Wednesday, October 31, 2012


BEST OF WEEK: THE ZAUCER OF ZILK #1—So, I don’t read the solicits, and this resulted in the glorious surprise of walking into the store Wednesday afternoon and stumbling upon 32 majestic pages of raw Brendan McCarthy magic. I had been meaning to track down the 2000 ADs that originally serialized the story a few months back, but this is much better, $4, no ads, nothing but the magic. I can’t honestly say there are really any surprises in here, as McCarthy has trained us to expect fantastic explosions of polychromatic glory and otherdimensional madness at every turn, and with that as a given, there’s not really much that’s out of bounds unless he just like upends his palette and goes in a completely different direction. Which I’m certainly not asking for, more of this until the end of time will be fine. Our protagonist is kind of like The Doctor if The Doctor was a narcissistic aristocrat dick of a prince, and then he’s got to save his little text-message-speaking shorthand-named 2+2 (“Tutu”) from his nemesis. Across time and space, no-worlds and un-time! This story is certainly not for everyone, but if you’re the sort who thinks taking psychedelic mushrooms watered with Grant Morrison’s blood might at long last earn you access to the secret omni-dimensional garden of great ideas, then this is for you.

CHEW #29—Yet another installment of one of the most original and entertaining books on the rack, these boys still seem to be ramping things up even though they’re almost to the halfway point. Once again, Poyo manages to steal the entire issue with only a double-page splash to his name. POYO! Layman continues to just barely ease the title character back into the fold, actually giving Tony a page to himself this month out before tossing him back off-panel to let the supporting cast shine. It really hurts me when twin sister Toni takes a bite out of people’s shoulders, I can’t believe that keeps happening. And we get yet another power-set. At this point, I’m really curious as to whether or not all of these diverse and very inventive attributes are going to coalesce into any formal sort of factional situation or if they’re just going to remain plot drivers for these very entertaining one-offs. Next issue will be massive.

GLORY #29—Strong characterization this time out for little sister Nanaja, which really ramps this series up, the conflict between the two of them. Keatinge tones down the action and really digs in to the characters. It’s a risky call but it works for me, I’m a bit more invested in not just the hybrid girls but good old Henry and Glory’s new boyfriend. Though I could maybe stand to unsee that shot of them in bed together.

WONDER WOMAN #13—I was hoping to get just a liiiiiittle more follow-up on the big last page of #12 after two months of waiting, but of course Azzarello is happy to keep stringing us along with next to nothing on the Fourth World front. Tony Akins continues to turn in very competent work that would be perfectly satisfactory on its own merits if he wasn’t filling in for Chiang. This was solid but a bit of a letdown after waiting through the zero month for just a bit more Kirby in my Wednesday night diet.

BATWOMAN #13—I stumbled into a perfect little Amazonian hat trick here without even trying to program it. This is again nothing less than breathtaking art, every single page. Or double-page spread, I should say. Big respect to DC for not breaking up the flow of the story once with ads and letting the narrative run uninterrupted. You could burn a thousand words on each and every double-page spread, there’s a ridiculous amount going on in all of them. That labyrinth might be my favorite, though the black one where they’re covered by worms and there are many more words than should ever in all rationality be on a comic book page is a good un. It’s going to be a shame when Williams quits doing the art on this book, but I won’t be able to look away while he’s still on it. Just ridiculous work.

MINUTEMEN #4—All right, yes, this is clearly the tale of the team’s loss of innocence and transition into the retired broken-down husks chronicled in Hollis Mason’s bestselling UNDER THE HOOD, which of course gives the framing device much more resonance. This is all pretty well done, writing and art are top-notch. You just come away from the reading experience feeling pretty dirty. Not unlike the effect hypothetically produced by stumbling across the P.I. concealed camera photographs of the cast of THE NEW FRONTIER’s raunchy sex lives. I didn’t really need to know the secret origin of The Silhouette that badly.

NEW AVENGERS #31—Well of course, I should have known that Bendis wouldn’t be done with Cage/Jones until the very last page of his run on this title. Which hopefully will not bring the couple full-circle back around to ALIAS #1. Though you have to wonder/worry with old Gaydos suddenly back in the fold. Even though we get the two main Bendis tics here, our heroes sitting down to a meal with heaping side-orders of dialogue, as well as fifteen static-shot panels in a row while two guys have a conversation, this issue feels a bit more substantive than last week’s issue of the main title.

DAREDEVIL #19—This is that rare book that spoils its last page on the cover and still manages to take you completely by surprise. Waid begins his second year on the title with the same breakneck pace to which we’ve grown accustomed. Samnee/Rodriguez continue to provide gorgeous vistas that never stop pushing the narrative forward, as much as the reader wants to stop and just take a bath in them. It is interesting to note that for all the talk about this title’s tone surfacing from the abject misery that has dominated the character since Frank Miller first brought us the ballad of Elektra Natchios, lo, these thirty-two years ago, as bouncy and fun as it was when it started, at this point we’ve got Matt just barely recovering from doubting his sanity, Foggy convinced enough that he’s craaaazy to have not only terminated the partnership but sell him out to his Assistant DA girlfriend so that she can set up a citywide manhunt and Ol’ Hornhead’s head disembodied and at the mercy of a former C-list villain. Macabre!

HAWKEYE #3—I didn’t think this one had any room to get better. Everyone involved continues to absolutely murder it. The tone is perfect, Clint’s voice really shines through in the narration. Fraction builds an entertaining yarn via the countdown of bad decisions playing against the goofy wonderfulness of all the trick arrows and how these things affect our dynamic duo, who remain simultaneously one of the best and most forehead-slappingly obvious ideas for a pairing that anyone has had in some time. Aja is a force, perfectly complemented by Hollingsworth, whose restrained palette suits the stripped-down tone of this book to a tee. Believe the hype, people, all the people screaming from the mountaintop after two or three issues aren’t just raving madmen, or they have a really good reason, I should maybe say. Most schools of thought will probably put this as BEST OF WEEK, though I stand by my omni-d phantasmagoria. But, come on. The single-panel return of his most famous costume, alone. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


BATMAN #13—You know, I didn’t realize that it’s been three months since I read a Snyder/Capullo BATMAN comic, but that’s what happens when creative cranks out eleven comics in under eleven months. The batteries need a chance to recharge and, oh, the machine is humming along faster than ever. Capullo/Glapion/Plascencia are monsters, I’m not sure there’s an art team working today hitting every single storytelling mark with such precision, intensity, and consistency. Old Mayor Hady’s attitude doesn’t indicate that much intelligence, I feel like I’d be a lot more grateful for police protection if the Joker was calling me out. And on the other end of the intelligence spectrum, you’ve got to give respect to the Clown Prince of Crime for leaving a clue in acrostic additives found in Joker Venom, that’s some crazy kind of taunting. And Jock on the backup, editorial can’t expect to pull in more serious talent than that. This was a very very good Batman vs Joker comic. And the fun is only beginning.

BATMAN AND ROBIN #13—Zombies? That is a stretch. Not that it can’t happen in Gotham, I mean, obviously, anything can, our boy was running around as a vampire just a few years ago, seems like, but for all the depth of the rogues’ gallery, as well as this team’s obvious gift at creating new additions, just going for zombies feels pretty rote. The undead fellow I want to see this duo fighting was born on a Monday. The opening scene just about makes up for it, though, watching the solar eclipse from orbit is rock-solid characterization of Bat-parenting. And it’s amazing how devastating it is, that one panel when Damian does something as simple as just thank his father, because he’s come so far, it’s so crazy just to have him expressing straightforward gratitude like that. This creative team is still tearing it up and I’m willing to give them some slack about the zombies, but there better be one really charming motherfucking pig coming up here next issue.

FRANKENSTEIN, AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E. #13—It never occurred to me with what great ease one might fold this one in to the whole Red/Green situation going on over in SWAMP THING and ANIMAL MAN because, of course, Frank is the Anti-Rot. Just like over in those other two books, Rotworld appears to be smashing the status quo for this book to pieces. I hope Nina makes it. Frank deserves a chance at happiness in companionship! Ponticelli/Faucher/Villarrubia continue to turn in the same caliber of work that has made this title such a slam-dunk since September last. My favorite image is Page Seven, The Leviathan surfacing, particularly that last shot with the teeeeeeny-tiny protagonist steering the beast with sword and force of will. Am looking forward to seeing how this interweaves with the other two Rotworld titles going forward, it’s a wonderful thing when books you already enjoy on their own individual merit intersect organically. With a little bit of science to help them along.

MORNING GLORIES #22—Another solid outing, no real shocking moments happen, but I guess you can’t drop those every single moment. I guess the return at the end is a big deal. I had just seen LOOPER right before diving into the evening’s comics so was very much screaming that at the page during the 12 MONKEYS/PRIMER/BACK TO THE FUTURE listing. I really need to see PRIMER again, one time isn’t even close to enough.

CONAN #9—The Cimmeria trilogy comes to a conclusion and is resolved in a manner to my liking. Was fully acclimated to Vasilis Lolos’s art style by the start of this issue and found it to be a better fit for the series than last month. I will be glad to get back out on the open sea, though.

THE MASSIVE #5—Wood benches 2/3 of his main characters and we zoom in on someone we haven’t met yet, a girl named Ryan who’s the sole American onboard The Kapital. As has been the case thus far with this series, Wood does a deft job juggling rapid-fire characterization for people we’ve just barely met with enormous ideas in keeping with the global scope of this series and its premise. In most ways, this is a lot like what Kirkman’s got going over with THE WALKING DEAD. Of course there are no zombies, but this story is all about survival in the face of worldwide disaster and the lengths to which a given group of characters are willing to go in order to keep living. Compelling material.

THE AVENGERS #31—This felt very very slight. I do hold these $4/20-pg Marvel books to a higher standard, certainly don’t have a calculator out while reading it but it would be nice if I felt roughly 133% as entertained as I do reading a DC title. Or DD or FF, for that matter. Not happening here. This is the first part of Bendis’s endgame and it’s nothing more than a few widescreen decompressed pages of some-mysterious-person-who’s-surely-The-Wasp having big adventure, her identity all but confirmed at the end when we learn that her scenes are taking place inside the Microverse. The rest of the book is basically clean-up dialogue from AvX. I guess the 100K or so kids will buy anything but I wish old Bendis was packing the individual issues just a little bit tighter here in his home-stretch. Which I still fully expect to be crushing when all is said and done, let it be known.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #1—All right, that was bananas. I wasn’t planning on giving any new Marvel relaunches a shot except for Hickman and Fraction, but I seriously regretted not picking up Remender on UNCANNY X-FORCE once that got going, plus I was really lying to myself if I thought I was going to be able to resist my boy Cassaday on interiors. And I’m glad I did, this is nothing less than summer blockbuster explodo fun, and I mean that in the best possible way. This is, at its heart, such a ridiculous cash-grab premise for a title that the only way to way to make it work is to paint it just as ludicrous as possible with the absurdity factor dialed all the way up. And that is exactly what happens here. Which is never expressed more perfectly than that last page, hilarious and absolutely stark raving batshit, I am for it in a big way.

BEST OF WEEK: FANTASTIC FOUR #611—I really don’t know what to say. I’ve loved this run so much. A celebration of family and the importance of the relationships with our loved ones and the effect that they have upon us, all played out against the glorious crackling science-fiction backdrop that Jack Kirby stocked with all the impossible hyperdense imagination the narrative could stand over the course of nine years. Given the massive ensemble that Hickman has painstakingly crafted over the course of the past four years, it’s a very interesting choice to limit this final issue of the flagship title to only four characters, only one of whom is eponymous. But it works. In the course of these twenty pages, we see a universe created and then turn on its creator on the seventh day because He crafted the place so perfectly in His own image, who must then be rescued by his surrogate daughter and the man he hates most in all of creation, his best friend, all effected through the course of powerful and pitch-perfect character work that resonates throughout all space and time.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


ACTION COMICS #13—And after an interlude of zero issues, Year Two gets a proper beginning in grand and glorious fashion. We begin, as ever, with ACTION. Morrison is never one to miss a numerological trick and so sets this thirteenth issue released during the month of October during a pair of Halloweens, with the Phantom Zone taking its first prisoner twenty Halloweens before the destruction of Krypton, a very ominous little fact/retcon that just gets tossed off in a single caption and never addressed again. Is the fact that Dr. Xa-Du’s first parole hearing took place the day the planet exploded a coincidence? Hell of a thing to just drop in, there. Travel Foreman shows up with a style that’s far less scratchy and jagged than his ANIMAL MAN run, which is a good fit. I wish they’d do this every time, rather than pile on three pencilers and four inkers in a mad dash to make deadline, just have single pencilers or penciler/inkers lined up with as much cushion as they need and then hitting their marks. It sounds easy, but I’m sure it isn’t. Sholly Fisch and Brad Walker provide another solid back-up. I’m always a sucker for the Krypto stories, though I think the prize will always go to that fill-in of Busiek/Leonardi’s they finally published last year, #612, I want to say. That business laid me out.

DETECTIVE COMICS #13—An incredibly auspicious debut for the Layman/Fabok team. I was overjoyed when these guys were announced, Fabok’s been killing it every chance he gets in the occasional fill-in I’ve picked up, and of course Layman is the initial mastermind behind one of the most original and entertaining books on the rack, CHEW. I couldn’t wait to see these guys’ take on Gotham hijinx and it’s nothing but by-the-book excellence. They don’t try to overload the boat the first month out, we just get pitch-perfect characterization with Batman trying to overcome any and all distractions in order to make it to the dedication of the wing named after his mother. Only, of course, the Penguin’s taken out a hit on Bruce Wayne and is trying to usurp him in the philanthropic sector. Just another week in Gotham! This is nothing more or less than an excellent first issue that bespeaks great things to come. Also, it’s very cool to have Layman writing the back-up feature as well, it really justifies the extra buck on the price-tag, as opposed to ACTION up above, where the stories are passable but never really manage to hang next to the main feature. I can’t believe Martin from Miami wasn’t Bruce in disguise! Actually never saw that coming.

ANIMAL MAN #13—Rotworld is at last underway and, goodness, it doesn’t bode well for our heroes. I mean, I guess this has to get undone at some point, right? You can’t take out Flash and have zombie Supergirl impaling Batwoman during the recap montage and expect that this kind of thing is going to take. I hope that’s the case, as dumping the family tosses aside the character dynamic that really makes Buddy Baker stand out. Timothy Green III does a fine job blending in with Steve Pugh’s work, tough gig.

SWAMP THING #13—Dire times here, as well, and circumstances that completely torpedo this book’s status quo if they are allowed to remain when all is said and done. I actually quite like the idea of this book and Animal Man staying in some kind of post-Rotworld future. That would definitely be having the cake and eating it too, in terms of the difference in tone between setting these books in the Vertigo or DC universes. I guess that would kind of negate the point of folding them in in the first place. At any rate, one year in and this is the most entertaining the character’s been since Moore took a walk. Great to see Paquette back in the fold, tearing it up.

RORSCHACH #2—This is all terribly authentic, Bermejo’s lush art is breathtaking and Azzarello has, in particular, done an incredible job capturing the narrative voice we know so well in a -8 years state, meaning he’s got Kovacs leaving in some words in the journal that we absolutely know shouldn’t be there, but it’s only because we’ve internalized the 1985 version to such a degree, and this guy hasn’t quite chunked all the superfluous and codified his jargon just yet (Example: Page 3, panel 2: “NAME DOESN’T MATTER. ONLY FACE DOES.” There is no way in all the whispering hells my man from ’85 leaves in that “DOES.”). So far, though, here at the halfway point, Azzarello hasn’t hit the alchemy for me that he does over on COMEDIAN and manage to lend new insight into the character and make him compelling in a new way. We’re still pretty much going through the beats. There are no surprises. Maybe he’s going to drop the hammer next issue, I certainly hope so. Poor old Walter deserves better treatment and new insight into what makes him tick before his own true and personal end is nigh.

THE BOYS #71—Good lord. Never in the history of the medium has there been action of greater import taking place in the gutter in-between the cliffhanger of one issue and the first page of its next installment. The first page of this issue is so shocking, I stared at it for at least two or three minutes, marveling at Ennis’s audacity, not wanting it to be true. The symphony of the trademark over-the-top violence at the top of the page underscored by Butcher’s typically understated and so very hard-man report as to what exactly has transpired in the four-week real-time-flash since we were last granted a window into this world. But my favorite thing about this issue is how it manages to avoid the pitfalls that seemed inevitable to me all this time. I was sure at some point this was going to have to degenerate into a relatively melodramatic good vs evil sort of situation, but the manner in which Ennis manages to subvert that expectation is a microcosm of the tremendous success he’s had with this book. The friendship and respect and even love never take a back-seat to the narrative but instead continue to propel it forward to a conclusion that is of course completely inevitable and perfectly in-character. Tragic, heartbreaking, perfect, and beautiful, this has been one hell of a run. I have absolutely no idea how they plan to hurl us off into the sunset next month, but I expect it will be brutal and terribly terribly funny.

FATALE #8—Oh joy, another interlude! Those parts are my favorite. Of course, you totally see the ending coming but it makes no difference, it’s all about the ride. Except for that one red red dream, this issue is . . . very very purple. Stewart’s muted tones almost contribute more to the palpable thickness of the atmosphere than Brubaker’s remorseless script or Phillips’s lines that are never over- or underrendered, just the perfect amount of detail necessary to push the story forward. This may be a mashup of noir and Lovecraft mythos and Hollywood sexploitation and drug abuse, suspense thriller, horror, pretty much everything except science fiction so far, but these creators are firing at the top of the game so hard, they ram home the point that none of that matters, it’s all just window dressing for the characters, bait to draw us in to care about them and empathize with them and want them to succeed or at least be okay. Of course, then these guys take someone’s leg off and call it a day.

AVENGERS VS X-MEN #12—And we’re done. It was better than I thought it was going to be but not as good as I had hoped, given the magnitude of the creative talent involved. I was hoping that all that synergy would crackle together and push this past the land of editorial-mandated corporate comics, but that was a pretty foolish amount of optimism to retain after the past ten years. Kubert’s work is a bit rushed but he still delivers thirty-five pages of slam-bang-um-up finale. I particularly liked that spread of vertical panels across pages 9 and 10. Laura Martin’s deft hand with her palette enhances the work as a whole without calling attention or distraction to her individual contribution. I don’t know, something like this would work better or at least might be more satisfying if we didn’t already know there were midnight parties for UNCANNY AVENGERS the next week, if it was actually a Holy Shit moment when Cap said, “Uncanny,” instead of everyone just being like, “Check,” and oh, there are only two pages left, Thor’s got to invite Nova to join The Avengers, “Check,” these days too many of the repercussive beats get spilled before the story even finishes. Curse you, three-month solicits! Marvel’s made it very easy to reduce the majority of my consumption of their monthly superhero fare, will always hang with Hickman on his AVENGERS and going to see Bendis out after all this time and going to give Fraction a shot on FF and got to hang with Waid DD, but that is really and truly it. Ah shit, I’ll probably give UNCANNY AVENGERS a shot. They double-shipping that, too? (oh wait, and HAWKEYE, too. I am an oak)

BEST OF WEEK: DAREDEVIL: END OF DAYS #1—Man, Waid and company have been cruising along here so impressively with such regularity now, you wouldn’t think there would be room for anyone to come in and blow everything up with an ultimate Daredevil story, and by ultimate, I’m not talking about anything to do with Jemas or Millar or reboot or resetting but of course very much with Brian Michael Bendis, but what he and David Mack and Klaus Janson and Bill Sienkiewicz and Matt Hollingsworth manage in just this first outing alone is a such an uppercut to the face that you suddenly realize you’re in the middle of another mythic Daredevil story, it’s the eighties again, the bad times, the lean times. Miller & Mazzucchelli are back together for this one last seven-month run and nothing will ever be the same. Sure there have been good runs, great runs, since. Nocenti/JRJr, Mack’s arcs, Bendis/Maleev, and Brubaker/Lark, giving way to the aforementioned greatness of the current team turning in thrilling adventures starring The Man Without Fear more than twelve times a year, but none of them manage to come close, because this one is really The End. And it actually really and truly feels like this time it’s going to matter this time. To be worthy of the character. The blind arrow shot to mark Robin Hood’s grave. King Arthur drifting out to his final watery rest. Crafted for people who love the character by creators who feel that same sense of respect and devotion, who want to do right by him. I don’t want to discuss the plot at all, I had no idea what was coming and it blew me away. But this Sienkiewicz painting tells you all you need to know. This is not a discarded panel from ELEXTRA: ASSASSIN, though it feels like one in all the right ways. This is the last Daredevil story. And it’s only beginning.

(To be honest, BEST OF WEEK is too close to call between DD and THE BOYS, but I gave it up to the former because at least I could provide an image to back it up, something you can’t really roll with in the latter for a single panel without massive spoilage, now you know!)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


BATMAN INCORPRATED #0—What a gorgeous issue. Frazer Irving’s very distinctive style carries us through several scenes we’ve experienced before (including a perfect recapitulation of the ringing-the-bell scene from YEAR ONE), and then does nothing more than flesh out the recruiting process that Bruce did for the Incorporated rollout. Real dense work. The three panels in Russia are priceless. You’ve got to love the Dark Ranger and Beryl the Squire holo-Skyping. But the former trading out his boomerang for a batarang is even better. And then a perfect last two pages between Alfred and Master Bruce. I could read Morrison Batman comics for the rest of my life and never get tired of them. And good on Burnham, whatever his contribution to the script was, very cool to see an artist punch through and get a co-plotting credit, not sure that’s ever happened before with Morrison.

HAPPY #1—Robertson’s work is on-display in all of its finely rendered hyperdetailed glory. Maybe the style just already cues THE BOYS up in my head, but from the very first page, this very much reads as Morrison riffing on Ennis. By way of JOE THE BARBARIAN, I suppose, there is a healthy dose of imagination crazy in at the end, there, with the introduction of the titular character. I guess the deal is, in this world of bastards, assholes, dicks, etc, can one little girl’s imaginary friend redeem the hard man who is the worst of the lot? Morrison’s super-short self-contained work (WE3, SEAGUY, VINAMARAMA) is always a pleasure and it looks like we’re in for more of the same, here.

FLASH #0—This one’s beautifully drawn and well constructed and all, but I’m still just having trouble getting onboard with the whole Dead Mother scenario. Barry Allen works just find without inserting that as a driving characterizing motivation. I wish Geoff Johns had grown up in The Silver Age instead of The Bronze. (I want Captain Marvel back, too.)

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #0—This is all well and good, very much the secret North American origin of Constantine in case the 200-odd issues by the very best of the UK talent pool had by chance left some itch that you needed scratched. I love Lemire and Garbett provides more-than-capable fill-in work here, as ever, but Constantine’s infiltration of the DCU proper isn’t working for me in the way it is over across with the ANIMAL MAN/SWAMP THING situation. He can’t be enough of a bastard outside the elastic confines of Vertigo? I’m not sure. Those other two still feel like Vertigo books. This one doesn’t and, I think, suffers for it. Of course, I’m rooting for John and Zee, but in the end, really think Dini should get his way and just have her move her things into Stately Wayne Manor.

OZYMANDIAS #3—I’m warming up to this one a bit. Though don’t really see the need for it to run six issues. Things speed up this time out as Wein/Lee show us what happened the first time the title character and The Comedian fought, Ozymandias’s reaction to Manhattan’s appearance on the global stage (HINT: within the week, he’s got a Master Plan involving an Antarctic retreat!) and we witness the advent of . . . the bank of monitors! Who monitors the monitorman? I’m so sorry!

AMERICAN VAMPIRE #31—Snyder/Albuquerque continue to roar through their best arc yet. The idea of Pearl & Skinner as federally sanctioned vampire hunters is too great, could sustain an entire series, though I suspect we’re only going to maintain the status quo for this one little run, here. And, hey! A big shocking cliffhanger/reveal that doesn’t feature Skinner! That’s a big deal in this book. Though I was going to totally be onboard with it before the page turn, if it had been him, glorious madness.

PROPHET #29—This is again one of the most consistently rewarding books on the rack today. Graham maintains the science pulp adventure tone that makes this seem like a discovery of the long lost best ever comic book from Flash Gordon’s own longboxes while Dalrymple turns in possibly the work of his career. You could stare at the Page 2-3 spread all night long. And this maybe isn’t even the best issue lately, it’s just better than almost everything else. Am really turning to this title in these days of regular consumption of Morrison Batman and Hickman FF flickering out of my life. It takes BEST OF WEEK by a nanometer over those other two.

FF #22—A lovely resolution to the entire Bentley/Wizard conundrum in an issue that’s got just enough room to breathe, the right amount of dialogue and character beats for the ensemble. I also like how it starts out before the main title’s first part, encompasses that issue, then finishes up the story. This is the first time I’ve seen Andre Araujo’s work, but he’s another solid addition to creative, here. Kudos to the editors or Hickman, whoever keeps finding these random people I’ve never heard of whose art all seems to have a similar aesthetic that never makes them just dropping him disrupt the momentum of the title. This one is a happy ending for Valeria and Bentley. I dearly hope it lasts through next month’s final issues. Such a glorious run.