Welcome, comic fans, to another Four-Color Bullet, proudly, the only comic book review column whose cover doesn’t smell like pot.
From the folks at the Marvel Bullpen this week, Dr. Aaron Aikman, a.k.a. Spider-Man, must fend off Morlun’s arrival to his part of the Spider-Verse, in Edge of Spider-Verse #3; Deadpool is attacked by a Spider-Slayer, and– wait, what? What’s a Spider-Slayer doing in Deadpool’s book? The crazy continues in Deadpool #35; and Luke Cage and his Mighty Avengers take on the Deathwalkers for all the marbles. At stake? Humanity, in issue#14, the final issue of Mighty Avengers. Next stop: Captain America and the Mighty Avengers!
From DC this week, riots are breaking out all over Gotham, and martial law may soon be a reality whether Batman likes it or not, in Batman: Eternal #25; Superman’s fight with Doomsday continues from the pages of Superman/WonderWoman, leading up to one of the most talked-about endings in DC fandom, in Superman: Doomed #2; and Green Hornet has been pardoned! And now the Dynamic Duo must work with their adversaries to foil an attack on Gotham, in Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet #10.
Image/Skybound brings us Robert Kirkman’s fourth issue of his horror series, Outcast, in which Kyle’s journey takes a new direction, and who is Luke Masters, and what is his deal?
Valiant’s crossover event concludes as Earth’s heroes rally behind X-O Manowar to face the Armor Hunters in a final, no-holds-barred showdown, in Armor Hunters #4.
IDW’s Cartoon Network: Super Secret Crisis War continues in issue four as the League of Extraordinary Villains complete their robot army of the captive Powerpuff Girls, Dexter, and Samurai Jack, with plans to conquer the universe! But why aren’t there any Ed, Edd, and Eddy robots?
The Colonial Fleet gather together under Arch-Duke Adama’s leadership, Athena and Starbuck are captured by pirates, and Apollo and his team take on Baltar’s Cylonic Knights, in the second issue of the smash hit Steampunk Battlestar Galactica: 1880, from Dynamite.
The Final Issue! Can the team save New York from the terror of Tiamat? And will the cost be one of their own?
The end is here! The Ghostbusters series finale! Erik Burnham and Dan Schoening conclude the Mass Hysteria story arc with more of a whimper than a bang, taking more of an emotional ending than an action-packed one. Oh, there’s plenty of creepy, ghost-busting action, and it is creepy, but a large portion of the story revolves around Winston Zeddemore, and his noble efforts at stopping Tiamat’s reign of terror on a personal level. As I was reading this, I was daunted at the task that writer Erik Burnham had before him. Over the last few years, the Ghostbusters have acquired some extra teammates. How do you conclude an epic storyline, find something for everyone to do, and say goodbye to everybody?
But he manages it nicely. Even if it’s only a one-word bubble, everybody contributes. But as I said earlier, the story is really focused on Winston, giving us some considerable emotional weight. The weight on his shoulders is evident, and in a very heart-wrenching and tear-inducing moment, we see Winston’s nobility, and the cost he pays to save humanity. But while we’re crying over Winston’s plight, Burnham provides some balance, splitting the action, giving us some “zap, cap, in the trap,” visual, trademark-bantering, popcorn-in-the-gullet-shoveling, ghost-busting action with one of the, as Ray called it, “gross-” est beasties the team has ever faced, giving us a twisted and hilarious battle. And artist Dan Schoening and colorist Luis Antonio Delgado’s work has been nothing but stellar throughout, and nothing changes here. The ghosties are creepy and weird, and everything is rendered in beautiful detail. I will follow this creative team wherever they may go.
You know what? No “however.” I have nothing bad to say. This was at the top of my pile every month and it ended on a high note. And we even get a glimpse into everyone’s future, like in one of those “what happened next” post-movie scenes. And the final page is guaranteed to give the reader a dose of teary-eyed nostalgia.
Ghostbusters was fun, and a well-done book from beginning to end, and as a reader, I am sad to see it go. Now, bring on the TMNT crossover!
Rori’s mysterious powers continue to manifest, leading her to a classmate with a dark secret. One he might be willing to kill to keep.
Image’s new horror comic continues with its second issue. I’m really getting into this one. I like writer Jim Zub’s work on this. He’s really good. Giving our heroine Rori Lane, a Japanese/Irish teen who lives with her mother in Japan, was brilliant. She has her foot in Japanese culture, yet she’s also half-gaijin, or foreigner, and it’s through her gaijin eyes that we experience the spooky side of Japanese culture with her.
As an anime and manga fan, I notice that a lot of Western artists portray Tokyo as this futuristic city bathed in lights. There are areas of Tokyo that are like this, but as a whole, it’s inaccurate. Manga drawn by Japanese artists aren’t like this. Artist Steve Cummings actually lives in Tokyo, so the scenes are spot on and he gets what the city looks like. We get the naked truth. Spirits and ghosts are at the center of the series, so with the accurate and real depictions of Tokyo, we can perhaps fool ourselves into thinking it’s real. Unlike other artists, who draw, for example, New York without having ever seen the city. we have an artist who delivers Tokyo accurately.
As far as story goes, Zub takes us deeper into Japanese mythology and with this issue, Rori gets a mysterious new ally. The encounter with Rori’s new friend provides much of the action, and we get a further look into the powers that our Buffy-like hero is manifesting. Ayane isn’t present in this one, but Tokyo’s cat population is keeping an eye on Rori.
At the end of each issue, thus far, we’re treated to an informative essay by Zack Davisson on Japanese culture. Last month was ghosts of Japanese culture, this month was an essay on why high schools are so important in Japan, and why they’re an important part of anime and manga.
However, I’m hoping that Zub can pick up the pace a little, giving a little more insight on Rori’s powers and what’s going on.
This is fast becoming one of my favorite books, both for content, and a nice price tag.
And this brings Four-Color Bullet to a close. Email and comment if you so desire. If you’re a Krypton Radio fan near Tennessee, come by Wizard World Nashville Comic con and say “hi.” I’ll be roaming around Music City Center in the thick of it all, so I hope I see you there.
It’s a great time to be a comics fan. See you next week!