This Week in Comics – August 23, 2016

There's a lot of "not having all of the facts" going on this month.

Oh my, I haven’t done one of these in forever! It feels like it’s been months since I’ve been able to do a This Week in Comics post, and I’m so happy that I can get this out before Wednesday.

This week’s post includes the end of the first Insexts arc, what looks to be a major moment in Civil War II, 3 Batverse titles, and, possibly, the plot for the Wonder Woman movie. Also, at least four of these reviews were written to the music of Toto, as I’ve recently found out that I’m a bigger fan than I thought I was.

Onto the comics:

Aquaman (2016), #5

Cover B by Joshua Middleton (Photo Credit: Midtown Comics)
Cover B by Joshua Middleton (Photo Credit: Midtown Comics)

I really need DC and Marvel to be uniform about where they put their title credits. I shouldn’t have to go looking for them, nor should they be all the way at the back of the book. I appreciate Image and Aftershock for having their title credits ready to go as soon as you start the comic. I just need the big two to just get on board with that.

In issue #5, Arthur and Mera are on the run from the United States military. Black Manta finally meets the Fisher King, and the Atlantean army gets ready for war. Superman stops in for a chat.

Arthur Curry does not deserve such bad treatment. Seriously, he does not deserve to be so underestimated on the one hand, and so heavily feared on the other. I mean, either you want to work with the dude or you don’t. There no reason to put him in jail without at least hearing him out.

And Mera? Poor girl is just trying to protect her man. She shouldn’t have to spare the lives of people who have no interest in sparing hers.

I feel like DC is pulling from Marvel’s Civil War II BS by having Superman come in. Like, what is he really going to do? Whose side is Clark on? Also, both Arthur and Clark have dual citizenships, but Clark is much more capable of randomly destroying the world just ‘cause. So why is the U.S. government giving preferential treatment to Clark, and not Arthur?

This arc has me agitated. Arthur Curry does not deserve this discrimination. 

Batman (2016), #1

Cover by David Finch and Matt Banning (Photo Credit: DC Comics)
Cover by David Finch and Matt Banning (Photo Credit: DC Comics)

I know that this comic didn’t come out in August, but my comic book guy told me that it was worth reading. I trust James, even though he was the one that told me to get into The Discipline. He’s a Batfan, so he knows his stuff.

In issue #1, Batman has contingencies for everything.

You ever get the feeling that Gotham has too many superheroes? Like, there’s always someone to pop up and do the job if something happens to Bruce. Nightwing, Robin, Red Robin, Batgirl, Red Hood, Robin the Movement, and now these Gotham twins. Gotham literally has it’s own Justice League.

And I’m not really surprised. For a city so full of crime, why wouldn’t it also be full of crimefighters? I feel like crime fighting and criminal activity are legitimate career choices for Gotham kids. Wayne Industries probably sponsors it’s inclusion on the Gotham City curriculum.

I guess what I’m really trying to say is, there’s too many hands in the Gotham pot. And while I have no issue with expanding the Gotham portion of Batman, Inc., I do have an issue with so many damned Batman titles.

We’ll see how it goes though.

Black Panther (2016), #5

Cover by Brian Stelfreeze and Laura Martin (Photo Credit: Marvel Comics)
Cover by Brian Stelfreeze and Laura Martin (Photo Credit: Marvel Comics)

I’ve been flopping all over the place in this post, but you won’t be able to tell because it’s all in alphabetical order. Black Panther is the last of three Marvel comics I’m talking about today, even though it’ll come first on the page. He is also the only one who will not be joining Civil War II in his own comic.

In issue #5, T’Challa has stopped bothering to play nice. And it somewhat backfired.

Except, I don’t think it did. Part of me feels like T’Challa meant for that to happen, but I won’t be sure until next month. We’ll have to wait and see.

I still don’t get what’s going on with Shuri, but I like the stories that she is being told. I like that because of Shuri, we are getting the history of Wakanda.

Manifold made an appearance, but I know nothing of this guy, so now I must go look him up a bit. Also, I don’t know if I’ve said this, but I really like the look of Hodari. High top fades, beards, and black suits is a look that has yet to go out of style.

Captain America: Sam Wilson (2016), #12

Cover by Daniel Acuna (Photo Credit: Marvel Comics)
Cover by Daniel Acuna (Photo Credit: Marvel Comics)

Issue #12 is brimming with covert racism, which makes sense because there’s a lot of it going around these days in the real world. The Americops are still a thing, and Rage isn’t any help, but new Falcon gets to have a moment. And then, U.S. Agent joins the fight.

Nick Spencer is really out here making statements. Especially with that Eldridge Cleaver book in Sam’s flashback. Don’t think I didn’t peep the significance of Sam reading the autobiography of a former Black Panther while being falsely imprisoned. I see you, Nick Spencer.

I feel like Sam is Spencer’s preferred Captain America, and it shows.  

Or, maybe not, since it looks like Sam Wilson might end with #14. To that, I call bullshit.

Steve out here having identity issues, and U.S. Agent just showed himself to be a lowkey racist. Bucky Barnes has no interest in the Cap life, and Sam is legitimately the only one doing any kind of right these days. I will leave the franchise entirely if Sam has to give back the shield.

At least until there’s a Captains America book.

Detective Comics, #934

Cover by Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, And Adriano Lucas (Photo Credit: DC Comics)
Cover by Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, And Adriano Lucas (Photo Credit: DC Comics)

Like the issue of Batman before it, this Detective Comics issue that I’m talking about is actually from June. Again, my comic book guy says it’s good, but he also says that Duke Thomas is legitimately in this one. As long as I get to see Duke in action, I really don’t care which title it is.

In Detective Comics #934, Bruce talks his cousin, Batwoman, into forming a team that includes two former Robins, a former Batgirl, and Clayface. Apparently, they’re also being spied on.

So apparently this is not the book with Duke Thomas in it, but I now get Barbara Gordon’s comment about Batwoman starting up a Boot Camp. She must have been salty about not being asked to join. I would be too, except I’m mad that this concept was not done with the We Are Robin movement.

Well, it kind of was, but the older Robins disbanded the crew and then DC ended the book. I still don’t appreciate that.

I like the idea of a Batfam bootcamp, but I think it’s wasted on Tim, Stephanie, and Cassandra because they’ve all had superhero training at Bruce and Kate’s side. The only person who’s actually going to learn something new is Clayface.

Seriously, this is a waste of a Batman title. They really should have just been training the We Are Robin kids to take their new places among the Batfam. Like, I’m still not sure what Bruce is actually doing with Duke because Damian is still Robin, and I’ve yet to figure out which title he’s actually in.

I am both confused and frustrated.

Insexts, #7

Cover by Ariel Kristantina (Photo Credit: Comixology)
Cover by Ariel Kristantina (Photo Credit: Comixology)

I thought that this was going to be the last issue of Insexts, so I almost dreaded reading it. However this did not stop me from thinking about replacing Insexts with Animosity. They’re both written by Marguerite Bennett, and published by Aftershock, so I figured it was a good trade. Thankfully, #7 is only the end of Insexts’ first arc, and my friend is planning to read Animosity, so here won’t be any swapping out going on.

Issue #7 ends the “Chrysalis” arc, and finally kills off The Hag. We find out that Lady Betram’s brother-in-law was actually being blackmailed by The Hag well before his wife died. As we looked forward to the future, Mariah and Lady Bertram apparently plan to be monster hunters.

I love Insexts, but I have some issues with it, story wise. Like whether or not Lady Bertram and Mariah get to keep the house? I feel like one of the speech bubbles was attributed to the wrong person, but it seemed like Mariah was talking about being homeless. The Brotherhood of Wolf Guys seem to be down a member, but I can’t tell if he was the first Brother we met or some random. Also, neither the Brotherhood or the Women of The Hag’s house seem to know what to do from here. I’m all for a merry band of sex workers and werewolves following some insect lesbians and their son on an adventures, but I am not here for the uncertainty.

I guess I would like to see a more cohesive story going forward. Hell, the story might already be cohesive, but I don’t want to have to refer back to older issues to see what happened. Especially when I just read them three weeks ago. I think that we could do with some more differentiation and distinction between the characters. I had a hard time telling the difference between Lady Bertram’s sister-in-law and The Hag, not to mention figuring out which girl was who. I feel like William was the most distinguishable character. And how old is this baby supposed to be? He can’t be more than nine months, but he’s out here looking like a two-year-old. How does that work?

Yet and still, for all my issues with the comic, you and I both know that I’ll be right here reading the next issue in September. I enjoy the hell out of Insexts, and I really want to see how far Marguerite Bennett can go with it.  Like, what other creatures are out there? Are Sylvia and Mariah the only two of their kind? Do the homeless sex workers have any magical powers? I need to know these things, and I’m hoping that Bennett at least touches on them.

I just want this book to be great.

Nightwing (2016), #3

Cover B by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, and Brad Anderson (Photo Credit: Midtown Comics)
Cover B by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, and Brad Anderson (Photo Credit: Midtown Comics)

As bad as Barbara Gordon is treated, I should be a lot nicer to her. She’s been through a lot, including having a sexual relationship with a much older mentor, and then being raped by his nemesis. And while I do feel sorry for her, I just can’t see it for her and Dick. They are my NoTP.

In issue #3 of Nightwing, Batgirl joins the party. It doesn’t end well.

I feel like someone on the Nightwing team has been hearing me say that Barbara doesn’t need to be with Dick, and they finally listened. I don’t care if she was his first, Babs is not about that life.

I like the Raptor, but I could see him turning on Dick later on down the line. Dick is so confused right now. Yes, they’re not killing anyone, but there’s so much duplicity going on and Dick was supposed to have left that behind when he ditched Spyral. Yet, here he is toying with, and being toyed with by, the Parliament of Owls.

It’s a lot, and I expect it to boil over soon.

Power Man and Iron Fist (2016), #7

Cover by Sanford Greene (Photo Credit: Marvel Comics)
Cover by Sanford Greene (Photo Credit: Marvel Comics)

In issue #7 of Power Man and Iron Fist, everyone and their former partner makes an appearance. Danny is jail, and Luke is trying to get him out. Meanwhile, Jessica Jones is helping to crack the case. Also, Ulysses is going to blow up in Carol Danvers’ face.

Have I already said that I hate Civil War II? Like, who thought that this was a good idea? And don’t say Bendis, because he needs to sit down and let some other kids play in the sandbox.

I see why Tony hates it. In the space of one page, I have already seen the folly of Carol’s plan. Ulysses might could predict the future, but he can’t give context. And without context for the situation, we can inevitably end up fighting the wrong people for the least thought out reasons. This is going to be a mess.

In any case, I loved that Misty popped by for two seconds. It doesn’t give me hope about her and Danny’s relationship, but there must be some love there if she was good enough to visit him in prison. I continue to hold out hope, and blame Jeremy Whitley.

I like the use – and referencing – of older and lesser used Marvel characters, like Colleen Wing, the Sons of the Tiger, and whoever that ape guy was at the end. I like that Deathlok and Puck are randomly in Civil War II, and somehow on Carol’s team. Why Storm and Monica Rambeau are also on the said team is a mystery to me- especially since I’m not actually following the main storyline.

I hope David F. Walker stays on this comic for a long while, because I think that he’s doing an absolutely fantastic job with all of these characters and the story. I remember that he had hinted at exploring Danny’s darkside in the reader letters, and I feel like we are getting to see the beginning of that arc in this issue.

I am actually a little anxious about shit hitting the fan next month. However, I’m not super surprised that Carol is a “punch first, ask questions later” type of person. It might be the grief, though.

Wonder Woman (2016), #4

Cover B by Frank Cho (Photo Credit: Midtown Comics)
Cover B by Frank Cho (Photo Credit: Midtown Comics)

It’s almost over! So I just found out the Marguerite Bennett, who writes Insexts, was replaced on this Wonder Woman run by Greg Rucka. I remember hearing about it at the time, but I didn’t bother looking into it because it was the third or fourth DC shakeup for the year. I know that the change was because of something really shady, but I wonder what this book would have been like had Bennett been able to stay on.

In issue #4, the Amazons try to figure out what to do with Steve Trevor. We basically get the plot of the new Wonder Woman movie.

If this isn’t the plot of the Wonder Woman movie, I’ll be surprised. I could do without Steve’s friends dying right off the bat though. What is he supposed to tell his goddaughter?

It’s so wild to think that the Amazons don’t know what guns are, but they’re legitimately an ancient Greek society so they must have been cut off from the rest of the world from well before Christ’s time. It makes sense that Steve and Diana can’t understand each other though, but it’s also super weird because most stories will immediately find a way around it. And the way that the invisible plane is fashioned? Talk about convenient. There is no doubt in my mind that this will be used in the movie.

I’m very interested in seeing where this plot goes, but I know we’re going right back to the jungle in the next issue. Hopefully the Hyena man dies.

I feel like this – and last – week’s theme was making moves without knowing all of the facts. Except for Batman #1, just about all of these comics had some story where context or knowing the whole story, would have helped the whole situation. I feel like, if I had picked up the current issue, Batman #4 would have probably been running that same type of story as well.

I enjoyed this week’s comics though, they made me feel things and pick sides. I don’t know what the rest of August’s comics will be about, but I do know that their small amount will make me feel happy.

If you would like to keep up with me and my adventures in appreciating the many different types of literature, please be sure to subscribe to this blog. If you just want to chat with me about these particular comics, make sure to hit me up in the comment section.

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