- #4 Iron Fist: Heart of The Dragon #3 By Larry Hama and Dave Wachter
This one was unfortunately my least favorite of the week. I love Iron Fist as a character and will continue to pick anything up with his name on it, but this issue felt very “filler” like. The book is arranged as a series of fights as Danny Rand and his team, consisting of Luke Cage and The Bride of Nine Spiders, team up with some familiar faces from the Marvel universe to defend giant dragons from undead ninjas. A fun enough concept but it takes up the entire issue and barely advances the plot which is painful for a series that’s only going for 5 issues. Some solid art by Wachter here but overall this issue didn’t blow me away.
- #3 Iron Man #7 By Christopher Cantwell and Cafu
I’ve generally been lukewarm on this series since it started but the interiors by Cafu really kept me coming back. That remains true on this issue especially with the colors by Frank D’Armata who deserves a shout out. Really striking work page after page from these 2. Story wise I’m certainly getting more engaged with this arc of Korvac attempting to obtain godlike powers enough to reform all life into a single aggregate. When you boil it down it very much is a bad guy with a god complex and a hero fighting tooth and nail to save the day. The interactions between the rag tag self titled “Star Warriors” is funny enough and there’s decent character interactions between Tony, Rhodey, and Patsy but overall the writing feels a little weak even with the stakes so high. A decently entertaining book but the art will surely keep me coming back for more
- #2 The Amazing Spider-Man: King In Black #1 By Jed MacKay and Michele Bandini
Okay so this book really blew me away this week. A major event with a Spider-Man tie-in. What else is new? But I was introduced to a newish character by the name of Reptil who I definitely enjoyed and whose solo launch I will be looking forward to on May 26th. The story focuses on Peter Parker as he deals with guilt over the events of King in Black as he is in fact the original “Patient Zero” for the Venom Symbiote, who this entire event revolves around. The characterization of Peter Parker not only through the lens of which he views himself (Just a kid from Queens), but through the lens of Reptil who regards him as “one of the greatest heroes”. It truly puts into perspective the fundamentals of what it means to be a hero. I feel like Jed MacKay really has a grip on the voice of Spider-Man and although I think the book downplays just how much of a heavy hitter Spider-Man really is I forgive it for the strong narrative it supports. Reptil really shines in this team up and shows he’s made of the same stuff as Peter and shows off his crazy ability to shapeshift into any dinosaur at will (Eat your heart out Beast Boy). Overall it was a superhero story that boils down what it means to be a hero. Although it’s a simple message, it’s important to be reminded of this message every once in a while especially with heroes as compelling as the young Reptil and the Amazing Spider-Man. I also must honorably mention the very very attractive artwork by Bandini. Future work from the mentioned are definitely a must to look for.
- #1 Thor #13 By Donny Cates and Nic Klein
Phenomenal work this week by this dream team as we begin to wrap up the events of Donald Blake: Psycho God. The story takes the trademark Cates route by going as big and as wild as you can possibly imagine, ranging from the return of Odin (who’s arms appear as thicc as The World Tree Yggdrasil) all the way to the spirit of Thor Odinson possessing the destroyer armor for a final brawl. The star studded cast of Doctor Strange, The Mighty Throgg and Valkyrie, to name a few, show up to take the fight to the Psychopathic Donald Blake as he attempts to cut down the world tree. The action is non stop and builds up to what looks like is going to be an epic conclusion for an arc that has been batting 1000 since it started. Nic Klein gets a shout out this week as he’s clearly firing on all cylinders with impeccable line work from page 1 all the way to the end. A riveting book that you’d be sorry to miss.
- Nightwing #78 By Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo
A much needed fresh start after the Ric Grayson fiasco that spanned over 20 issues. Tom Taylor gives us a back to basics Dick Grayson reacclimating himself to defending Blüdhaven from evildoers that literally kick puppies. I thought that was a little heavy handed but it’s cute I suppose? The story really shines here towards the end when Barbara Gordon meets with Nightwing to execute the will of Alfred Pennyworth. It still feels unreal to have lost such an iconic and influential figure to one of the greatest heroes in DC and to see the publisher stick to the decision. The result of this moment is an incredibly heartfelt letter that will melt the heart of any comic nerd. Alfred leaves Dick a large sum of money which I’m sure will open up a number of possibilities going into this run which seems to set up Blockbuster as a main antagonist (watch out Netflix). The letter alone makes this issue a must grab but overall it is refreshing to see high flying Dick Grayson zooming about Blüdhaven and saving the day in his classic blues like he’s meant to. This is my first run in with Bruno Redondo but the art was incredibly competent and easy to read. I look forward to continuing this run.