Top Comic Books for the Week of July 3, 2014

Top Comic Books for the Week of July 3, 2014

The best of my pull list by Scott Bachmann

I’ve put to the top the comics that made my week. That doesn’t mean the others were bad, just that these stood out. Note: I get my comics from mail order by a week delay, and by ComiXology, so some titles may be older.

moon knight 5
Moon Night #5: Story Warren Ellis, Art Declan Shalvey, Colors Jordie Bellaire, Letters Chris Eliopoulos

This is how to do a done in one. This is a master class on how to make a comic. This is the best Moon Knight comic I’ve seen since Doug Moench and Bill Sienkievicz created him. If you’re an artist, this is how you visually tell a story. Mood, pacing, action you can follow, reactions, it’s all there. Every fighting move Moon Knight makes is believable and follows from the stance in the previous panel. MK convincingly wades through opponent after opponent, all the while warning the next that he’s coming.

The story is simple, but Warren milks it for all that it’s worth and elevates it to something more. This isn’t Moon Knight rescuing a girl from the mob, this Moon Knight declaring he is a force of nature and that if you see him, run. And that’s Warren’s take on MK. MK wears white so that you see him, so that you know he’s coming. He haunts you like a ghost.

The best scene is when a thug puts the gun to the hostage’s head, and the scene is inverted from expectations and cliches. Go ahead, kill the girl, because she’s the only thing keeping you alive, and when she’s gone, so are you.

The limited color palette is used to brilliant effect, especially the use of pink on a character that would clearly never wear pink. It’s a bit of whimsy, and works so well.

I’m crying that Warren is leaving MK, but his short run will make a helluva trade.

magneto 6
Magneto #6: Story Cullen Bunn, Art Javier Fernandez, Colors Dan Brown, Letters Chris Petit

I’d stopped reading X-Men around the time the Marauders slaughtered the Morlocks. It was brutal, senseless, and the Marauders powers seemed random and stupid. Cullen gets the revenge on them. First he nicely retcons the inevitable return of the badguys after their many deaths as clones that Sinister has prepped and waiting. Magneto remembers what the Marauders did and has decided they no longer deserve to be mutants and sets off to take them out. Over and over until only one clone set is left. This is where we see how even depowered Magneto is still lethal and terrifying.

Anything else I’d say is spoilers, but this Magneto is the mutant version of the Punisher, internal monologue moralizing as he goes. It’s the monologue that makes Magneto fascinating in the way Hannibal Lector is. Given the vast array of characters and settings Javier has to draw, it’s amazing that he makes them all distinct and recognizable, and his camera angles bring out the menace of Magneto so well.

rachel rising 26
Rachel Rising #26: Everything by Terry Moore

Every issue of this series has been the contrast of the normal with the truly horrifying, and it has turned out that Terry is really good at terrifying. Given that his work is black and white, and a comic, it’s amazing how much genuine horror he can evoke.

This issue is an aftermath. The villain of the series has been dispatched and the survivors are coming to terms with their survival. It’s the part of a horror story most horror stories skip. Instead Terry mines it for reveals as characters discover more about each other.

The central story though is Rachel learning just how horrible the blade Jack really is, and how messed up a person must be to wield it. It’s what’s left of Satan’s Sword, from the days of the fall, and all of it’s atrocities are revealed to the wielder. Rachel keeps picking it up, to learn more. Rachel is appalled and looks down at the owner, but we are entreated to the brilliant rejoinder, “why did you look?”

fables 141
Fables #141: Story Bill Willingham, Art Mark Buckingham, Inks Steve Leiahola and Andrew Pepoy, Colors Lee Loughbridge, Letters Todd Klein, Cover Nimit Malavia

The edge panels that Mark puts on every page help convey changes in location, and are mostly repetitive border art. In this issue the panels change continually, evoking the impending decay of Rose Red. It was a subtle and powerful change to the Fables style.

The covers are always amazing on Fables, and this is no exception. A yin/yang or playing card queen/inverted queen motif to contrast Snow White and Rose Red as champions of summer/winter, life/death – a portents of the coming war between the sisters that neither sees coming. Even the character faces provide foreshadowing clues, everyone has slitted half closed eyes except for the wide eyed Snow White and the sly cat mage Medea.

The story is about Medea sensing the winds of change and pledging his allegiance to Snow before anyone realizes there is a need to pick sides, including Rose and Snow. Given that Bill always delivers on his hints, there is a terrible fate ahead and we can’t look away because we know it will be great.

More interesting is the one page back up story. As Bill has revealed, this is the last arc of Fables before the book ends. He’s using the back up stories to tell us about the various characters happily ever after. This is both pleasant and ominous, for they are as important on who isn’t there as well as who is.

Fables, as always, is brilliant.

Scott is a contributing writer for Drunk on Comics. You can follow him on Twitter at @ScottABachmann, or at www.ScottComics.com.

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