I had quite a few books in my pull file this week, but there isn’t a whole lot to talk about in them. In the cases of most of the titles, that’s not to say they were bad, but that that a lot of the issues are somewhere in the middle of their story arcs, and didn’t see a ton of plot progression.
When it comes to Marvel, I’ve made no secret that their books are letting me down, almost across the board. Neither version of Captain America (Sam Wilson or Steve Rogers) is any good right now. The reasons are a mixture of cataclysmic stupidity in character direction, ham-fisted storytelling, and the fact they’re hamstrung by Civil War II, which is a trainwreck on its own. Both versions of Cap were in my pull this week, and I don’t have much energy for discussing either.
Star Wars has been one of the few Marvel titles I still look forward to, and #23 did a good job of maintaining the “baseline good” performance of the book. The story is being paced a little better here than some of the recent issues, though I’m beginning to wonder about the scope of some of the arcs. Remember these books are now part of Star Wars canon, and there’s only so much that can be worked in between the story beats we know. Still, it’s entertaining enough to hold my interest. While the art in these books has been a strong point in the past, it’s slipping here, particularly in the depiction of character faces. In a few panels, it’s bad enough to be distracting, but this is still one of few Marvel titles I have patience for these days.
Continuing the trend of good movies to bad books/bad movies to good books, DC put out some solid issues this week. Wonder Woman #7 saw some significant plot progress, and while it was a little oddly paced, meaning it seemed to wrap up very suddenly, it wasn’t unsatisfying. The big development comes with Cheetah in the end, and it’ll be interesting to see where they’re going with that.
Action Comics #964 continued to explore the new/old Superman’s experience in delving back into the world, and specifically, we saw him dig deeper into the mysterious, non-superpowered version of Clark Kent. They’re clearly doubling down on the mystery as Superman confirmed this version of Clark is genetically human, and beleives his version of his past, but there’s clearly something at work here, and it feels like this issue dragged its feet a bit. There needed to be something more to their trip to the Fortress of Solitude, as we didn’t really learn anything from it.
Detective Comics #941 built on the attack of “The Monster Men,” and the hurricane hitting Gotham. It did a nice job of reminding us that the team is still shaken from Tim’s apparent death, but that the attack is keeping them from grieving properly. Because we as the audience know Tim isn’t actually dead, it’s really for the best that it’s handled this way because I can’t imagine it hitting the emotional mark it would want to. Where there is a nice bit of emotion in this issue is in the depiction of Gotham Girl. She’s become a very sympathetic character, and her breakdown leading toward the big ending works well here. As with Action Comics, and maybe the other Batman and Superman books, the twice monthly schedule may be causing the stories to drag a little. This issue of Detective Comics was pretty much strictly action, and while that can be a lot of fun, it can be numbing if it happens too often. They’re not there yet, but it’s something to consider moving forward.