Before we dive into this month’s reviews, I want to take care of some business. If you are a comic creator, Philly based or otherwise, and have a book you really think I should read, by all means let me know.
Write me at email@example.com, try to impress me and if you’re lucky, your work could appear right here in The Comic Roundup. Now on to the reviews!
By Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo
Every once in a great while, a comic comes along that everyone will be talking about for years to come. The Death of Gwen Stacy. Hal Jordan turns into Parallax. Bane Breaking Batman’s back. Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow. And now we can add Batman #10 to that distinguished list. This is a landmark comic in the history of Batman and possibly the best comic to come out of the New 52 since it launched almost a year ago.
To go into too much detail would spoil it for those of you who haven’t read it yet (why you’re waiting is beyond me) but basically this is the first part of the conclusion of the Court of Owls storyline that has been running since issue #1.
The entire creative team has pulled out all the stops to make sure it is worth all the build up and hype. Snyder has a knack for writing Batman that few writers have and his script works on every level, from dialogue to pacing to characterization. Capullo’s art is brilliant, bringing the story to life in rich detail and making other comic books look silly in comparison.
As for why Batman #10 will go down as one of the great comics of our times, you’ll have to read it for yourself to find out. But it is safe to say that Batman’s world will never be the same and for once, it’s true.
Siegfried: Volume 1
By Alex Alice
I highly doubt many of the Roundup’s readers are into opera, so if you’ve never heard of Richard Wagner’s The Ring of the Nibelung, I don’t blame you. The four part drama based on Norse myth is considered one of the most complex and demanding opera’s every crafted. But who would have thought that something like that would be the inspiration for one of the better graphic novels I’ve read this year.
Siegfried is the tale of a boy who is part human, part immortal and destined to play a key role in the fate of the world. Alice brings the narrative to life with expert storytelling skills, the perfect marriage of words and pictures. Each page is exquisite and the presentation is everything we have come to expect from Archaia. Just a quick word of warning; this is a complex and demanding story that will take a reading or two to get the full effect from, but it’s more than worth the effort.
If you are a fan of The Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones, you will find a lot to like in Siegfried. It is the first book of a trilogy and I can’t wait to dive into volume 2.
Spider-Men #1 (of 5)
By Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli
When asked about the likelihood of a crossover between the Original and Ultimate Marvel Universes in 2005, Joe Quesada famously replied he’d rather close down one universe than have them cross over because it meant they were officially out of ideas.
Well, I guess that day has come.
Spider-Men sees the first meeting of Peter Parker (the original) and Miles Morales (the ultimate version) in a universe spanning miniseries. And it is the epitome of decompressed storytelling is there ever was one.
The first issue is just Peter Parker going on and on about how much he likes New York. Then Boom! one run in with Mysterio later and he’s in the Ultimate Universe, running into Miles Morales on a roof top. Really? This is all we get for 4 bucks? The art by Pichelli is great and the trademark funny Bendis banter is there but come on! Would making the story a bit denser have killed you?
There’s a chance things could improve and I’ll admit I plan to read issue #2 simply because I love crossovers like this. But unless you are a big (and I mean BIG) Spider-Man fan, wait till you can pick up the trade for half price at a convention. It’s the only way you’ll get your moneys worth.