Greetings, 'Rama readers! Ready for your Thursday pellets? Best Shots has you covered, with this week's installment of our Rapid-Fire Reviews! So let's kick off today's column with Lindsey Morris, as she takes a look at the latest issue of Young Avengers...
Young Avengers #13 (Published by Marvel Comics; Review by Lindsey Morris; 'Rama Rating 9 out of 10): The world is safe (for now) as the 2013 run of Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie's Young Avengers comes to a close. Brimming with confessions, ass-kicking and romance, this issue boasts some the best writing of the series, as well as the most breath-taking panel layouts and beautiful art we've seen so far. It's amazing to see how far this title and these characters have come since they began this January. The forthcoming 2-issue "Afterparty" arc will not doubt be a welcome break for the team, much deserved after a full year of stellar content.
Detective Comics #26 (Published by DC Comics; Review by Pierce Lydon; 'Rama Rating: 7 out of 10): After a brief reprieve for a “Zero Year”-related story, John Layman is back with your regularly scheduled Detective Comics with artist Aaron Lopresti in tow. Layman turns in a Man-Bat tale that’s not exactly as it seems and proves why he’s one of the most underrated writers on DC’s roster. Batman stories are notorious for messing with readers’ expectations. Layman plays them with nuance and subtlety by expounding on Bruce’s detective skills. Lopresti turns in strong artwork and a particularly terrifying Man-Bat and She-Bat. While “dark and brooding” might be the default description for any Batman comic, Lopresti captures the tone with aplomb.
Inhumanity #1 (Published by Marvel Comics; Review by Justin Partridge, III; ‘Rama Rating: 10 out of 10): Matt Fraction delivers a bombastic and dense first volley into the new Marvel epic following the Earth shattering events of Infinity. Fraction pulls out all the stops to introduce readers to the complexly rich world of the Inhumans, along with a healthy doses of teases of the story to come. Oliver Copiel handles the lion’s share of art duties here, but Lenil Yu and Dustin Weaver are also along for the ride, rendering flashbacks of the first Inhumans and a recap of the events of Infinity respectfully. These three artists flow seamlessly, giving new readers a deep understanding of these lesser known outcasts in just a matter of a few gorgeous pages. Fraction is at his most grandiose in his scripting and it fits him, and the issue, like a glove. This is a fantastic introduction not only to the characters of the Inhumans, but to how they will shape the Marvel Universe in months to come.
Fearless Defenders #12 (Published by Marvel Comics; Review by Aaron Duran; 'Rama Rating: 7 out of 10): Twelve issues in, and while it was an entertaining read, Fearless Defenders never really founds its footing. Cullen Bunn does his best to wrap up multiple arcs in a single issue, with primary focus on the final confrontation with the Doom Maidens. It's a tall order, and one he has some measure of success. Will Sliney on art continues to show growth and his character composition is stronger than ever. Partnered with Veronica Gandini on colors, Fearless Defenders #12 is a visually striking comic, something the title has always been able to claim. The team did the best they could with their limited page count. Fearless Defenders #12 will remind the fans of the fun they had, but sadly, the sting of wondering what could have been may trump the good times.
Amazing Spider-Man #700.1 (Published by Marvel Comics; Review by Pierce Lydon; 'Rama Rating: 5 out of 10): Many readers were angry that Peter Parker met his end while in Dan Slott’s hands. But those fans probably won’t be placated by Marvel’s response to their “Bring Parker Back!” chants. Writer David Morrell places Spidey in a suitably Wintery predicament. A blizzard threatens the city and Peter Parker thinks about his place in the world as Spider-Man. It’s a nice bit but not exactly new territory so the issue kind of plods along. Klaus Janson’s artwork is really great though. Not only do we get to see a lot of Peter but we see some of his supporting cast, Aunt May and JJJ. I think that most fans wanted new adventures from Peter Parker and not think pieces on what it means to be Spider-Man. Unfortunately, this issue doesn’t do a great job of delivering either one.
Green Arrow #26 (Published by DC Comics; Review by David Pepose; 'Rama Rating: 5 out of 10): The Outsiders War begins not with a bang, but with a whisper, as Green Arrow #26's great art is bogged down by poor pacing and a ton of exposition. To his credit, Jeff Lemire gives new readers a solid primer on the origin of Green Arrow, spending about a third of the book recalling Ollie's time stranded on a tropical island. That said, he doesn't add much more than what we already knew - namely, a spoiled wastrel driven by necessity to become a sharpshooting archer. The other problem is that Lemire drags his first four pages getting us to said island, leaving little room for the story to actually go anywhere. And that's a shame, as it leaves Andrea Sorrentino little to do - he gets a nice action beat towards the beginning, and his Marcelo Maiolo's use of bright colors gives the visuals a real pop. Still, as far as intros go, Green Arrow #26 is a bit of a snoozer, with only the visuals giving us a reason to stick around.
Longshot Saves the Marvel Universe #3 (Published by Marvel Comics; Review by Pierce Lydon; 'Rama Rating: 9 out of 10): Longshot returns to the first issue’s former glory by basically just throwing everything at the wall. The In-Betweener has been split into Order and Chaos and their fighting is ripping the very fabric of time! This issue has everything. Hulked out Avengers, vampire Wolverine, Carnage Surfer (!) and more flood the pages as Longshot tries desperately to keep it all together. Writer Christopher Hastings balances the action well and even includes a great bit about CapWolf from Captain America #402-407. Jacopo Camagni’s artwork remains as strong and consistent as ever. Considering everything he gets to draw in this one, he might just have one of the best gigs in comics right now.
Moth City #6 (Published by Thrillbent; Review by Rob McMonigal; 'Rama Rating: 9 out of 10): Desperation reigns supreme, leading to drastic actions on all sides as time begins to run out for the citizens-living and undead-on Moth City as creator Tim Gibson keeps the pressure up in this sixth issue. Continuing to use the digital medium in clever ways (one panel features city ruler McCaw shifting his eyes slightly as he tortures a doctor for information), we see just how awful McCaw is, as he sacrifices his own daughter in a bid to hold on to power. Meanwhile, one undead man fighting his fate sees just how powerless the people are, caught between literal monsters and institutional ones. Gibson’s detailed art keeps the world-building and emotional figures going strong, mixed between text narrations in this highly recommended digital horror comic.
Deadpool #20 (Published by Marvel Comics; Review by Pierce Lydon; 'Rama Rating: 8 out of 10): Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan have turned in some fine Deadpool comics lately. They’ve added high stakes and gravitas to an otherwise silly character, but that doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten how to have fun. This issue tells the story of Deadpool’s “Wakandan Vacation,” a done-in-one featuring gorgeous Kirby-esque art from Scott Koblish. Together with colorist Val Staples, Koblish creates a love letter to The King that is simply beautiful. Posehn and Duggan’s spot-on captioning and fun little jabs at the way we used to tell comic book stories make this a really fun comic but beg the question, “Why don’t we make more comics like this?” Whatever happened to bright colors and big, crazy stories?
Green Lantern #26 (Published by DC Comics; Review by David Pepose; 'Rama Rating: 4 out of 10): Green Lanterns get no respect these days. That's the message of Robert Venditti's latest issue, which feels like a standard action comic with a few wrinkles but no real hook. Under the command of Hal Jordan, Venditti's Green Lantern Corps feels a lot more like a cop show, which is a refreshing change of pace from Geoff Johns's more epic run. That said, it's hard to root for these characters - not only do the Lanterns risk the universe every time they use their rings, but watching them beat up on (and actually almost lose) to a group of resolute smugglers makes our heroes seem woefully incompetent. Artist Billy Tan has a vibe not unlike Carlos Pacheco - it's clean, but there's also no big moments to write home about. Not a terrible book by any means, but Green Lantern #26 isn't the bright spot in the DC lineup that it used to be.