I come with sad tidings for me and all of my constituents today. MoreFunTravis and his legion successfully propelled Marvel to a 5-3 victory for the third week of February. Even despite the whirlwind of quality that was JLA, Justice League, Vibe, Wonder Woman, and others. The comparative works from Marvel some how beat it out in quality and enjoyment.
But that’s in the past, as we debate to not only determine the winner of week four of February, but for the winner of February itself!
You know the drill, MoreFunTravis and I will each outline our points and highlight some of the big moments from the week prior. After that, it is up to you the reader to determine the winner. Our ration from views to votes is still quite small. I invite you all to take the extra second to drop a comment here, to mention us on Twitter, to post on the Ravingnerd Facebook page, or even reblog it on Tumblr. With so many ways to voice your opinion, I don’t see why you wouldn’t! Now let the final fate of February be determined!
1. Batman Incorporated #8- I will start off with the obvious choice. While some people might have been burnt out with the media’s abundant (and redundant) media coverage/spoiling, the quality of the comic should not be in question. This comic reads more like a love letter to the Batman line. We see Tim the most bad ass he’s been all New 52 (beating the shit out of everyone with a mop), we see Batman escape the inescapable trap, and we see Dick and Damian team up for the final time with the resounding phrase “we were the best Richard”. It is very seldom when one can pin point what comic will be talked about 5 years from now. I think we all can agree that this comic will go down as an undisputed game changer for as long as Damian stays 20 feet under.
2. Doctor Manhattan #4- The conclusion to one of Before Watchmen’s best comics was bold and fantastic. Doctor Manhattan not only told a brilliant story, but used the dimensions of the comic book media to tell it in a way that must be experienced in the print format. The innovative combination of aesthetic to enhance the story was perfect. Though while Batman #5 was easily the best example of this story telling, JMS uses the upside down panels to enhance his already brilliant story. To top the inventive story is astounding art by Adam Hughes. Innovation. Brilliant story telling. Beautiful art. What more do you want from a comic?
3. Aquaman #17- It is often hard for the issue that falls just after the end of an arc to keep up in comparison to the prior issue. Aquaman #17 not only matches the quality of the Throne of Atlantis event, and even surpasses it. In the issue we see a world reshaped form the event. By setting it a bit after the event, and not immediately after allows for the emotional effect of the event to sink in. Aquaman is obviously struggling in his role as King of Atlantis, and his subjects are about as accepting of him as the surface world sees Amanda Waller kicking ass and taking names. Launching an attack on not only Orm, but Mera as well. For anyone who thought the follow up to Throne of Atlantis would be sub par, Geoff Johns teaches us all a lesson in biting our tongues.
4. Justice League Dark #17- Things kick into gear as the DCU’s premier magicians struggle to escape a world of science. Not only is the sharp contrast between science and magic dynamic, it is also hilarious. The issue delivers humor and thrills hand in hand. As it is revealed that someone isn’t making it out alive, we also see some of the series’ funniest moments. While Dark is in the title, it is nice to see that Lemire and Fawkes know that that humor is vital in keeping their series fresh and diverse.
5. The Flash #17- Easily one of the most groundbreaking use of artist as writers in the New 52, this issue delivers not only an impacting and thrilling conclusion, but offers thrills as it it teases the next big thing to hit the series. While the series and I have not seen eye to eye much since its relaunch, the quality of the comic is undeniable and the art is easily the best in the New 52. It isn’t often that a comic can not only tie up a long term arc perfectly and tie it in directly with the next big thing. The Flash proves that great art and innovative panel design is but one of the many reasons why this book is on the top of so many fan’s lists.
These certainly weren’t the only big moments form DC, but easily represent the best of the best. With dynamic titles such as these, how can I lose?
This almost seems unfair, guys. I mean, I know most weeks I have a pretty good spread, but this week? This week was just plain ridiculous. Not only did my X-Men have an…uncannily…good week, but so did the rest of the Marvel U!
1.) Young Avengers #2 – Man, McKelvie and Norton make one hell of a team. The feel of this book is so evocative of everything I love about Marvel right now. YA has that cinematic feel Marvel Now! promised us, and the clean, smooth look that I think defines this era in comics. Of course, I can’t say enough good things about Kireon Gillen. The dude is just writing amazingly modern and hip comics. Part of what I think is so special about Marvel Now! is that it is taking classic heroes, villains, and tropes, and reinvigorating them and giving them a modern spin. If the last page of this issue doesn’t have you geeking out, whether you’re a long time Marvel-nut or part of the uninitiated, I’d be absolutely shocked.
2.) Uncanny Avengers #4 – Has it been late? Sure. But was the wait worth it? Absolutely! This comic is probably one of the few things in the geek-o-spere Ravingnerd and I disagree on completely. I think Remender’s ode to classic Marvel comics is a work of sheer genius. Ravingnerd? Well, not so much. But give it a chance I say! UA is more than just a mixture of Marvel’s two biggest teams…but an homage to the way comics used to be written. Drama galore and heavy narration. I. Love. It! It’s how Smilin’ Stan or even good ole Chris Claremont wrote and, sure, it’s a style of writing that’s fallen out of vogue, but that doesn’t diminish its merits. Uncanny Avengers is a love letter to the bombastic, fun comics of our past, and we should all spend a little time relishing it.
3.) Uncanny X-Men #2 – More Uncanny! And no sophomore slump for this second issue either. Bacahalo continues to give Bendis’ headline X-Men book just the touch it needs. The panel layouts and new, pop driven character designs give this book the modern feel that so many other teams have tried and failed to give the X-Men. Want to make good X-Men books? Follows Bendis and Bachalo’s one step: highlight the interpersonal drama between the X-Men. It’s what makes this book, just like that classic X-Men tales work
4.) Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1 – Even Ravingnerd really dug this one and for good reason – it is a damn good comic! It isn’t so much the style or even the story that got me so jazzed about this issue…but the fact that first the first time maybe ever, a gimmicky pre-number-one issue did exactly what it was supposed to. GoG didn’t really set up the plot or even tell us what to expect from the first issue of the series later to come, but instead gave us all something to latch onto in the main character of Peter Quill. Again I’d like to point out the cinematic touches Marvel Now! is bringing to the table, this time highlighted in the beautifully expressive silent pages Bendis and McNiven gave us. There was a lot to love in this comic…and even more to look forward to in the future!
eyeguy #8 – I’m not a musical guy, but let me steal something from one briefly. I’ve got a wonderful feeling that everything is going my way. So not only are my X-Men comics the best they’ve been in years, but Marvel is doing fun, challenging, and innovative things with one of my favorite Avengers – Hawkeye! But what makes this issue, and every issue of this comic for that matter, so astounding, so amazing, so miraculous and so lovable is not that it’s about Hawkeye, Avenger and one of Earth’s mightiest heroes…but instead just about Clint Barton. The dude behind the funky purple mask. This comic is about being alive and beauty and the decency in all of us…costumed or not. Matt Fraction and David Aja are blowing me away with the deconstruction of this genre. Issue 8 continues in this vein of positive reinforcement and universal relation…but brings in more of the super-heroics than every before. I am insanely excited to see how Fraction is going to play with the idea of giant, larger than life super-villains in a comic that by and large is about an average guy with a kick-ass dog and an apartment building full of Joe Schmoes.
Like I mentioned earlier, this week was an embarrassment of riches for the House of Ideas. Uncanny X-Force quietly hit upon some classic and beloved X-Men mythos and Journey into Mystery and FF continued to challenge the medium’s classic characters with new and innovative concepts. I love feeling that the Marvel Universe is alive and abuzz, and this week truly made this Marvel Zombie feel like he was a part of something special. So I hope you’ll join me this week in my credo: Make Mine Marvel!
Now that you have heard from us, get out the vote and spread the word. Who argued better? Which side really had the best week? Only you can decide.
Until the next time,
Rn and MoreFunTravis