Sixteen Thoughts About Sixteen Of Today's Comics – Superman, No Place Like Home, All Star Western, Wolverine And The X-Men, Teen Titans, Sixth Gun, Rasl, Justice League Dark, Flash, Dark Knight, Mondo, Prophet, Mighty Thor, Aquaman, I Vampire And Fantastic Four

Let me give them a plug at the top for a change. Today's comics, as ever, come courtesy of Orbital Comics of London. And here are sixteen thoughts about sixteen comics published today. There may be some spoilers but I'll attempt to avoid the big ones.

Remember that issue of Uncanny X-Men from wayback where Kitty Pryde, alone, is chased through the X-Mansion by a nasty alien bug? Well this issue reprises that – except instead of the rest of the X-Men being away, here they are inside her, trying to get rid of the Brood spawn that have made her appear pregnant. Of course this is also a more experienced Kitty Pryde. What with Uncanny X-Men and Wolverine And The X-Men, this really is one of those golden moments of X-books you'll look back fondly upon…

It's good to see Richard Jordan of the Image number one out this week, No Place Like Home, channelling his inner Steve Pugh/Phil Winslade. I miss this kind of thing.

Celestials Vs Galactus. With the Fantastic Four in the middle, trying to guide them like puppets. It doesn't get much more cosmic than this. Glowing Kirby dots everywhere. And the Celestials pulling a Voltron. Fight fight fight fight fight!

 

So it turns out not enough people liked the Static Shock comic. Well Scott Lobdell seems to have liked it enough to grab the main character for this issue of Teen Titans. And it seems to go rather well, is there a long term place for the character with the team perhaps?

Yeah, okay, I like that. I still have problems with Justice League Dark as a whole, most of the time the confluence of characters doesn't work. But sometimes, just sometimes, we get a moment that reminds me of Blue Beetle/Booster Gold gems, just with more profanity.

And, in I Vampire, that is how Batman deals wth vampires. Not by staking them, but arresting them. Obviously.They're coming with him, undead or alive.

Every issue of Flash, under Francis Manapul's sure direction, gives us some stunning visuals, specifically the way stories are laid out on the page. No digital guided view could do this justice. And it's but one of several through the issue.

 

Mera, or Aquawoman as everyone insists on calling her, gets a solo issue, dealing with the ways of mankind and her own purpose on the surface. And shows that Aquaman is channelling his inner Samuel L Jackson, then Mera can bring on the Sigourney Weaver too…

All Star Western gives us something we rarely see in coming. The long, drawn out, gun battle. Indeed most Western comics have avoided this, peppering such events with acres of dialogue, and getting them out of the way as quickly as possible. Here, All Star Western choreographs it…

Please, White Rabbit, can you not find a more modest pose? I'm trying to eat here. Batman: The Dark Knight brings back The Bane… and an additional thought I'll share with you later. For now I'm.. um… something about White Rabbit and headlights, I can't concentrate enough to craft that one. You try.

Prophet resembles more and more Beanworld – it's not a place, it's a process. And here we get so many more details of the future ecosystem, to quote Hobbes, cruel, brutish and hard. And yet even within it, there are  moments of – humanity is the wrong word – but some meagre moments of empathy.

The Mighty Thor manages a very interesting trick, very beautiful extreme violence. Just as in one panel, you see acts such as above, the next is a glowing architecture plucked from the gods. It's an intriguing juxtaposition.

As is The Sixth Gun, which steps both sides of All Star Western – a cartoony look, but deeper darker secrets. There's a touch of the Jeff Smith here, in the way he created large, dense fantasy around Carl Barks creatures. Talking of which…

And here's the thing. I can accept Jeff Smith's art style on a darker book like Rasl, sketchier, dropping certain cartoony aspects to better convey the story, while retaining enough to keep the character relatable and the story to flow. But the lettering, I so associate with Bone, it makes it hard to let go.

Not a problem with Ted McKeever's Mondo, also out with a first issue from Image today, which revels in a panel-to-panel change in tone and style with impressive effects. Even the most realistic scenes are impossible to reconcile with reality (teeth in a chicken head?) while his cartoons retain madness (different eyes) and a sense of unease. Oh and bigger pages too, which is always nice, unless you are a retailer…

George Perez likes wrestling. Okay, specifically female wrestling, but hey. And in this issue of Superman he gives us a commentary on the big fight that wouldn't sound out of place at… well, the big fight I guess. Superman Vs Supergirl for the title.

We should have more of that.

Comics courtesy of Orbital Comics, London.

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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