Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Paolo Rivera
Company: Marvel Comics
It's tough to come up with new ways of saying, "Buy this book," but writer Mark Waid doesn't seem to be able to stop coming up with new ways of illustrating moments of brilliance and awesome, so I'll just say it once more with feeling: Buy this book. Daredevil is exciting. It takes what you expect and turns it on its head. With this issue, Daredevil takes on Mole Man and is reminded of the reason why he does what he
does. The emotional impact of what occurs is so bittersweet and perfect that it might have brought a manly tear to my eye. I'm not afraid to admit it. Rivera can not be stopped artistically. The simplicity is deceiving in his work, but every single line that appears is thought out. The battle between these unlikely foes is smashing and the imaginative sets and backdrops that are used gives everything even more life. Perfection in comics is a hard thing to attain, but these days, Daredevil does it on a monthly basis.
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Greg Tocchini
Company: Marvel Comics
While sluggish on the whole, Remender knows a thing or two about ending story arcs in ways that make you sit up and take notice. With this issue of Uncanny X-Force, he proves this point yet again with this dark and not so nice trip to the land of the Captain Britain Corps. The crux of this story centers on Elizabeth Braddock instead of the Fantasy aspect which feels more like window dressing. Seeing her come back into her own, both in body and mind, and the continuation of her "relationship" with Fantomex is compelling. Tocchini's art on the other hand is a bit too whimsical and loose and becomes a bit distracting. There's talent there. Loads of it, but the panel to panel storytelling isn't as strong as it could be and I got the feeling that things were getting lost in the shuffle. Solid. Not the powerhouse that The Dark Angel Saga was, but a decent tale with a thought provoking ending.
Writers: Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti
Company: DC Comics
Moving from Gotham City to New Orleans, All Star Western hasn't lost any of its bloody shine. Gray and Palmiotti craft a tale of Steampunk villains, kidnappers, and breaks open the doors and adds to Jonah Hex's posse with the inclusion of Nighthawk and Cinnamon. It's a little strange that Amadeus Arkham is still with Hex, but the dichotomy that he brings to the table does add a spice that is rather nice and carries with it a sense of uniqueness. Their take on Nighthawk and Cinnamon and their ability to hit just as hard as Hex and provide something that the book has been missing: Actual Masked Crime Fighters. The continued entrenching of the story in the DCU by their inclusion is yet another piece of the puzzle as to why this book is so good. Moritat, at this point, is merely having fun. His New Orleans, like his Gotham, feels lived in and expansive. His European style highlights the violence, but the babes of the piece, Cinnamon and a knife wielding foe, do smack of appeal and style. That in a nutshell is Moritat. STYLE. No bones about it, All Star Western kicks ass.
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Ivan Reis
Company: DC Comics
The continued adventures of Arthur Curry is such a great vehicle for Ivan Reis' amazing pencils. They're slick and fun and fitting for any superhero book on the market. With their previous outings, it's obvious that he and Johns know how to work well together. There's a symbiosis with certain creators, a feeling that if anyone else stepped in, things would start to fall apart. I attribute that with teams like Bendis/Bagley and Morrison/Quitely. I also get that feeling with Johns and Reis. The story here, a look back at Arthur's past and a brutal take on Black Manta, is a little bit of a letdown. The violence, something that Johns has made a name for himself with, takes center-stage and while there are several plots being established in conjunction with said violence, there's a sense of brevity to it all that feels unsatisfying. It's the book's first misstep. I hope it finds its way back.