Welcome to the first of five Mondays in February. (I’ll wait here patiently for a minute while you do the math and check your calendar.) It was a good finish to the month of January, with a lot of books read this week. So many choices, one has to wonder how I narrow my list down to just three picks for I’ve Got Issues. Well, to tell you the truth, it’s quite easy. The more books I review, the more time it takes me away from reading comics. So three it is! And these are all three books I think you should have picked up in the last week or two. Check them out and let me know what you think.
Story: Tim Seeley & Tom King
Artist: Mikel Janín
Colorist: Jeromy Cox
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Dick Grayson is on a mission – to take down Spyral from within, one agent at a time. How else is he going to move up in the ranks from his Agent 37 title? So the bulk of the issue features Grayson and Tony (but don’t call him the Tiger!) tracking down the agents around the world. What makes this interesting is the voice over narration/showtune, as Dick is convinced that they need a theme song. The sequence is brilliantly laid out across four pages. The pages are laid out to look like the opening credit scenes of any James Bond movie, with silhouettes of women with guns used to separate the panels. At the same time, Dick is creating the lyrics to his theme song, much along the lines of Johnny Rivers’ Secret Agent Man song from the 1960s. This would have been enough to wow me and encourage me to right it up this week. But then we get to the last few pages. Spyral is desperate to stop Grayson, and engage the services of a Who’s Who of DC’s secret agents. And on the final page, Grayson partners up with one of the most reviled characters in the DC Universe. Seriously, I did a double take when you-know-who shows up. What more do I have to tell you to get you to read the book? This should be a must-read on your buy list.
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Penciler: Javier Rodriguez
Inker: Alvaro Lopez
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
What’s your guilty pleasure in life? Doesn’t have to related to comics. We all have at least one or two songs or shows or movies that we know by heart, and will watch or listen to it anytime you stumble across it in the real world. For me, one of my guilty pleasures is the 1987 movie, Adventures in Babysitting. Elisabeth Shue is babysitting three kids, but is compelled to drive to downtown Chicago to rescue a stranded friend. And along the way, it’s just one adventure after another in order to get everyone back to the suburbs before the parents get home. (Yes, the young girl in the movie was a fan of Thor, so there is a comic book connection here after all!)
I bring this all up because it finally dawned on me that this new Spider-Woman book from Dennis Hopeless and Javier Rodriguez feels like an homage to Adventures in Babysitting. Maybe we call this Adventures in the Third Trimester. Jessica Drew is in the final weeks of her pregnancy, and is convinced by her best friend Carol Danvers to visit a specialty hospital, which just happens to be located in a black hole. And while there, Skrulls invade and lock down the hospital. Which forces Spider-Woman to lead a bunch of pregnant alien moms-to-be around in an attempt to free them all.
The Rodriquez art in this issue gets taken up a notch, with illustrations that would make Will Eisner and Jim Steranko proud. Hopeless once again tells a fun story that we can all somehow relate to, despite the aliens and other dimensions. I’m curious to see where the story goes in the next issue, as Jessica’s contractions are starting up. Someone page a doctor, stat!
Rachel Rising #39
Story & Art: Terry Moore
I’ve put it on the record numerous times that I am a huge fan of Terry Moore’s work. I begrudgingly picked up a few issues during the Volume 2 run of Strangers in Paradise, mainly to stop Brent Kincade from constantly nagging me that I needed to be reading that title. And yes, Brent was right. Strangers in Paradise was awesome. I tracked down the missing issues of Volume 1 and 2, and added the title to my pull-list at my LCS. Over the course of a decade, I saw the characters age, fall in and out of love, gain and lose family, and more. This is a title that has made we cry. (Yes, with a column title of I’ve Got Issues, this is a SAFE place for anyone to talk about their feelings.) Based on that journey I took with Strangers in Paradise, I am a loyal Moore follower for any project he does.
Once SIP finished, I went along with his new title Echo. Loved it! Then came Rachel Rising. I was very unsure about this title, as it’s more of a horror book, which was never my preferred genre. I have been amazed with this title. I’m hooked. I look forward to rereading this all over again when it finishes up later this year (insert sad face emoji). And when I do, I will re-read this particular issue with trepidation.
See, once again, this is a Terry Moore issue that made me cry. Bordering on bawling. I will admit that since I became a father, I get emotional when I see violent things happen to children. Whether real or, in this case, fictional, I just can’t handle it that well. Within this story, our title character (who has been dead since issue #1) is asked to come into a morgue and use her abilities to see the final images of a dead person. Unfortunately, it was a young girl involved in a hit-and-run. Rachel sees the final moments of the girl as the car hits her, and I just lost it. Moore is able to pack so much emotion and pain into these panels. I so understand Earl’s helplessness at the start of the story. I don’t blame Johnny for needing a smoke. I want to reach out and offer each of the characters a hug. These people are that real to me, and that’s all based on Moore’s talents to tell a story.
If you are an inspiring storyteller, you should be studying the comics of Terry Moore. Go buy this book and see for yourself. And pick up some tissues, too.
Finally, let’s rewind last week, and fast-forward this week!
- Cullen reviewed the most recent issue of Star Wars for 60 Second Review.
- John gave us the Four Comics I Want – Faith, Mind MGMT, Justice League of America, and Suicide Squad Most Wanted.
- Cullen kept the Comic Cards Calvacade series going with episodes 7 and 8.
- John and Miranda hit rewind with Reverse-Flash episode of The Flash.
- Jerry continued exploring the early adventures of the Carter Hall Hawkman with Throwback Thursday.
- The guys sat down to discuss the first issue of Valiant’s Faith, one of our Books of 2016, on the podcast.
- Don’t miss out on a returning show! Check the WCPE TV listings to see listings.
- Cullen has a 60 Second Review coming out later today, and new episodes of Comic Cards Calvacade this week.
- Jerry has the Four Comics I Want, with not one but two #1 issues from Marvel.
- Look for some TV reviews throughout the week from John.
- Jerry is back with another Throwback Thursday feature.
- The final votes are in, and the guys review the fans picks for Best of 2015 on the podcast this week.