Current writer of Captain America Sam Wilson will be launching another Captain America title in the summer of 2016 with the return of the Steve Rogers character to the title with art Jesus Saiz of Swamp Thing, Green Lantern & Birds Of Prey. The Steve Rogers ongoing will co-exist with the Sam Wilson ongoing with both characters holding the title of Captain America. More details at Marvel
As was inevitable, Marvel Comics brought back Steve Rogers for the Captain America role this week but not without a huge reveal at the issue’s end that like clockwork, is making the ever expanding internet idiot brigade congregate around dopey hashtags. The debut of Steve Rogers is interesting in a lot of ways as writer Nick Spencer makes some unorthodox choices while leaning on his strengths. Unfortunately, artist Jesus Saiz really stumbles out of the gate here and ultimately, it’s the books alarmingly substandard visual storytelling that leaves this new iteration of the character lacking.
Spoiler’s if you don’t want the reveal going forward
Spencer opens the book with a happy Steve Rogers back from old age kicking ass and taking names. The writer’s trademark humor and political commentary are in full force throughout the titles debut with a twist at the books conclusion that Rogers is now a member of Hydra and his mother may have been as well. You take away that reveal and the writing is fine if ultimately unremarkable and redundant to Spencer’s Sam Wilson book. For that reason, the issue’s finale is more or less the only reason for the comics existence conceptually, otherwise it’s just another Nick Spencer Marvel book and one of his less inspired efforts as of late. In that way, it does feel like an interesting idea to start the story off with and without having any context of why, it’s hard to feel much of anything about it other then curiosity and by proxy, hard to feel anything about the writing in and of itself. Although it’s tough to judge the writing as part of the final product too harshly because Jesus Saiz’s art is incredibly off-putting. Saiz is a talented illustrator who managed to make lush and detailed visual story telling out of a line style that was light and straightforward in his extended run on DC Comics Swamp Thing. In Steve Rogers, Saiz is credited for “art” meaning pencils, inks and colors are all the his doing; it’s really bad. Saiz coloring is messy and has a bland sheen that recalls Greg Land or Salvador Larrocca while his actual illustrations are misshapen and muddled. The way Peggy Carter is made to look aged instead makes her appear deformed while the rest of the book runs between barely passable to almost incoherent in it’s visuals. Captain America Steve Rogers looks like a low end Dynamite comic which is problematic for what’s supposed to be a high end Marvel comic with a well established creative team.
Where as the result’s of Spencer’s story decisions will ultimately bear themselves out over time, the issues artistic deficiencies are apparent from the beginning and will require either an experienced colorist or new art direction altogether to make this a comic anything close to passable or worth reading no matter how many controversial twists are contrived for the character.
At Nothing But Comics, we’re excited to read the upcoming Green Lantern: Lost Army series from DC Comics, by writer Cullen Bunn and artist Jesus Saiz. So we tasked DC’s sentient planet/Green Lantern Mogo with asking Bunn about his favorite Green Lantern.
In the many relaunch’s of DC’s superhero line of comics over the last decade, one tried and true fact has remained, that being, Geoff Johns has made Green Lantern cool. Because of that, Green Lantern will always sell and because of that, the market will dictate multiple Green Lantern books. Never has this been more apparent following DC Comics New 52 iniative, a relaunch of their superhero comics that brought multiple Green Lantern related titles outside of the main book such as Green Lantern Corps, The New Guardians, Red Lanterns, Lazerfleeze and Sinestro, to say nothing of last years line Green Lantern Godhead crossover event. The success of these books has been mixed but overall, the Lantern have remained a strong sub section of the DC universe. But with DC’s most recent relaunch, they appear to be scaling back on it’s lantern titles, effectively consolidating Red Lanterns, Corps & New Guardians into the new Green Lantern: The Lost Army by Cullen Bunn & Jesus Saiz, a unique idea for the Lantern concept that mostly works in it’s debut issue.
Lost Army shows a group of Green Lanterns stranded on an unknown and deadly planet without any idea of how they got there or where to go next. The team is primarily lead by Green Lantern Jonathan Stewart and to writer Culen Bunn’s credit, he creates an interesting psychological profile for the character to center the plot’s premise. The writing gives a solid idea of who Stewart is and what makes him distinct that works well within the context of trying to survive on a planet that is trying to kill him and his team. Artist Jesus Saiz feels cleaner an more concise here then on his Swamp Thing work and because of that, the art’s a little stiff. It feels like he’s going for Saga on Lost Army but by doing so, loses a lot of what makes his art unique and interesting.
Overall though, Lost Army is an interesting concept. In it’s debut, it feels like Green Lantern in a space horror story and that’s pretty cool. The art leaves a little to be desired but Bunn’s writing does enough to keep it interesting. Worth a look for the curious and intrigued.
by Charles Soule & Jesus Saiz
#40 marks the final issue for this volume of Swamp Thing. The current series kicked-off with much fanfare, as well as the A-list creative team of Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette. Snyder dug deep into the character’s horror roots, crafting many chilling moments. However, a promising cross-over with Animal Man stumbled, after which Snyder moved on to other projects. Lacking a superstar creator, fan consensus was that Swampy would be gone in a matter of months. However, writer Charles Soule has been able to keep the title going nearly a year and a half. During this time, he nudged Swamp Thing in more of a superhero direction, while at the same time preserving elements of horror. (The decomposed elements of Arcane resurfacing at the end of the Villains’ Month issue is as creepy as anything in the Snyder run). Similarly, he has expanded upon the mythology of The Green is ways both successful (the terrific Annual #2) and not so much. Both these strengths and weakness are on display in his concluding chapter.
Continue reading Review of Swamp Thing #40