Welcome to the Honor Roll, the weekly celebration of my five favourite comics released this past Wednesday. This was a doozy of a week, with actual debate having to occur over what titles would make my top five. Without further ado, on with the show!
To quote the classic video game NBA Jam, with respect to Mike Norton, “HE’S ON FIRE!”. The Answer!, quite simply, is a riot. Hopeless and Norton have an intelligent and action filled comic with The Answer! and it is another solid release in what has been a very strong period for Dark Horse Comics. They have created an interesting mystery with this first issue, and both their heroine and hero are strong enough characters to grab my attention and not let go. Hopeless’ dialogue is strong, and Norton’s pencils are fantastic. I’m pretty sure this man does not sleep, considering the number of comics he is involved with, but you wouldn’t know it from the quality of his art. This is, without a doubt, the most interesting hero to ever have punctuation on his face, and I am very interested to read more.
YOUNG AVENGERS #1
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Jamie McKelvie, Mike Norton
Publisher: Marvel Comics
I didn’t see this one coming. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited for it, I knew it was coming out on Wednesday and I dig the creative team, but boy, did they ever knock it out of the park. Young Avengers has really been all Heinberg & Cheung to this point, and I was impressed with how seamlessly it integrated into the feeling of the old books. We’ve got some new characters in this series, but the spirit of Young Avengers remains. McKelvie and Norton’s art is flat out spectacular and the absolute perfect fit for this series. Gillen and McKelvie are obviously in sync with each other creatively and their indie-rock vibe from Phonogram gels fantastically with the tale of these teens. This is a great example of the energy that can come from a creative team pouring their all into a title and giving it fresh legs. This is one of the shining beacons of what is right about Marvel NOW!.
Throne of Atlantis continues and what an epic mini-event! Johns has cranked the dial up on the wild scale, and Reis is blowing the visuals out of the park on this comic. This comic is worthy of being the flagship book for the DC line and more of this kind of tale would have me absolutely hooked on Justice League. Atlantis rises and proves they are not to be trifled with and I am very curious to see where Johns goes with this. This is priming to be much more than a brawl, this is a straight up war, with all the connotations that entails. Reis’ art in this issue is superb, surpassing Lee’s pencils in my mind and I want him to stay on JL for as long as DC can keep him there. There are a couple of spreads in this comic that are jaw dropping, and I found myself reading twice just to look at all the visuals again. If you haven’t read any Throne of Atlantis yet, grab the past couple issues – this mini-event is totally worth your time.
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Jerome Opena
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Talk about bringing in the cavalry! Hickman shows us what Tony and Steve have been planning with the expansion of the Avengers roster, and it makes for an interesting comic. This comic wraps up the first short storyline but opens the series up to a wide array of angles, especially considering this new cast of characters. Each new Avengers member has a definitive voice in this comic, and they added a new flavour that brought a lot of freshness to a book as long standing as Avengers. As with any book Hickman is involved with, seeds have been planted in this comic that will be long lasting and I can’t wait to see how they play out. Opena’s art is solid and consistent, and 3 issues into the comic the quality is not slipping at all. That graphic (readers will know exactly which one I’m talking about) still taunts me, and so does the power set of Captain Universe. Give me more, NOW!.
This title has got some magic to it, doesn’t it? Fraction and Allred are a creative battery that we’re going to be talking about for a very long time and issues like this prove how inventive, original and fun comic books can be. Fraction tells a story that has a lot of heart and very dark emotions to it, but he does it in a manner that keeps the comic somewhat light hearted and not just dark doom and gloom. The FF is wildly unprepared for their to be no F4 and seeing the immediate chaos that envelops this awkward team was very fun to read. “Miss Thing”, who I had no desire to read is a multi-faceted character that brings a whole new perspective to the book and by Allred’s hand she is dynamic and lively. Allred brings so much depth to this comic with the small details he includes and his unique style of penciling action scenes and layouts are a joy to read. With each issue of this comic I enjoy the series more and I hope Fraction and Allred are in this for the long haul.