Hey y’all! It’s a pretty heavy week for new comics and there’s lots to choose from, so here’s some issues that stood out to me. Let’s get started:
Amazing Spider-Man #800 “Go Down Swinging” Conclusion – Slott/Various Artists, Marvel Comics
Well folks, that does it – the conclusion to the final arc in Dan Slott’s long and illustrious career as the man in the big chair for Amazing Spider-Man. I had already resigned myself to adding “Go Down Swinging” to my top 10 list of greatest stories under the ASM title, and issue #800 solidifies its spot in that list. There are a lot of things that make the character Spider-Man, as well as the gold-standard title Amazing Spider-Man, great and appealing to a wide audience; it’s longevity as a title, the constant hall of fame creative teams on the book over the years, the humorous quips, etc…but I think that, if one would really want to pour over the data and think about what really made them fall in love with this comic book series and come back month after month, it’s the supporting cast. Allies, friends, family members, co-workers, villains, The Amazing Spider-Man has what is arguably the best supporting cast of any comic book, rivaled only by Batman. I mention this because ASM #800, as well as his final few stories, is Dan Slott doing my favorite Dan Slott thing, which is writing from the position of a long-time lover of the book, playing with a multitude of characters, and being a continuity buff. “Go Down Swinging” concludes with 80 pages of battling with the Red Goblin, the christoning of “Goblin Childe”, J. Jonah Jameson operating a certain robot, another image in a long line of iconic images of Peter in a black suit, but also the departure of someone who is likely Peter’s oldest confidant.
The quadruple-sized #800 is not only the second to last stop on Dan Slott’s farewell tour, but also one of the final swan songs for four collaborating artists – Stuart Immonen, Humberto Ramos, Giuseppe Camuncoli, and the knockout one-two punch of Marcos Martin and Muntsa Vicente (Barrier, anyone?) We’ve got one issue left until web heads everywhere close the book on an entire era of Amazing Spider-Man stories from this lot, and regardless of negative twitter-based opinions, these guys know how to make comic books and will be missed dearly. By me, at least. The entire run is still available at Brainstorm Comics as single issues, and we’re gonna be slinging issue #800 to y’all for $6.99 instead of the $9.99 on the cover, so if you haven’t yet, you’re gonna want to come and get caught up.
For Fans Of: Iron Man, Thing/Human Torch 2-In-1, Deadpool
Blackwood #1 – Dorkin/Fish, Dark Horse Comics
When I walked into the shop to pick up my pull list and add some books that I may have missed, I was exceptionally excited to have seen this particular book on the shelves for a number of reasons; Number one, I have never reviewed a book by Dark Horse before, so this will be a first. And two, I love Evan Dorkin. I love everything he’s done from Milk and Cheese, Beasts of Burden, and Eltingville Club to his brazen and vulgar YouTube and podcast interviews where he gives an honest take on what it’s actually like to work in the comic book industry while also taking absolutely nothing seriously and throwing out zingers. I realize this has absolutely noting to do with the book, but if anyone out there is a repeat reader (all one of you), then you know I like to incessantly gush about creators I enjoy. Anyways…
Blackwood #1 is a pseudo-horror book that features all the tropes and traits that we’ve all come to know and love – a girl arrives in a new town to begin the next level of higher education, and is immediately met with strange individuals and surroundings. She makes her way to the school’s campus where she’s thrown into the mix with her fellow students that she has absolutely nothing in common with but immediately – yet begrudgingly – gravitates towards a small group of people that she can somewhat stand, where they all comment about how something just seems “off” and “not quite right” about the old and archaic building, as well as the decrepit and sickly dean of admissions. Turns out, absolutely everything is off and nothing is quite right, and even though these are all themes we’ve read before, this four-issue miniseries by Evan Dorkin is still a fantastic read and definitely worth checking out.
For Fans Of: Hellboy, Ice Cream Man, Cult Classic: Return to Whisper
The Last Siege – Walker/Greenwood – Image Comics
Admittedly, this comic is a bit out of my wheelhouse – I’m not much into the fantasy genre when it comes to literature and things of that nature. I enjoy certain games and films that fall under that genre, but generally I find that, for no real reason, fantasy-things seem to bore me. The Last Siege is a fantasy comic book, which is a nugget of information I did not have before I even cracked it open, but what’s actually strange is that I really liked it.
This book slipped between the cracks for me when looking up what was coming out in the coming weeks, and when I saw this book on the shelf I was drawn to the darkly colored cover, as well as the classic Image “I” logo and a little #1 on the bottom right corner, which for me is usually the making of a great book. I think what made me like this book the way I did was the fact that not much happened – there is a young princess who is to be married off against her will to a poweful suitor who will gain even more power upon their marriage; aforementioned suitor has an encounter with a strange man in the pub, a fight ensues, and it turns out this strange new man in town is not just a deserter or vagabond as previously thought. The distinct lack of development is oddly enough to immediately hook me into the story, and I’ll definitely be buying issue #2 to see where the story goes. It’s a quick read, so it won’t hurt to pick up a copy and slip it somewhere in your reading stack.
For Fans Of: Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Pestilence
Top 5 Covers for 5-30-18
5. Blackwood #1
4. Aquaman/Jabberjaw Special (MIddleton Variant)
3. Doomsday Clock #5
2. Descender #30 (Cover B)
1. Amazing Spider-Man #800 (JR SR Variant)
It’s such a heavy week, there’s no way you’ve burned through your pull list yet…but if you have and you’re looking for something to read, I’ve got a suggestion for you.
The Flash: Iron Heights – Johns/Van Sciver, DC Comics
Beautifully written and pencilled by an underrated Flash creative duo, Iron Heights tells the story of an outbreak of a deadly disease that will spread through central city from Iron Heights prison unless Pied Piper and our favorite Scarlett Speedster can get to the bottom of it while slogging through their deadliest villains and a mysterious warden. A quick and fun read featuring many neat supporting characters that can be found most anywhere that Flash books are sold.