Before we get into the reviews, I just wanna give a thank you shout-out to Loran/Solphie, who’s time at FPNYC has come to an end. I wish her all the luck out in California, and thank her for her many years of writing about giant robots for us.
So a book I forgot to mention last week that’s worth your time is The Superior Foes of Spider-Man by Nick Spencer ( Morning Glories, Secret Avengers) and Steve Lieber ( Hawkeye, Underground), which a cool update of the ” Blank Foes of Spider-Man” mini series from the 90s. One of things I liked about this book was the fact that Spencer made sure to point out that these guys are STILL villains in the debut issue, and that’s something that isn’t going to change. There’s shades of a Brubaker crime book in this issue, but make no mistake, Spencer does not shy away from the fact that this book takes place in the Marvel Universe. The script is great for a debut issue, introducing this cast of B & C-list Spider-villains and throws in a few neat plot twists along the way. It’s also insanely funny at times, which makes the villains a tad more likeable, even though some of that humor is DARK. Lieber’s art is fantastic, and his style is very much in the vein of Aja on Hawkeye and Samsee on Daredevil. SFoSM is the type of quirky book that Marvel’s been famous for as of late, and it’s a welcome addition to the already strong Spider-Man family of books.
Chris Bachalo and Tim Townsend return to Uncanny X-Men this week, and I couldn’t be happier. Frazier Irving is a hell of an artist, but Bachalo owns the visual end of thisbook, and issue 10 is proof of this. Bachalo is an artist I usually associate with big-booming splash pages and double spread, but here he’s channeling his inner Steranko, with a dash of J.H Williams, and gives us some interesting panel work and layouts, not to mention some great use of white space. And his Magik is THE BEST, no one denies this. His pencils and Townsend’s inks stands over even better than to his own coloring, giving the final product an awesome look worthy of one of Marvel’s flagship titles. It kind of makes me wish Uncanny was bi-monthly, so that Bachalo wouldn’t need a guest artist every other arc. Bendis bounces back from the last arc strong as well, giving us a surprisingly dense script with some great character development. Despite the deceiving cover (a Bendis trademark), Uncanny X-Men is a great read, and I’m really curious as to how things are going to play out.
The crown jewels of Steve Wacker’s line of Marvel books both shipped this past week, and Daredevil and Hawkeye this month have a lot more in common than just an editor. Both books are missing the artists usually associated with the title, but neither of them suffer for it. DD’s colorist Javier Rodriguez takes over for Chris Samsee as a guest artist for this arc, and while he’s not as gifted as Samsee is, the book still looks great. Mark Waid has written a nice little 1st chapter in a 2 parter that’s not an intense as the previous arc, but still a fantastic read, and a ton of fun (which is kind of a given looking at that cover). Then again Waid hasn’t written a bad issue yet on this book, so this come as no surprise really.
Meanwhile over in Hawkeye, Francesco Francavilla returns to help Matt Fraction introduce a new supporting cast member to the book, not to mention setting the record for the use of “Bro” and “Seriously in a single panel. I know the former may not sound impressive if you’re not reading the book, but I assure you, it is. Francavilla was done no favors having to follow up Aja’s amazing Pizza Dog issue, but he delivers in spades, telling a excellent story that blends tragedy, action and humor. While this issue isn’t as groundbreaking as the last one on technical or storytelling level, which is a bit of an unfair comparison, it STILL is one of the best book on the stands, getting the 2nd year of the book off to a great start. (( Also worth noting is that the 2nd collection just dropped 2, which y’all need to get on.) This was definitely a Marvel-heavy pull week, but it doesn’t matter to me who’s publishing what when the books are so good.