By: Derek Ng.
Let’s not beat around the bush, comics are getting expensive. With so many new issues, epic sagas, and never-ending disasters, my wallet can only take so much. Cover Price is a weekly comic review with the set budget of $15. I mostly pick my choices based on cover, price, and hype. Which company suckered me into buying their issues this week? Were the issues I picked up worth the $15 cut? Were the issues you picked up worth your money?
6/3/15 C.C.P. Reviews:
Justice League #41 – $4.99
Action Comics #41 – $3.99
Batman Beyond #1 – $2.99
The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #1 – $3.99
Justice League #41
Writer: Geoff Johns | Artist: Jason Fabok
The beginning of the Darkseid War is here, and if you liked Forever Evil, you’ll enjoy Justice League #41. Acting as the sequel to last year’s big event, Justice League #41 reads more like a major crossover event than a sole Justice League story. This gives the story a much grander scale and makes it more exciting to read. This issue sets up the upcoming event, but wastes absolutely no time with the action. Darkseid is coming back to Earth to destroy the Justice League, but the Justice League has their attention diverted, thanks to the appearance of a new character/foe. Thankfully, the setup for this event is not drawn out and the story is being pushed forward. This is not Convergence by any means. This comic is full of action. Jason Fabok has been working on Justice League with Geoff Johns for quite a while and his art gets better with every issue. Jason Fabok provides a level of detail that adds weight to the seriousness of this event. The action scenes are intense and the characters are drawn powerful (this is the Justice League we’re talking about). As an added bonus, if you’re reading straight from Forever Evil, Jason Fabok’s art is a perfect match with David Finch’s. Justice League is worth the $3.99 cover price. We all know of about the classic “new villain appears and is stronger than every member of the league” story-trope, but damn if it doesn’t make for a fun issue regardless. Darkseid War is going to be an entertaining read.
Action Comics #41
Writer: Greg Pak | Artist: Aaron Kuder
Action Comics #41 actually takes place after the events of Superman #41. That being said, Greg Pak wrote this Part 2 story so well that it’s actually gotten me interested in Part 1. There’s nothing too confusing with the plot of Action Comics #41. Thanks to advertising and hype, readers should know that Superman’s identity was revealed to the world. Action Comics #41 takes place after that reveal and how Clark Kent is currently dealing with the fallout. This is clearly not the Superman we know. He’s exposed and vulnerable, not just mentally, but physically as well. His powers aren’t what they used to be. This Superman can’t fly but leaps into danger. Superman wears parts of his cape on this hand as protection and the ultimately question is “Why?”. Greg Pak’s plot can enjoyed on its own, but the reader is left asking, “What happened to Superman?”. Additionally, Aaron Kuder’s art has always provided the element of fun that Superman comics desperately need. The exaggerated facial expressions and dynamic action really add to the pace of the issue. And seeing how Kuder draws Clark surrounded by his supporters really forces a smile on your face. Before this issue, I wasn’t all too interested in Superman’s identity being revealed. But reading Action Comics #41 is like looking into the future. You know that this is where Superman will end up, but then you’re curious as to how he got there. This is an issue definitely worth looking through and keeping an eye on until the collected trade comes out.
Batman Beyond #1
Writer: Dan Jurgens | Artist: Bernard Chang
Batman Beyond is the successor to, and continuation of, Future’s End. When I reviewed finale of Future’s End, I stated how anti-climactic and pointless the event felt. Nothing seemed to have changed except for a new Batman Beyond. But everything on that front changed. Make no mistake; this is a new Batman Beyond. This is not Batman Beyond from the beloved TV series or comic spin-offs. Even artistically, Bernard Chang doesn’t draw the Neo-Gotham I’m so familiar with. The city and future is not full of the bright, vivid, and neon colors that polluted the animated series. Instead, we’re given the much darker tones of a dystopian future. At first, this made me feel a little disappointed, because the only thing that makes this Batman Beyond familiar is the costume. But then I recognized the potential that Dan Jurgens and Bernard Chang have with this new direction. They can do anything they want with this story. It’s best that Dan Jurgens and Bernard Chang don’t mess with the Batman Beyond I’m familiar with, because there are many stories involving the Terry I knew. Instead this creative team is given the opportunity to make their own stories and create a new chapter for mantle of Batman Beyond. At $2.99, this comic is at least worth checking out. But if Future’s End was not your cup of tea, Batman Beyond will not be any different.
The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #1
Writer: Dan Slott | Artist: Adam Kubert, John Dell
The continuity of Spider-Man is a dicey one, to say the least. With a life full of retcons and revivals, it can sometimes be hard to remember what actually has happened to Peter Parker in the past. That’s what makes this book so enjoyable…none of that matters. Yes, in the “original” Spider-Man continuity, there were daughters and wives and, um, clones. But this comic ignores all that and basically gives us a glorified “What if?” book. And for those uninitiated with Spider-Man’s books, it reads a lot like how Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 plays out…a struggle to balance responsibility. We get a good sense of the struggle involved in balancing Spider-Man’s obligation to protect the city with his role as a husband and a father. The only difference here being that the book is a bit more fun, thanks in part to the artwork. Kubert does a great job keeping things light and vibrant, even as the story gets a bit darker as it progresses. It is worth pointing out, as well, that this doesn’t seem to tie in to Secret Wars in any noticeable way, so if the daunting event has intimidated you, fear not! This is a great read, both for hardcore fans who loved Peter’s initial marriage to Mary Jane and to newcomers looking to get acquainted with the Spider-Man mythos without picking up a whole lot of baggage. Definitely pick this one up!
Panel of the Week:
Thank you Aaron Kuder for this precious moment.
There are many, many more books released by DC and Marvel this week. I wish I could read them all but my wallet can only take so much. What did you read this week? Which issues would you put on your $15 budget this week? Remember to read and buy what you want and support your favorite writers and artists!
Derek is comic book fan like none other. You can follow him on Twitter.