Doug's Single-Minded for 5/30/18

A look at some books from this past Wednesday...

Hillbilly #10
Written by Eric Powell
Art by Eric Powell
Published by Albatross

There is a lot to love about Eric Powell’s Hillbilly comic but I think I would be in the minority if I didn’t begin this review with his jaw-dropping art.  There is seemingly nothing Powell can’t conjure. It’s stunning. I want to clone him and put him on all the books. ALL THE BOOKS. His art jumps off the page and hits you right in your face like few others on the stands.  His coloring is so distinct and evokes such a old world, vintage wanted poster slash Universal monster style that i just can’t get enough. I know there are those who “either love it or hate it” but I’m here to tell you love it or else Christmas is canceled.  If you’ve only ever read The Goon by Powell then this book isn’t going to leave you in unfamiliar territory, but it’s clear he is trying new things in this book and not just resting on his previous highly acclaimed works.

This is a comic creator to follow, and a vehicle for him to just get really flippin’ weird.  I love every single strange page. His writing is full of the familiar humor of The Goon, and with characters like Rondel and Lucille the bear, he gets to show the depths of this tragic and laugh out loud cast he’s assembled.  I don’t want to spoil anything, but something is coming, some greater evil that the witches have been planning for Rondel and the gang and it seems like they’re going to have their hands full next issue.

And can I just say this:  How has Powell not been the artist on an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness already?  Talented yet evil enough not to give me what I want the most. That’s the only explanation I’m accepting.

Man of Steel #1
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Ivan Reis
Inks: Joe Prado
Art on 21,22: Jay Fabok
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Cory Petit
Published by DC Comics

Like everyone else who reads comics, I read Man of Steel #1 this week and it didn’t disappoint.

Honestly, I’m a little excited to see what Bendis can do with Superman.  I’ve never really read Superman consistently. I’ve always gravitated to stories of him in the JLA, Elseworlds, and in miniseries like All-Star Superman and Superman For All Seasons over his own monthly series.  That used to be how I felt about The Avengers and look what he made happen to that feeling. Superman isn’t who immediately popped into my head when I heard Bendis was headed to DC, but after this issue, I think it makes lot of sense.  There’s a large supporting cast for him to take advantage of, and a character that could use a shakeup.

So I’m excited.  The new villain Rogol Zaar seems like he could be more complex than the average Doomsday but still capable of packing a punch a Kryptonian can feel.  And there’s the mysterious council he’s speaking to in the beginning of this issue composed of “Some bald dude who stole Booster Gold’s visor”, “DC Odin/Thor”, a Guardian of the Universe, “bearded Scarlet Witch”, and “Jack Frost or DC Groot.”  Is this going to be the Bendis DC Illuminati? And why are there so many people on the cover that are nowhere in the story?

The art by Reis and Prado is great, and really has that DC house style that you either love or hate.  I’m more love than hate on that front. The last two pages though are fantastic, with Fabok knocking it out of the park.  

I’m along for the ride and you might wanna hop on too.

Amazing Spider-Man #800
Writer: Dan Slott
Line Artists: Nick Bradshaw, Humberto Ramos, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Stuart Immonen, Marcos Martin
Ink Artists: Nick Bradshaw, Victor Olazaba, Cam Smith, Wade von Grawbadger
Colors: Edgar Delgado, Java Tartaglia, Marte Gracia, Muntsa Vicente
Letters: Joe Caramagna
Published by Marvel Comics

So Norman Osborn is back, and this time he has his hands on the Carnage symbiote, leading to the a debate of Who wore it better?  After reading this issue, I’d have to vote for The Red Goblin hands down. Norman’s always been a sack full of nuts, and merging with Carnage didn’t help that nut to sanity ratio one bit.  The fact is he’s just scarier than Cletus Kasaday, mainly because he knows exactly who to harm to get to Spider-Man, but coupled with the Carnage symbiote he’s now more bloodthirsty than ever.  He’s also just whacky enough to infect his own grandson for his own needs. Little “Normie” might now be “Never Norm” and have some long-lasting issues as The Goblin Childe. The Osborn family should really just escape New York like Snake Plissken at this point, right?

Last issue the Red Goblin managed to trample Spidey and all his Amazing Friends, the only thing saving their skins was Flash Thompson: Agent Anti-Venom.  When Norman merged with the Carnage symbiote, emerging again as The Red Goblin, he was immune to the sonic and fire weaknesses that enabled the symbiotes and their hosts to be taken down in the past.  Not this time, bucko!

The book is jam packed with great artists and I honestly couldn’t pick my favorite if I had to. I love Immonen’s artwork and everything I’ve ever seen him tackle. That being said, it took me a couple pages to get used to how he draws Spidey’s mask webbing. Once I got over that the rest just flowed. Martin is another favorite, his style being a breath of fresh air whenever I get to see it, and he also steps up in this issue. Basically, there’s no filler. Bradshaw brings his A game, and Camuncoli is always a beast. Ramos though... I want Ramos on a monthly Spider-Man book for years to come. His style is so well suited for the character in my opinion it seems cruel to tease us.

This issue has everything you could ever want in a Spider-Man comic; Goblins, Symbiotes, “blondes and high places”, redemption, sacrifice, Pete getting the bejeezus knocked out of him, his family in danger, outsmarting the villain like only Spidey can do, and some of the best supporting characters the book has ever had.

I’m still not sure why Red Goblin’s face is on fire though.