It’s March, and a madness has spread across this land. It’s that time of year when we study our brackets to all hours of the night, trying to figure out where the heck Stony Brook is, and who the heck is this Austin Peay fellow? (For the record, Stony Brook University is in Stony Brook, New York, and Austin Peay was the governor of Tennessee when the college in Clarksville was formed. See, now you learned something today!) What is not mad is my love for comic books. Obsessive maybe, but not mad. Check out some of my recent reads from the last week, and let me know what you think of these books. Or just tell me how your bracket is doing – becomes misery loves company!
Astro City #32
Writer: Kurt Busiek
Artist: Brent Anderson
Colorist: Peter Pantazis
Letterer: John Roshell & Jimmy Betancourt of Comicraft
I know I have mentioned this in the past, but I will say it again and again until everyone starts listening to me – Astro City remains the most complete comic on the shelves month after month. You get a solid story that requires you to take your time and read it carefully. Maybe even read it two or three times to catch everything that Kurt Busiek is putting into each panel. Over the 20 years that Busiek has been telling stories in and around Astro City, he has built an incredibly rich background for all of the main characters, including one of my favorites which is featured in this issue, Steeljack. Brent Anderson’s art continues to amaze me with each issue, providing so many real details to make me believe I could easily find Astro City using Google Maps. As for this story in particular, Steeljack is a reformed criminal trying to find his way in a world that doesn’t make things easy for ex-cons. As with many of the other revisits to familiar faces from Astro City, reading this issue makes me want to go back and re-read Steeljack’s first story arc, ‘The Tarnished Angel,’ from Astro City #14-#20.
Darth Vader #17
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
I feel a disturbance in the Force. Maybe you have too. Ever since the start of Vader Down a few months ago, the Darth Vader title has supplanted the main Star Wars title as my favorite book in the new SW universe. Writer Kieron Gillen and artist Salvador Larroca have been nailing it each issue. Darth Vader has become the true deadly threat that we have been wanting to see since The Empire Strikes Back. This is part II of ‘The Shu-Torun War’ storyline, which has Vader working to squash a threat to the newly established government on a mining colony. Meanwhile, we have multiple factions working to take down Vader however they can. We still have the missing Doctor Aphra, whose story is being told over in Star Wars, whose absence really seems to be affecting Vader. This book is doing wonders to redeem and reinforce the legacy of who Darth Vader should be, at least in my opinion.
Black Widow #1
Writers: Chris Samnee & Mark Waid
Color Artist: Matthew Wilson
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Fresh off their award-winning run on Daredevil, Mark Waid and Chris Samnee take over the story-telling duties for Black Widow. However, they are changing up the duties somewhat, as Samnee will take the lead with the storytelling duties, and let the art tell the bulk of the story. Waid steps in to provide the dialogue where needed, but the Samnee’s art tells most of the story with incredible detail. The story starts off right in the middle of the action, and doesn’t slow down for 22 pages. Natasha is on the run, trying to escape from the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier with some unknown file. From the heart of the flying fortress, the Black Widow makes it to a window and dives out into the skies above New York City. Never fear though, she manages to make it to the ground safely, at the expense of a couple of chasing agents. The story ends with no questions answered, but still leaves me anxiously awaiting the second issue.
Finally, let’s rewind last week, and fast-forward this week!
- Adam Strange (Class of ’58) was featured in the Superhero Yearbook.
- Hillary gave us her picks for Four Comics I Want – Legends of Tomorrow, Astonishing Ant-Man, Scarlet Witch, and 13th Artifact.
- Cullen kept the Comic Cards Calvacade series going with episodes 21 and 22.
- John and Miranda unboxed their Batman v. Superman collector’s box over on our YouTube channel.
- Throwback Thursday took a look at the mid-1960s adventures of the Justice League of America.
- The guys returned to the studio to discuss Daredevil, Batman v. Superman, and Captain America: Civil War on the podcast.
- Just one week until the Supergirl-Flash team-up! Make sure to review the WCPE TV listings.
- Have you entered our Deadpool giveaway? You have to enter by Wednesday!
- Jerry, John, and Cullen will have multiple features this week, touching on comics, cards, shows, and more!
- As if this was now enough, there is yet another FREE PODCAST due out on Friday!