Writer: Christos Gage
Artist: Rebekah Isaacs
Company: Dark Horse Comics
This one takes your expectations and turns them on their head. Writer Christos Gage knows a thing or two about story construction, evident by the exploration and expansion on the Angel and Faith characters that he has consistently given us over the course of these seven issues. The "Mother Superior" arc continues to offer up a lot of surprises and fun moments. The reveal of our villain, which I of course won't spoil, feels perfect and that the threat that it presents is further taken to that next level makes for such an entertaining read. Rebekah Isaacs continues to provide a healthy dose of energy to the book. Her pencils have a roughness, or a sketchiness, that uplifts the action elements and makes them read and leap off the page. I also think she nails the likenesses to an extent and way that Georges Jeanty never could. Reading this comic comes as close to feeling in line with Angel than any other Angel comic before hand. It has charm and teeth.
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Lan Medina & Nelson Castro
Company: Marvel Comics
While starting to feel a touch on the lengthy side, this story arc continues to pedal along at a decent enough clip. The thing that most stands out about it is the simple fact that these "heroes" really don't get along. The in-fighting that Remender writes and seeing them at each other's throats adds so much more to the entertainment factor. After the mind melting issue last time out, this one is definitely more of a hands on, action extravaganza as we see our Four concoct and implement an attack on Blackheart and the minions of Hell on Earth. Medina and Castro's art is middle of the road territory. Solid and certainly enertaining enough, but lacking the energy that Tony Moore brings to the table. With one issue left to go, I'd say that this little ditty will more than likely end up on the buy pile when it gets collected.
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Nick Dragotta
Company: Marvel Comics
It's still strange to essentially have two Fantastic Four books, each telling the same story from a few different viewpoints. The idea of that, in theory, sounds good and there is much to like about each book. Still, there's something to be said about concise storytelling. This issue of FF does push a handful of fun buttons though, while still dealing with the overarching story of the Celestials and their desire to destroy. That Power Pack shows up to help save the day is a great usage of characters that could very well be pushed off into the abyss of obscurity. Also, that Nick Dragotta steps in on the art, substituting for the sometimes off-kilter but also amazing Juan Bobillo, helps this issue out too. Dragotta's work is stream-lined and beautiful, with an emphasis on the beauty. His faces are so well defined and the emphasis on emotion so palpable that you can't help but be sucked in by the panoramic insanity that he puts in his panels. While Hickman has occasionally stumbled with the story in this one, this issue stands out.
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Ryan Ottley
Company: Image Comics
I'll be honest, it's been a long time since I've read any of this series. It was amazing early on, a book that showed real promise and a refreshing take on the superhero genre. But once the bloody, gore infused gloves came off and things started to go the way any Robert Kirkman book goes, my interest in it plummeted. Those elements still exist it seems, but with an issue that sports a new person wearing the Invincible suit and with the words "1st Issue in a New Bold Direction" on the cover, it seemed to be a decent jumping on point. It really isn't though, it just has a clever disguise. What I can assume has been going on in the book is still going on. Our hero is now laid up with an alien virus and most of what happens here is infighting and a hero going out in Invincible's costume. Kirkman has a few entertaining moments and Ottley's artwork, as always, looks phenomenal but there are too many things that need explanation for new readers and in truth, there isn't much here grabs your attention.
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: Mike Deodato & Will Conrad
Company: Marvel Comics
The New Avengers Defeated. The Team Wanted by the Government. Norman Osborn victorious. Raise your hand if you've seen these before and are tired of it. I'll outright say that Deodato and Conrad do a great job with the art in this book. The layouts are unique, energetic, and they don't scrimp on the details without it going to the crazy land of hyper-realism. It still feels like a comic and you can get lost in some of the panels. That's the good thing. The writing however, and the ideas at work in this issue, fizzle and flop like a dead fish. The idea that they conform to what Bendis wants them to do instead of allowing them to do what they would do makes the book read rather strange. For example, I have a tough time seeing Dr. Strange torturing anyone in order to get information. There are other things, but really, flip through this one for the art and only the art.