Hello, my name is Dean and I’m a fan of Dennis Hopeless. There are a few examples out there of my love for Hopeless like here, here, here, here and also here. But as you can see most of that comes from Avengers Arena. I admit, I have not read a single Spider-Woman issue until now. I’m not sure why I decided to give it a shot now that she is pregnant, but apparently a pregnant woman with cool shades flexing is enough to draw me in. Spoilers, it was great.
Jessica Drew is pregnant. Just in case you were in that awkward position where you haven’t heard about her being pregnant and then you see her with a belly and are thinking, “Is she pregnant? She looks super pregnant. I should congratulate her. But what if she isn’t pregnant? What if she just discovered Bronuts, that place downtown where they make gourmet donuts? It’s too late now to say anything, I’ll just wait until I actually see a baby.” If you happen to be caught in that situation,don’t worry, Hopeless lets you know in the opening page she is pregnant, awkward moment avoided. I don’t mean to brag, but I have a lot of pregnant friends, or at least friends that have been pregnant before. Our hangouts used to be sitting around drinking beer, laughing loud and cursing our jobs. Now our hangouts are diapers, crying and nap time. The point is, things change. So, what do you do when life hits you with an unexpected little human being? You love it like crazy.
Alright, I’m getting ahead of myself. She hasn’t had the baby yet. Right now she is the cool pregnant lady, doing what cool pregnant ladies do. Even though she looks like she is going to burst, she is still at her job. Her job contains some…physical labor so she is placed in an “office” type role. Similar to Oracle she is talking to her partner Roger a.k.a. Porcupine as he is in the field and she watches with journalist Ben Urich from the car. Did I just compare a pregnant woman to a paraplegic? Ladies please hold your hate mail. Jessica also reluctantly covers up her motorbike. Even a super hero needs to go through some changes. She throws a huge super rooftop party on her last day of work where she sticks it to Tony Stark for asking if she knows who the father of her baby is. It’s not what you said Tony, it’s the way you said it! After the party it is time for Jessica to start her maternity leave. She is bored to tears. Well, as much as this comic is not about fighting crime, the crime will eventually find Jessica.
Javier Rodriguez does a beautiful job with the comic. Right from the opening page he creates such interesting panel layouts. My favorite is definitely a scene at the rooftop party. The shot is a profile of the building, you can see the heroes on the roof and within the building are the grid panels. It is a very cool visual. Speaking of the party, I always love seeing a scene with a collection of superheroes. Artists must love this. Rodriguez is used to drawing Jessica, Roger and Ben for 18 pages, it must be nice to cut loose and draw your version of Spider-man, Iron Man and Hawkeye. The party is definitely one of my favorite scenes. One of my least favorite scenes is at an aquarium. I have an irrational fear of fish just listen to the first 10 minutes of this podcast to see how deeply it is seeded. Rodriguez draws a few really freaky motherfuckers in this scene. Some of the fish were so realistic looking, I had to speed read through that page. Nice work on the drawings, but come on man!
Hopeless is painting a perfect picture of a soon-to-be mom having to sacrifice a few things in her life to make room for a child. He is able to take some very real emotions and adapt them to the superhero life. It is one of those real life situations that makes people say, “It’s funny because it’s true.” This story will make you laugh, and depending on your life experience might make you cry.
Another week of December, another best of 2013 list. Today, I shall be reviewing some of the most memorable single issues of the year. The criteria for selection is an issue, whether part of a larger narrative or simply a self-contained tale, that impacted me the most these twelve months. These are not necessarily the best overall stories; some outstanding arcs from 2013 are unrepresented because there was no specific issue that stood out from the others. So, with that in mind, I present a list of 15. First place is a tie between two thematically overlapping choices; the remainder are listed in alphabetical order.
Once again not only is it December, but December seems to be flashing by too quickly for me to even notice. Perhaps it’s the fact that I’ve been working insane hours at work, but I don’t remember how this month got so far along. Next week is Christmas, followed by New Year’s, and here we are at the final NBC Comic of the Week for 2013.
Regardless, Mark Waid and Javier Rodriguez have given us a fantastic issue for this week. This is one that grabbed me from the first page and held me entranced for the entire 22 pages. We’ve come to expect great things from this title, and yet again Waid and company manage to surpass those expectations.
I freaking love comics. So many comics. Too many to put in one single list. We all like different things. Some of us like big two comics. Other’s may prefer large publisher creator owned work while other’s dig the small press. I like all of that. I’ll cover my favorites from the different corners of comic book publishing over the month of December.
Yes these are the big guys. I try to not write about DC and Marvel comics TOO much because I think it’s hard to give a take on these books that hasn’t been said ad naseum. Do you really need me to explain why Scott Snyder’s Batman is great again? I mean I already did once anyway and I’m about to one more time so there you go. That’s because whatever your feeling are about these comics they are ubiquitous and necessary. The sales and popularity of DC and Marvel props up the infrastructure of the entire industry so as much as I may prefer comics from Image, Darkhorse, Vertigo, First Second or Koyama those companies don’t exist without the big two. And that’s because people are passionate about the comics from these companies regardless of how they feel the quality of the current work. People love their DC or Marvel or both or they have complete disdain for one or both but it’s that passion for these companies that fuels comics as a business. As for me I still read a lot of stuff from them in spite of my passion for the indie and small publishers. In composing this list I tried to trim it down to what I thought was the best of the best from the publishers. I get annoyed with events, crossovers, Scott Lobdell and West Wing fan fiction so all that relegated Animal Man, X-Men, Swamp Thing, Indestructible Hulk, Avengers Assemble, Wolverine and the X-Men, Action Comics, Daredevil: End of Days and Uncanny X-Men to honorable mentions status. ‘Nuff respect due for Captain America, Wolverine, Batman: The Dark Knight, Marvel Knights Spiderman/X-Men, Amazing X-Men and Superman Unchained which are all very good but just not good enough and Wonderwoman, Deadpool, Fearless Defenders, Journey Into Mystery, The Flash, Ultimate Spiderman and Aquaman which I’m sure are as amazing that you all say they are but life’s too short no what I’m saying?