By Molly Jane Kremer, Stefania Rudd, and Jarrod Jones. Our Week In Review collects our thoughts on the comics that demand attention. Do you have a deep-rooted desire to know what we think about all your favorite books? Well. This is where you need to be.
The Adventures of Luna the Vampire #3
Written by Yasmin Sheikh.
Art by Yasmin Sheikh.
SR: In the third issue of Yasmin Sheikh’s The Adventures Luna the Vampire, we continue with the slice-of-life shenanigans of a galactic vampire curmudgeon and her universe filled with colorful characters. Both stories featured in this issue focus on Luna’s social life (or rather her preference for an anti-social life), when she finds herself in the midst of two different parties.
In the first, Luna attends a child’s birthday party at a Chuck E. Cheese-type place called Kid Cobra. The real trouble begins when she is mistaken for a child and tries to escape, but soon realizes she is not alone. In the second, her roommate throws a party at their place without Luna’s knowledge, and after being irritated to a level of almost self-destruction she finds a kindred spirit (and possibly a love interest) in a delivery guy just doing his job.
Luna may look like sugar, but she’s chock-full of spice and an endless supply of snark. She’s set in her ways, and no matter what adventure Sheikh may place her creation, Luna’s true nature will always out. The book is intended for a pre-teen audience and the storylines reflect that, but they also are fun and can speak to an older audience. The artwork is vibrant and colorful with a feel that comes from the Nineties (think a less gross Ren and Stimpy). I also love the details of the lettering with uses of colors, outlining, and easy-to-read cursive. Overall, this is a solid issue that allows us humble readers a further insight to Luna, her life, and the pests that surround her.
8 out of 10
Action Comics #50
Story by Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder.
Art by Aaron Kuder, David Messina, Javi Fernandez, Bruno Redondo, Vicente Cifuentes, Gaetano Carlucci and Juan Albarran.
Colors by Tomeu Morey, Arif Prianto and Wil Quintana.
Letters by Steve Wands.
JJ: Chances are, if you’re reading this, you love comics just as much as I do. It doesn’t matter if you’re a lifer, or you’ve just binged through your first set of trades; you know that comics rule, and when they’re made with love and care a great comic book can take our “little hobby” and elevate it towards what can only be described as bliss. Whether you’re a die-hard or a rookie, if you’ve been wary about diving into the admittedly daunting canon of Superman, just know that there’s one run in particular you ought to take a chance on. Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder’s Action Comics is DC at its very finest.
Forgive me if I get a little squishy here — I don’t get to read truly fantastic Superman stories very often. Bear with me.
And while the long and winding road of the “Truth” saga (which began in June of last year) has been a rather messy one to say the least — hopping from Superman to Batman/Superman to Superman/Wonder Woman to Action can get a bit hairy, as those four books illustrate the narrow spectrum of quality Superman’s afforded these days — Action has always been worth the jaunt. There is no other book being published today that captures Superman as he exists now more succinctly. The innate good, the incredible power, the harrowing responsibility, it’s all at the forefront of each successive issue of Action. In Pak & Kuder’s capable hands, Superman is The Man Of Tomorrow, Today.
When a book is written this well and illustrated this stupendously, it makes the intermittent dips in quality worthwhile. With Action #50, five artist pencil and ink over Aaron Kuder’s layouts — some succeed in maintaining Kuder’s signature style, while others bring their own flair to the proceedings. It works until it doesn’t. And yes, that’s a lot to soak in, especially when there’s forty pages to fill, but Kuder’s thoughtful (and, at times, exuberant) layouts act as the issue’s lifeblood, galvanizing the issue towards a wholly satisfying — and awe-inspiring — climax.
My heart breaks just a little bit at the knowledge that Pak and Kuder won’t be sharing Action‘s marquee for much longer. And when Rebirth springs the DC Universe towards the future (and us along with it), the next adventures of Superman will likely demand all of our attention. But there will come a time, possibly late at night, when I drag out my longboxes and rifle through their entire Action Comics run once more. It will be then that I fondly leaf through the pages to find Superman, grinning ear-to-ear as he boldly soars up in the sky. And I’ll know exactly who to thank for the privilege.
7.5 out of 10
The Mighty Thor #5
Written by Jason Aaron.
Art by Russell Dauterman; colors by Matthew Wilson.
Letters by VC’s Joe Sabino.
MJ: The Mighty Thor continues to be the very best superhero book on stands. (I will defend that statement to my last breath. Come at me, bro.) The last chapter of the first All-New All-Different storyline closes out with an action-packed bang: here we have a wedding; a stabbing; scads of punchin’ and swordplay; and a large amount of Mjolnir connecting with Odin’s face. Writer Jason Aaron obviously has long-term plans for the character, and continues to build upon the epic scope he’s been working in since Thor: God of Thunder debuted in 2012. The non-stop action in this issue is perfectly balanced with quieter moments, and a certain inevitable betrayal still elicited quite the sting, thanks to Aaron’s subtlety and nuance.
Artist Russell Dauterman’s layouts—whether illustrating elfin nuptials, cosmic battles, or throne room throwdowns—remain awesome, and his rendering never ceases to amaze. Matthew Wilson’s consistently gorgeous coloring gives Dauterman’s pencils and inks strong intensity and depth, especially in the space battle sequence—some of which takes place in the storms of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot (an inspired inclusion, Mr. Aaron), making for some striking visuals among the reds and oranges, with Wilson’s trademark phosphorescence present in every crackle of Mjolnir’s white lightning.
The focus on Jane as Thor in this new volume of the comic, and her determination despite the pain she must endure as a human, has made her that much more sympathetic and heroic, and is a testament to Aaron’s mastery of genre, storytelling, and character. This entire team is continues to fire on all cylinders, creating truly extraordinary comics.
The next couple issues of Mighty Thor deal in flashback with a guest artist on board, presumably to give the divine Mr. Dauterman time to remain on schedule. And though I’m looking forward to issue six (I mean, have you seen this cover?), and it’s interlude with Odinson, I cannot wait to get back to Jane and her exploits. Issue #5 is the capstone, yet still barely the beginning, of what can only be described as a modern masterpiece for all involved.
10 out of 10
Agree? Disagree? What books are YOU reading this week? We want to know! Tell us about those feelings of yours in the comments section below.