Another Monday, another look at my reading list with I’ve Got Issues. I got so many great comics in the mail this past week, it was hard to narrow my picks down to three. If I had more time, I would offer up some thoughts on Archie #5, Spider-Woman #2, and Secret Wars #9. Want to know more about them? Send me a note and I will give you my thoughts on those books too!
Squadron Supreme #1
Writer: James Robinson
Penciller: Leonard Kirk
Inker: Paul Neary
Colorist: Frank Martin
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Spinning out of the recently-finished Secret Wars series, the new Squadron Supreme book is exactly the kind of book I was hoping we would get. Without spoiling Secret Wars too much – wait for the podcast later this week to do that! – the simple statement is that all of the various universes or dimensions in the Marvel Universe now exist in just the one universe. So with a title like Squadron Supreme, we have five characters from five different universes/time streams working together for the first time. Let’s do a quick rundown of who’s who:
- Hyperion is the Superman analog, and comes to us from the recent Jonathan Hickman run on The Avengers.
- Nighthawk is the Batman analog, and he hails from the pages of Supreme Power by J. Michael Straczynski and Gary Frank.
- Power Princess is the Wonder Woman analog, and is from the Squadron parallel universe featured in Mark Gruenwald’s Squadron Supreme mini-series from 1985.
- Doctor Spectrum is the Green Lantern analog, and he first appeared as a member of the Great Society in the recent Jonathan Hickman run on The New Avengers.
- Blur is the Flash analog, and she rushed into action as a member of D.P. 7 in the New Universe from the mid-1980s.
This team is not happy with the world they find themselves on, and decide to take matters into their own hands, regardless how bloody it may get. They head into battle against a very familiar character in this first issue, which sets up a face-off with the Uncanny Avengers team in the near future. I so enjoy this book, and I will be making a run to the LCS this week to pick up issues #2 and #3 that I forgot to pre-order. James Robinson and Leonard Kirk have worked together on multiple projects in the past, and are a perfect fit for these characters.
The Sheriff of Babylon #2
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Mitch Gerads
Letterer: Nick Napolitano
At the end of the year, I put out a couple of abbreviated I’ve Got Issues columns. I didn’t have full reviews, but I did list what I had read that past week. In one of them, I highlighted a book, The Sheriff of Babylon #1, and said that you needed to be reading this title. Four weeks later, I still stand by that recommendation!
Set in Iraq in early 2004, this is a crime drama story set in the middle of a warzone. Our protagonist is Chris Henry, a former Florida police officer and current military contractor. He has been assigned to help train and develop an Iraqi police force. Trouble arises when one of his recruits is found dead, and it wasn’t by natural causes. Henry’s investigation leads him deeper and deeper into the Iraqi criminal underground, which is being led by a surprising person.
As he has shown on his other book, Tom King’s writing is superb. King is a one-time C.I.A. operative who worked in Iraq during this time period, so he is pulling elements of reality into his own project. But the star of this book by far is Mitch Gerads, who is drawing and coloring the book. Just incredible to view and take in, with the incredible amount of detail in each panel without it being overly detailed. The color palette Gerads uses sets the tone for the story, giving the book the same heat-drenched look you would see in downtown Baghdad. As excited as I am about this title, I’m a little disappointed that this is only a six-issue mini-series. I hope that King and Gerads find stories to tell together in the future!
All-New All-Different Avengers #3
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Adam Kubert
Colorist: Sonia Oback
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Stop me if you read or saw this story before. Imagine the Avengers, led by Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor, stopping an invasion from the Chitauri via a portal looming over New York City. OK, MAYBE it sounds a little familiar. But did that story (or movie) also feature the Vision, Nova, Ms. Marvel, and Spider-Man? Yeah, that’s what I thought, and that’s also why you should be buying this book!
So, as you can imagine, the heroes figure out a way to save the Earth, stop the Chitauri, and get rid of the guy that had been chasing Nova. At the end, Iron Man notes that they all worked pretty good together, and proposes that they officially work together as the Avengers… minus the Stark money and Stark headquarters.
Yet, as rosy and upbeat as that sounds, something is going on with the Vision. He collected some blackmail on Nova, and intends to use him in someway down the line. All of which just further proves that Mark Waid is evil. Despite his evil ways, I still nominated Waid as the Best Creator of 2015 in our Worst. Comic. Podcast. EVER! end-of-year survey! Waid wrote a lot of books in 2015, many of which have made this column over the last few months.
Finally, let’s rewind last week, and fast-forward this week!
- Cullen reviewed the Swamp Thing #1 for 60 Second Review.
- Cullen kept the Comic Cards Calvacade series going with episodes 3 and 4.
- Cullen (anyone else working this week?) gave us his Four Comics I Want – Secret Wars, Surviving Megalopolis, Constantine, and Slash & Burn.
- John reviewed the books and broke down the contents of Batman Eternal for John of All Trades.
- With DC’s Legends of Tomorrow starting soon, Jerry looked at the early adventures of the Carter Hall Hawkman with Throwback Thursday.
- The guys rewound the fall TV shows and looked ahead to the spring shows on the podcast.
- Voting is still ongoing for the WCPE Best of 2015 survey. Have you cast your votes yet? There’s still time!
- What are you watching live Tuesday night, and what are you saving on the DVR? Check the WCPE TV listings to see listings.
- Cullen is getting into the blog posting habit with his 60 Second Review and new episodes of Comic Cards Calvacade.
- Four Comics I Want is delivered this week by friend-of-the-show Brent, so expect a Doctor Who reference or two or twenty.
- John takes a look at Batman Eternal with his John of all Trades feature.
- Before the first episode of Legends of Tomorrow, Jerry takes another look at the Silver Age Atom with Throwback Thursday.
- The guys have finished Secret Wars, and we are ready to compare notes on the podcast this week.