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Comics: Year End Round-Up
by Dee. 1/16/2023Why, hello there, comics enthusiasts! It's the beginning of the month, so that means a round-up of last month's biggest hits. Well, this time, we're giving you a select review of some trades that came out in 2022.
Marvel Comics: Captain America: Symbol of Truth - This trade came out near the very end of 2022, squeaking in with a December 20th release. Continuing the story dominating the MCU of Sam Wilson, now Captain America in Steve Roger's stead. With the help of Joaquin Torres, the new Falcon, (and a tip-off from Misty Knight) Captain America swoops into a train heist in progress.
The dialogue, quick storytelling pace and the action sequences make it a pleasure to read. There's romantic tension and witty retorts, and the characters even have a plot point in Wakanda. The splash pages are dynamic, and would easily make some impressive art posters. There are so many quality things about this comic, especially the political implications of the US's involvement with Wakanda, as most of the residents just see Americans as colonizers.
DC Comics: Poison Ivy (2022) - This trade is being released in May 2023, so you'll have to wait just a few months before you can dive into this comic outside of individual issues. This is a powerfully written book from the likes of G. Willow Wilson, creator of Ms. Marvel aka Kamala Khan. There's an interesting twist to this Poison Ivy: though she's up to her usual shenanigans (wanting to end humanity), she's in a different body than when we last left her. It's surprising how you end up (forgive the pun) rooting for her, as we get to see the complex nature of her relationships and how utterly human her deep depression is.
The art of this book is absolutely gorgeous, which works well with a brutal, sometimes cruel (Villain? Anti-hero?) like Ivy. Arif Prianto (Deathstroke, Dark Knights of Steel) gives a level of elegant detail to this melancholy tale.
Image Comics: Die - I reviewed this comic waay back when it first came out, so this time I get to read all of it in a new collection of the whole series, as of November 2022. Kieron Gillen (Wicked and the Divine; a run on Uncanny X-Men; Über) and Stephanie Hans (Journey Into Mystery; Angela: Asgard's Assassin) have created an amazing book set in the 1990s about a bunch of teens playing Dungeons and Dragons, who get transported to an adventure-filled dimension. Yet when they return without one of their members, they refuse to talk about everything that happened.
Only 20 issues long, this is a tightly controlled story with one hell of an ending. The unusual thing is the story arcs are only about five issues long, but it ends up telling a larger tale as it unfolds. The D&D personas of our main characters are quite different from their actual selves, and the real world seems to fade away as they get steeped in the brutal horror of their situation. Overall, I enjoy this series so, so much. Partially as someone who cut their gaming teeth in her teens, a college English major and partly as a comics aficionado.
Boom! Studios: Something is Killing the Children - This series is one in a larger universe, which also includes House of Slaughter, which is the origin story of our main heroine, Erica Slaughter. She is going from town to town, tracking down the monsters that are at the heart of the main issue: the children are missing, and there are tales of impossible monsters floating around. Volumes 4 and 5 released in 2022, so I'm happy to review them. The individual comics are also available in Slaughter Packs #1 through 4.
This is a horror story with plenty of gore, so be prepared for that. There's a cutesy companion for the bad-a$$ main character, which tickles me. The action is intense, and Werther Dell'Edera's edgy drawing style and incredible monster designs definitely enhance the experience for me.
This post is getting pretty long, and I don't want to spoil too much of how the story is going as of now, but you are in for one hell of a ride.
Random House: Avatar: The Last Airbender Screen Comix - The Power of Toph - I'm a huge AtLA fan, and specifically a Toph fan (it's hard not to be). This book is available to order through our website as of January 4, and I urge anyone with a love for rich environments, deep and complex storytelling about a group of young (and young at heart) adventurers with an emphasis on martial arts to check out Avatar. It's based off of a 2005 Nickelodeon TV show, so the audience skews young, but I find it still enjoyable all these years later. There's actual dialogue pulled from the show, and with the focus on the character Toph, it's hilarious.
Till we meet again,