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Welcome, IJBMers to my newest and least ambitious liveblog!This week in ink is a simple liveblog meant to make short reviews of the comics of the week. The idea is simply to review comics and maybe reveal something that might be interesting to potential readers. The only rule I have for myself is that they have to be comics I've actually spent money on, with the exception of explicitly free digital comics on comixology.
As an added bonus, you, the reader can suggest gimmicks for each week. Should I review the comics as Foghorn Leghorn? With haikus? Anything that strikes your fancy!
So this week we have:
Angel and Faith 6: I'm sure y'all know I love Buffy but I actually love Faith more. When it came out my favorite slayer would be teaming up with my favorite angsty vampire I got excited and Angel & Faith continues not to disappoint, continually outshining sister book Buffy Season 9. While Buffy has been feeling largely aimless, A&F knows exactly where it wants to go and it does an incredible job of Giles being a third character despite being dead This comic is setting up a pretty interesting arc, though it's snaring itself into the confusing continuity of a recurring character which has the potential to be really headache-inducing and points out how cheap death is in the Buffy Universe.
The Mighty Thor 10: While I've enjoyed Matt Fraction's Thor run, the current arc with Thor lost in the limbo of existence has been kind of dull, mostly because it involves the main character sitting around sucking his thumb for three issues. While that changes here and has Thor dealing some awesome monologues, there's the inevitable question of why this needed to take three issues. Still, despite the slow pace Fraction is a master of suspense and I can't wait for the inevitable showdown with his 'replacement'.
Fantastic Four 602: Hey guys, remember that character from the Fantastic Four no one liked? Now imagine he died, came back to life, and then came out of the negative zone with Annhiluis the Living Death on a leash and in command of big-ass fleet. Sound like artificial character inflation to you? Well, fuck off. Not only does this give Johnny Storm the much needed power-up he's always lacked ("Oh no! my most deadly foe uses asbestos!") but it's a genuinely epic story that FF has lacked in a long time and Hickman really delivers on scope, especially in how his entire Fantasic Four/Future Foundation arc has been woven together.
Future Foundation 14: Also, by Hickman. This is a pretty great big idea story let down by terrible art. Also an issue is that in essence the big goal of the past two issues has been to cross a bridge. Okay, it's a bridge guarded by the Celestials, beings even Galactus fears, but even so. The big problem is the art. Juan Bobillo, aside from just having an ugly style, is unable to communicate the imaginative stuff that happens in Hickman's stories. It's a big example of why art is just as important a foundation for comics as writing.
All-Star Western 5: So Remember in Batman: Arkham City where there's not a lot of plot but lots of cool action and character work and the ending suprised you, not because it was really clever but because there was genuinely no reason to see that coming whatsoever? That's kind of this comic. It's incredibly light on plot, though the interactions between Amadeus Arkham and Jonah Hex are really fun. The final twist, however, makes no sense and has no reason to happen other than the fact that the story takes place in Gotham City. It's kind of weird but I think I've started picking this book up more for the back-ups. In addition to being cool wyrd west stuff it also seems to be making a point to be focusing on non-white characters. While I think All-star Western is a weird book to make that a priority it's nice to see that at least some writers are concerned about the lack of diversity in comics.
Justice League Dark 5: I love this poorly-titled comic. Y'all don't even know how much I love it. Despite some pacing issues, this has been a really solid occult horror comic with lots of cool stuff going on. Of all the books going on, it's the most reminiscent of the early Vertigo horror comics and not just because it inspires a good deal of nostalgia by having the ol' Vertigo crew of Zatanna, Shade the Changing Man, John Constantine, and Madame Xanadu back together. This issue wrapped a pretty intriguing arc and it's a pretty interesting (and deliberate) contrast to the far inferior JLA that the group does not end things being buddy-buddy and that fact is going to be the focus of the next arc. Y'all don't even know how much I love this book. Y'all don't even know.
The Flash 5: Hey, what's red, can travel at the speed of light and is awesome? The current Flash arc, that's what! When a well-drawn arc like this has been such a great and consistent example of exemplary, big-idea soft science fiction there's not a lot to say about it. The closest I can bring to a criticism is that the climax feels a little downplayed, but it's a minor blemish on such a pretty, imaginative, and fun book. It's surprising how good to the Flash the last year has been.