Pick of the week (Dec. 31st): S.H.I.E.L.D. #1

This week only 20 comics came out nation wide. Of those 20 comics only one interested me enough to purchase it. As such S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 is my pick of the week. The writer is Marvel go to man Waid (Daredevil) with art by Pacheco. This comic starts with a brief flashback of Phil Coulsens life at various stages, meant to show us his love of superheros. Then launches directly into a fierce battle between “All” of the superheros and a horde of demon beasts that are all converging on Earth. Through Phils knowledge and expertise in all things superhero-y (that’s a word now) he realizes that something has happened with the bifrost (read up on your Thor lore [rhyme time] if you don’t know what that is). Waid does a decent job setting up the events in this comic, and there’s a fair amount of clever references and jokes. We even get a glimpse at some seldom seen heroes. Overall though the story feels a bit rushed and not fully explained.The art by Pacheco is pretty generic and not very note worthy. Ironically this issue feels like the start of Agents of Shield the TV show, kinda boring and thrown together. Lets hope it, like the show, improves with time. All in all I give this comic a 4.5/10

Pick of the Week (Dec. 24th): Cyclops #8

After a few strong weeks of comics in a row, this week was kind of a let down. A bright spot this week was Cycops #8. Layman (Chew, Detective Comics) continues his strong start on Cyclops in issue 8. The story picks up with the starjammers adrift in  space and Scott being accepted as a member of the rival pirate ship Desolation under the ruthless captain Valesh Malafect. Scott is ordered to board and take all they can from a medical transport ship. His conscious is torn as he doesn’t want to hurt anyone but he has to maintain his cover because his dad is Malafects prisoner. It turns out that there’s more to this “medical transport” ship than meets the eye. The art by Garron holds it’s own with the highlight of his work this issue being the space scenes. The coloring work by Sotomayor is a bit obnoxious and at times can distract away from the story. Overall this issue is solid, although it could have been improved with better coloring choices. I give this comic a 5/10

-Andrew Horton

Pick of the Week (Dec. 17th): The Wicked + The Divine #6

“I’ve got no reason to be afraid anymore” – Inanna

The Wicked + The Divine (TW+TD) has returned, and with force. The first arc The Faust Act was going to be a tough performance to follow for the creative team of Gillen, McKevlie, and Wilson but they did it. After a one month hiatus TW+TD returns with issue #6. Things pick up right after a certain someone’s death (no spoilers) with Laura still trying to figure out what that lit cigarette in issue 5 means. She has found sudden stardom as her stint with the Gods has made her quasi-famous. Laura struggles with this new found fame, and the surprising loneliness it brings. Gillen shows us what character development should look like with his handling of Laura in this issue. The art by McKevlie and Wilson is intriguing with a interesting use of spacing, panel work, and digital design. I love the page that sums up the contents of Laura’s room. On the surface TW+TD asks the question what if the Gods walked among us, but the deeper question is what are the consequences of us treating our pop stars as Gods? I give this comic a 8/10

-Andrew Horton

Pick of the week (Dec. 10th): Thor #3

Alright alright I know,I’ve picked a lot of Marvel titles in the recent weeks.i can’t help it though, they’ve been so solid! This weeks choice is Thor #3. I don’t know about you all but I think Lady Thor is kick butt. Jason Aaron shows us (again) why he is one o the best writers in comics today. This issue picks up with a flashback to why the frost giants are invading midgard (earth). Ill avoid spoilers by simply saying it may or may not involve a large skull (ahem). After the brief introduction it goes right back to the action. Lady Thor has lost her hammer and is left to fight off the frost giants by herself. This showdown highlights my favorite thing about this Thor series: The inner insecure monologue of Lady Thor vs. the very Thor like actual words she speaks. This leads to a lot o comic relief and some of the most fun parts of this book. This issue is really a set up for next issue which pits Lady Thor vs. Odinson himself. Now that’s a showdown I can’t wait for. The art by Dauterman is for the most part above par. There are times that the page can get a bit to busy, making it difficult to follow the action. Also the lettering can get a bit distracting. The coloring choices, by Matthew Wilson, are really what shine in this issue. Thor #3 is a nice addition to this new run of Thor and leaves me impatiently waiting for Thor #4. I give it a score of 7/10.

-Andrew Horton

Pick of the Week (Dec. 3rd): Gotham academy #3

Goth academy #3 is another strong addition to this DC title. The theme of this issue (and consequently the series) is answering questions, with even more questions. Fletcher and Cloonan keep the reader interested and engaged throughout the course of the comic with Olive finally giving us a brief, if it can be believed, glimpse into what the heck happened to her mother last summer. She also manages to see a ghost, break into the north wing of her school, and maybe find a dead/undead person, all the while catching a glimpse of a shadowed mystery figure (in the form of a crouched batman!?!?). Whew! That’s a lot to process. The art for this issue is fantastic as Kerschl delivers once again, but the real star is the coloring work done by Geyser, Msassyn, and Lapointe. Their coloring work on the pages where Olive talks to her (sorta) boyfriend, are simply breathtaking. All in all I give this issue a 7.0/10

-Andrew Horton