Every week, comic fandom is gifted with a slew of fantastic stories from a slew of fantastic creators. These days there’s just so much good stuff out there that it can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re new to comics. Thus AiPT! presents to you, Fantastic Five! A weekly column where we pick five fantastic books released during the week, and tell you why you should take a chance on them via a snippet from our reviews.
Enjoy, and happy reading!
Absolute Carnage #1
Written by Donny Cates. Art by Ryan Stegman.
Just take a look at the opening pages, one dedicated to the Symbiote’s personal experiences with Knull, and then a gorgeous two-page splash dedicated to why everyone else should care. It’s not just Peter Parker and Eddie Brock that have worn and bonded with these strange, alien creatures: it’s Wolverine, Captain America, The Thing, Mania, Ghost Rider, Scream, countless others. God is coming for them all, Eddie just happens to be the only one that can see it for all the literal and abject horror it is. That kind of overarching picture, and structure for an event feels not only refreshing and exciting in the micro, but also like a rehaul of Venom’s thematic elements into a more appropriate straight up and down sci-fi horror story like they always should, can, and will be from here forward. Do you need to know what happened in Doverton, or who Lee Price is, or even what a Symbiote really is to fully get it? Sure, but this issue is also well crafted enough to stand on its own for new and old readers (even very old readers, starting with Lethal Protector, like myself) to embrace it wholeheartedly. (10/10)
— Forrest Hollingsworth
Green Lantern #10
Written by Grant Morrison. Art by Liam Sharp.
The Green Lantern #10 is an epic whirlwind of ideas and creative energy. This is one of those comics where every single page, in any other given comic, would be the top, highlight page and yet this book is just loaded with them. Every beat comprises of some big notion or fun concept and it moves quick, getting the reader to cackle with it, think with it and go on this epic space-fantasy ride of cosmic Interpol agents trying to find a celestial grail and save a multiverse. If you’ve ever wanted a sequel to The Multiversity, this is it, baby. (10/10)
— Ritesh Babu
Berserker Unbound #1
Written by Jeff Lemire. Art by Mike Deodato.
I like to believe there’s a little bit of something for everyone here. There’s classic fantasy, mystery, magic, love, loss, incredible artwork and a world that feels like it has the potential for countless other stories. But there’s also something new. Something completely unexpected in the world of barbarians past. Lemire and Deodato have delivered an utterly fantastic first step into a brand new fantasy world that I can’t wait to explore. And if I’m being completely honest, I’m giddy with anticipation for the Berserker to have his first Crocodile Dundee moment with an unsuspecting street thug. (10/10)
— JJ Travers
Snow, Glass, Apples HC
Written by Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran. Art by Colleen Doran.
The ultimate result is an adaptation that somehow manages to flesh out the original story without adding any text. It retains the original tale’s ambiguity and tone, while still delivering a satisfying book that enriches the source material. Plenty of stories have done the “classic fairy tale with a dark twist” angle, but few do it so splendidly. The final pages will stay with you for a while. (10/10)
— Nathan Simmons
House of X #2
Written by Jonathan Hickman. Art by Pepe Larraz.
This book, and the two issues prior to it, are very good at showing you something and then building on that. It’s a structure that gets more interesting as you turn the pages. There is a lot of payoffs here with key lines of dialogue we’ve seen before popping up. It’s remarkable how tight the creators have control over the reader. This is an absorbing sci-fi drama not to be missed. This is edge of your seat comics storytelling. (10/10)
— David Brooke