Hands up if you saw this coming? No. Liar. Put your hand down. One of the best single issues DC have put out since the New 52 began - heck, since before
then, even - turns out to be the third issue of a promising series that's still finding its feet but which gets suddenly plunged into a generally lousy "theme month" crossover that interrupts its opening arc. You didn't see that coming. You really didn't.
But in a way, not having seen this coming makes it all the more enjoyable.
the best series Marvel are currently publishing? A brief wobble for the Ron Wimberly-drawn arc notwithstanding (I know it had its fans, and I know how capable an artist Wimberly is elsewhere, but I'm sorry to say I found those two issues a near-impenetrable read, especially compared to the open and engaging style of Javier Pulido), it's starting to become difficult to argue against. Certainly, it feels like the strongest candidate to inherit the mantle most recently held by Daredevil
There's never been another comic quite like Scott Pilgrim
, and certainly not one of its ilk to have had the success it had. As a result, it's extremely difficult to predict exactly what the heck someone like Bryan Lee O'Malley should do next - and even harder when his next project takes almost five years to see publication, with its development and pre-release period staying largely free of any kind of publicity glare. I can't be the only long-term fan of O'Malley's who came into Seconds
with little to no idea of what it was all about (despite following him on Twitter, Instagram and
Tumblr), and with a lingering worry that it might not be the kind of comic we were hoping for from him.
It's been stated often enough that Guardians of the Galaxy
- excellent trailer campaign notwithstanding - has by far the toughest job of any Marvel Studios film yet when it comes to capturing the attention of the casual viewer. It's somewhat appropriate, then, that - assuming enough people are actually sufficiently drawn in by the premise and promotional material to go and see it - it ends up being quite probably the most immediately engaging and accessible movie in the Studios' canon.
Brian Bendis is one of the most enduringly popular writers in the comics industry today, and someone who, over a decades-long career, has traversed the entire spectrum of US comics. From his beginnings as a self-published writer/artist, to the writer of indie darling Powers
, to one of the creative mainstays at Marvel Comics, one would imagine that he's got a lot to share about how to make it in the comics industry. How useful, then, that he's written a book on that exact topic.
An intergalactic traveller crosses paths with a plucky young woman from Earth, and the pair of them head off on adventures across the universe, righting wrongs and experiencing joyous wonder and terrifying danger in approximately equal measure. If this sounds like the premise of Doctor Who
, well, you wouldn't be the first to notice the similarities between Dan Slott and Mike Allred's new Silver Surfer
and the venerable TV show. This three-issue opening arc wears the writer's love for Who
- and in particular the Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat-run eras of the show - firmly on its sleeve, and it's an approach that's already proven divisive. While I can fully sympathise with existing fans of the oft-angsty character put off by it, however, as someone who's never found their way into a Silver Surfer
comic before, this new book is an overwhelming success.
Are Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie in their imperial phase
yet? It's debatable - the answer is probably "not quite yet", but either way, they've chosen to create a comic about a group of people who are very firmly in one. And by the time it's finished its first year, there's every reasonable chance its creators could be in their own.
Two successful creator-owned Image series, with very little in common tonally or story-wise other than that they both feature cops/feds and have a supernatural twist, come together for this one-shot special in which each creative team gets to tell their own crossover story featuring both sets of characters. I'm still not sure exactly why this exists, beyond the creators having a bit of fun, but if you're a fan of either series (or both) there's a decent amount of enjoyment to be had from it.
An obvious criticism of crossover-event storytelling in comics is that the focus is often so heavily on gathering together as many heroes as possible to battle some staggeringly huge threat, that there's precious little space left to actually do anything in the way of decent character work. With its first issue, however, Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato's Original Sin
seems to firmly set out its stall as pushing the "event" part into the background, and characterisation very much frontwards.
Maybe I don't have the attention span anymore, but my impression when I left the British Library's Comics Unmasked
exhibition was that trying to enjoy comics when they're presented on a plinth inside a glass case is an unedifying challenge. Gradually I felt myself drifting away.