Comics Reviews (June 24, 2015)

From worst to best of what I paid for.

E is for Extinction #1

You can’t go home again, and certainly can’t by just hiring some Grant Morrison collaborators and hoping for the best. Perfectly adequate, I guess, if all you want is nostalgia. But you know what’s better? The Grant Morrison run on New X-Men.

Crossed Badlands #79 (aka Homo Tortor #5)

Not a bad comic, to be clear, but one that’s spinning its wheels a bit. There’s no new concepts to introduce, it would seem, but plot to resolve before the end, resulting in an issue that’s functional. I suspect coming out at the same time as the other “Crossed in a different time period” book is not doing Gillen any favors here, not least because the other one is written by Alan Moore. Really, one kind of has to pity Gillen; he must have assumed, starting his career when he did, that “having your book come out alongside an Alan Moore book with which it is inevitably going to be compared” was a fate he’d be spared.

Batgirl #41

Competent, fun, but man, Convergence killed the momentum here. I like the dynamic introduced for Batgirl by Gordon becoming Batman, though. That should be a fun story. And the scene where Gordon reveals his double identity to his daughter is delightful. Basically, a book I look forward to being excited about again.

Daredevil #16

Waid makes a slick turn into his final arc, setting up a suitably epic Daredevil/Kingpin showdown that doesn’t feel like any we’ve seen before. I admit, I’ve not sat down and watched the Netflix series, but I really do hope that Waid’s approach here reinvigorates the character in the long-term and gets him away from the banal and repetitive noir take that he’s been stuck in for decades.

Where Monsters Dwell #2

Garth Ennis at his hilarious best. This is not a complex or subtle comic, just a very funny one with lots of monsters and a ruthlessly mocked protagonist. The final twist caused the sort of intensive laughter that gets you weird looks at Starbucks.

Loki: Agent of Asgard #15

Pleasantly, this is increasingly obviously just ignoring the actual Secret Wars aspects of the plot and just sort of doing a side Norse apocalypse in which they react to Hickman’s. Verity’s life story is delightful in a classic Al Ewing way, and the cliffhanger’s solid. Going to enjoy the final lap here, I think.

The Infinity Gauntlet #2

Very glad I forgot to drop this, as this is absolutely wonderful now that it’s successfully trained the audience in how to read it. Ridiculously inaccurate cover, or, at least, one that ignores what most of the comic is. But family Nova Corps is a brilliant take. Is Zigzag the best new character of 2015? I think she is.

Annihilator #6

This frustrated me through much of its run, and I suspect that Morrison could have made it work better in four issues than six, but no matter; the finale is a triumph. LA noir bleeds into epic science fiction and a meditation on the craft of writing in the way that only Grant Morrison can do it. Funny, touching, exciting, and full of very pretty Frazer Irving art. Delightful, delightful issue.

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