This was a pretty light week for me, and I’m sorry to say it’s another one that’s not very balanced. I just had one Marvel book this week, Sam Wilson: Captain America #10, and the results for it aren’t great. I’m a fan of Sam Wilson as a character, as Falcon, but his run as Captain America has fallen flat. That’s been my general feeling for the series, but the problem with this issue is two-fold. First, it’s a Civil War II tie-in issue. If you’re anything like me, you hit a serious case of “event” fatigue way back when DC was doing Forever Evil, and it’s only gotten worse on both sides, DC & Marvel. Because of that, I have paid next to no attention to this iteration of Civil War, and having my solo books derailed to tie into that plot frustrates me as a reader. This issue didn’t offer anything new. Actually, the bulk of it just depicted a eulogy for Rhodie/War Machine given by Sam. There’s not a lot of opportunity in that, but Nick Spencer’s writing didn’t help. Issue #10 used the beginning and end to reinforce (yet again) that Sam Wilson is Marvel’s version of Green Arrow. That’s to say his character is being used to champion social issues (though Green Arrow has moved away from that to some extent). It’s here, maybe more than anywhere else that Spencer’s complete lack of subtlety comes through. He’s heavy handed in plot as well as dialogue, and while he’s not saying anything a sensible person would object to, he’s saying it in such an overt, clumsy, cliched manner that it’s becoming increasingly cringeworthy.
I’m sure it’s begun to sound like I’m playing favorites, but DC gave me two solid reads this week (maybe three, haven’t had a chance to read Justice League yet). Detective Comics #935 brought us back to the bat-family’s new HQ, and delved a little bit into Red Robin’s relationship with Batman. Batwoman had a fairly nice character moment with her father in this issue, and while I wish there had been a little more motion in the plot, there was some decent value here. It’s still too early to say for sure, but it seems DC is planning to use Detective Comics as a more bat-family-centric title, and while I’m hit-and-miss on how much I care about each individual member, I think there’s a lot of appeal in going back to some of what The New 52 gave up. Tynion IV’s dialogue is a bit stilted in parts, and that continues to be a weak-spot in his work, but I really enjoyed Eddy Barrows’ artwork.
Wonder Woman #1 gave me some hope for the character getting back to the sort of solid storytelling we saw back on Brian Azzarello’s run. Greg Rucka’s writing is pretty solid in general, and he does well to not waste any ink in getting this arc going. The focus is split between Diana’s personal quest, and Steve Trevor’s mission, and that slows things down a little, but it never quite drags. We get a nice moment with Trevor in the jungle and Diana’s picture here, but it’s a little on-the-nose, and it highlights a fear that there will be too much focus on love-interests, but it’s only the first issue of the arc, and we’re not there yet. I particularly enjoyed Liam Sharp’s art in this book, and Laura Martin’s colors. There’s a distinctive aesthetic here, and I think it’s working. I’m not sure how Trevor’s fight against the warlord and Diana’s pursuit will intersect, but until they do, each is at least interesting enough to keep me turning pages.