Bookwyrm’s 10-Word Comic Reviews: Infamous Iron Man, Moon-Girl, and More

Another week, another round of new comics. In the pullbox today, Doctor Doom continues doing his best Tony Stark impersonation; the League of Shadows dumps Liam Neeson for Lady Shiva; a girl genius and her pet dinosaur meet Brandybuck Calldispatch; Batman scrapes the bottom of DC’s barrel to form a new super-team; and demons take up residence in London (not to mention in people) and I am shocked, shocked to report that things don’t go well. Here’s a round up of the top Bookwyrm’s 10-word comic reviews.

Let’s get this party started.

INFAMOUS IRON MAN #5
Publisher: Marvel
Story: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Alex Maleev

What The Trades Say:
What is Doom’s secret? Why, after all he has done to destroy and punish us, is he now determined to become the hero? Find the answer here. But can you trust anything he says or does? Plus: The identity of his new cosmic-level adversary is revealed! And it’s a doozy.

What Bookwyrm Says:
First of all, DOOM. Just freakin’ Doom. He’s long been one of my favorite Marvel baddies, and his more heroic ventures are making me like him even more. As for the issue itself, Bendis proves once again that he is the king of dialogue. Every conversation in this issue feels real. It’s something I strive for in my own writing, so I truly appreciate it when I see it in others. The man knows how people talk, plain and simple.

For those who haven’t been following along, Tony Stark is out of commission. Doom, because reasons, has become his own version of Iron Man. And if you need more than that to pique your interest, you’re beyond my help.

Though it was mostly dialogue (as are most Bendis stories, let’s be honest), this issue absolutely flew by — in a good way. Once I finished it, I immediately started flipping through it again. Some classic Ben Grimm being Ben Grimm, a good dose of Maria Hill badassness, and the ever-evolving character of Doom. And that last page stinger… man. Pick this one up. While you’re at it, breeze through the first four issues if you haven’t already. Verdict: Highly recommended.

Twitter-Ready 10-Word Review:
That’s how you write a comic. Bendis delivers the goods.


DETECTIVE COMICS #951
Publisher: DC
Story: James Tynion IV
Art: Christian Duce

 

What The Trades Say:
“League of Shadows” Part One! The next big DETECTIVE arc explodes here as the League of Shadows goes from mysterious rumor to deadly fact! What’s their plan for Gotham City? And how will their actions affect Batman and his team?

What Bookwyrm Says:
There are things to like about this issue. Some people like Batman to be a loner, but personally, I see the value in the Bat-family. Bruce needs other people around to balance him out and give him a little perspective. In this issue, Batwoman acts as a great foil for him, keeping him in check when he gets a little too mission-focused. And that’s where this issue really shines: Bruce’s interactions with his team. His concern for Orphan (Cassandra Cain’s latest moniker) is particularly touching, as is his admission that, based on skill alone, she could best him in a fight.

However, there are also some things to NOT like about this issue. The whole story feels a little rushed, and the fact that Batman was framed for a murder so easily just doesn’t sit well. I get why it happened, but I’m just not sold on the how. When people are stupid because the plot needs them to be stupid, it pulls me out of the story immediately. Verdict: Browse before buying.

Twitter-Ready 10-Word Review:
Good opener, but felt abrupt. Still, Lady Shiva’s effin’ ruthless.


MOON-GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #16
Publisher: Marvel
Story: Brandon Montclare & Amy Reeder
Art: Natacha Bustos

What The Trades Say:
BLACK GIRL MAGIC! Lunella Lafayette is unequivocally the smartest PERSON (regardless of gender) in the world. Your faves could never! But that won’t stop them from putting Lunella to the test… Case in point: Marvel’s mighty mystic Doctor Stephen Strange stops by to see what so magical about this little girl from Yancy Street.

What Bookwyrm Says:
Man, Marvel needs to fire whoever writes their summaries. Fingers off the caps lock, and no one gets hurt.

This is a fun series. Ultra-smart girl, recently proven to be the smartest person (I’m not caps-locking it, stupid Marvel write-up guy) in the world, gets paired up with a time-displaced tyrannosaurus rex. Sounds like something from Doctor Who. Alas, this issue, while fun, isn’t really much of anything. Doctor Strange, fresh off of his recent surge in popularity due to Sherlock playing him in a movie, shows up to talk magic with the very science-minded Lunella. It’s cute. It’s comical. But there’s just not much going on. If there was a story where something of consequence happened, I missed it. I like a little fun here and there, but serials are meant to continue stories, not tread water until something important happens. Verdict: Skip it. You’re not missing much this time.

Twitter-Ready 10-Word Review:
Some good science-versus-magic banter, but not much else.


JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #1
Publisher: DC
Story: Steve Orlando
Art: Ivan Reis

What The Trades Say:
Meet the Extremists — self-proclaimed saviors from another Earth. They thirst for peace, prosperity, and total submission to the will of their leader, Lord Havok! How can the newly assembled JLA stop this group of misguided maniacs before the Extremists unleash their own unique — not to mention dangerous! — brand of law and order on our chaotic world?

What Bookwyrm Says:
Batman. Vixen. The Ray. Black Canary. Killer Frost. The Atom. Lobo. It’s an interesting team. But is it really the Justice League? Time will tell, I suppose. For now, it feels kind of… off. Regardless, this new team gets a trial by fire when Lord Havok and the Extremists appear and announce they’re going to save our world by — what else — taking over it.

So here’s the deal. This is a #1. Universally, number ones are known for being jumping-on points for new readers. I haven’t read a JLA title in a while, so I took a chance. In short, I had NO IDEA what was going on half the time. What does Batman have against this version of The Atom? I don’t know. Why is Lobo suddenly okay with taking orders from Batman? No clue.

The book also might be a little easier to understand if it didn’t jump around so much, either. Whether it’s jumping locations or points of view, the narrative is all over the place. Plus, motivations are muddy as hell here. We see the Extremists for all of a few panels before they’re causing mayhem. The JLA learns they exist, then we’re suddenly in a gigantic, collateral damage-strewn battle. And, considering the entirely out-of-nowhere inner monologue of The Atom, Batman’s decision at the end feels unearned. There’s no telling what’s going on here. Tight storytelling this ain’t. Verdict: Can’t recommend this one.

Twitter-Ready 10-Word Review:
The JLA, and this issue, are kind of a mess.


DARKNESS VISIBLE #1
Publisher: IDW
Story: Mike Carey & Arvind Ethan David
Art: Brendan Cahill

What The Trades Say:
When the demons came, humanity reluctantly learned to share the world with another sentient race. Eighty years later, this uneasy coexistence has spawned an endless terrorist conflict. Detective Daniel Aston, charged with being the thin blue line between the two sides, is tested to the limit when a demon sets up house inside his soul. But to save his daughter, he’ll pay any price — even genocide.

What Bookwyrm Says:
As the writer of both Lucifer and The Unwritten, seeing Mike Carey’s name on a book for me grants it a read-through at the very least. Most of the time, I’ll just go ahead and add it to my pullbox. This book is no different.

In the world of Darkness Visible, demons exist and live among us in plain, blatant sight. So… kind of like our world, except [insert overtly political joke here]. We see this world through the eyes of a jaded detective and the daughter whose naivete and innocence is eclipsed only by his absolute adoration for her. Seeing this new world through two different pairs of eyes proves for an interesting opener, and I hope we’ll get to see more of it as the series continues. The last few pages cast some doubt on that part, but you know how the saying goes: no one stays dead in comics. (It’s not really a spoiler if it’s mentioned in the trade summary AND the title page of the comic itself, is it?)

Congratulations, Mr. Carey — you’ve got my interest yet again. Let’s see where this thing goes. Verdict: Recommended.

Twitter-Ready 10-Word Review:
Where’s freakin’ Constantine when you need him? Solid, well-written opener.

And… I’m spent. If you don’t pick up anything else this week, Infamous Iron Man #5 and Darkness Visible #1 are your surefire safe bets. As far as anything else goes, read at your own risk. Until next time, kids.

Ryan Haddock10 Posts

An award-winning author, avid reader, occasional roleplayer, and father to three young geeks-in-training, Ryan loves a good story in any medium — from books and movies to comics and video games. In addition to the above, he is also a dedicated Whovian, a superhero enthusiast, and a Browncoat who just can't seem to let it go. You can find him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

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