Comics for the Week of 3/4/2015

It was another light week for the pull file, at least in terms of the number of books, but there were some pretty high-profile releases to talk about.

If you haven’t been following the Star Wars books, I can tell you you’re missing out. Even if you’re not a huge devotee of the franchise, these are quality books. The main title has been surprisingly good, and the Vader spinoff has been a nice addition to the narrative. That’s why I had some pretty high hopes for Leia’s solo title. With Waid writing it, and Dodson handling the art, it seemed promising. The end result, at least for the debut issue, disappointed me. It wasn’t a bad book, not exactly, but it wasn’t nearly as good as I expected, let alone hoped. Between Star Wars, Vader, and now Leia, I didn’t expect, or even want a uniformity to the art, but the differences in Leia’s approach weren’t just limited to style. Dodson’s work, specifically with regard to character faces is so flat, there is seriously nothing but hair-color to set one character apart from another. The expressions are flat, the features are washed out, and even the page layouts sometimes confuse the action. The problems are not limited to the book’s aesthetics, either. Waid’s writing is shockingly awkward and expositional. It wants the gravitas of Alderaan’s destruction without earning it. It has Leia talking out of both sides of her mouth in an effort to make her both a woman of the people, and a princess. Seriously, I was actually expecting her to utter the words, “I command you to treat me like a normal person” at some point. The resolution to this issue’s big conflict was lazily handled off screen, and it did nothing to serve the larger story. Here’s hoping the second issue finds its footing.

Ever since the “Icarus” storyline, I’ve been pretty happy with Detective Comics. The Anarky story made use some of the lesser-known villains, and it was more effective than not, but the finale to the arc seemed to fall flat. Manapul’s art continued to impress, but there were some real cringeworthy moments of dialogue. As is usually the case with shoddy dialogue, there was some exposition shoe-horned in, but it went further than that. Some of the things Batman says as he leaps into action have the ring of something a Batman doll would say if you pulled a string in its back. Once again, the resolution to the story felt too simple and unsatisfying, but I will say that a smaller story, centered around a more grounded Batman universe provides a nice alternative to what is being done in Snyder’s Batman title.

All-New Hawkeye #1 also came up this week. I appreciate that although there is a lot of reference to what has been happening in recent Hawkeye books, this is enough of a jumping-on point to justify being called a #1. The wildly different art-styles add a layer of contrast between the present-day and flashback sequences, and the dynamic between Kate and Clint makes for a nice read. This may be the strongest title I’ve read this week.

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