It’s monday, which means it is time for the second issue of Top of the Shelf. While this week was arguably weaker than the last, when it was strong it was really strong. So let’s get right to it.
5. Dark Avengers #184- Let me explain. I have not picked up Dark Avengers before, nor did I read Thunderbolts before that title switched over to this. That being said, I couldn’t resist picking up the Marvel NOW! equivalent of the book. C’mon, it’s called Dark Avengers. How could I resist? And while this title has been getting a lot of crap (this issue specifically) it was one of the best things I read all week. The characters are trapped in an alternate universe in which most of Marvel’s heroes are villains leading their own gangs in a super hero gang war of sorts. While the actual cast of the team is unconscious most of the issue, the issue does a great deal to arouse interest and curiosity. Especially given that Reed Richards is either a hero, or just Tony’s criminal arch-nemesis. Interesting dynamics seem set in place, and as a new reader it provided a stunning “wow”.
4. Team 7 #3- While I no longer review the Third Wave titles (they now have more than three issues), it doesn’t mean I’m not reading them. This issue is proof that Team 7 still has a spark of life left it it. While it still doesn’t meet expectations, this issue delivers some good character moments (especially for Deathstroke). In addition to that, we are rounding the corner in the arc as the next issue takes the Team’s heart (Deathstroke again) and pits him against the rest of the Team. And honestly, an Eclipso’d Deathstroke is a VERY scary thought when you really think about it.
3. Batman #15- very well could have spoiled the story for us. Bruce reveals the big secret from issue #14 and it sets just about everyone on edge. This week’s Batgirl was a huge misfire, but this issue brought an A-game Batgirl, as well as strong other characters. I specifically am happy to see Harvey Bullock take charge of the PD in Gordon’s absence, and I think anyone who ever saw the animated show can feel the same way. The art was dazzling (as always) but something seemed lacking from this story. What makes up for this is the stunning back-up feature. It goes a long way towards making up a bit of an off issue. As we see Joker not only cut lose on non-Bat family members, but we see Snyder’s Riddler. I have said it before, and I’ll say it again, this could take a shot at being the best Riddler readers have ever seen.
2. Batman and Robin #15- This issue moved quite fast, and I still can’t really determine where the series is going, but it’s sure to be great. The issue starts with one of the most disturbing takes on the Jokers new look we’ve seen yet. I’m talking iconic type disturbing. Joker gleefully plays with his face, and it is just gross. We also see the psychological warfare begin as Damian just can’t keep is normal level of cold demeanor he’s known for. Tomasi promised one of the best Joker stories, and this is certainly shaping up to be.
1. Deathstroke #15- Perhaps it is an overstatement to name it the best comic of the week. But in my opinion it was. For two reasons. The first being it was a return to form for the character. Jordan is comes out rolling, as Deathstroke easily casts off Liefeld and returns to what he does best, being a bad ass. Secondly, Jordan makes a fun and refreshing take on the character. Not only does the dynamic of best killer vs unkillable man work well, but the character is refreshingly resourceful. His narration is cold and calculating, and we see Deathstroke two steps ahead for the first time in a long time. Jordan focuses not only on Slade’s skills, but his intelligence as well.
Well, that’s my take on what was top of the shelf last week. Let me know what your thoughts are. Did I miss anything good? Do you disagree with my list?
Until the next time,