Top Comic Books for the Week of October 1, 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, especially indy books.
I’m a little more behind than usual this week, but all of these titles should still be on the shelf and of course on ComiXology.
Kate Bishop. Kate Bishop. Kate Bishop. (I love Kate Bishop)
This is the last solo issue for Katie before the series ends and it’s a nice send off. It won’t mean much or make much sense if you’re just jumping on, but If you’ve been along for the ride it’s pure candy. Part of what makes Kate work so well is Annie’s art. She’s brilliant at quirky expressions and goofy reactions. A purple Firebird and Pizza Dog. What more could you want?
Magneto 10 is out, but I missed pointing out issue 9, and 9 is powerful. Magneto goes after the Red Skull who has become his worst nightmare. The Red Skull has Xavier’s brain, he’s holed up in Genosha, and he’s a Nazi. Any one of those three would be enough to send him over the edge, but all three? Magneto is haunted by flashbacks of Auschwitz and his failings in Genosha. With his powers broken and his guilt shredding himself inside out, he confronts the Skull directly and it doesn’t go well.
While this issue is a set up for AXIS, it stands alone as an intense moment into Magneto’s mind that’s as chilling as “God Loves, Man Kills”. Brilliant plotting and tension by Bunn and perfectly framed by Walta who excels at showing Erik’s/Max’s/Magnus’s highs and lows.
Jacinto’s art is kinetic and “in your face” action, which is important when your story is the Punisher vs. the Red Hulk. Now there is no way Frank Castle should last more than a half second against a Hulk, let alone Ross who knows Frank’s coming, which is what has made this arc great. Frank’s done his homework on how to take down the Thunderbolts and he’s convincingly taken them all down. So much so that Ross goes on the run. Ross is the best part of this book as he loses it, although when Hawkeye shows up, the archer gets the best lines.
The issue is perfectly paced, fun and funny. It takes a lot to make two anti-hero’s punching each other interesting and Acker and Blacker pull it off while Jacinto makes the punching epic.
Not the best episode of the run, but it does hit some of the best tropes very well. We see the unbreakable Luke Cage stand when he should go down, which is a common hero scene but one Luke’s been denied, and theres something about Luke that he always wears a cliche well. The book ends with a set up for a new volume of Mighty Avengers with the new Captain America – Falcon – in charge.
There have been better issues of this comic, but there is something wonderful about seeing heroes of color being world class heroes without race ever being a story crutch. By not making the book about race, but being racially diverse, it states an unspoken powerful statement on race – that we don’t need to make every hero blond haired and blue eyed white male to tell a heroic story. This is just a straight up good hero series with heroes who just happen to be black, brown, and green.
Scott is a contributing writer for Drunk on Comics. You can follow him on Twitter at @ScottABachmann, or at Scottcomics.com.