What I Read 4/4: Daredevil, Animal Man, iZombie and more…

I can’t read every book every week, but I read the ones I think I’ll like and write about them here.

Daredevil #10.1: Consider: there’s really no way around the fact that point-one issues are just an excuse for Marvel to sell an extra book a month. And given artist work output limitations, this issue has to substitute usual series artists (and Eisner nominees!) Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin for Khoi Pham – nothing against the guy, but why mess with success? Yet what could be an off issue for Daredevil is just another in a string of hits. Pham’s art actually fits in pretty well — perhaps it’s a little beefier than we’re used to on this title, but the coloring of Javier Rodriguez doesn’t make this issue seem too dissimilar from what’s come before. On the story front, Mark Waid‘s script continues to impress. I love the way that so many of these issues are one- or two-part stories that connect to the larger narrative Waid’s telling about mega-crime. It gives the title that epic comic-book feeling so many love without being alienating; that may actually be Waid’s greatest strength here (and he has many). Also, a whole issue dedicated to showing how Matt Murdock, not Daredevil, kicks ass is totally welcome.

 

Animal Man #8: The thing that surprises me month after month with Animal Man, and I’m not sure why, is that this book is so horrific. There is a part in this month’s issue only four pages in where I literally gasped; there, it appears that the book brutally kills one of its main characters. Of course this is a fake-out, but the mechanism for the character’s escape is so clever that I never saw it coming (but also so clever that, were I paying attention, I should’ve known it could happen). Notably, this issue marks the final transition between this series’ original series artist Travel Foreman and new penciler Steve Pugh, who, it should be said, has drawn Animal Man before. Foreman’s unique visuals (I’m sure he hates that adjective, but I mean it purely as a compliment) suit this book perfectly, but it looks like Pugh will do just fine (especially with a consistent colorist). There are a couple Pugh panels here I found especially impressive (rabbit punt ahoy) and indicate that he’s a great fit for the book.

 

iZombie #24: There’s just something irresistible about Chris Roberson’s iZombie. It’s somehow found the perfect mix of irreverent fun and legitimate drama; it knows when to take an ironic distance from its material, and it knows when to embrace its weirdness head-on. If only all “cool” comics were that smart. This one-shot issue takes a look into the past by spotlighting Agent Kennedy, a secret government operative/Dead President, as she investigates a popular AOR band with ties to the occult. It’s pretty awesome. Usual series artist Mike Allred takes a break in favor of Jim Rugg, whose work I think is outstanding, full of big figures and swift, wholly enjoyable action. Though I consistently enjoy this book, this is my favorite issue in awhile.

 

 

 

Stormwatch #8: It’s tough to know what to make of this issue, the second part of what’s essentially a two-issue fill-in between arcs by writers Paul Cornell and Peter Milligan. Writer Paul Jenkins does a fine job with his story of the Gravity Miners, an extra-dimensional alien race whose very existence threatens to destroy planet Earth. It seems like maybe his scripts lack a little bit of the humor (so essential to the book) that Cornell brought, although Jenkins does do some pretty solid character work, especially with the Engineer and Jack Hawksmoor. I’m not crazy about Ignacio Calero’s art (I definitely miss Miguel Sepulveda, who returns next month), though #8 looks a little sharper than #7, possibly due to the addition of Daniel Hdr’s pencils as well. In general, these two issues have been a little closer to average than I’d like to see in Stormwatch, but next month it’s a whole new game anyway, so no reason to fret.

 

 

Sweet Tooth #32: Jeff Lemire’s artwork possesses an undeniable humanity. It’s almost like you look at his characters and love them instantly — or at least sympathize with them. His visuals make every issue of Sweet Tooth worth reading, bar none, though his stories are nothing to sneeze at either. Lemire has a great command of dramatic tension, masterfully stretching out big questions over entire story arcs, so even as one situation’s being resolved another comes up that demands attention. Here we finally learn the mystery of Jepperd’s captor, and the revelation of his identity is one that I can’t imagine anybody saw coming. It’s surprisingly joyful to learn who he really is, and it brings some earned levity to a book that’s normally quite gloomy. Even though their current predicament seems resolved, I can’t wait to see where the cast of Sweet Tooth goes next.

 

Did you read these books and agree/disagree with my opinion? Share it in the comments below! Did you read ANOTHER book and want to see it represented on the site? E-mail me and we’ll talk!

tags: animal man, daredevil, izombie, stormwatch, sweet tooth, what i read

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