It’s that time of the week again, and the absence caused by being stuck in an airport in Cleveland last week has only fueled MFT and I’s competitive edge. We are both out for blood this week, and are anxious to prove who had the biggest and best week in comics. The last bout ended in a 4-2 victory for my beloved DC which has improved to a 5-1 lead over Marvel overall.
Now it’s time for the true blue believers to shine as I discuss why DC most undoubtedly had the greatest week last week.
1. Green Arrow #19- Lemire has done a miraculous thing, turning around Green Arrow after just three issues and making it easily the best thing on the market, and easily the best comic that came out of the last week. Paired perfectly with Lemire is Sorrentino, who’s art is as fluid and and involved as ever. She brilliantly depicts the extreme amount of movement and action within the pages of this comic, in a way few artists can do. If you have still hesitated to pick up this series, then shame on you. This series is absolutely dynamic and has completely reinvigorated the character. It’s the Green Arrow you’ve been waiting to see since the beginning of the New 52. And you are only 3 issues behind.
2. Detective Comics #19- The 900th issue spectacular is easily worth the 7.99 cover price. Not only are Layman and Fabok able to tell an expanded version of Man-Bat’s New 52 origin, but are able to do it while keeping pace with everything else that has gone down in the Bat-Universe in the past few months. This issue proves that the team is capable and deserving of being the leader of the new Batman Status Quo. In addition, threads to new stories in Detective Comics, Dark Knight, Talon, and Batman itself have all been weaved within the pages of this book. While not only focusing on the future, the issue cleverly references the monument of becoming the second comic ever to reach 900 issues. The last anniversary comic was Amazing Spider-Man #700, which was as big a pile of shit and waste of money as you could ever see. Detective Comics #19 proves that celebratory comics can be well worth the extended cover price.
3. Action Comics #19- It’s fitting that the oldest comic on the market would have a stellar week as well. While this will be Diggle’s only issue on Action, I have to say it was the best single Superman story in the New 52. It featured sparks between Lois and Clark, some big action, and the most bad ass looking Lex we’ve seen since the relaunch. It was a Superman fan’s dream come true. And while Diggle is now gone, it was Tony S. Daniel’s art that really made this comic soar. Daniel will be taking over writing duties for the next two issues, and while it might not come close to this single issue the quality of the arc isn’t going to tank.
4. Green Lantern #19- It has been a while since a Green Lantern comic has really thrilled me. We’ve been stuck in events that made no sense if you didn’t read the entirety of the Lantern-verse (which I don’t). That paired with personal reasons as to why GL was no longer enjoyable has made for an abysmal few months of Green Lantern comics. This issue returned to what I have loved about the run in the New 52: Sinestro. In an entirely Sinestro centric issue we see not only Sinestro shaken to his very core, but a massive alteration to the the Green Lantern universe as well. In an issue as thrilling as the special cover would suggest, I have been waiting for this for the longest time.
5. Phantom Stranger #7- While taking a sidetrack from the ongoing plot of the series, the issue manages to hit quite a few high notes. Not only do we see the introduction (and demise?) of Jack Ryder in the New 52, but we get to see more of God as the adorable Terrier. All the while the Question works in the background to an exciting, albeit rather spoiled (look at the cover) conclusion. Phantom Stranger just continues to please, and it doesn’t look like it will slow down anytime soon (Trinity War is only 3 months away!)
Now that you’ve heard from me, you are obligated to listen to MoreFunTravis’ argument before voting for DC.
I need just one book this week to win. Just one. One Marvel title that perfectly encapsulates everything that Marvel is doing right.
So, there are no gatefold covers for me this week or extra-special, super fat 8 dollar comics either. No shocking truths or mournful…mournings for us in the Marvel camp.
Instead, we are taking a look at Mark Waid and Walt Simonson’s The Incredible Hulk #6.
As I stated earlier, This past week’s issue of Incredible Hulk demonstrates perfectly everything I love about Marvel. A respect for the past, an eye toward the future, and focus on talent and not characters that seems to be more and more of a rarity over at the Dreaded Competition.
I’d like to first talk a little about this near miraculous combination of Mark Waid on scripts and Walt Simonson on art. Now, calling Mark Waid “new talent” is anything but true. But for the world of mainstream comics, Mark Waid as a super-star headliner is still a new phenomenon. The guy is arguably the hottest thing in funny books right now. He’s proving his worth on all sorts of books and doing about a hundred different things on said books. Walt Simonson on the other hand is everything that is classic Marvel comics. His style is unlike anything we have today…yet his influence has touched almost every modern super-hero artist in the industry. It seems only natural to put these two on a book together. The combination of snappy, modern writing and bombastic, detailed art makes Hulk seem like a perfect blast from the past while still appealing to modern movie going sensibilities. The dynamic between these two is amazing. The narrative story telling just in this one issue alone seems like something that was perfected over long years of working together.
The plot of IC #6 itself is exactly, in my mind, the point of Marvel Now. We take classic characters and stories and filter them through a modern lens. There is so much old-school earnestness behind Hulk portal jumping to the land of the frost giants and facing a Thor who does not recognize him, and yet with Mark Waid orchestrating these characters and this little square of the universe…it all feels new. It takes something special to take a 51 year old character and make his exploits and adventures feel brand new without erasing what was special and cherished about the past. How do you recognize where you’ve been without forgetting where you’re going? In actuality, it turns out to be much simpler than it seems. I can imagine the Hulk in this plot existing in almost any other time in Marvel history. Yet, it has a touch, very subtle, special uniques that feels new. That feels different. That feels “now.” That nowness, if you will, that certain feeling that this is relevant and special to you and I reading this issue in the month of April in the year 2013 is without question due to the melding of top industry talent from today and yesterday. It’s Mark Waid writing modern comics and Walt Simonson draw the comforting, welcoming comics we all know and love.
You want to see comics adapt to the modern era? Evolve and stay alive? This is it folks. This is an open love the letter to the past…and a promise for the future. This issue of Incredible Hulk is the first time that Marvel Now has really grabbed me by the hand and shown me what Marvel can do with the future of sequential story telling. And guys…it is damn exciting.
Stack this one issue against anything DC put out this week and I promise you the difference is glaringly obvious. If I had to give an old veteran returning to comics or a young kid walking into the local comic shop for the first time one book…just one title…to convince them that comics were something special, something magical, it would be Incredible Hulk #6. Can you say the same about anything DC published this week?
Now that you’ve heard from the both of us, it’s time to get the vote out! Comment on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and the main page to make your voice heard. The power is in your hands.
Until the next time,
Rn and MFT