What Comics I Read – January 20, 2019

I had to travel for work and brought a bag full of comics in the car with me. As it snowed last Saturday, I read and I read. I finished the book Jasper Jones that I bought in Australia. And I read 16 comics. My favorite book of the week: Fantastic Four #5.

Top Five of the Week

Fantastic Four

1. Fantastic Four #5 – Slott, Kuder, Gracia, Archiniega, M. Allred, L. Allred, Hughes

It might be because I got married this year. It may be because I really love the Fantastic Four. But I loved this issue. The previous issues did not really do much for me, but I loved seeing The Thing happy. And I loved how Mr. Fantastic froze time to allow the wedding to continue.

Additionally, the other stories in the issue made me smile. Watching Sue try to get Ben and Alicia together in a ham-handed way seemed in character from Silver Age stories. The bachelor story worked fine although it had different beats than the Wedding Special. Not really a big fan of that – since I spent decent money for that too.

I’m sure the storyline will continue in an okay direction. But this little reprieve from super-heroics worked. I’m excited to see how Aaron Kuder’s work grows.

2. Action Comics #1006 – Bendis, Sook, Anderson

Having Ryan Sook drawing a monthly comic again makes me happy as well. His covers always pop off the stands but I remember how amazing his work on the Madrox stories with Peter David was. And he is perfect for Superman.

The Red Fog or whatever her name is continues to terrorize Superman and Metropolis. I’m not sure I understand the full conspiracy. But Bendis writes an awesome Clark Kent. I love the pages as he questions the mayor and then eavesdrops on his conversation as he drives away. This book continues to work and has a completely different feel than Superman.

3. West Coast Avengers #6 – Thompson, Di Nicuolo, Farrell

Weird team books may be my Kryptonite. Honestly, I don’t feel a connection to any of these characters as individuals. However, I enjoy how Kelly Thompson brings them together to defeat strange and weird villains – all while they try to make it as reality stars.

The art captures the action and provides enough stylization to give each character a feel. It just works. It’s like the Fantastic Four if they all didn’t make any sense together.

4. Runaways #16 – Rowell, Anka, Wilson

Another weird team book from Marvel. A bit of a trend. But this one has a special place in my heart. Although I did not follow these characters closely through all of their tribulations after Brian K. Vaughan left the book, this feels like the characters I enjoyed. They bicker, they crush, and they work together.

Although the book started slow, Rainbow Rowell has really turned a page with this junior Gibborim storyline. I’m not sure where she is going but I’m along for the ride. As the Runaways try to figure out how to not become their parents and save the world, each has a different motivation and secret. It’s complex but also entertaining.

Kris Anka’s work deserves accolades. It does not do anything besides story-tell so it seems to get forgotten. But each character has so much personality and also look like a teenager/young-adult. The pencils and then the colors bring out a sweetness that these characters deserve. If you have fell off of this book, give it a try.

5. Lumberjanes #57 – Watters, Leyh, Rogers, Laiho

Although I pick this book up every month, it has lost a bit of shine in the last few issues. It works but it’s felt a bit tired. It might be the change in art style or the competition like storyline, but I loved it.

The Lumberjanes wanted to surprise Jo for her birthday but they need to move to a Plan B where Mal has to do a water activity to keep Jo busy. However, Mal does not like the water. That may also bring about why I want to read the next issue. I love stories where someone tackles one of their fears.

And really, if something should get accolades on your list, it must make you want to read the next issue. It will all work out in the end, but I want to see how Mal reacts to the upcoming water dangers.

Honorable Mentions

Batgirl #30, Justice League #14, Archie #701

Three That Did Not Hit For Me

Outpost Zero #5

The book looks great; I’m sure it is telling a good story when it all concludes. But I cannot follow who any of these characters are. I cannot remember what dilemma they characters must defeat. And I want to. Just not working in single issues.

Middlewest #2

I liked the first issue but this one lost all of its steam. I like the character designs. But generally, fantasy stories do not work for me. It’s not my thing. I don’t think I will continue with the story.

Books of Magic #3

Tom Fowler’s art shines. I just cannot follow the storyline. It reminds me a little of Blackwood and Mystik U that came out last year. But a lot of it seems slow and plotting – like both of those books. Something needs to happen that is not just backstabbing teachers.

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