Haven’t done one of these in months so I thought I’d do this now as there’s a few things worthy of being pointed out, and some which might act as a warning…
If you’d said that Thor would be the hottest superhero comic made in 2020 I’d have laughed at you, but Donny Cates and artist Nic Klein have taken a character which is beyond tired and worn out and introduced something quite wonderful. Building on what Cates has done in shaping Marvel’s cosmic universe, Thor takes the character in a direction not seen before as he becomes the herald of Galactus who is out to beat The Black Winter, an ultimate cosmic threat that is so powerful it can kill Galactus himself.
Cates returns Thor into a powerhouse, while threading enough angst and guilt into him to actually make Thor the character interesting again. He also sets up another storyline which promises the return of Marvel’s ultimate cosmic villian in a quite surprising way which has now, sadly, been spoiled to death. This though comes recommended as superior superheroics.
Batman: The Three Jokers
Geoff Johns isn’t just happy raking through Watchmen for inspiration. Here he takes on The Killing Joke, the book Alan Moore has famously disowned as he doesn’t like what he did in it, but Johns isn’t exactly fussy in his attempts to rake through Alan Moore’s bins and here he crudely reproduces parts of the structure of The Killing Joke as he tells this utterly bollocks idea that in fact there’s always been three Jokers and the world’s greatest detective has been unable to spot this.
The entire thing reduces Batman to an idiot, while the Joker is cemented as a villian ripped out of a 2000s torture porn film interested in nothing more than murder and chaos. Any attempt at black humour is at best stilted, at worst embaressing as this entire thing feels like nothing more than a cheap cash grab using Alan Moore’s work to make DC and it’s parent company AT & T a wad of money. Best avoid this.
Fantastic Four: Antithesis
This is just old school superheroics drawn by Neal Adams, one of the first big post Jack Kirby comic superstars back in the 1960s. Written by Mark Waid in full Bronze Age Marvel mode this is just a big lump of solid fun that utterly ignores continuity to tell a story which features The Silver Surfer, Galactus (again) and a cosmic villian that can defeat him (again) in a story which is just light relief. Adams is past his best by some decades but he can still turn out a story, plus his storytelling is tight; something many an artist today in superhero comics could take note of.
Mike and Laura Allred are a creative team which have been working now for several decades and although their work has a strong fan following, they’ve never really broken out of the niche they’re in. I however adore their work and this is just another notch of wonderful, daft cartoony fun, plus that Madness variant cover for #1 is a total joy.
Detective Comics #1027
This is another of DC’s giant anniversary issues, and in this case it comes just over two years since Detective’s 1000thi issue and like that comes in a variety of variant covers. In the one above this is drawn by Frank Quitely and is my favourite of the lot.
As is the case with these issues it is a patchy affair with Grant Morrison and Scott Snyder’s stories being the most interesting, while the tedious lead in for the Generations event being a waste of pages but overall this is a decent enough anniversary issue.
And that’s it for this blog. More next time.