ComiX Weekly has been around for just over a year now and this is the first week we’ve had so few releases. Some publishers are taking the week off (like Dark Horse) most likely because comic shops won’t be getting their shipments due to Christmas or because everyone is too busy to read comics. That isn’t to say a budget’s not necessary for you folks, as I’m sure most of our wallets are pretty thin after the holiday spending spree. With only $10.00 to spare, we pick the best books that’ll fit in your budget. Scroll down to check out our picks!
Justice League #15 (DC Comics)
Geoff Johns has a big year cooked up for us in 2013 and it appears he’s kicking it off this week with an Atlantis storyline that’ll be touching all the heroes—save the Flash (they stress he’s busy with primal attacks over in Aquaman). It’s no secret this series is the Michael Bay blockbuster series for DC and the issue does a good job delivering epic action.
Can’t a man ride his seahorse in peace?!
The best aspect to this issue is showing the heroes (minus Flash and Green Lantern) when they aren’t fighting crime. Supes and Wonder Woman are building a relationship, Cyborg is always working and Batman is taking down some perps. What they do when the feces hit the fan is be heroes and it’s cool to see them being called into action.
Nice explanation of their difference.
Aside from some epic tsunami action Batman gets the most action packed moments in the issue. It’s short but pretty sweet due to the art by Ivan Reis.
To see Wonder Woman and Superman on a date by just wearing glasses gives us a nice explanation for why Clark can get away with not being noticed. I also want to know where WW got that dress as it can somehow change to her costume on command.
The Shazam backup continues to impress as well. This issue we see him actually do some heroic things. It’s a nice chapter that continues the exploits of the hero, but doesn’t shed too much light on the story. Sort of a fill in kind of issue, but it’s the budding of the hero even though he’s still a frail young boy. Gary Frank’s pencils continue to impress too.
There’s good character development in this issue and while the fighting deals more with the eventual villain it’s epic in nature. That said the so-so Shazam backup (which is usually exceptional) and a story that seems to be taking its time setting up a rather simple premise isn’t so much. A good issue, but on a busier week I may have not recommended it. Luckily for it there’s only nine issues to buy!
Budget: $10.00 – $3.99 = $6.01
Aquaman #15 (DC Comics)
You might as well call this Justice League #15.5, as it’s a direct continuation of JL #15. In fact, if you read this issue first it’d basically negate the entire point of Justice League #15.
This gave me a chuckle.
When someone helps you and you’re in a rush this is the appropriate reaction.
Unfortunately for this issue it seems to be preoccupied with slowly revealing Aquaman’s awkward relationship with Atlantis. I suppose it’s hubris, but he doesn’t want to admit Atlantis doesn’t want him. Oh and the massive tidal waves that are crushing Boston and Gotham were his idea. Awkward!
This issue and Justice League #15 read as if Geoff Johns wanted to get on with the story already. It reads a little too obvious as far as motivations and plot devices, as if he wants to get everyone from point A to point B so the real story can kick off.
Way to hurt a guys feelings.
And then, inexplicably, that happens above. Way to be good team leaders, you jerks! Overall this and JL don’t seem to have their hearts in the right place. The story is there, and the character elements too, but the focus seems rushed and preoccupied with what comes next.
Budget: $6.01 – $0.00 = $6.01
Amazing Spider-Man #700 (Marvel Comics)
When you only have 10 dollars an 8 dollar comic is simply murder on a budget. I liked this issue, which was reviewed earlier today in our Is It Good column, but it doesn’t have enough bang for your buck to make it into our budget.
Budget: $6.01 – $0.00 = $6.01
Three comics this week were either close to the mark or downright failures. Either way they can’t justifiably fit into a 10 dollar budget. Hope is going to show them what for.
(Don’t forget to click any links as they direct you to more pictures!)
Full disclosure: I’m unfamiliar with this series, and that might be why The Shadow Special #1 didn’t do it for me. It’s possible the five dollar price tag upped my expectations, but going in cold I found this story slow and uneventful. It seems The Shadow runs into an old WW2 buddy who was sadistic and maybe even a psychopath. They hang out and we learn a dark secret. Meh. The overall plot would work if compressed, but it seems like they added pages simply to make it an annual. Either more needed to be added to the story or simply slim this story down. Again, meh.
I missed the first issue and wished I didn’t because I was lost while reading Hip Flask: Ouroborous. Science fiction aspects of time travel seem half baked, but that might be due to coming in at the middle of the story. That said, the art by Ladronn is phenomenal. I wanted to like this comic, I really did, but was confused and bored by the overdone dialogue. At the very least crack this puppy open to see the beautiful art.
Before Watchmen: Nite Owl #4 (of 4) should have a subtitle that reads, “How Rorschach got The End is Nigh Sign.” It’s prequel elements like this that make you roll your eyes and wonder why this comic needed to be written at all. It’s like the Wachowski’s making a The Matrix prequel that focuses on finding out where Neo found the long black leather jacket. Ugh.
They sure are.
Avenging Spider-Man #15.1 (Marvel Comics)
Much like Justice League #15 and Aquaman #15 being chapters to the same story back to back this issue feels like a direct chapter following Amazing Spider-Man #700. This issue follows the Superior Spider-Man directly after the issue. It’s basically Superior Spider-Man #0 and it’s a bit of a cheat that it wasn’t marked as such.
Note the text there that says “used for emotion!” Clever little easter egg that you’d think only Spider-Man artists would be excited for!
One thing is abundantly clear and that’s that we’ve never seen Spider-Man like this. How often have you said that in your lifetime? It’s also neat to see a Peter Parker that’s a total douche.
What a dick.
“Wait…I was that much of a douchebag?!”
It’s a clever concept that the Superior Spider-Man faces off against a prerecorded Doc Ock complete with a fight scene with the tentacles. One surprise was just how arrogant Superior Spider-Man is as he didn’t seem to be like this in #700. The real surprise though, will be the new costume which you can see here:
A hope we all should have: To always try to be better.
This is the new Spider-Man, people, and we must deal with it. Here is your first taste. While Spider-Man #700 was how it happens, this issue is our first dish of the stuff. It doesn’t taste too bad, but it’s definitely different. The monologue as Spidey fights Doc Ock is good stuff and I can’t wait for Superior.
To recap he’s got Raptor toes, Black Cat claws, new eye goggles and new spider logos.
Budget: $6.01 – $2.99 = $3.02
Deathmatch #1 (BOOM! Studios)
When I saw BOOM! Studios was publishing a new series I was giddy even if it wasn’t humorous. Considering how good Adventure Time the comic book is this should be fantastic as well. Plus they have Paul Jenkins writing the thing! Apparently The Hunger Games has inspired more books than Avengers Arena to pit heroes against each other as that is the case here. The cool thing is this issue is only a dollar which more publishers should do; that way, more folks try it out and maybe stick around rather than pass on a great book.
Note the panel near the middle that seems to have been torn from an old comic. Cool!
Completely new superhero worlds invented for a single premise aren’t something new, but it’s a great way for writers to play around with superheroes any way they want. Certainly DC or Marvel wouldn’t allow the murder of their top heroes as seen in this series. It seems heroes and villains have been trapped by beings that are unknown to them. All they know is they are light-based. They are forced to fight to death, friends and comrades alike, and when not in the ring the remaining superheroes must watch. They don’t know why.
Art is by Carlos Magno who does an incredible job adding a lot of detail to every panel. My guess is this comic would look just as good without color.
She says that right after trying to kill him. Typical woman.
This isn’t the best #1 issue I’ve read, and it’s a bit long in the tooth with scant details on what is going on, but for a dollar it’s got plenty of entertainment.
Budget: $3.02- $1.00 = $2.02
Mara #1 (Image Comics)
Writer Brian Wood has been doing a heck of a job this year and what better way to end 2012 with a brand new series. Be it Conan or X-Men, he’s a nice change of pace from what we usually read. Here is a new series set in the future, about the most famous athlete in the world, but at its core this book is about the state of mind a nation goes through when all it cares about is brandishing a single person, athlete or soldier, as their main focus. This in part due to the need to forget about the troubles with the world, but also because they need something good to believe in.
An odd sport to showcase, but that’s probably part of the point.
The book opens with a news broadcast reviewing the ills of the world, but the channel is changed to a sporting event where everything is just peachy. Mara is a volleyball star since the age of 2 and is now 17.
Hmm…that can’t be good.
The art is good, with some panels appearing rushed, but it gets the point across. I’m not sure what this story is trying to be yet, as it ends in a very peculiar way. The important point though, is it seems to be saying something about society today, and when it comes to science fiction we shouldn’t ask for anything less.
But I can’t do it, I can’t pull that trigger as the premise isn’t strong enough to really enthrall the reader. Maybe next issue will expand things enough, but there are only crumbs to chew on here and it’s not enough for a purchase.
Budget: Budget: $2.02- $0.00 = $2.02
I told you last week we’d be under and I guess I was right. It’s a short week indeed but we still made it. Plenty of books to sift through next week with Batman Incorporated #6, a bunch of Marvel NOW! books like New Avengers #1 and Manhattan Projects #8. Until then!