Four-Color Bullet

Greetings and salutations! Welcome to another Four-Color Bullet, the only comic book review column with its own sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.

This week, from DC, Endgame continues as the Joker turns Batman’s allies against him, in Batman #37; the world is on the brink of evolutionary armageddon, and the Justice League must stop it, as The Amazo Virus continues in Justice League #37; Mister Miracle takes on Darkseid, with Earth-2 at stake, in Earth-2: World’s End #11.

Inside our giant bag o’ Marvel, we have Sam Wilson and Nomad in big-time trouble as they take on a powerful new Hydra led by Baron Zemo, in All-New Captain America #2; the All-New X-Men continue their adventures in the Ultimate Universe, in All-New X-Men #34; Battle Royale! The Avengers vs. the X-Men for the fate of New York, in Avengers & X-Men: Axis #8.

 

Revelation and sacrifice. Weavers and tapestries. Forces of evil take stage. First chapter of Rori Lane in Weird Japan concludes.

Writer: Jim Zub Artists: Steve Cummings and Tamra Bonvillain IMAGE COMICS

Writer: Jim Zub
Artists: Steve Cummings and Tamra Bonvillain
IMAGE COMICS

The first story arc of Image’s new supernatural sensation ends here. Wayward #5 finds our Irish-Japanese heroine Rori Lane and her allies against a sinister force from Japan’s dark mythology. Wayward has been a must-read since the first issue. Jim Zub’s writing has been fantastic. Spooky and fun without losing intelligence.

Steve Cummings’ artwork has been, in my opinion, the linchpin of this thing. I’m a story-oriented comics guy. While comics are visual, and bad art can indeed break a comic, I can swallow some bad art for the sake of story. So, for me to say that Cummings’ art is a big deal is me saying something. His art, coupled with Tamra Bonvillain’s colors, makes the book beautiful.

But it’s the fact that Cummings lives in Tokyo and has intimate knowledge of the city that gets my attention. He adds the Tokyo that he knows and the rest of us never get to see, bringing some definite authenticity to the scenes. Tokyo is a city of lights, the city that we know, but it’s also so much more. Or less, depending on your point of view.

This final issue of the first arc was heavy on the tension and had plenty of action. Rori and her allies engage a ruthless enemy after a pretty devastating loss, and we see how important Rori is to her friends. Rori gains an interesting new ability, and we’re left with a pretty serious cliffhanger, which really sucks because the book will be on hiatus until March 2015.

Wayward is a great book, especially if you’re interested in the darker side of Japanese culture. Zack Davidson treats the reader to a couple of pages of Weird Japanese Culture, stories and myth that inspired Wayward. The first five issues will be released soon in a collected volume, but you won’t have those neat Davidson Japanese myth lessons in those. Wayward is easily one of Image’s new best.

And that wraps up Four-Color Bullet for this week. Be sure and comment or email me. I’m always interested in knowing what you guys are reading.

I got involved in a discussion this week about whether or not Watchmen was the best superhero movie made to date. I said no, that that award went to Guardians of the Galaxy. I can’t remember the last movie I sat through where I laughed all the way through, and the whole theater broke out in thunderous applause at the end. What do you guys think? What’s the best superhero movie to date?

It’s a great time to be a comics fan. See you next week!

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