It's that time once again, where I try to get my comic blogging back on track and inevitably fall back to not doing so within a few weeks. I don't expect this time to be any different, especially with nicer weather right around the corner, however with another batch of new titles dropping this week, and a few good usual suspects, I figured I'd give it a shot. So without further lame introing, comics from May 2nd, 2012.
Kicking things off this week we have Venom #17 from Marvel; written by Rick Remender & Cullen Bunn, with pencils by Kev Walker, inks by Terry Pallot, colors by Chris Sotomayor, and letters by Joe Caramanga. A prologue to the upcoming Savage Six story arc; this issue assembles the cast of villains looking to take down Flash Thompson, while he himself once again calls on the Venom suit to rid him of Crime Master's black mail once and for all. A nice, soft-start to "Savage Six" this issue delivers a good taste of what the book has been like so far and where it's going in the near future. Remender continues to write Flash through the ringer, both emotionally and physically, giving him only enough down time to see how far he has fallen. One could choose to view this as depressing, but I find it only makes the character that much more interesting as we see him try to be better (sometimes succeeding and often not.) On the art side, Kev Walker's pencils continue to grow on me. While they aren't quite as visceral as Tony Moore's, they offer a pretty good substitute with a unique sense of action layout. All in all, a pretty good issue and definitely a good jumping on point if you've been wondering what this Venom series is all about.
Also from Marvel this week is Age of Apocalypse #3; written by David Lapham, with art by Roberto De La Torre, colors by Lee Loughridge, and letters by Cory Petit. The X-Terminated continue their fight for humanity by trying to stop Beast from reviving some of this world's deadliest mutants, finding assistance in from some unlikely allies. Still not entirely in love with De La Torre's art but find my self really enjoying Loughridge's color palette, which is spot on for this dystopian world. On the narrative side, I'm digging Lapham's story but do think it could be jarring for those not familiar with the universe. Ultimately, I like the book but would probably recommend most readers wait for a trade collection to get a good taste of it instead of just sampling this title with any given issue.
Next up is a bloody, double feature from Image starting with Pigs #7; story by Nate Cosby & Ben McCool, art by Breno Tamura & Will Sliney, colors by Chris Sotomayor, and lettering & design by Rus Wooton. After their paid hit-man failed last issue, the sleeper cell takes matters into their own hands and breaks into prison to eliminate their target. Another good issue from Cosby, McCool, and crew; furthering the story enough to satiate our blood-lust while still dangling the mystery of what the cell is really up to right in front of us. To be honest I was a little worried momentum wouldn't carry over, as it's been a little while since the last issue was released, but now I'm finding that each issue of this book can really be enjoyed without the context of the others (although that context does make it so much better.) If you're up for a tale of intrigue, assassination, and possibly revenge definitely give Pigs a shot.
Rounding out the Image double feature is a brand new mini-series, Epic Kill #1 of 5. Created, written, and drawn by Raffaele Ienco, Epic Kill follows young Song as she begins begins her quest to find that man that holds all the secrets to her past. I would like to say this comic goes beyond the generic summary I just gave it, but it really doesn't. I don't want judge it too harshly based on this first issue, but Ienco's book looks and feels like a third rate action story that never approaches living up to it's name. Maybe it gets better in the other issues, but for now I would advise staying away from this book.
Going back to Marvel, we have Exiled one-shot (part 1 of 5, so not really a one-shot); Kieron Gillen, Dan Abnett, & Andy Lanning on writing duties, art by Carmine Di Giandomenico, colors by Andy Troy, and letters by Clayton Cowles. Evil creatures from Asgardian past escape hell, and end up on earth forcing a confrontation between the Norse gods and the New Mutants that leaves everyone confused. Not the easy introductory issue I was hoping for, coming from only reading New Mutants, but not exactly terrible either. So far this cross-over seems a lot more like pressure marketing than a compelling tale flowing naturally out of the two books, however it did interest me enough to want to pick up the Journey Into Mystery issues if only to find out what is actually going on. Art-wise it left less of an impression, as it neither wowed or disgusted me, leading me to hope for better in the remaining for parts but won't end up being too dissappoint if there isn't. Final verdict on this one, pass on it till it's collected unless you're already buying one or both of the comics titles it bleeds into this month (Journey Into Mystery and New Mutants.)
Last up and my favorite book this week is the flagship title of DC second wave of 52 books, Earth 2 #1; written by James Robinson, pencils by Nicola Scott, inks by Trevor Scott, colors by Alex Sinclair, and letters by Dezi Sienty. On a earth very much like our own (if our own was that of the regular DC earth) three iconic heroes wage a final battle for humanity's freedom ending in a tragic result, but one that will give birth to a new generation of heroes. To be honest, I wasn't to hot on this book going in and might not have picked it up if my local shop wasn't offering it for a dollar off, but man am I glad they did. While I stand by my thoughts on most of the DC books (I've read and liked) no needing a reboot to tell their stories, this one absolutely did (sort of picking up the remains of JSA) and they knocked it out of the park! Robinson's sets the stage for what could be a great title with his story and Nicola Scott's art is looking way better than the last time I saw it in the pre-reboot Teen Titans series, probably somewhat due to the talents of Trevor Scott and Alex Sinclair. Definitely grabbing the next few issues of this to see if it keeps it's momentum, but I highly recommend grabbing this first issue and checking it out for yourself.
That's it for this week but next week is shaping up to be just as good with new Uncanny X-Force, Crossed, and Batman so be sure to head out and pick those up today.