By E.A. Henson
Let’s take a look at some of my favorite titles from July of this year!
Batgirl #1, Nightwing #1
DC Comics is in the midst of another company-wide overhaul known as Rebirth which means we’re getting a whole slew of new first issues. Issues designed to lure back old readers and hopefully capture some new ones.
The books I’ve chosen from this week’s releases all share a common theme. They’re all FUN. I know that the last DC reboot (2011’s New 52) was widely viewed as dark, grim, gritty, so it’s refreshing that the new line of books seems to be making an effort to be enjoyable to read.
The issue of Batgirl released this week was a book that I had been looking forward to immensely and it did not disappoint. Written by Hope Larson with art by Rafael Albuquerque, this volume follows Barbara Gordon as she backpacks her way across Japan. Barbara is now a Millennial who is taking time away from her successful clean energy startup company to get a few things figured out. She also just happens to run into a variety of costumed super villains while doing it.
After reading the book I was left with a few questions: How do superheroes travel with all their costumes and grappling guns? Does Bruce Wayne have a Trump University-like school that teaches all his wards to be independently wealthy? Do all Millennials love craft beer and sushi?
The dialog in the book flows naturally thanks to Larson and Albuquerque’s art lends itself to the young and hip feel of the book.
Tim Seeley’s Nightwing with art by Javier Fernandez does the admirable work of unknotting Dick Grayson’s convoluted backstory. Seriously, if you Google his character bio you may have to design a flowchart to keep it all straight.
In brief, Dick Grayson has just returned to his costumed alter ego of Nightwing and he’s having a blast doing it. The book goes a long way to establish that, while their methods and color schemes are similar, Nightwing is more Fun Batman than anything else. There are some elements of espionage and globetrotting that I assume are holdovers from the book that preceded this (Grayson) but they add a nice layer to the overall direction this book seems to be taking.
Old Man Logan #9
Marvel made some waves a couple years ago when they announced they were going to kill off Wolverine. If you’ve read comics at all in the last 20 years, you know that death is never a permanent good-bye to characters. It’s more like a bad flu or a revolving door. So when Wolverine died, many expected him to be back in time for the next X-Men sequel to hit theaters.
Only he didn’t come back. Well, not exactly.
Marvel chose to replace Wolverine with an old and cranky version of himself from an alternate future where he’s the last X-Man alive! Take a deep breath. This is just another Wednesday if you’re a regular comic book reader. And that’s how we get to Old Man Logan.
The book, by writer Jeff Lemire and artist Andrea Sorrentino, takes Logan back to Japan while he’s tracking a group of assassins that almost murdered his future wife in the previous story arc. While reading this, I was struck by the feeling that this isn’t just another “Wolverine goes to Japan and fights ninjas” story. It feels like much, much more.
Lemire, in addition to being one of Marvel’s best writers at the moment, is probably one of Wolverine’s best writers in recent memory. The character is written as a man of singular purpose with a profound pain and weariness that is as much of a threat as any super villain. Paired with Sorrentino’s dynamic art and inventive panel designs, it makes for a book that is one of Marvel’s best at the moment.
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #55
Simply put, if you are now or have ever been a fan of Transformers… This is the book for you.
Written by James Roberts with art by Alex Milne, MTMTE is a Transformers comic for anyone who ever wanted the Michael Bay movies to be as good as they remembered the cartoon being. Roberts excels at characterization and Milne’s art somehow manages to give robots expressions that perfectly illustrate the full spectrum of emotions.
I wanted to cover this book because it’s wrapping up a storyline at present and it will soon be relaunching with a new first issue. Out of all the comics I read on a regular basis it has been one of the most consistently enjoyable books and it certainly deserves to be on your radar.
Remember: If you’re ever in Clawson, MI, be sure to visit Warp 9 Comics.