What I’m Reading (29th of June, 2020)

With COVID-19 putting a lot of entertainment on hold and the comic book industry justifiably having took its time to get started up again, I ended up taking the time to read a bunch of older comics. Some of those didn’t work out, while others I’ve stuck with… in pretty big ways. So, here are my thoughts on the older stuff (well, old enough to not be current, anyway) stuff that I’m reading or read recently that I felt was worth talking about. Unlike my reviews, these are quick and dirty and very stream of consciousness… also, typed up on my phone, probably in bed or on public transport.

This time, there’s some sword and sorcery, a sprinkle of cyberpunk and a lot of grittiness.

Continue reading “What I’m Reading (29th of June, 2020)”

Absolute Carnage: Symbiote of Vengeance #1 Review — Decent Vengeance, Bad Symbiote

Written by Ed Brisson
Pencils by Juan Frigeri
Colours by Dono Sánchez-Almara
Letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna
Published by Marvel Comics
Cover price: $4.99 USD

So far, the one-shot tie-ins for Absolute Carnage have been a strange mix. While Separation Anxiety and Symbiote Spider-Man took advantage of the crossover for their stories, they didn’t really matter to the story overall (aside from a nod in Venom in the case of the former). Symbiote of Vengeance has that same quality, but the story it tells is also not as interesting, strangely misaligned with Absolute Carnage and its ties to the aforementioned event are easily the least interesting parts of it.

Continue reading “Absolute Carnage: Symbiote of Vengeance #1 Review — Decent Vengeance, Bad Symbiote”

Venom #18 Review — A Fun and Intriguing Treat

Written by Donny Cates
Pencils by Iban Coello
Colours by Rain Beredo
Letters by VC’s Clayton Cowles
Published by Marvel Comics
Cover price: $3.99 USD

The Venom series has found a way to stand out during the Absolute Carnage event. While some series would have it feature the lead character, whereas the core miniseries would not, with Eddie Brock heavily featured in Absolute Carnage, Donny Cates has taken the opportunity to focus on Eddie’s supporting cast. While Absolute Carnage is dripping with 90s nostalgia and a gritty atmosphere, Venom has found a unique role, being a fun adventure, albeit one steeped in the sinister machinations of twisted characters and an undertone of horror.

Continue reading “Venom #18 Review — A Fun and Intriguing Treat”

Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium #1 Review — Disjointed, Unengaging and Uninteresting

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils by Jim Lee, Dustin Nguyen, Andrea Sorrentino and Andre Lima Araujo
Inks by Scott Williams, Dustin Nguyen, Andrea Sorrentino and Andre Lima Araujo
Colours by Alex Sinclair, John Kalisz, Dave Stewart and Jordie Bellaire
Letters by Dave Sharpe
Published by DC Comics

Cover price: $4.99 USD

The return of the Legion of Super-Heroes has been a rocky road. After a lacklustre series in the New 52, the team vanished, only making sporadic guest appearances every now and then. DC Rebirth promised the return of the team, who would be given a degree of importance in Geoff Johns’ still ongoing Doomsday Clock miniseries, with promises that the team’s return would be set up in Tom King’s Batman run and even hints at who the writer of their ongoing series would be. Instead, Brian Michael Bendis recently reintroduced the team over in his Superman title and will be writing their ongoing. If Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium #1 is any indication, DC would have been better off sticking to whatever their original plan was, because this is a disjointed and boring mess of a comic only held up by its art. Continue reading “Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium #1 Review — Disjointed, Unengaging and Uninteresting”

Absolute Carnage: Scream #2 Review — Scattered But Fun

Written by Cullen Bunn
Pencils by Gerardo Sandoval and Alex Arizmendi
Inks by Gerardo Sandoval, Alex Arizmendi and Victor Nava
Colours by Erick Arciniega
Letters by VC’s Cory Petit
Published by Marvel Comics

Cover price: $3.99 USD

With the second month of Absolute Carnage tie-ins having begun, Scream has the distinction of being the first Absolute Carnage tie-in miniseries to get a second issue. The Scream tie-in has the benefit of featuring two somewhat popular characters who are actually tied to the Venom mythos and the first issue was pretty good for what it was. However, despite still being fun, this issue is less interesting, with a relatively generic plot and less interesting dialogue and narration. Continue reading “Absolute Carnage: Scream #2 Review — Scattered But Fun”

Absolute Carnage: Symbiote Spider-Man #1 Review — Engaging and Inconsequential

Written by Peter David
Pencils by Francesco Mobili
Colours by Java Tartaglia and Rain Beredo
Letters by VC’s Travis Lanham
Published by Marvel Comics

Cover price: $4.99 USD

The tie-ins for Absolute Carnage have been a mixed bag, with the usual indicator of quality being how tied to symbiotes the characters actually are. ScreamSeparation Anxiety and Venom have been great reads, while Absolute Carnage vs. Deadpool, Lethal Protectors and Miles Morales have been very weak. With that in mind, Absolute Carnage: Symbiote Spider-Man is a weird case, because while Peter Parker is obviously very much tied to the Venom symbiote, the issue itself does not feature him. It instead tells the story of happened to an unnamed extra from back in the day… a surprisingly good story, but one that seems to in no way matter to Absolute Carnage.

Continue reading “Absolute Carnage: Symbiote Spider-Man #1 Review — Engaging and Inconsequential”

Star Pig #1 Review — Refreshingly Bright and Fun

Written by Delilah S. Dawson
Pencils by Francesco Gaston
Colours by Sebastian Cheng
Letters by Shawn Lee
Published by IDW Publishing

Cover price: $3.99 USD

Star Pig is a series I learned about back when I was reading IDW Publishing’s Transformers series, and I marked it down as one I was interested in. While I forgot about it until recently, that’s not a good thing, because it is a fun, lighthearted comic with fun characters that I wish I was experiencing month-to-month as a counterbalance to my otherwise serious monthly reads. It is the quintessential fun space adventure. Continue reading “Star Pig #1 Review — Refreshingly Bright and Fun”

Venom #17 Review — Smaller and Scarier Wins the Week

Written by Donny Cates
Pencils by Iban Coello
Colours by Rain Beredo
Letters by VC’s Clayton Cowles
Published by Marvel Comics

Cover price: $3.99 USD

Event comics spinning out of ongoing series can be a double-edged sword. They increase the scope of the story and allow for further exploration of the concept, but what happens with the ongoing can be awkward, where it can feel unimportant or necessary, or even both. Venom #17 does not fall into that category, instead expanding on the supporting cast of Venom‘s role in the event, which feels important while not completely inseparable from the events of the Absolute Carnage miniseries. Continue reading “Venom #17 Review — Smaller and Scarier Wins the Week”

Absolute Carnage #2 Review — Slow, Somber and Better for It

Written by Donny Cates
Pencils by Ryan Stegman
Inks by JP Mayer
Colours by Frank Martin
Letters by VC’s Clayton Cowles
Published by Marvel Comics

Cover price: $4.99 USD

The Absolute Carnage event has been a wild ride. After the visceral explosion of a first issue, I wasn’t sure what Donny Cates would do to maintain momentum for his now 5-issue event. With Absolute Carnage #2, Cates hits the brakes on the action to deliver a great little breather issue. While the plot certainly progresses and there are some great twists and turns thrown into the story, this issue is a slower burn of escalation and setup, avoiding the pitfall that many event comics fall into of being unrelentingly plot-focused and losing sight of characters. Continue reading “Absolute Carnage #2 Review — Slow, Somber and Better for It”

Absolute Carnage: Miles Morales #1 Review — A Brisk Read of Zero Substance

Written by Saladin Ahmed
Pencils by Federico Vicentini
Colours by Erick Arciniega
Letters by VC’s Cory Petit
Published by Marvel Comics

Cover price: $3.99 USD

The further into Absolute Carnage we get, the more I get the feeling that only comics inseparably tied to the symbiotes are going to be any good. While Absolute Carnage: Miles Morales #1 has the benefit of Miles having some part in the Absolute Carnage crossover and having been involved in Donny Cates’ Venom, it doesn’t take advantage of that. Instead, Miles Morales #1 is just a superhero punch-up comic, and not an interesting one at that. Continue reading “Absolute Carnage: Miles Morales #1 Review — A Brisk Read of Zero Substance”