Every week, comic fandom is gifted with a slew of fantastic stories from a slew of fantastic creators. These days there’s just so much good stuff out there that it can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re new to comics. Thus AIPT presents to you, Fantastic Five! A weekly column where we pick five fantastic books released during the week and tell you why you should take a chance on them via a snippet from our reviews.
Enjoy, and happy reading!
The Last God #1
Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson. Art by Riccardo Federici.
This book, in some ways, is fairly niche. There are people who will be put off by its density and distance from realism. But there is so much effort, care, and craft put into this comic that makes The Last God #1 one of the best-made issues on the shelves today. If I’m ever lucky enough to make comics for a living, I can only hope to assemble a creative team that will put half as much care as was clearly put into this issue. (10/10)
— Ari Bard
Batman Annual #4
Written by Tom King. Art by Jorge Fornés.
Batman Annual #4 is a masterful standalone experience that conveys the everyday existence of Batman as a character. King is able to use all of his strengths to craft this single issue story, and the art team brings a versatility to the book that allows each scene to feel unique yet still combine well to make the issue feel consistent. This is perhaps the strongest single issue of King’s entire Batman run, and is up there among the best Batman issues of all time. It’s a must-read issue for fans of Batman, and serves as an excellent depiction of why the character is so popular. (10/10)
— Vishal Gullapalli
Written by Tom Taylor. Art by Stefano Gaudiano.
Just in time for Halloween comes one of the darkest tales of the DC Universe. Well, while this isn’t billed as an Elseworlds or a Tales from the Dark Multiverse, it still isn’t the main DC Universe. Thankfully so, because this story plays for keeps, as Tom Taylor does with his stories. Tom does such a great job of finding the essence of a character and giving them moments that count. I have to say that I am very happy with the conclusion of this mini-series, because sometimes we get stories that just don’t stick the landing. (10/10)
— Christopher Franey
The Sandman Universe Presents: Hellblazer #1
Written by Simon Spurrier. Art by Marcio Takara.
As for the story itself, you may be wondering how Spurrier’s script aims to approach Constantine’s years and years of twisted continuity. How can he possibly hope to reconcile the many different tones (and even ages for our lead) the franchise has shown over the last several iterations. The simple answer is: he both does and doesn’t. The longer answer is that Spurrier essentially take the Hawkmanapproach: it all happened and it all matters, as long as it serves the story at hand. (10/10)
— Nathan Simmons
Joker: Killer Smile #1
Written by Jeff Lemire. Art by Andrea Sorrentino.
In a landscape where the Joker has become oversaturated in the public consciousness, another comic focusing on the character could feel superfluous. Yet Lemire, Sorrentino, and Bellaire bring something fresh to the book, exploring the Joker’s effect on individual people through a unique lens. The book is a visual masterpiece, with Sorrentino and Bellaire’s skillsets combining to create a magnificent product. This book is proof DC’s Black Label works, showing that it can showcase creators’ unique voices and tell excellent stories about their iconic characters at the same time. Killer Smile is a triumphant return to DC Comics for both Lemire and Sorrentino, and has the potential to be Black Label’s strongest showing. (10/10)
— Vishal Gullapalli
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