Not a lot of starting points this week but let’s see what the Comic Gods have provided us with this week!
Civil War #3
If you’ve been on board for the first two issues (I have) then there’s no point jumping off now. Soule keeps layering more and more backstory into his version of a world where the Civil War never ended. Seeing how She-Hulk gets out of a jam with Xavier is both heartbreaking and curiosity-inducing. “How did X happen?” is an easy question to pose, finding the write “X” to pique curiosity while adding to plot progression is what makes Soule a strong addition to Marvel’s stable of writers. Leinil Francis Yu still has amazing splash pages (one spoiled scene with Peter showing off his skills in particular) but refuses to draw any real faces in the smaller panels. It is what it is at this point. Enjoy the forest and don’t look too closely at those trees!
East of West #20
It’s finally back! After a hiatus (delay?), East of West returns to the racks. You’re probably reading Jonathan Hickman’s Marvel opus, Secret Wars, but if you’ve missed out on his indie work then shame on you! East of West is still glorious as always and Hickman makes the choice to being this next chapter by focusing on The Endless Nation and the House of Mao. We get some awesome new designs from artist Nick Dragotta which is always welcome in teaching us more about this alternate-timeline United States. In particular, the scenes with the Widowmakers is instructive and will definitely play a role down the line. Hickman somehow manages to reinvent (refocus?) his sprawling world every few issues and leave the readers wanting more. If you haven’t joined the party yet, try it out in trade and thank me in the comments.
Old Man Logan #4
This book is beautiful. Sorrentino’s art almost makes it a worthy pickup on its own. That’s about all I can say about this book. Brian Michael Bendis has written a lot (A LOT) of good stuff but this book is a the definition of a “moving pieces on the board” issue when the previous issue already had that feel to it. At this point the middle issues of this series feel like a mandated “show the sights of Battleworld in a book we know people will purchase” cash grab. With the buzz of this creative team and the smashing success of Secret Wars, it feels as if Marvel should have been above such tricks. Even if you’re reading Old Man Logan, this is an issue you can skip (aside from the art…they got me with the great art).
Writer Gene Luen Yang had big shoes to fill following Geoff Johns and actually does a passable job. That is to say this terrible book is not failed by its script. The book is failed (again) by Romita’s art making everyone look like they have melted potato faces but that’s expected at this juncture. This isn’t even some edgy stylistic experiment a la his work on Kickass – this is just lazy artwork. At least the book hasn’t been delayed though, right? The book is failed by an editorial staff that forces a crossover throughout the Superman titles and then has it be told out of order so everything here has already been conjectured upon (and sometimes outright spoiled) weeks before release. It is laughably failed by its cover which features the “alienation” trade dress which opens up to a title page that says “BEFORE TRUTH part 3” which has already happened in Action Comics months ago. If you’re a huge super-fan then you can probably stomach this. If you’re not, there’s no need to buy a ticket for the garbage-train.