Vic’s Picks — A Trio of Comics YOU Might Enjoy

While on my first excursion to an international comic con (thank you, Toronto!), I had the great fortune of popping into The Beguiling, one of the city’s enchanting comic shops!  Warm and inviting, this haven for geeky content (from manga, art books, indie graphic novels, and mainstream icons), was like visiting an old friend.  They were just what I needed to get my fix for weekly comic booky goodness.

Cover by Bengal

Napalm Lullaby #1 (Image Comics/ Giant Generator)
Rick Remender (writer) Bengal (artist) Rus Wooton (letterer)

In a Sentence or Two: The world has fallen into a systemic crisis of ideology, where the powerful and cruel maintain, and those who rock the boat are ostracized (or worse).  A pair of unknowns try to turn their fate around by bringing down the source – an entity called Glokor.  

Honest Critique: From the start, this series rings familiar in a way that is the PERFECT red herring for the intricate tale that’s unfolding.  This reads like a classic anime feature (like Ghost in the Shell or Appleseed), with a TON of worldbuilding that gets revealed as you go along for the ride.  Bengal’s art adds to the experience, with a fun and kinetic style that brings environments and characters to life with just the right amount of detail.  Remender still leaves LOTS of mysteries to be discovered and I’m excited to be there for ALL OF IT!Star Rating: 4 Stars – “Who do I have to @#$% to get a peek at the next issue, already?!”


Cover by Stefano Caselli

Ultimate Black Panther #2 (Marvel Comics)
Bryan Hill (writer) Stefano Caselli (artist)
David Curiel (colorist) VCs Cory Petit (letterer)

In a Sentence or Two: Khonshu and Ra, the Maker’s Council’s designation for Africa, are tired of Wakanda being absent from their influence and control.  But belittling the nation protected by the Black Panther is proving difficult – even with help from the inside!

Honest Critique: There’s something about the presentation of politics and culture that seem to be at odds here.  Hill is crafting a modern tale of espionage and control, but with the familiar trappings of classic Black Panther fare – but the line up isn’t exactly right.  Caselli, though very talented in illustration and clarity, doesn’t quite push the envelope when the chance arrives, which is a necessary balance for an issue as conversation-heavy as this is.  I can’t help but wonder what an artist like Brian Stelfreeze (who launched a beloved Black Panther series with Ta-Nahesi Coates) would’ve done.  I hope Stefano leans more into the opportunity to blow us away visually, which Bryan keeps building a new mythology of African-based Marvel characters.

Star Rating: 3 Stars – “Waiting for a trade paperback isn’t ALWAYS a bad idea…”

Cover by John Timms

Superman: Action Comics #1063 (DC Comics)
Jason Aaron (writer) John Timms (artist)
Rex Lokus (colorist) Dave Sharpe (letterer)

In a Sentence or Two: The bizarro battle for Metropolis reaches final boss levels in Superman’s head.  But even with the help of Bizarro-Joker – the most SANE man on Htrae – can Kal-El reclaim and keep possession of his mind and body long enough to save EVERYONE?

Honest Critique: Though I’m usually a BIG fan of Jason Aaron’s bombastic storytelling style and characterizations, this finale to his three-issue run on Action Comics kept pace with the rest of this story for me – convoluted and flat.  I was truly intrigued by the exploration of Bizarro’s backward mirroring of Superman, particularly the use of magic as a booster, but alas, it was all concept and not a lot of fun in the experience.  Maybe it was the three-issue constraint that derailed this train, but for me, a big concept like this should be allowed to thrive and breathe, if only to let the magic of Aaron’s writing shine through!  Timms did a great job nabbing the visual flare – his line art is clean and action reads wonderfully – I hope he gets another turn with Supes in particular, but on a story with a lot more PUNCH.

Star Rating: 2 Stars – “Yep, this is MY last stop.”

About Victor Dandridge Jr.

Writer. Publisher. Graphic Designer. Educator. Victor Dandridge is a leading, new voice for innovation and production within the self-publishing market. He's found acclaim with his own imprint, Vantage:Inhouse Productions, the weekly internet review series, Black, White & Read All Over, and moderating your favorite content panels at conventions, nationwide. Wanting not only to entertain, but also to educate, Victor launched his U Cre-8 Comics line -- a unique bridge between comics and classroom fundamentals.

View all posts by Victor Dandridge Jr.

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