BEST BETS: "Jessica Jones," "Big Trouble/Escape from New York" & More October 2016 Highlights
Each Wednesday, DC’s New 52 hits shelves and CBR Staff Writer Steve Sunu is looking for the best bang for the buck in ongoing series. Cutting half his pull list each month from the original 52 in a battle royale, Steve has already narrowed the number to just 13 books. Which titles will make it past Issue 3?
It’s a Happy Thanksgiving for comics fans as we get our new comics right before a feast of turkey and other awesome food – but the end of every month for the New 52 on my pull list, something has to say goodbye. This installment will give an overview of the last six #3 issues on my pull and make the cuts down to the elite eight moving on to next month.
These two weeks included two of the wildcard picks: All-Star Western and Batman. Plus, DC’s flagship Justice League picks up speed and Aquaman gets some love from the local police force…kind of.
Warning! Spoilers ahead!
Written by Scott Snyder with art by Greg Capullo
Scott Snyder is killing it on this book, and the end of every issue makes me want to read more. The mastery of the cliffhanger here isn’t just the explosion at the end, but the revelation of information involving the Court of Owls and that they’ve been right under Batman’s nose for years. I’m really enjoying Snyder’s take on the Dark Knight here–it’s got a good balance of action and detective skills that really give a well-rounded picture of both Bruce Wayne and Batman. For some reason, though, I wasn’t as thrilled with Greg Capullo’s pencils here as I was in previous issues. It’s possible that it’s because the bulk of the book took place with Bruce Wayne and Lincoln having a conversation in a hospital room, but other than that, this was a fantastic issue.
Written by Geoff Johns with art by Jim Lee
I feel like this is the issue that readers were expecting from the very start. It’s unfortunate that it took three full issues to get there, but the faithful are rewarded here. Geoff Johns has nailed the dynamic between Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor in this issue, even if you only get to see them for a couple of panels – but the real achievement here is getting readers involved in Cyborg’s story. It’s had a lot of buildup the last few issues, but it’s nice to see it come to fruition here while Victor’s still a teenager. This book is a fun origin story for the League, but I’m interested to see where Johns will take it after the origin is over. The slow build is beginning to pay off, and I’m a fan of Jim Lee’s art, so I’ll stick around–if only to see why Aquaman hasn’t shaved in a few days.
Written by Brian Azzarello with art by Cliff Chiang
I really like this book. I think Brian Azzarello has created a convincing and unexpected direction for the character that makes for a great read. Wonder Woman’s pretty well developed by this point, but it’s the other Amazons that really shine in this issue. Azzarello does a great job giving all of them distinct voices and personalities that lead to Wonder Woman leaving the island for good. Cliff Chiang’s art is, as always, very solid with gorgeous pencils. This is a book that will never disappoint in terms of long-form story. The only problem is that it will hardly ever give readers just a one-and-done issue. It builds upon everything that came before in a big way, and I’m okay with that.
Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray with art by Moritat and Jordi Bernet
Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray have always had a great handle on Jonah Hex, but it’s interesting to see them change that focus to the whole of Gotham in its early old west development. There’s not as much of the detective partnership between Amadeus Arkham and Jonah Hex, which I really miss. It looks like this book is about to go back to a solo Hex book for a bit, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, I was really looking forward to more of the Arkham/Hex detective agency. That said, Moritat is doing a great job on the pencils for the main story. The El Diablo co-feature was somewhat disappointing in its conclusion and the art by Jordi Bernet didn’t do much for me. For fans of the old west DCU, this is a great book to stick with, but considering that the Arkham/Hex partnership may have ended with this issue, I’m not sure I can stick around.
Written by Geoff Johns with art by Ivan Reis
This book just gets more fun with every issue. Although Geoff Johns is laying on the “Aquaman is an irrelevant superhero” thing a little thick, there’s definitely a lot of meat to this issue that makes the smaller second issue completely worth the development time. The foreshadowing of Mr. Shin as a villain is intriguing and after seeing Mera in action again during this issue, I would really love to read a book or co-feature with her headlining. It’s interesting to see Johns retooling a hero in the same way he did with Green Lantern, but I think it’s even more effective using Aquaman, and in a way, more impressive. Each issue, we learn a little more about the man and his powers, all rendered in stunning detail by Ivan Reis. This is one of my favorite superhero titles in the New 52 and I hope that it continues to get better.
Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov with art by Andrea Sorrentino
Yes. This book is awesome–props to Joshua Hale Fialkov for making vampires relevant and scary in an age that’s mostly dominated by Twilight. This issue mostly focuses on uber-vamp Andrew Bennett and his friendship with human vampire hunter John as they track Mary to the end of South Station in Boston. We also get introduced to Tig, a wannabe slayer whose first instinct is to kill Andrew on the spot. By the end of the issue, it’s clear the trio are headed to Gotham to track Mary after her attack on four cities simultaneously. Fialkov is packing a lot of story into each of these issues and it’s fantastic. I never thought that I would be so invested in a vampire story. Andrea Sorrentino’s art style continues to be perfect for this book and all I want to do is read the next issue. Fantastic.
Well, those are the final contenders for this month and there are some tough decisions to be made. From the first half of the month, only Animal Man, Action Comics, Swamp Thing and Batwoman are the books that I won’t be able to live without knowing what happens, which leaves four more slots from the latter half of November. After much deliberation as to what I’d like to follow moving on toward the future, it’s Wonder Woman, Justice League, Aquaman and I, Vampire that make the cut. That means we’re down to the elite eight in the quest to cut down as much as possible to the final books that I’ll be reading for the future.
Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
Do you agree? Disagree? What’s been exceptional on your pull list lately? Let us know down in the comments!