Hello, and welcome to another comics review column from me, Punchy! This week is a fairly light week (especially when compared to feckin’ Villains Month), but it’s heavy on quality, with the exciting crossovers, Infinity, Battle Of The Atom and Lights Out continuing. Batman: Zero Year makes it’s triumphant return with a bumper-sized issue, there’s more Thor, some Avengers A.I. and two intriguing new series in Superman/Wonder Woman and Three.
As ever, click the links to head to the Outhouse forums, where you can tell me just how sexist my Superman/Wonder Woman views are.
Thor: God Of Thunder #14– ‘The Accursed’ continues to be an excellent storyline, full of great action that should serve as a handy introduction to any new readers coming into the comics on the back of Thor: The Dark World. This issue steps things up a gear with the introduction of Thor’s new team, ‘The League Of Realms’, and they are pretty darn awesome.
After a very entertaining and humorous opening scene that showcases the differences between Elves and Dwarves, Aaron gives us our first real demonstration of how bad-ass Malekith is as a villain. He’s fighting the best Dark Elf swordsman around, Sir Wormsong, on a tree-trunk placed over a pit of rabid dogs (who would eat their own mothers). Whilst Wormsong wins the sword-fight, Malekith outsmarts him, and chops the tree-trunk. Wormsong falls to a grisly death, but because Malekith is not only a great fighter but also a sorcerer, he can just float above it. Man, he’s a bad-ass.
But even more of a bad-ass under Jason Aaron’s pen is Thor, and he gets plenty of good moments and bits of dialogue in this issue. Just as Thor, The Warriors Three and Sif are storming off to chase down Malekith, he is stopped by one of the All-Mothers and told that it would be politically unwise for a force of Asgardians to go after Dark Elves, that the other realms would see it as an ‘illegal incursion’. I’m not sure how I feel about Aaron applying real worldish military and political elements to the Nine Realms. On the one hand, it is very clever and modern, and on the other, it does kind of suck the fun out of it a bit, like Midi-Chlorians or seeing the Green Lantern Corps’ canteen. But in the end, I think I like it, because it provides a good reason for this new team, and this new team does anything but suck the fun out, it’s all fun, all the time.
To avoid any political problems, Malekith has to be taken down by a team made up of members from all of the realms, and so Thor is joined by a Light Elf, a Dwarf, a Mountain Giant, a Troll and also the Dark Elf warrior from last issue who had her arm ripped off by Malekith. All of these characters are fairly broadly drawn at the moment, but they are very entertaining and you can see that there is room to grow there. But basically, this arc is like a Thor Dungeons & Dragons party, or a Thor RPG video-game. He’s got a party of all different races, all with different abilities and personalities and a specific mission. I’m not a D&D guy, but even I recognise the coolness of the set-up here, and it’s made all the better by Jason Aaron’s skill as a Dungeon Master.
The dialogue between all of these characters is excellent, and the fight scene at the end of the issue, where the League Of Realms catch up with Malekith was fantastic stuff. The issue ends with Malekith having slaughtered the Dark Elf Queen and Thor swearing vengeance in amongst their severed heads, another in an awesome line of heavy metal images this book has delivered.
Ron Garney once again kicks butt on the art, giving each of the new characters a lot of personality just through the pencils, and delivering crisp action. Colourist Ive Svorcina also deserves a lot of credit here, as the techniques provide a great sense of continuity between Garney and Esad Ribic, two artists who aren’t really all that similar. This arc is just great, even if you don’t like Thor, it’s drawing from so many great Fantasy Fiction wells, you have to love it.
Avengers A.I. #4– Another strong issue of this title, and whilst this one was much more of a straight ahead action piece than the last two, it still contained enough Humphries weirdness and great art to make it worthwhile.
The first page was interesting in it’s character reveals, as we discover that Monica Chang is a practising Muslim. She’s kind of been at the fringes of this book so far, basically being a hard-ass on Pym, but now I’m intrigued. There can’t be many Asian-American Muslims, and the story behind that should be interesting. We then see Pym and the team plan their assault on Dimitrios and The Diamond, but Victor Mancha is absent. The scene between Victor and his ‘grandpa’ was very well-written, and it got right to the heart of the conflict within this series very effectively. Victor is a robot, but his mother was human, and he was raised as a human, so what side is he on? I guess you could take this as a metaphor for a mixed-race person, and in the end Victor doesn’t come down on either side, he wants to fight for everyone.
It’s interesting that Victor made that decision much quicker than his ‘brother’, The Vision, who is still prevaricating inside The Diamond. In the end, we find out that Vision didn’t really have a choice, as Dimitrios has planned it so the other A.I.s will never want peace. The fight scene between Vision and Dimitrios was awesome, with Araujo really doing some great stuff, I loved the Iron Man-Dragon Hybrid, there’s just so much imagination in these Diamond scenes, and also with the various morphs that Vision goes through, you’ve got to love a Marvel superhero book that takes so many of it’s visual cues from Katsuhiro Otomo.
Interestingly, it’s also teased that Dimitrios has a hidden identity, and may be a familiar face. I literally have no idea who it could be, which I suppose is the best kind of mystery. Vision escapes the Diamond back into the real world, and immediately rushes off to Africa to try and save the rest of the team, because their mission is a trap (duh). The other mysterious figure in this book is Alexis, and we find out a lot more about her in this issue, she has a weird vision (no, not the character, an actual vision) of… herself? And she reminds her that she is ‘The Protector’, and she also zooms off to try and save Victor, Doombot and a bunch of SHIELD grunts from the trap, unveiling some serious firepower in the process.
The issue culminates with Victor Mancha sacrificing himself to save everyone else and getting zapped by The Diamond, and the last page shows him looking pretty dead in the hospital. Now, since he’s a robot, he’ll probably be rebuilt fairly quickly (see every Red Tornado death ever), but it was still a noble action from the character, and certainly a maturation from him compared to the first 3 issues. I’m not sure Sam Humphries really earned this really, but we shall see. Plus, this should hopefully cause some good Tumblr meltdowns.
Overall, this continues to be a great comic, with fantastic art, interesting ideas about humanity, and most importantly of all, the continued hilarity of Doombot, everything that guy says is a delight to me.
Avengers Arena #16– As this title nears the end of it’s run, things are really heating up, but it does mean that there isn’t as much breathing room for Dennis Hopeless, as this issue is not the Cammi focus the cover promises (although it is an awesome cover), and instead focuses on pretty much every character that’s still alive.
Whereas previous issues have focused LOST-like on only one character, the first 6 pages put is inside the heads of not just Cammi, but also Cullen Bloodstone, Reptil, Nico, Hazmat, X-23 and Death-Locket. It’s a bit frenetic and a big departure from this title’s regular pace, but I think it worked, and I really appreciated the craziness of those first few pages, so much stuff happened, and Arcade finally got what he wanted, as everyone started fighting each other properly. Anachronism, in a rage after Nara’s death hacks at Bloodstone with his axe, and Cullen is willing to let himself be killed, but Cammi shoots Anachronism away. Then, Nico has Chasehawk blast Reptil for some reason, and then she flies off over the sea with Cullen. It was mental! What is Nico up to! The next 2 pages then bring us right back to #1, with Hazmat being stalked by X-23 through the woods, and even ends with the ‘I’ve always been a hater’ line, bringing everything full circle.
Hopeless then finally brings the spotlight back underground, as we revisit what’s going on with Death-Locket and Apex in Arcade’s bunker. It’s was, like, issue 12 when we last saw these characters right? Death-Locket and Apex have been spying on Arcade, working out his routine so they can get to his computer and hack it. I liked how this issue used the character of Apex, with the good guy Tim and bad guy Katy switching between each other much more often, and actually having conversations, Apex is such a weird character, but it works. Death-Locket sneaks into the bunker to create a diversion, and does so by attacking Arcade’s robo-butler with Kid Briton’s sword. Of course, she is captured, and of course, Apex fails to hack Arcade’s computers, and it looks like our villain has really, finally won, as we see shots of the last six competitors in the Arena actually fighting. But then… Chris Powell is alive! Oh yeah, the original Darkhawk is back. It probably does make no sense that Arcade left him alive, but Hopeless wisely mentions that himself to silence the haters, and hey, it’s part of Arcade’s character, he may be much more bad-ass now, but he’s still a goof.
There are only 2 issues left of this series in it’s current form, and I can’t wait to see where it goes, the first 4 pages of this issue had more surprises than most superhero comics have in 4 months, so I have high expectations that #17 and #18 will blow me away.
Karl Moline once again provides the artwork here, and he does an excellent job, his work is too polished when compared to Kev Walker’s, but his facial expressions were perfect here, and his style does fit with the established tone, cartoonish in a way because this is a teen book, but with a darker edge, because, well, all those teens are brutally killed.
X-Men #6– I thought that Brian Wood’s first chapter of ‘Battle Of The Atom’ was the weakest part of the crossover so far, but thankfully, this second issue was a big improvement, and that’s probably because we’re out of the ‘set-up’ phase of the story, and now shit is blowing up big-time as the Future X-Men are exposed as the villains that they are, and start really throwing their weight around.
This issue began with Jubilee waking up to discover baby Shogo playing with Broo, and we then see that Bling and Armour have worked together to create a special force-field bubble to protect him. I am liking how this crossover is still allowing for each book to maintain it’s own identity. Even though this issue does continue the main storyline in a big way, it still places it’s focus on regular characters like Jubilee, Rachel Grey and Psylocke.
In terms of Rachel, Wood has Wolverine confide in her that he doesn’t think something’s right with these Future X-Men, and she starts to do some psychic digging. Of course, she doesn’t really need to do any, because when Future Xavier finds out that OG Iceman and Beast are not at the mansion, he flips out and starts mentally attacking Bling. It turns out that Wolverine was right (no shit) and just as he’s about to pop his claws, Future-Kitty reveals herself to be… the child of Wolverine and Mystique! Blueverine guts his dad, and because Wolverine currently has no healing factor, he’s down and out. Jean-Xorn then blasts all the rest of the X-Men with some psychicness, and the fight is on. Jubilee demonstrates her vampire powers, Rogue tries to touch Ice-Giant and discovers there’s no mind in there (the mystery about Iceman’s future is fascinating) and best of all, Psylocke smashes Ice-Giant with a psychic wrecking ball, all with baby Shogo in her arms.
This fight scene was a lot of fun, I particularly liked Deadpool talking about how much he loves Psylocke, and also seeing Shogo’s force-field in action, which was all kinds of cute. In the end, the Evil X-Men win out, with Future Beast locking down the school in advance of an attack from the Good Future X-Men and Cyclops’ crew, who are waiting just outside the Mansion to attack. They send the mysterious Iron Man-esque guy (who is named Sentinel-X) to scout ahead, and he pulls Jubilee, Baby Shogo and Bling out from the rubble, and reveals himself to be… Shogo! I like this reveal, it shows that this new baby character has some importance, and it was actually cleverly foreshadowed by the force-field bubble, as the Sentinel-X suit is basically just an enhanced version of that. Plus, the good Future X-Men have a human on their team, a sure sign that maybe the future isn’t all bad.
This issue was a great chapter in an excellent event, as it really racheted things up for the final few issues, the Future X-Men completed their heel turn, we got some strong action and found out more about the good future dudes. Plus, Wood and Lopez kept the tone and characters of this series going in amongst all that, great stuff.
Infinity #4(of 6)– HOLY SHIT. That was awesome. I’ve been enjoying Infinity a lot so far, but this issue was the best yet, and it featured what is probably the greatest Thor moment ever. Seriously, this is on the level of ‘Ultron, we would have words with thee’ for me.
I’ve said before that my favourite side of the Infinity story is the Earth-based, Thanos stuff, but I want to start with the Builders story, because that’s where the best stuff in this issue was. Captain America has convinced the rest of the Galactic Alliance to surrender to The Builders, and so sends his emissary, Thor. Thor is told to get rid of his weapon, and he does, flinging Mjolnir up into space. Thor and The Builder begin to parlay, but the Builder is not exactly up for negotiation, even going so far as to slap Thor across the face when he demands assurances. The Builder forces Thor to get on his knees, as he rants and raves about how Earth will be destroyed. Throughout all of this, we see shots of Mjolnir flying through space, into a Sun, and back out. You know it’s coming, but when it does, it’s still fucking fantastic. Mjolnir comes back down to Hala, right through The Builder and into Thor’s hands. It doesn’t sound like much when my idiot hands have typed it out, but trust me, it was amazing. Jonathan Hickman and Jerome Opena work together so well here, and it’s just a fantastic sequence, and as I said, one of the coolest things Thor has ever done.
With the Avengers now demonstrating that The Builders can be killed, Thor gets Ronan and the rest of the Kree back on side, and the tide of the battle really has turned. Captain America says that what happens next is that the Avengers win, and I believe him. Man, that was so great.
As for the Earth stuff, that was good too, but it was ruined a bit by the fact that we all knew that Inhumanity was coming. Hickman gives us a bit of exposition about Thane, Son Of Thanos, and about the hidden Inhuman city he lived in. Thane was a healer, and hasn’t been exposed to the Terrigen Mists because the city only has a small amount of it, and can only do 4 or 5 a generation.
We then head back to New York, where Attilan has crash-landed, and Thanos rises from the rubble to see that the Terrigen Bomb has been activated. Hickman shows us what this bomb has done, that every human with even the tiniest speck of Inhuman DNA has been activated, some get their powers instantly, whilst others go into cocoons. This is a game-changer for the Marvel Universe, and when the Hickman’s narration says that ‘the world was changed forever’, you actually believe it. Black Bolt has also survived (though no sign of Lockjaw or Maximus The Mad), and he and Thanos have a gripping fight scene, with Thanos demanding to know where his son is.
Thane’s metamorphosis is another great scene, with it having catastrophic effects on his city. In the process of becoming an Inhuman, Thane kills everyone else around him. From the looks of him, it looks like he can kill with one hand, and heal with the other. He should be a fascinating character for the future. Speaking of futures, it looks like Black Bolt doesn’t have one, as Thanos wins their battle, killing him. It’s strange that Black Bolt is dead, as Hickman is the one who brought him back in FF, but I suppose if Fraction’s upcoming series is going to be based on Game Of Thrones, you need to have a dead king for the various factions to vie over.
This simply put, was one of the best comics I’ve read this year, and it was a true event comic, amazingly epic things happened in this issue, and even though some of it was expected, it was all very well-written, and the artwork from both Dustin Weaver and Jerome Opena is fantastic throughout. I complain about Hickman’s complex and lengthy build-ups, but when the pay-off is as good as this? It’s all worth it. And once again, that Thor scene was fucking amazing.
Superman/Wonder Woman #1– For some reason, this book is one of the most controversial launches of the year, and I really don’t get it. Either people care way more about Steve Trevor and Lois Lane (Editor’s Note: Woah, don’t bring that up again! And anyway, you don’t even have an editor, you’re talking to yourself! Natterin’ Niam) than I thought, or people are just complaining for the sake of it. For years, people have wanted a second Wonder Woman title, and now we have one, and it’s somehow not good enough. And for some bizarre reason, having two people of equal strength be in a relationship is somehow bad for equality? I just don’t get it, the romantic relationship between these two characters is something new and exciting, and that’s in short supply at DC these days, so I welcome it.
This first issue is no classic, but it was solid enough, and Charles Soule has shown, both in the pages of Swamp Thing and his Lex Luthor one-shot, that he knows the world of Superman. Here, he tackles Wonder Woman’s milieu just as adeptly. Soule is a good writer, trust him, even if you don’t like the relationship lemons, he’ll make lemonade.
The story here is fairly simple, Superman and Wonder Woman go on a date, where they discuss the fact that Diana wants to go public about their relationship, whereas Clark wants to keep it a secret (In the end, they may not have a choice, a mysterious person has a video of them kissing, and has sent it to Cat Grant, could it be Booster Gold? He disappeared when they first got together). They are then called off on what seems like a routine mission involving a heavy storm off the coast of Norway. But of course, it’s not routine. Superman gets his ass kicked, leaving Wonder Woman alone to face… Doomsday! It’s pretty much always an event when Doomsday shows up, and it will be interesting to see how Wonder Woman fares against him (it?).
Soule also shows us some of each character’s supporting cast, as we see Clark Kent discuss his Blog with Cat Grant, and Wonder Woman spar with Hessia, another Amazon. Even though Hessia is a new character, I really liked how Soule is bringing in some of what Brian Azzarello has introduced to Wonder Woman. Apart from a brief appearance from Hephaestus, the Wonder Woman we see in the pages of Justice League almost feels like a different character, much more of a superhero, than the one in her own title, but here, Soule is presenting an effective hybrid of the two versions. So he’s reflecting Wonder Woman’s relationship with Superman and membership of the JLA, which are never, ever mentioned by Azzarello, but also bringing up the events of the solo title, like the Amazons being turned to stone, or Wonder Woman’s history with the God Of War. I love Azzarello’s run, and am glad that DC are creating a second book, rather than editorially interfering with his series like they do everywhere else.
Tony Daniel is an artist that I run hot and cold on, but this is probably the best work I’ve seen from him since his brief run on Teen Titans. He’s already drawn both of these characters many times before, and his classic, superhero style really suits the tone of Soule’s story.
I really think people should check this series out, these are two of the greatest superheroes in comics, and this title is actually doing something fresh with them. It’s also worth noting that, any fears about this title making Wonder Woman look weak are unfounded, if anything, she comes across as the more powerful and confident character here. Of course, I’m sure people can find a way to twist that into this series being sexist too. This is a perfectly good superhero series, and whilst this first issue is mostly about defining the relationship, the involvement of Doomsday gives plenty of room for excitement.
Batman #24– After taking the month off for those pesky villains, Zero Year is back, and it’s back with a bang, as this issue is over-sized and full of eventful action. And it should be a big deal, because this issue features the first appearance of Batman! Well, no, not really, but you know what I mean.
In this issue, Bruce Wayne finally dons the famous cape and cowl and takes to the streets of Gotham in order to really take it to the Red Hood and his gang. The opening few pages, where Batman attacks those Red Hood goons and ties them to the ‘Welcome To Gotham’ sign in the shape of a Bat-Symbol were just fantastic, and it’s only the first of two times that Scott Snyder does something awesome and iconic with the Bat-Symbol. Batman and Alfred are mapping the Red Hood Gang’s crimes, and are struggling to find a pattern, that is until Bruce reveals himself to his Uncle Philip, and gets him to betray the Hood and help his cause. Batman figures out that the Red Hood plans to unleash a deadly gas across Gotham, and enacts a pretty awesome plan.
As Bruce Wayne, he calls a press conference outside of the Red Hood’s secret base of operations, ACE Chemicals (Hmmm, that name sounds familiar), where, after giving one of Snyder’s patented speeches about what Gotham means (these are kind of tiresome, but also kind of cool), the Red Hood is goaded into attacking. Just as Red Hood is about to execute Bruce Wayne, the building is hit by a blackout, and not only that, but the whole surrounding area is, in the exact shape of the Bat-Symbol. Just so awesome, I actually said ‘Oh shit’ as that happened. Batman hacks into the Red Hood Gang’s night-vision goggles, so they think they still see Bruce Wayne when he’s Batman (it’s a bit iffy, but the explanation in the back-up story was good for me), and then the action is on.
I really enjoyed this first extended Batman fight sequence, especially because Greg Capullo’s artwork reached new heights of kinetic awesomeness here, the pacing was excellent, and you really got a sense of just how bad-ass Batman is. In the course of this battle, Philip Kane turns on the Red Hood to try and save Batman, shooting his boss, but paying with his life. I was actually surprised by this scene, I expected Kane to be much more of a villain than he ended up being. But I think a surprise is good, this is a retelling of a story we all know, so anything Snyder can do to keep it fresh is great.
What’s not surprising is the fate of the Red Hood. This being him and Batman facing off in ACE Chemical, we know what’s coming, as at the end of the story he falls into a vat of chemicals, and is presumably dead. Only of course, he’s going to come back as The Joker. Again, I was surprised by this, as I was expecting Snyder to not be so straight-forward and zig-zag a bit, perhaps have one of the random Hood goons turn out to Joker, but nope, it’s as expected. But I shouldn’t become one of those people who is wedded to their own theories and has that turn them into a serial complainer. This origin worked for Alan Moore, so it fucking works.
The back-up story does play with the idea that we don’t know who the Red Hood is a bit, so hey, perhaps I am right. The back-up story, co-written with James Tynion IV and with art by Rafael Abuquerque as usual was a great addition to the story, as I said, it cleared up the Red Hood’s identity (or rather muddied it up) and explained how the goons saw Bruce Wayne, and also provided a good explanation as to why people won’t immediately figure out that Bruce Wayne is Batman. Because they want to believe in the myth that is Batman basically, that people will suspend their disbelief. It’s comic-book logic, but it does work. In the end, another famed Batman villain makes his proper debut, as Edward Nygma appears on whatever the Gotham equivalent of Times Square is, and reveals himself as The Riddler, causing a citywide blackout. It looks like the main plot of Zero Year is actually going to be this ‘Dark City’ and not the Red Hood, which is interesting.
I still think this is an unnecessary story, but with this issue, it took a big leap forwards in quality. And come on, Batman has his classic purple gloves, how cool is that?
Green Lantern Corps #24– ‘Lights Out’ continues to be a lot more enjoyable than I expected it to be. I really was burnt out on the constant Green Lantern crossovers, but here, big stuff is happening in every issue.
This time out, Oa fucking explodes! This was set up in the cliff-hanger of last week’s Green Lantern, but still, it was surprising when it actually happened. These new writers have only been around for 4 months, and they really are changing things, I’m digging it. The plot of this issue was fairly simple, but that’s not an issue, the GLC have a major threat to fight, and they come up with a plan, and execute it. The plan is to have John Stewart and his new recruits distract Relic, giving enough time for the injured GLs to get to the Citadel (which is a space-ship!) and for everyone else to escape.
John and his gang succeed, but at a cost, Jruk loses his arm, and Ergann sacrifices himself. Since the character of Ergann has only been around for 3 issues, it was hard to get too choked up by his death, but Jensen and Venditti try their darnedest, and do somewhat succeed. So what next for the Green Lanterns? Oa is destroyed, they have no way to charge their batteries, where are they going to go? The last page seems to indicate that the Indigo Tribe hold the answers, which should be interesting.
The artwork from Bernard Chang contributed a lot to the success of this issue, I really like his style, his depiction of Relic is the best yet, and he really got across the huge scale of this fight. I particularly liked the constant use of orange-coloured insert panels showing various different GLs in action against Relic’s spider-robot-thingies.
As I said, this crossover really is impressing me, these new writers are not afraid of stepping into Geoff Johns’ big boots, and it’s exciting to see things really get shaken up.
Three #1(of 5)– When you think of Spartans and comics, there’s one story that comes to mind, the epic 300 by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley. That classic comic (and awesome movie) retold the story of the Battle Of Thermopylae, where only 300 heroic Spartans stood against the huge might of the Persian army, protecting the West’s freedom against the evil slavers. Only of course, the real world is more complicated than that, as the Spartans themselves had many slaves, The Helots. In this new mini-series, Kieron Gillen and Ryan Kelly are showing a rather more realistic depiction of what the Spartans were like, and whilst it can’t ever be 100% accurate (Gillen’s essay at the back was very interesting in this regard), and though I still love 300, this looks like being a very good story.
I was initially worried at the idea of a ‘politically correct’ response to 300, as it’s kind of Tumblry pussy bullshit, but Gillen isn’t really doing that, he’s telling his own story, and showing a different side to this ancient culture, and doing so successfully, and with a lot more humanity than Frank Miller could these days.
After a shocking opening sequence which demonstrates the harsh lot of the Helots, and the shocking brutality of the Spartans, Gillen introduces us to the characters that I assume are the titular ‘three’ Helots. There’s Klaros, a taciturn man who was injured in the war, Terpander, a talkative, cocky kind of guy who is sort of the leader of this particular group of Helots, the ‘first amongst lessers’, and Damar, a woman, who at this point doesn’t seem to have much of a personality, except that she seems the most accepting and driven down of the slaves. The scars on her face would seem to indicate an interesting back-story, and since Gillen normally writes good women, I expect she’ll develop a lot more in the remaining issues.
After introducing these main characters and their interpersonal dynamics, the Helots are visited by a passing group of Spartan warriors, who assert their dickish dominance, forcing the Helots to get drunk. They even force Klaros, who has a weak stomach, and when he vomits up the wine, they tell everyone else to lick up the sick. Terpander sticks his foot in it when he says that one of the Spartans would not have been able to serve with the 300 at Thermopylae, and whilst he manages to dig himself out of it (men with no sons did not fight that battle), he only gets in more trouble, as he tells the story of a Helot uprising against the Spartan’s namesake. In response to this, the Spartan leader declares that ‘everyone dies’, and well, the slaughter begins.
I’ve ben a big fan of Ryan Kelly’s art ever since Local, and whilst that was tonally very different to Three, his arc on Northlanders, which was Viking, rather than Greek history was excellent, and he carries that same style here. Everything here seems very real, and since Kelly is an artist who most often works in present-day settings, it does feel contemporary, there’s no disconnect with the past, the people are just people. And when it’s time to bring the blood and gore, he brings it, and then some. The colours from the suddenly ubiquitous Jordie Bellaire are of course fantastic, she is such a good colourist, and man, she’s doing everything, she’s like the Wolverine of colourists.
This was a strong opening issue, even if the main story of 3 slaves on the run is yet to begin. Gillen manages to introduce 2 interesting characters, and the other one is almost there, as well as reveal some illuminating stuff about the real Spartans. He’s not deconstructing 300 really, just being more accurate. You have to decide what you want in your Spartan comics, accuracy, or bad-ass violence. But then again, this book does have it’s own fair share of bad-ass violence, so it’s win-win, if you love 300 or loathe it, you’ll probably like Three.
It’s pretty easy to pick my favourite comic this week, it is without a doubt, Infinity #4, which was AMAZING. I also really enjoyed Thor: God Of Thunder and Batman, but that’s hardly news.
Make sure to be here next week, where I’ll be looking at the latest issues of Animal Man (Rafael Albuquerque makes his artistic debut!), Superior Spider-Man, Batman ’66, Fantastic Four, Invincible, Wonder Woman, Zero and more. Plus, the regular crossover events continue, and oh fucking yes, Hawkeye is back after like, 2 months, rejoice!