Lots of good comics this week. Just in time for Free Comic Book Day…
Before there was Locke And Key, there was Skeleton Key by Andi Watson. A key that opened doors into new and different worlds. And the Skeleton Key Color Special takes us into a zombiefied world that manages to cope with the undead amongst us. And while Boy Chimney may have turned my head in Dial H #1 today, a certain dancing Death also takes my fancy.
Over in Animal Man, artist Steve Pugh gets stuck in, creating those rich landscapes and feathered, and textured spot blacks, in the fashion that made him famous on Animal Man back in the nineties. Ooh, it looks good. And I'm not just talking about his abs.
Superhero battles often pull the trick of operating on different fronts, both pushing in the same direction. Supurbia pulls of the trick of doing the same, but having the second front take place in the sitting rooms, as wives and husbands battle over the influence that one might possibly be able to pull on the suspected super villain. But naturally, there will be just as heavy a price to pay as in superphysical conflict.
Yes, yes, everyone will be concentrating on the clash between Captain America and Wolverine in Avengers Vs X-Men #3. But I thought Rachel being persuaded to hunt down mutants by Wolverine was the standout for me, given her history as a Hound.
While Spider-Man, whatever his intention and motivation, actively tortures Sandman.And, unlike real life, it actually works because thankfully Sandman is guilty.
Over in Batwing, there are some Talons going for Lucius Fox. Clearly a black target demands a black Batman who handily happens to be in Gotham at the time. This kind of thing does, initially, feel a little segregationist but it also has the effect of showing a plurality of black faces on screen all at once, especially in the diplomatic setting of this comic. That's been a strength of this book, by setting the comic in the Congo, it stops any one character bearing the brunt of representing all black people. And that continues now, even in Gotham…
While over in Detective Comics, Tony Daniel pulls off a fast paced, visually stimulating attack on Arkham Asylum, or rather on Dr Arkham himself, with Batman playing the potential patient getting in harms way. Still a surprising and interesting book. Let;s see how long they can keep Daniels on this book at this level.
In Earth Two, the Great Battle continues, giving us a very different take on Darkseid's invasion of Earth that was far more successful than in the DC New 52 title. And a very damaged team, going for one final assault…
And it's all a bait and switch. This will be a very different comic book han certain covers seem to suggest. A remarkable superhero comic that's full of surprises.
Captain America may have to deal with Wolverine in Avengers Vs X-Men, but it's a lot easier to deal with that kind of thing in Invincible Iron Man if your aggressor doesn't have adamantium claws.
Loki does his best to deal with a situation the only way he knows how. Setting people up, individually, without their knowledge, against each other, in the hope that it will all work out somehow. And he keeps his hands nice and clean. Exiles is off to a cracking start with this one.
Remember the days when a character could talk at length while an action taking a split-second was occurring? Tom DeFalco in Hulk Smash does!
Swamp Thing, like Animal Man, dazzles with visuals. There's not a lot going on, but one hell of a cliffhanger for Swamp Thing fans that it leads up to. And the journey getting there? Beautiful. Half Steve Bissette, half Jae Lee, half Jim Steranko.
Daredevil pulls off a remarkably effective pull-back-and-reveal to open the new issue. It's a trick they'll use again with Spider-Man later in the issue. Mark Waid continues to show his skill constructing perfectly formed one shot issues, that all tie into an ongoing narrative. So much to teach so many others, right here.
And while Epic Kill does look like Kill Bill from the outside, from the inside it's all about The Matrix.
And The Spider is, basically, The Punisher, with a lot less growling, depression and supressed rage. As the name suggests, he is closer to Spider-Man. Just with guns.
Oh bloody hell, he's Deadpool.
Comics courtesy of Orbital Comics of London. The full creative team of Transformers #80.5 will be signing on Free Comic Book Day this Saturday. And their Roger Langridge exhibition is on now.