Realities and had thus encountered Linda and Shocket (opposite sex clones of him and Rocket Raccoon) and then was kidnapped by the Stranger. In this issue: more weird stuff happens! Including an encounter with Galactus, a wannabe Herald, a former Herald, and, uh, the Guardians of the Galaxy, I guess. Are they still popular? Oh well. (Seriously, this book is hilarious. Buy it.)
Captain Marvel #2, written by Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters, with art by Kris Anka and colors by Matthew Wilson.
It’s Babylon Five with Captain Marvel as Sheriden and Abigail Brand as Ivanova. If that doesn’t hook you, I don’t know what will.
Invincible Iron Man #6, written by Brian Michael Bendis, with art by Mike Deodato Jr and colors by Frank Martin.
Sometimes you just want an old-school Marvel comic where a guy in a suit of armor beats up people. This is that comic. In this issue, Tony sends War Machine to Japan to figure out where those crazy ninjas he fought a few issues ago came from. Why not go himself? Because he has a lady over, thank you very much.
Contest of Champions #5, written by Al Ewing, with art by Paco Medina and colors by David Curiel.
The tagline for this book is “ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?” And the answer should always be: “YES.” Because this issue has the triumphant return of...Night Thrasher. And his skateboard. Oh sweet ‘90s, how I love you.
Captain America: Sam Wilson #6, written by Nick Spencer, with art by Joe Bennett and colors by Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
This issue has Viper, the head of Serpent Solutions, doing a whole rant about how Millennials are “entitled.” Yes, this is that kind of book. It’s also the book where Sam Wilson was turned into a wolf and is saved by a falcon-man, Misty Knight, and D-Man blaring Creedence. Just FYI.
Finally, something not Marvel!
Paper Girls #5, written by Brian K. Vaughan, with art by Cliff Chiang and colors by Matt Wilson.
Paper Girls has been an absolutely wonderful throwback to ‘80s teen Spielberg sci-fi movies and this issue is no exception. The big twist at the end is fitting for the closing chapter of the first story arc (and the next issue comes out in June, so there’s a bit of a wait), but the real winner here is, of course, the absolutely gorgeous artwork.
If you haven’t read it, the book is about four teenage girls in the 1980s who deliver newspapers...until one morning, when they encounter something strange and everything goes to hell.
Mirror #1, written by Emma Rios, with art by Hwei Lim, is a strange, strange book about “a terrorist talking dog, an idealist mage, and a heroic lab rat on their quest for acceptance.” The art is gorgeous, but the story was sometimes confusing and I couldn’t exactly keep the characters straight. Still: if you want to read something super weird and unlike anything else on the shelves, you should definitely try this.
And that’s it for me. What did you guys read this week?