Top Shelf Comics 7/3/13
This week, much like last week, had more than 1 book in my top slot. And while I enjoyed Batman Inc, I feel that it’s lost a little of the steam it once had. Instead, Earth 2 #14 and Green Arrow #14 are the two books that were stellar this week. Lemire and Sorrentino are setting the stage for a defining run on Green Arrow and also taking huge advantage of what the New 52 reboot really means. However, Earth 2 #14 edges it out, especially since it’s one of Robinson’s last issues on the book.
Robinson, in his last arc, has most of the plots and sub-plots that he has developed over the last 14 issues, collide in a dynamic fashion. We have 3 of our 4 main characters enter into the Steppenwolf/World Army subplot that has been building from the start. We also get the introduction of Stormy Foster (whom, yes I had to Google) as well as Red Arrow, and Steppenwolf’s own Wonders. We also have a change in the status of Mr. Terrific as well as large mystery that could change the status quo of Earth 2 in a major way.
The only real subplots that don’t come up are the Fury/Mr. Miracle/Barda and Hawkgirl/Batman, though readers of Earth 2 know that they are well connected to the main plot of the book. I also enjoyed the ‘classic’ mentality of GL, Flash & Fate as well as the reaction by Sandman, Arrow & Atom. It further underlines how Robinson is meshing ‘classic’ superhero plot lines with a realistic tone, which is only amplified by how different the landscape of Earth 2 is from the New 52 Earth or even the real world.
I’m very relieved that Scott is staying on this book, and I hope that Earth 2 can keep other artists such as Cafu and Cinar for fill-ins and annuals. And while I am saddened by Robinson leaving and hopefully for Taylor, the art on this book has been fantastic and really gives a distinct feeling for the book. On that note, I know they have used Scott, Booth and Reis for most of their character designs and I hope that continues.
This has been one of the best books by DC since it’s inception and while I am sad to see Robinson go, he’s written a book that I have really enjoyed and really taken to the characters, so much so that even after he’s left, I’ll be hanging onto the book for a bit, hoping it continues to be great.
Frank’s Top Shelf Comic
Nowadays, our superhero comics are fighting villains in super powered battles. It’s refreshing when a comic book resolves its story without that physical confrontation. The Phantom Stranger #10 is my top pick because it does this exceedingly well. This book concludes the Stranger’s search for his family and resolves it in a satisfying way. He survived hell and searched all of heaven to find them. While its only a fictional story, it’s one that many people could relate to on some level. When you have people in your life you love more than anything, aren’t you willing to risk everything to be with them? That’s what The Phantom Stranger did and why it’s my pick of the week.
I felt like I had a lot of books to read again this week. Normally I will order the books I like and save the book I am most excited for, for last. This allows me to build excitement and really makes me read everything. With the various Batman books out there, The one that I find myself not really caring for these days is Detective Comics, it was one of the first books I started reading this week. Detective Comics #22 is a excellent return to form and gives us the start of what could be another good batman story.
I really enjoyed the art a lot in the issue this week. This week in general did not impress me much art wise but this issue has some very beautiful detail and really worked well. I felt like a very good change of pace. I liked the fact of this Anti-Batman being in Gotham and having the same want to save the city being a man with money. I would enjoy seeing a good backstory of him and what made him go down a different path then Bruce did.