This Week in Comics 8/3/2016

I’ve been traveling recently, so I’m a little behind on my comics this week. I haven’t read everything from my pull file yet, but I’ve got at least a few titles that are worth mentioning.

Superman #4 gave us a pretty interesting showdown with Eradicator. It was a really action-heavy issue, and the artwork carried it off nicely. Issues like that often lack for story and characterization, and while there’s truth to that here, the inclusion of the “ghosts of Krypton” kept things from being a bland punch-fest. It’s an interesting enough installment that caps off what was started in the last issue, and maybe hints at what’s next. I enjoyed it, but I’m starting to wonder if the twice monthly publishing format is causing some of these books to drag their feet a little.

Batman #4 inched things forward this week too, though it’s a little disorienting at the start. The confusion lies in the fact that this issue doesn’t really pick up where #3 ended. It gets there, but it took me some time before I was sure I hadn’t somehow skipped an issue. When I got settled into it, I was happy with what I read. Gotham and Gotham Girl continue to be interesting characters for me, and Hugo Strange can be a great character when he’s well-written, so I’m excited to see what this creative team will do here. After Scott Snyder’s Robo-Bat-Gordon sendoff, it feels really good to get back to a more recognizable Gotham City. That’s what this arc is achieving so far.

Kill or Be Killed #1 is the latest Image project from Brubaker/Phillips/Breitweiser. This is a creative dreamteam in my estimation, so it was a definite read this week, even if I have been critical of Brubaker’s last couple issues of Velvet. What’s strange for me about this book is that its premise is so much more interesting than its characters. At the beginning it reads like the script to a bad indie film. Guy struggles with depression, his roommate starts sleeping with his best friend/secret crush, and he tries to kill himself. The main character is beacon of angst, and he’s quite dull to read. It isn’t until the plot turns supernatural that I cared about any of it. After his failed suicide attempt, he’s visited by a demon who tells him he must kill one (supposedly bad) person every month in payment for the second chance he was given. That’s how the title of the book becomes literal, and what mostly saves it for me. In the longrun, I’m going to need some significant character development to keep me interested, but for now I’m at least curious enough to give it some time.

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