12th Jun2019

Panel Discussion #54: Top Picks for the Week of 6/12/2019

by Dan Clark

Welcome back to another installment of Panel Discussion, this time featuring Dan’s top picks for this week in comics.

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Before I get into what this article is I need to get into what it is not. First I am basing this list not off of my thoughts on each issue rather my expectations. Based on my knowledge of the creators, the series, and in some cases just the concepts I created a list of five comics I am most looking forward to this new comic book day.

Also, this is not a speculation article. I am not saying these comics are ‘Key’ issues you can flip in eBay. Ultimately when I walk into my local comic shop on New Comic Book Day these are the five books I am most looking forward to reading. I will try to balance it out by including some concerns I have with each issue as well.

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #7

Writer: Tom Taylor | Artist: Ken Lashley | Publisher: Marvel Comics

Solicitation: As seen in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #15, Aunt May is reopening the F.E.A.S.T. Center to help the homeless and needy of New York City! But things are rarely as simple as that in the Marvel Universe as F.E.A.S.T. and the new funding May has secured to try to make her dream a reality is under attack by…THE PROWLER? Has Hobie Brown returned to his criminal beginnings? Can Spider-Man help bring him back to the side of the angels?

Why I am Excited: Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #6 was one of the best comic issues I read this year, and I can see it being one of those issues that becomes a classic over time. So now the question becomes how do you follow that up? I know there are a lot of Spider-Man comics out right now buy by far my favorite has been this series. It is a title that lives up to its name focusing more on the characters and smaller moments rather than massive events that can easily be convoluted. Plus Tom Taylor is just one of the best writers in the business today.

Why I am Concerned: This issue brings with it a new artist in Ken Lashley and nothing against him or his work but I will miss what Juann Cabal was doing with this book. He crafted some of the most out there panel concepts that are unlike anything else in comics. I love picking up a book knowing the artist is someone who will do things I have never really seen before and that’s not something I have fully seen from Ken Lashley.

The Immortal Hulk #19

Writer: Al Ewing | Artist: Joe Bennett | Publisher: Marvel Comics

Solicitation: Something is coming for Bruce Banner. Something that can smell him wherever he hides. Something that will never stop hunting. It wears the face of a friend — but all it feels is hate and hunger, burning in the core of every cell. Ask yourself…what’s more terrifying than the IMMORTAL HULK?

Why I am Excited: The Immortal Hulk is probably the most talk about comic today due to its quality and how insane it has been for the speculator market. When looking at why it has been so beloved I believe it is due to two major factors – quality and consistency. Not only has it been well written and drawn but the same team has been on nearly ever issue. When Joe Bennett has not been on the book they have been able to get an artist who still stays within the style he has established for the book. For a series that comes out as often as it does that is a massive feat.

Why I am Concerned: While I have been a proponent for this series since the start, I have felt this current art has been the weakest thus far. Now it is still good but each issue has not felt as complete as it did when the series began. The pacing has slowed down a bit to the point where much of each issue feels like not much more than a precursor to a surprise twist ending. That can work for a while, but I hope we get more narrative depth with this issue compared to the past few.

The Flash #72

Writer: Joshua Williamson | Artist: Howard Porter | Publisher: DC Comics

Solicitation: “The Flash Year One” continues! Things are not looking pretty for the Flash, who just got his scarlet butt handed to him by the Turtle. If Barry Allen thought being a hero was going to be easy, he’d better think again after this beating-—but will it be enough to detour his destiny?

Why I am Excited: I know when the ‘Year One’ concept comes up an automatic rolling eyes response can occur. How many times can we retell a characters origin? The thing is it is done so much because when it is done right it can lead to some fantastic stories that are not weighed down by generations of continuity. That has been the case with The Flash since issue #70 plus Howard Porter is bringing his A game. This is the best this series has looked since the beginning.

Why I am Concerned: Joshua Williamson’s run on The Flash has been widely inconsistent. There have been times when I have loved it only to get an issue or an arc that does not work at all. This “Year One’ story was a welcome change as The Flash tracking down all the different forces that were released were becoming repetitive and mundane in its execution. As we dive deeper into this story I hope this does not get bogged down as past arcs have with this series.

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Silver Surfer: Black #1

Writer: Donny Cates | Artist: Tradd Moore | Publisher: Marvel Comics

Solicitation: Spinning out of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1, almost the entire galaxy’s defenders have been blown through a black hole, including the Silver Surfer! But the story doesn’t end there… In order to fight back the oblivion, Surfer will have to fight to save his own soul and not lose himself to the void. Follow the Sentinel of the Spaceways on a journey that will change him forever!

Why I am Excited: Since Donny Cates wrote God Country he became a writer I will always pick up and he has rarely let me know. Due to his run on Thanos and Venom he has become a major fan favorite. He got me to care about a character in Venom that I have never cared about before so with him writing one of my favorites in Silver Surfer it can only get better right? Plus Tradd Moore doing a Marvel cosmic story promises to look tremendous.

Why I am Concerned: Despite my admiration for Cates as a writer his work on Guardians of the Galaxy thus far has been good but not to the level of his better Marvel work. It has come off as a series still trying to find itself and now that we are getting a spinoff to that book my concern is it will only get further lost. Not to mention the sheer amount of work Cates is doing at the moment. I know he is the hot name right now but Marvel has a tendency to run creators thin. With Absolute Carnage on its way I wonder how much time he could devote to making this book on the same level as his other titles.

Trust Fall #1

Writer: Christopher Sebela | Artist: Chris Visions | Publisher: Aftershock

Solicitation: Ash Parsons was raised to believe she’s special. As someone with a quirk of genetics that lets her teleport things, she’s the golden goose of her family. Her family is the foundation of a struggling criminal outfit trying to get ahead in the world and Ash is able to pop out whole fleets of cars and entire bank vaults. But while she can teleport valuables and her accomplices, she can’t teleport herself – making every job a trust fall with her family there to catch her and escort her to safety. It’s a perfect setup but as things begin to change and the Parsons move up in the world, Ash will find herself pushing back against her golden cage, with deadly results.

Why I am Excited: As I mentioned with Donny Cates there are those creators where I will give anything they do at least a shot and Christopher Sebela is another one of those creators especially his creator own work. Crowded last year was a massive surprise and very much deserving of its Eisner nomination. Also, this may sound trivial but I love teleportation. When done right it can lead to some fascinating sequences.

Why I am Concerned: Christopher Sebela’s last series with Aftershock Cold War did not work for me despite it having one of my favorite artists Hayden Sherman. For me, it was a situation where story and style work against one another. Chris Visions is an artist Sebela has work with prior so I do not envision that being an issue again, but considering what I know about Visions style as an artist I do wonder if he will get the most out of this concept.
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I know this week was really Marvel heavy which I did not expect. I toyed with the idea of taking out a Marvel book or two for the sake of variety but if I am being truthful these are the books I am most excited about this week. As the article shows I tried to keep in mind the good and the bad to try to keep those expectations in check. After reading these books I will report back with how those expectations were met.

Also before I go here are some other titles I am looking forward to this upcoming week:

  • Detective Comics #1005
  • Spider-Man: Life Story #4
  • Event Leviathan #1
  • Wonder Twins #5
  • Sonata #1
  • Spencer and Locke 2 #3
  • Jughead’s Time Police #1
  • Amber Blake #4
  • Calamity Kate #4
  • Orphan Age #3
  • The Empty Man #8
  • James Bond: Origin #10
  • Batman and the Outsiders #2
  • Red Sonja: Birth of She Devil #1
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