Top Shelf Comics – July 24, 2013

Frank’s Top Shelf Comic

While I personally didn’t have a very big pull list this week, the books that I did pick up were all great. I enjoyed reading everything for different reasons. Aquaman continues to be the most surprising because even 22 issues in and I still can’t believe I’m reading an Aquaman book. I never took this hero seriously before. Yet now, I actually care about what happens to him and I want to see him stay on as King of Atlantis. The Flash has always been a personal favorite of mine since I was young because I have fond memories of watching the old ’90s tv show with my dad. Naturally, I’ve been enjoying the Manapul/Buccellato run on this series but mostly because it’s actually fun to read and easily the most beautiful book at DC. Red Hood and the Outlaws is book that I just recently started reading and have been enjoying even more since James Tynion IV took over as writer. I don’t typically like the “bad ass” characters like Roy Harper or Jason Todd, but something about these characters together keeps me coming back for more. Finally, Justice League Dark is one of my absolute favorite DC books because the dark side of the DC universe has been very compelling. These aren’t characters I’ve ever had interest in reading about before but it’s been fun seeing how they blend into the DC universe. Plus, Jeff Lemire and Mikel Janin are another rockstar creator duo that has been consistently producing one of the best books at DC. Justice League Dark #22 is my pick of the week because it’s a gorgeously written and looking book that keeps the Trinity War momentum moving forward.

There isn’t a whole lot more I can say about this book that I haven’t already said in my review but one thing I realized after reading Constantine #5 was Shazam may be more important to this story than it appears. Geoff Johns or DC probably wouldn’t have gone through the trouble of attaching the Shazam backups to Justice League if the character was only going to be another combatant in Trinity War. Sure, he’s the one who started the war but that could have easily been anyone else. I predict that Shazam will be involved in opening Pandora’s box. It’s possible that Superman couldn’t because being with Wonder Woman may be having an affect on him. Also, there is still a sliver of krptonite that is missing from the ring Despero stole. It’s possible that it’s affecting him as well.

When Trinity War was first teased, it was speculated that it would be a war between Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. Then, it was revealed to be a war between the different Justice Leagues. But, this issue seems to have separated the teams into three new teams each led by Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. It’s something that has come full circle and it’ll be interesting to see if these teams continue through the remainder of the story. Although Trinity War seems to be much more a mystery than anything so I wouldn’t be surprised if another shift occurs. Either way this book and the entire event has been exciting and waiting several weeks for it to continue is going to be tough.

Josh’s Top Shelf Comic

It is not often that I enjoy giving out perfect scores on comics. I find myself wanting to hand out a perfect score money and more the last couple of months because there have been some excellent issues and many of the ongoing stories have been fantastic. It is well known that I am a DC guy and a huge fan of Geoff Johns. I respect him for expanding the universe of one of my favorite characters in Green Lantern, and I can see a new favorite character on the horizon with what Johns had done with Aquaman since the new 52. Aquaman #22 is my Top Shelf Comic.

I started reading Aquaman at the beginning of the new 52 to just get a feel for each member of the Justice League, I never would have guessed I would still be reading it 22 issues later and still love the story as much as I do. I liked how from the beginning the book basically made fun of Aquaman and people who think he can’t do much outside of the water. As readers we should really respect how this character has developed over the course of two years.

Art plays a big role for me in comics, it is what makes them so great and different from just reading a book. Aquaman can be hard to have good art with a lot of the scenes taking place in water. There always has to be that “blue” tint, and that is what makes the art even more impressive during this current run. This issue had so many different events and side stories going on, and that can often make a book hard to read. Geoff Johns does a great job balancing this story and allowing each of the events to develop on their own and really make the reader have emotion in what is taking place.

Overall, I love what is going on with many of the other DC titles currently, with Trinity War, Zero Year, and so many other stories it makes being a comic book fan awesome. This might finally be the time for Aquaman to gain the respect his character deserves. With all the movie news about a Justice League movie, I just hope he can make it to the big screen. WIth these stories he just might.

Josh Raj

Financial Analyst by day, DC Superhero by night! Fan of all things DC (Batman and Green Lantern). You can find me on Twitter: @joshraj9

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