A quiet, but still enjoyable couple of weeks on the comics front with an interesting issue of Moon Knight hitting the stands, the latest Young Animal series coming out and the new Batman arc kicking off. On top of that some of the usuals are back, with Aquaman having a brand-new issue. First up though, a look at an interesting issue of Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman #8
Another month, another excellent issue of Wonder Woman. When will I ever get bored? I kid of course, we all love Wonder Woman. But this month’s issue is really something special, or if not, at least it’s something a bit different. We get to take a break this week from The Lies and Year One and instead get Interlude. Essentially, Barbara Ann Minerva, the origin story. And it’s a real Indiana Jones type tale of discovery and adventure. There’s a real sense of character instilled in Dr. Minerva from the first few pages. Child Dr. Minerva has a belief in the mythological, a thirst for adventure, and an instantly sympathetic innocence about her. When returns as an adult in just afterwards, she’s much the same, if a little more articulate. She’s headstrong, curious, brave and is honestly the kind of interesting female character I would happily read in a solo series.
The actual content of the issue is also up to the same scratch, if perhaps a little abrupt in its ending. After a failed archaeological dig and the traditional sneers from disbelieving colleagues, Dr Minerva sets off on a slight bender, a revelation and a globe-trotting journey; complete with map montage. The only real weakness comes in the last few pages where, after some puzzle piecing, Dr Minerva finds what she’s looking for and the issue ends. It feels sudden and just a little rushed, like there should be at least another few pages, if not another whole issue. But, with some top quality art from Bilquis Evely and a supremely cool main character, this is yet another rock-solid issue in the Wonder Woman line.
Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye #1
Gerard Way & Jon Rivera
Michael Avon Oeming
DC’s Young Animal has, thus far, been a rather odd (emphasis on odd) and mixed bag. Shade The changing Girl is a psychedelic sci-fi trip while Doom Patrol is basically a visual fever dream that defies explanation. Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye is potentially the best, and most coherent, of the lot. Near as I can tell, our titular character’s wife has recently died. Now depressed and dealing with an estranged daughter, Cave Carson comes under just that little bit more pressure when his (you guessed it) cybernetic eye starts playing up. The eye shows him things that aren’t there, reveals things he’d rather not be revealed and generally messes with his head in a big way. The story is a kind of sci-fi mind trip, much like Shade, but with a certain pulpy action vibe to it that evens the whole thing out. Underground races, bug-people and a car that goes underground, it reeks of cheesy sci-fi comics in the best way. That, combined with a slightly broken hero gives the comic a fresh feeling.
Special mention has to also go to Michael Avon Oeming’s artwork which is nothing short of spectacular. It’s a highly stylized spectacle that oozes character. There’s a kind of Saturday morning cartoon vibe to it, crossed with this almost fantastical-tales/sci-fi anthology feel. Adding on top some of the most interesting layouts to come out in a while, Cave Carson is certainly one of the odder, but more fun comics I’ve picked up in a while.
Moon Knight #7
Francesco Francavilla & James Stoke
Keeping with the weird theme here, Moon Knight #7 also hit the shelves recently. The previous issue ended on something of a head scratcher with Marc Spector now Moon Knight One now defending the moon. From werewolves. In spaceships. Thankfully we continue with that delightful weirdness this month and join a space-suited Marc Spector as he battles the wolves on the moon. Adding to his troubles is his minds tendency to shift him back to a watercolor and pastel-splashed New York, inhabiting the body of cabbie Jack Lockley.
The story, really, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. But then Moon Knight as a whole has never made much sense. The story bounces, in some cases between panels, back and foth between the moon and New York. Between a high detail 90’s style and a soft, neon soaked New York. Jeff Lemire balances the two really well and despite beginning the issue brushing off the moon as a fantasy, he constructs the issue in a way that by the time you reach the end, there’s a bit of genuine doubt. It’s wacky, it’s weird, it’s beautiful and leaves you wanting more; Moon Knight this month is a definite highlight.
Also hitting the stands this week is the first part of Tom King’s new Batman arc, I Am Suicide. Bizzaro name aside, it’s looking to be a pretty good arc with Batman making his way to South America to take on Bane in his home turf. I’ve always enjoyed Batman being Batman; sleuthing, slinking and generally not getting caught up in the saving the world. Fun lark that it is no doubt. This month Batman makes his preparations and hits up Arkham Asylum to gather his team. There is unfortunately just not enough flow to the whole issue compared to previous ones. It feels like we’re just being presented with Batman’s team in a pre-determined order with no other story to follow it. It’s still entertaining, and I look forward to the rest of the arc and the dynamic between the team. Not to mention the introduction of Bane in the first few pages is truly excellent and exactly the kind of understated thing I’ve come to expect from King, just maybe a little more story next week.
The second issue of Doom Patrol from Young Animal also came out recently and speaking of weird, this is it. I can understand Shade and Cave Carson, not so with Doom Patrol. What’s real? What’s not? Who cares? It’s a visual feast of imagery, odd constructs, and a story that doesn’t so much bounce around but spiral around in a direction that only it seems to know. I have very, very little idea as to what’s happening or who any of these characters are. But I do love me some interdimensional travel, evil robots and fever dreams, so hey, let’s just keep going then.
And finally Aquaman #9 hit the stands recently. The final part of the Unstoppable story line features this month as Aquaman faces of against the Shaggy Man in his home town of Amnesty Bay. Really there’s just not enough to this issue to justify it being one of the best this month. An enjoyable issue, to be sure, but mostly just a superhero punch up.
That’s all from me this week. What have you been reading? Leave your thoughts in the comments or hit me up on Twitter!