Hello everyone! Not only did we just not post a MVSDC Monday last week, but I didn’t post at all. I ended up taking a personal journey with limited access to even my phone, let alone my computer. So sorry to be away so long, but I’m proud to be back and proud to say that DC won the last round (two weeks ago) with a 4-2 margin. This means DC was champion for the month of February. The first week of March was missed by our blunder last week, but nevertheless we are here to keep the fires alive!
As always, leave a comment here, on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr with your thoughts on winner!
I’ll start things off and attempt to persuade all of you lovely comic fans why DC had the absolute best week last week.
1. Batman and Robin #18- With all the fallout from the weeks before, it was time the series that bore not only his name but the character as well have a chance to reflect and react to the Bat-family tragedy. What was delivered was a beautiful, melancholy, and heartfelt love letter to not just Damian. But the father son relationship that Damian and Bruce had built. With less than 25 words littering the pages of this comic, actions speak much louder than words. This comic brought the emotional response necessary to turn a big media fiasco like Batman Inc #8 into a poignant and impacting story.
2. Ozymandias #6- Easily one of the best of the Before Watchmen bunch, and my personal favorite, Ozymandias’ conclusion was breathtaking. While Minutemen offered a heart breaking and fairly controversial end to the acclaimed series, Len Wein takes a much different approach with this comic. He doesn’t shake things up tremendously. This is part of what makes this comic so great. Wein simply fills in the final details leading up to the very beginning of Watchmen. We see how Comedian discovered Ozymandias’ grand scheme, and rather than feeling faked or forced it was an organic part of the story. The conclusion to the series see’s all loose ends tied up and literally leaves off where Watchmen begins. This comic not only brilliantly takes the reader on the greatest of journey’s but also delivers some of the best art the comic world has seen.
3. Batman #18- While upstaged by B&R, Batman #18 was a decidedly different story than most could have expected. Snyder and Kubert focus on the Row’s more, with the entire issue in their perspective. While the characterization for Harper and her brother is the main part of this comic, the real heart of this comic comes in the second chapter. The second chapter features gorgeous art by Alex Maleev and his quite heartwarming. Since October, Bruce has done nothing but lose, it’s nice to see him get a win under his belt. Even if it is insignificant in comparison to his tremendous losses.
Saucer Country #13- This is it, we are now just one a way from the conclusion to the acclaimed Vertigo series. While this comic was definitely struck before it’s time, Cornell and company are playing this out right. Their story has remained pitch perfect despite it being cut insanely short. The plot is wonderfully dynamic and makes good on why non super hero comics are often the best. With only one issue left, no one should miss this series.
Batgirl #18- I have both taken crap for liking this issue because Simone was not on it, and taken crap for enjoying Simone’s run on the character. It’s refreshing to know that Simone will be back, but Fawkes has done a pretty good job with his stake in the series. Rather than take it in his own direction, Fawkes follows some threads that Simone left. Like Damian stealing the show in Batman and Robin, I have long argued that the Batgirl series is really Jim Gordon’s. His character has taken on so much depth in this series, it’s hard not to be a fan. This issue is highlighted by the touching interaction between Jim and Barbara, all set midst the back drop of Robin’s death. It was a powerful moment, and made Jim even more lovable than before.
That’s all for my end, but DC put up some tremendous books last week. I hope that the emotional power of death’s and finale’s is enough to win you over to my cause!
I would like to echo Ravingnerd’s apologies down here as well. Spring is always a crazy time of year, even for comic nerds. I bear an equal, if not greater, amount of the blame for missing last week’s MVDC Mondays and for today’s late posting. So I hope you all will forgive and forget and get excited for this week’s dynamic debate!
While the Despicable Competition was busy reveling in its aviary assassination, Marvel was moving on to new exciting things this week. I am admittedly highlighting fewer titles this week, but remember this: it is quality over quantity here at Marvel v.s. DC Mondays. So let’s take a look at the three titles I am specifically choosing to represent what the House of Ideas is doing right this week:
Thor God of Thunder #6 – This is what matters this week, guys. At the end of the first arc of Jason Aaron’s epic new Thor adventure, we take a break from the titular character to instead focus on the newest villain of the Thor-verse: Gorr the God butcher. Everything about this issue is a win and demonstrates why Marvel is killing it in every department. Esad Ribic obviously can’t pencil every single issue month to month on a regular schedule so what does Marvel do? They bring in Butch Guice to do the art and let him create something that feels incredibly different, but perfectly matches the tone and feel of Ribic’s ongoing art. This little pause is just the thing the book needs to give readers a breather and let excitement build for this long-form story Aaron and crew are crafting. Marvel Now! is all about the cinematic and taking these classic characters and make them big and exciting in the modern era. Thor shines as a perfect example of why Marvel Now! is working.
Uncanny X-Men #3 – I wouldn’t be MoreFunTravis if I didn’t highlight an X-Men title would I? Of course not! And that’s because the X-Universe rehabilitation currently under way thanks to Brian Michael Bendis is the greatest thing in Marvel, if not all of comics, at the moment. Magneto is shifting back to a character that I can respect and appreciate and watching him become an unpredictable force while we explore the moral relativity of Cylcops and his team of radicals is a plot I can get behind fully. Bachalo on pencils is certainly a divisive artist, but I for one think he represents a beautiful melding of the bombastic past of Marvel Comics and the soft, rounded edges of modern sequential story telling. Not to mention the global melding the guy seems to play with every time he draws a character. Like Thor, Uncanny X-Men is demonstrating just how far Marvel is willing to push their talent and their characters to create a new exciting paradigm in comics. And I friggin’ love it.
Avengers Arena #6 – Full Disclosure: I have largely ignored AA until now. The first issue was neat and the idea seemed fun, but I was never a huge fan of Avengers Academy and did not feel obligated to pick up this title. On a whim, I jumped back in on this issue to give it a try, and boy! There is a reason Dennis Hopeless is gaining fan traction and a lot of critical praise for this book. Hopeless and Walker made one hell of an issue that even someone with little knowledge of these characters could grasp on to and feel the tension. Marvel Now! should be accesible to new readers and lapsed readers and that is exactly why I chose to shine a light on AA this week: this title, full of minor and side characters is written well, drawn well, and gives new readers something new and fun to latch on to. The tension and drama are high and well worth the look.
So there ya have it! That’s my take on the Marvel U for this week. What’a ya think!?
Until the next time,
Rn & MFT