Well, It’s new comic Wednesday yet again, and it’s an interesting week of picks for me. It was mostly Marvel books, but I always love something interesting from outside the big two publishers. Still Marvel dominated, so i think I’ll let you in on what’s what for me this week.
(NOTE: I don’t own the rights to the images in this post. They belong to Marvel and Boom! Studios respectively.)
Original Sin #1 –
Well, it’s an interesting choice for a story, I can tell you that much. There’s characters from all ends of the Marvel Universe in this one, including at least one that I’m surprised is in a book that’s (relatively) earthbound. Having this as a mystery- no, I’m not going to call this just a mystery. This feels a least a tiny bit noir-esque, and it’s a choice I actually like for it. The art moves in this direction, and the dark turns and implications that the story’s making flow together perfectly. I don’t know where this one could end up, so I’m going to keep my eye on this, at least until it (possibly) hits event syndrome.
Black Widow #6 –
I’ve been in love with this series from the start. Black Widow is a great character when handled by a good writer, and even better when you get a fantastic artist working with the character as well. Edmondson and Noto really work together to create a terrific spy story that’s incredible to look at at the same time. It just hit me that there’s a reason the visuals hit so hard in this series compared to others. The art is what raises this up above the previous books that Natasha’s lead. Noto has line art, but the lines aren’t thick thick and defining like you would see in other books. The colors (from Natasha’s hair to the color of someone’s t-shirt) create the lines themselves. The person and the background seem to flow together, but using the color, the pages still give you the sense of space. The book can blend in. Moments can pass you by without you realizing they’re there, just like Natasha can go unnoticed if she really wants to. It makes for a flow that isn’t like the other super books I read and makes it really special when this lands on the shelf every month. I can’t wait to see what’s next for this spy.
Also, stick in there for the ending. There’s a cameo from a favorite non-powered character that I was so excited to see. They wrote them in perfectly, too. It felt like they fell out of their own book and into the Black Widow story organically.
Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #1
Ultimate Spider-Man is one of the first books I picked up when I really got into comics at the end of high school. I’d been enthralled with the first two Raimi Spider-Man films, and I wanted more. That series and universe did just that. When I fell away a few years later thanks to the end of the more long term employment I had, I had to drop the series, which turned out to be right before the death of Peter Parker in the Ultimate universe. I just thought they were going to fake it and Peter would just be kinda dead for a little bit then just jump back in after a bit of hiding. Suffice to say, I had been burned by Quesada’s “One More Day” storyline. So, I dropped the series. While I was off it, I found out that Peter actually had died, and heroically at that. There was also news that there was a new person donning the name Spider-Man, and that was the character Miles Morales. I was surprised when I saw it, but glad to see that there was somee more diversity coming to one of the biggest characters in the Ultimate universe. I trusted Brian Michael Bendis to not mess that story up, either. What I read in the first two trades starring this new Spider-Man was what I had hoped. He was a good character, and absolutely deserved the title of Spider-Man. While I’ve been working part time, I was able to pick up the trades, but I didn’t pick up much in the way of singles in superhero books. I come to find out that Galactus had jumped universes and tried to consume the Ultimate Universe recently, and Miles was one of the heroes trying to take him down. Side note: I was so excited when I heard it was Kitty Pride that finally won the day. She deserved a victory after everything she’d been going through.
Now, with Peter still gone and Miles one of the few heroes left in that universe, he’s having to step up and hold to that mantle even more than before. This series seems to be him as he takes on the responsibilities of the role, but learning that they have consequences, too. I’m glad to see he’s not dealing with this alone, as he’s in contact with at least one of the original group of characters when he needs advice. Still, the ending left me with a surprise, and one that I feel somehow Bendis has earned. A lot of writers wouldn’t get a pass from me on this storyline they’re about to start, but Bendis is someone I think that can pull it off with grace. I’m curious to see where it goes.
Lastly, I think I have my favorite book of the week.
The Woods #1 –
I just realized how many first issues I picked up this week.
This is a story that I hadn’t heard much about until earlier this week, but when I read the synopsis, I couldn’t help but dive in. A school, along with all the students and staff inside, is teleported… somewhere in the universe. Wherever they are, they’re orbiting a gas giant, on a moon that seems to be made of nothing but woods. The woods, it seems, are teeming with horrible creatures, and the high school isn’t exactly the nicest place either. One of the students, who thinks he’s smarter than anyone else, seems to think that they’re there as some kind of test subjects, and the only way they’ll stay alive is if they leave the school and complete whatever test it is. It’s not the easiest decision to make, but with a bit of convincing (and in one case, being convinced), they start their way out.
There isn’t a character in this book that doesn’t have good and bad aspects to themselves, minus one that I rather like who seems to be a genuinely nice person. Everyone’s in greys when it comes to motives for things they want to do on earth and once they get teleported, and no one is completely nice to everyone else. It makes it feel like there are real people in these characters, and actually makes it easier to care if anything happens to them. There was one shock in the book that I didn’t see coming but should’ve seen telegraphed which really struck home how there isn’t one safe person in the story at this point. This guy that’s deciding they need to go into the woods, he could be an insane person that gets this group killed due to his own hubris. The people who stay behind, they could just be making themselves an easier meal for the creatures that are roaming the area around the school. In this plot, there doesn’t seem to be a right or wrong answer at this point, and I think that works with having this story take place around high schoolers worried about whether or not they get into college. They don’t necessarily know that not getting into a school isn’t the end of the world, but they also don’t know that there are options that lie ahead if only they do go to college, or do what their parents tell them they need to do. There’s unknowns either way. This may be a rather boring (and possibly flawed) first interpretation, but I think it could be what the story drives at. Of course, I thought I could predict what was going on in Joe The Barbarian way back when as well. I even though I knew what that was about. Did I get either of those right? No and no are the correct answers there. That’s still not going to stop me from at least trying to guess at what the series is getting at or trying to do. Even if I do get that wrong, I’ve still got a fantastic science fiction story going on, and that’s more than enough to get me hooked by itself.
That’s far more than I was expecting to write about when it came to comics this week. I think I need to do this again when my next week’s pull gets in. Writing got me to think about some of the little details like Noto’s art in Black Widow and what The Woods could actually be getting at. Once again, writing makes me think more than I do without it. Why I have those times where I don’t write is beyond me. I need this hobby/job more than I think I do.