Honorable Mentions: The Fix, Boundless, Doom Patrol, 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank, Black Hammer, Outcast, Gotham Academy Second Semester, Descender, Seven to Eternity, Archie, Thanos, Royal City, Rebels, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Aliens Dead Orbit
After a brief and unforeseen hiatus, the gang is back talking comics. Issues & series include Batman Annual #2, Saga #48, East of West #35, Batman: White Knight, Mister Miracle, Paradiso #1, Sleepless #1, Hawkeye #12 & more.
The guys are back together with a special episode describing their favorite years reading comics. Alex, Pat & Dean describe their personal memories of that time, what they were reading, important comics moments from those years, how it affected them, and it the way it shaped them as comic readers going forward. In addition, Alex recaps the rest of his trip and the culture shock he experienced from large cities in the Mid-Atlantic (apologies to people from Baltimore in advance) culminating in an unsettling hotel experience.
“First I’ll build a sword
Get some words to explain
It’s a plan, brother, at least
And I’ll pretend that everybody here wants peace”
By Jonathan Hickman, Nock Dragotta & Frank Martin
With nearly three dozen issues published, it is instructive to glance over the pacing of Jonathan Hickman’s creator owned series, East of West. The first two arcs were densely plotted, bursting with exposition yet simultaneously possessing a full-throttle forward momentum. Character beats would explode into bristling action set-pieces viscerally rendered by co-creator Nick Dragotta. Then Hickman reined in the violence a little, shifting focus to the various political machinations of key players. The series did not grow tamer as much as take a breather while various characters gathered their strength. At the same time, Hickman sowed plots and divisions amidst the parties, steadily ramping the tension back up again. In recent issues the simmering pot approached full boil as several conflicts come to a head, resulting in this week’s rampant carnage. Yet, in the midst of this hectic activity (stunningly illustrated as always by Dragotta) Hickman delivers a thoughtful script which continues elaborating on the themes of his story.
Looking back on last month’s article, I came to the realization that I tend to add more books to a list than I’m actually able to read and, in may cases, afford. There are only so many hours left at the end of the day to tackle my pull list, and, while they are a passion, comic books are not my only hobby. On top of that, I’ve been reading a lot more “older” stuff lately. This list will be more realistic, conservative towards what I think I’ll actually read. If I get to more, great! I’d love to read every good book out there.