Comics Shotglass Reviews for 7/15/2015

Comics Shotglass Reviews for 7/15/2015

Mike gives you a quick glimpse and hot take on last week's comics.

Hello, fellow comics readers! These are my reviews for last week, which came a bit late because I was busy getting parts together for a brand-new PC. If you missed my first set of reviews, let me explain. Every week, I'm going to be reviewing the latest comics. No scores, just my thoughts on certain books and a teaser image. I'll stay away from heavy spoilers unless it's absolutely necessary to discuss the book in question.

I won't be covering everything I read, just the stuff that I feel like talking about week-to-week. If you click on a book's title, there's a link to its Comixology page. If you read comics, let us know about your weekly reading list the comments below!

Hawkeye #22

Written by Matt Fraction
Art by David Aja, Matt Hollingsworth

So ends Matt Fraction's critically-acclaimed run on Hawkeye. Hawkeye #22 was originally solicited in July of 2014 for release in October. We're finally getting it in July of 2015. All-New Hawkeye, the book that comes chronologically after this, started in March of this year, with issue #4 of that series coming next week. It's been a wait.

Is it worth it?

Not really, but that's because there's no way any book is going to be worth a year of anticipation. Hawkeye #22 is the end of Fraction's run. The story he told is over and everything is wrapped up. We get the final fight with the Clown and the Tracksuit Draculas. Barney Barton shows us what family is all about. Clint, Kate, and Lucky all get chances to shine.

In the end, the thing I enjoy most about Hawkeye's entire run is Kate Bishop, who is an unmitigated badass. Letting Kate and Clint share the title is one of Marvel's better ideas. Clint's fun, but Kate not only carries his penchant for getting into trouble, but she also has this incredible swagger. I love it. She really shines in this issue and every month I worry Marvel is going to ruin her because monthly comics are a pendulum swinging between amazing and terrible.

If you've not been reading Fraction's Hawkeye, just pick it up in trade. It's a good trade read.

Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps #2

Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Kelly Thompson
Art by David Lopez

As I said last week, most of Marvel's Secret Wars books are about the fact that none of the regions of Doom's Battleworld were intended to operate alone, they were all part of larger universes. Confined to a small areas, they're beginning to fray and unbind.

Nowhere is that more apparent than in Captain Marvel, a book that's largely about exploration. Carol and her team realize they've been lied to and they want to know what's on the other side of their sky. James Rhodes, a refugee from another region, wanted to find his own way to freedom on the sea. That emotional conflict drives forward the plot and honestly, it gives Carol a purpose that she hasn't had for a while. Shame it can't be carried forward.

Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders #1

Written by Al Ewing
Art by Alan Davis, Mark Farmer, and Wil Quintana

This is one of the Secret Wars books that's not based on any particular Marvel Comics storyline. Instead, we're in a region where instead of wearing the Iron Man suit and finding his freedom, Tony Stark chose to die heroically and let co-inventor Ho Yinsen wear the suit. The conceit is while Stark makes weapons, Yinsen is a doctor; healing is his calling. Instead of becoming Iron Man, he became Rescue and established a Yinsen City, a place of peace. The problem is Yinsen and his team of Defenders are remembering their original realities, and anything that makes it seem like Doom is not a God is heresy. And so begins the unraveling.

On the other side of Yinsen City is Mondo City, a Judge Dredd-style region ruled by Boss Cage. The wall between the two regions falls and it looks like it'll be up to the Defenders - She-Hulk, Kid Rescue, Spider Hero (the Prowler), White Tiger - to protect their city. They're joined by Captain Britain, a version that's the Excalibur-wielding Faiza Hussain. She's the catalyst for the entire conflict and it's her name on the book. I'm glad to see her return, because I've always liked the idea of a character that's a hero, but ultimately rejects some of the other trappings of being a super-hero, like a costume.

I'm buying this largely on the strength of Al Ewing, who did some great work in this series' spiritual predecessor, Mighty Avengers. The characterization here in issue #1 is light, but the book gets to the point. I'm also digging this great art from Alan Davis. Looking forward to where it heads next.

Invincible #121

Written by Robert Kirkman
Art by Ryan Ottley, Cliff Rathburn, and Jean-Francois Beaulieu

Before he was The Walking Dead guy, Robert Kirkman launched Invincible. What started as "what if Superman had a son?" became something much bigger. The best part of Invincible is it's a self-contained world, so Kirkman can do anything with the series. I enjoy it more than The Walking Dead because it doesn't forget to have moments of levity admist all the rampant death.

Anyways, we take a break from Invincible's Space Family Adventures to check in on Earth. Former hero Robot continues to hunt down his fellow heroes who are against his new world order. The thing is, Robot is actually making the world safer, so what are they really fighting for? It's one of those moment that happens in other books, but Kirkman delivers on the idea that, yeah, for all his horrible methods, Robot is doing good in the bigger picture. That's why Invincible is great. Going in new direction and keeping you guessing.

Justice League #42

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Jason Fabok, Brad Anderson

This is Justice League. There are big things happening to the World's Greatest Heroes, but the problem with most JL arcs since Morrison's amazing run is they don't read all that well as individual issues. We're still in phase one of the Justice League story, the bad guy has appeared, the Justice League has been beaten and scattered. By the end of the issue, we're starting to see the upswing, where the team slowly gains the tools that will help them win this fight.

Awesome things happen in this issue, but I didn't feel satisfied for most of it. It felt a bit disjoined, which is something that can happen when you're writing about a global team of 10+ heroes. That said, those last four pages make up for everything. And shout out to Jason Fabok, who continues to kill it on art.

Martian Manhunter #2

Written by Rob Williams
Art by Eddy Barrows, Eder Ferreira, Gabe Eltaeb

I love the Martian Manhunter. While I've had issues with the stoic New 52 take, I have liked the fact that this version has stood up and demanded that others realize how powerful he is. J'onn J'onzz is one of the strongest heroes in the DC Universe, so his old spot as den mother has made little sense.

This issue is split between three plots: J'onn vs. the Justice League, Arabic heroine The Pearl on the run from White Martians, and a young girl in Washington, DC helping the odd Mr. Biscuits reach his destination. I'm starting to see the outline of the overall story Williams is trying to tell here, even if the parts seemed unconnected last issue. I assume Mr. Biscuits is some lost part of J'onzz and combining with his other half will bring us closer to a nicer Martian Manhunter. (Similar to what we saw in Justice League United.)

The White Martians have always been a great set of villains with one big problem. J'onn is stupid powerful and they're an entire race of people just as powerful. How do they not win automatically and where do you put them when you're not using them? I assume Williams is going to have to figure out that problem at the end of all this.

Any books from last week that you think I and others should read? Disagree with my thoughts on these books? Let us know in the comments.

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Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

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