Hey comic fans, welcome back! After last week’s heavy stack of comics, this week is appropriately light (although not on my wallet, since I bought a couple comics I am not reviewing yet and my store’s Gundam model kit shipment is in). This week is notably exciting though, due to the end of Motor Crush’s second arc and the beginning of Isola which has been on my pull list since it first appeared in Previews. Additionally in the larger scheme of comics, this week’s Batman focuses on the Bat/Cat wedding with some lovely matching covers (I bought both, because I suck – stay after the credits to see what they look like). Buckle in!
Astonishing X-Men #10
This is, I think, the first issue of Astonishing that I’ve genuinely liked in a while. The X-Men attack Proteus’s little warped reality bubble, and inside is fucking wacky. Turns out if you give every person in a small Scottish village the ability to change reality to their will things get messy. The art on this issue is really awesome; there are a bunch of psychedelic splash pages of all the nutty shit going on, from dragons to zombie vikings (?) and plenty of weird colors. It’s a lot of action, but it’s weirdly structured action so it’s visually a lot of fun. There’s also a decent moral conundrum, nothing super new but it’s going to force some characterization of X in a way that I’m hopeful about. The nature of humanity as it relates to mutants (and the obvious connection that has to real world marginalized groups) is a pretty common topic to tackle with the X-Men, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t always more room to explore it. The end of this issue was actually pretty cool, so I think the second stretch of this arc will be the stronger part. That said, I still intend to exit with the Fresh Start (again, if this book continues since it doesn’t have a confirmation).
Full disclosure, I put this book on my list because there was a gorgeous blue tiger on the Previews cover. Turns out though, a lot of people behind this book contribute to Motor Crush which is one of the best comics around. So I’m not surprised this one is actually great. From what I can tell, the big cat is actually the queen and the main character Rook was her soldier. She got turned into said cat and now Rook is on a quest to try and return her to proper form. There’s a lot of feeling to the world in this book, and I have a billion questions that I’m so excited to have answered or hinted at or whatever. Sometimes the universe of a story just clicks with you, and this one really connected with me. The art is beautiful beyond any expectation, every page is breathtaking. I absolutely love the main character’s design, her clothes/armor are practical but still look really good. Although the first issue is of course designed to be a lot of setup, it slips in a bit of action as it introduces us to the plot. This very well may end up being my favorite book going forward, depending on where the story and characters go. Regardless, it’s another excellent title from Image that I really look forward to continuing.
Motor Crush #11
What a fucking issue! The second arc of Motor Crush comes to its exciting conclusion as the final race is attacked by biker gangs. We get a little bit of everything in this one to tide us over until Vol. 3 starts: action, romance, drama, family, friendship, bats with nails in them. It’s really the whole package.
The main focus is on the race and the attack on it, with Domino and her dad’s fate being revealed after last issue’s cliffhanger. Unsurprisingly, the main character is still alive enough to kick some serious ass, racing (heh) off to protect and support her friend Ya-Ya. The fight against the gang is seriously awesome, getting back to the on-bike fighting of the beginning of the series. A few smaller character arcs get attention as well, in varying ways. There are some things that you could argue feel a little rushed, but I think everything works well in context. Volume 2 began with Domino reappearing after being phased out of existence for a long time, so the fact that things are chaotic and messy in the wake of that makes a lot of sense. As I read through #11, I just got more and more excited. Everything about the direction the book is heading is great, and I can’t wait to see more of it. I love all the characters, especially the main handful, so I want to spend more time with them. Also this volume also ends on an insane cliffhanger, so I’ll be coming back for the resolution of that obviously. Absolutely excellent issue and volume, highly recommended, and I can’t wait for more.
That’s everything this week, and goddamn was it a good week! Unsurprisingly the Image books delivered everything I hoped and more, so expect plenty more of that. Stick around next week for whatever comes out, and then in two weeks Action Comics #1000 releases and I’ll probably try to do something special for it. As always, thanks for reading and I encourage y’all to bring some discussion to the Discord!
Comic Wolf Post-Credit
Remember when I said I bought comics that I wouldn’t review? That was only half true! I’m not caught up on Snotgirl, so that won’t make it in here. But after reading Batman #44 just out of curiosity, I actually really dug it so here are some thoughts.
It’s been a long time since I’ve read the main series Batman book, but even people who don’t know or care about comics are aware of the engagement between Bat and Cat. That happened some time ago, and then there was a whole flashback arc, and then she said yes, and then there were more issues probably but now #44 is out! This issue takes place between 2:37 a.m. and 4:46 a.m. Selina wakes up, breaks into a wedding dress shop to try on dresses, then comes home. However, the current day story is intercut with flashbacks of key points in the relationship between the two as Selina grapples with whether or not she made the right choice. We see a lot of meaningful places in Batman canon where the two have interacted, and see how their relationship developed. While the flashbacks are full of dialogue, not a single word is ever spoken in current time, nor is any thought put into word form. For nearly the entire book, the left page is present and the right page is past, with a few exceptions for ads and a splash page flashback. It’s a fucking gorgeously put together issue, and now my dumb ass is gonna try and get back into the series. One of my favorite Batman stories is and will always be Hush, so I’ve got a soft spot for Selina and Bruce together. While I still think the way the proposal was handled (lots of forced retconning) was shitty, I like the idea of their relationship. We haven’t gotten much in the way of romantic interests with Bruce lately (pre-New 52 he was engaged, but his fiance was killed on the last page of Kevin Smith’s Batman: The Widening Gyre Part 1. Part 2 has been “almost done” for going on 10 years, so fuck the conclusion of that story I guess).
Anyway, this issue was sweet enough to warm even my cold dead heart and even if you don’t dig the romance angle it’s damn well put together. As mentioned at the top, I like the dual covers a lot as well. I guess I’m going to have to follow this story going forward, or at least keep tabs and grab the trades.
That’s everything this time! Thanks as always for sticking around. Feel free to jump in Discord and tell me how stupid I am for not hating the Bat/Cat wedding, or whatever other comic biz you’re mad about!