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Prattling Panels: 2/7/2014

Well its a Marvelous week here as Marvel dominates a lot of the books being discussed here along with a lot of number 1s by them. Its all Marvel and DC here, my Image titles aren’t printing this week, I still need to start reading Valiant comics, and I honestly need to read some more Oni Press and other indie companies I love. Hey a week solely based around the big two was gonna happen. Just so happens to be our third column of this. Enough of that, let’s get it started! Also I’m behind on Swamp Thing so no Swamp Thing review this month.

Heads up, the book of the week might be spoilery, but nothing major really happens in the issue so, whatever, just putting this here to be safe.

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The Punisher #1
Written by Nathan Edmondson; Drawn by Mitch Gerads

Welcome back, Frank! Oh no we’re not talking about the amazing story that is, but the return Frank Castle in a new ongoing series that gets off on a good start with Frank being Frank. Edmondson seems to have a knack for writing characters that take on professional for hire jobs that take them around the world (the other which will be discussed below). But right now Punisher #1 is a great establishing issue. There is no origin telling since we all know the origin. This does feel like a bit to me at least, Edmonson’s Black Widow but with Punisher and that’s not a bad thing but this book feels like its leading to an arc with Frank on track to face down the Howling Commandos. Yes, Punisher vs. the Howling Commandos, oh my Odin you can see my nerd boner from space. There are great bits in a coffee joint he frequents with a budy on the NYPD and of course the owner of said joint. Its a wonderful read and I recommend it. 4/5

So while we’re talking about Nathan Edmonson…

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Black Widow #3
Written by Nathan Edmonson; Drawn by Phil Noto

Black Widow continues a great streak. Its quickly becoming a favorite book of mine to read and one I look forward to. This time Natasha is to retrieve a target from jail. That’s right y’all, tonight there’s gonna be a jailbreak! Pretty sure this might be the one review of this comic book anywhere that references Thin Lizzy. But anyway, the issue is well paced, written wonderfully, and man I gotta say, Phil Noto’s art is just amazing. He does interiors and the covers and they are just pure eye-candy. The stuff in New York and the beginning and end of the issue is good stuff but its Natasha on the mission that’s the real highlight of the book. Pick this up. 5/5

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Detective Comics #28
Written by John Layman; Drawn by Aaron Lopresti

PENULTIMATE issue of John Layman’s fantastic run of Detective Comics. The only time I given a shit about this title since The New 52. I was not at all a fan of that first run on New 52 Detective since Tony Daniel is a much better artist than he is a writer. Layman can take on many weird, out there concepts and work with them so well. read Chew if you want more proof, although you should read Chew anyway because its goddamn amazing.

But here we’re focusing on the GothTopia storyline in which Scarecrow has tweaked his fear toxin into leading people into a state of contentment so he may do many bad things, like dose them with a stronger fear toxin. The issue picks up where the beginning of the story in that massive #27 began. Its a very interesting read. Layman’s writing is very good but I find myself missing Jason Fabok’s art. He’s obviously moved on to Batman Eternal but I don’t mind Lopresti’s art here. The issue is fine, could be better. The real highlight is Batman and Poison Ivy having to work together to break out of Arkham Asylum. Its just all out fun there. Next month comes the end of Layman’s run. Here’s hoping it goes out on a high note. 3/5

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Loki: Agent of Asgard #1
Written by Al Ewing; Drawn by Lee Garbett

This book opens with Loki in the shower. Marvel wanted them Loki fangirls to get this book, this will help to solidify that sales will go up for this first issue of a pretty damn fun book. They cover the history of Loki very well in just a couple pages and gets into the story, the All-Mothers want Loki to go to Avengers Tower and do something about Thor since he doesn’t seem to be himself since his latest run in with Malekith in the very excellent Thor: God of Thunder (READ IT!).

I’m not gonna say what it is since that is spoilers but it leads to a great ending panel that guarantees I’ll be getting issue #2. I’m hooked. The writing is so very good, Ewing makes Loki fun to read and want to follow. A scene in the Avengers tower with him and all the Avengers is great and my highlight of the book and the art is pretty energetic. Lee Garbett is a good fit here. This book exceeded all my expectations and turned in some damn great fun. 5/5

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X-Men #10.Now
Written by Brian Wood; Drawn by Kris Anka

This is not a great jumping on point. Oh sure the book catches you up in the text opening and showing you the new Lady Deathstrike, but this is in the middle the Sisterhood storyline but its advertised as the beginning of the Ghosts storyline. This is so not new reader friendly to me. Having been reading since issue one, Brian Wood’s X-Men book of X-Ladies has been great and a nice read. The continuation of the sisterhood storyline is great, keeps things moving and Kris Anka’s art is nice to look at and gives each character a unique, great look to themselves. Its a wonderful book, just not the best place to jump on for new people. This is kinda not the place to start. 4/5

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Action Comics #28
Written by Greg Pak; Drawn by Arron Kuder

Action Comics continues to be one the most fun titles at DC Comics at the moment. Greg Pak just really taps into Superman and understands him. Here Superman and Lana Lang with an underground race of weird strange creatures. Its a little charming issue that just wants to be fun and it is. The writing is very good and Kuder’s art is a perfect match for what’s going on here. If you want a glimpse of the old DC, pick up Action Comics. 4/5

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Wolverine #1
Written by Paul Cornell; Drawn by; Ryan Stegman

This is an awful #1 issue. So terrible. I didn’t read the recent volume of Wolverine cause I had gotten enough of Wolverine in about the 56,291 X-Men books Marvel is putting out. I think Wolverine’s only in about 26,734 of them though. But what interested me was the writer, Paul Cornell. Cornell is a fantastic writer and I thought, hey this should be a fun combo. NOPE! Maybe I should have read the latest volume because I felt lost as fuck. Wolverine is now mortal, I had figured that out a while ago actually so okay. But the book opens with him with a team of mutants who are not really explained or gone much into. They are working for a man called The Offer an they’re doing a team exercise and man I lost interest in this issue, FAST! The art is very good but reading this, it was a mess. I’m not even sure I wanna read issue 2 purely because of how terrible I found this first issue to be and also, TOO MANY X-BOOKS! 1/5

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The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #8
Written by Nick Spencer; Drawn by Steve Lieber

Now to a Marvel book that guarantees to be great, the best debuting comic book of 2013 and the sleeper hit favorite, The Superior Foes of Spider-Man! This book never fails to make me laugh. We open with Boomerang in a dream sequence to avoid the fact Chameleon is torturing him to discover where the head of Silvermane is. The sequence is so well done and just balls out hilarious as this happens.

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Boomerang “thanks” Obama and he’s there grilling for Walt and Jesse saying he’s welcome. I laughed for about five minutes straight reading that. The rest the issue is great, with Shocker and Silvermane, the chemistry between Speed Force, Overdrive, and Beetle, and of course Boomerang wooing his new lady love. Just some greatness all around here. If you aren’t reading, PICK THIS BOOK UP PLEASE! This might be one those books people pick up after its canned and be like, “Why didn’t we read this when its was being published?!” I don’t want it to be that book. 5/5

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Green Arrow #28
Written by Jeff Lemire; Drawn by Andrea Sorrentino

Book three of The Outsiders War is going head strong. Ever since Jeff Lemire took over the title that sucked from issue one in the New 52, Green Arrow has become a must read book. Its honestly just so exciting and refreshing to have some fun back in with the adventures of the Emerald Archer. Still on the island, Ollie and Shado try to survive and well there’s interesting development with Komodo. that’s all I can say, there is really heavy story stuff going on here. Everything Lemire has done and built up in his run here is connected and its amazing. I just love everything that’s gone on with GA since he’s come on to write.Also Andre Sorrentino’s art is just fucking spectacular. Green Arrow is a serious great read. 4.5/5

BOOK OF THE WEEK!
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Ms. Marvel #1
Written by G. Willow Wilson; Drawn by Adrian Alphona

News broke long ago that a teenage Muslim girl Kamala Khan would become the new Ms. Marvel in a new ongoing series. It was an interesting move by Marvel and of course in some parts the world, controversial. But that shouldn’t be a factor into the quality of the book. so how is the book? Well its not here because its the almost book of the week. This was a great first issue. This is so relatable in so many ways to everyone for being made fun of for being different and in the ways some grew up in life or any situation and its really good about portraying the Muslim faith among Kamala and her family. Its blended into the story so well and not just crowbarred in at all. Kamala is such a damn likable character. One the first pages of the book we see inside her mind reading her fan fiction she wrote of the Avengers saving and defending Planet Unicorn. That’s just so damn charming and hilarious. Kamala was like us as a 16-year old, just wanting some freedom to make their own choices, to hang out with friends and go to parties. She just wanted to be herself like we all stride to be ourselves. Again, very relatable.

Having a character like Kamala continues the great progression of diversity in Marvel comics from having Miles Morales being Ultimate Spider-Man and Northstar marrying boyfriend Kyle Jinadu. Its just wonderful to see a book like this. I never heard of G. Willow Wilson before but I’m interested in her work now given how well told, paced, funny, and insightful this first issue is. Adrian Alphona is an artist I’m very familiar with and his art is amazing here. Especially this little panel.

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After having accidentally drank alcohol, a sin in the eyes of the Muslim world, at a party she snuck to, she starts to hallucinate seeing Iron Man, Captain America, and her idol, Captain Marvel speaking her language. They tell her, you’re human. No matter the religion, the political views, and whatever, as long as you’re human you’re doing life right and well she suddenly is given the powers and original costume of Ms. Marvel.

This book is just great and I can’t praise this issue enough. I kinda thought it would be a no-brainer to make this the Book of the Week because of how prominent the book would be given the subject matter but its the Book of the Week because its just a dam great damn book that I think will be the beginning of something great for Marvel Comics. 5/5

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