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!
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Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Infinite Crisis #1
Written by James Tynion IV. Art by Aaron Lopresti.
Do yourself a favor and pick this issue up, as James Tynion IV creates a tale that shows the road to hell is paved with good intentions, as Ted Kord can tell you. Artist Aaron Lopresti is no slouch, either — his style is perfect and he does a great job of recreating key moments from Infinite Crisis and also creating heartbreaking moments for this Tale. Look at the characters that he has in the backgrounds and you’ll see some long missing DCU characters, like Doctor Midnite (Pieter Cross). The only thing that could’ve made this better was instead of DC Comics releasing a Dollar Comics edition of Infinite Crisis #1, they could have released a copy of Countdown to Infinite Crisis #1 so you could see the split point between the two stories. (10/10)
— Christopher Franey
Written by Benjamin Percy. Art by Joshua Cassara.
I have a feeling fans who might have been sour around the first issue are going to love this. It cuts between Wolverine and the morgue scene well to show how X-Force isn’t just about fighting but gathering information and eventually using it. Benjamin Percy does a great job writing Wolverine and Quentin, who both have their versions of an attitude problem on point. I also love the layering of Wolverine and Quentin’s points of view on humanity. A real problem is clearly defining characters as some might think mutants should dominate humanity while others see humans as a sort of equal — or, as Wolverine puts it, “We’re all just a bunch of complicated animals fighting for control of the same forest.” (9.5/10)
— David Brooke
Written by Donny Cates. Art by Iban Coello & Jose Carlos Silva.
This is without a doubt a must-read comic for Venom fans. Cates and the creative team are masterfully telling a lot of stories and character development in a compact 20 pages. Read this for the overwhelming joy that we’re not getting a drawn-out story, but a story that is written for fans who want to be overwhelmed with ideas and reveals. (9.5/10)
— David Brooke
John Constantine: Hellblazer #1
Written by Si Spurrier. Art by Aaron Campbell.
This first issue excels in establishing a mood. The artwork by Aaron Campbell pairs in beautifully grotesque ways with Jordie Bellaire’s colors. The juxtaposition of the rainy, grimy city streets and the otherworldly glow of the angels is horrific, while the evil than ordinary men do to one another is immersed in shadows that feel darker than pitch. To top it all off, Aditya Bidikar’s lettering makes a few of the more grotesque moments even more visceral, giving readers a few exclamations that are nearly as gory as the accompanying illustrations. (9.5/10)
— Nathan Simmons
The Last God #2
Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson. Art by Riccardo Federici.
A large part of this book’s success is thanks to its art and lore. We seldom get to see some of the best artists working in comics today unleash their full talents on a high fantasy book, but that’s exactly what we get here. Federici is drawing one of the most beautiful books of the year. His expressive line work and ability to focus on the characters in each panel while still creating explosive and kinetic backgrounds is unparalleled. Then, once he’s able to get to the monsters, Federici is truly able to shine as he delivers some of the most gruesome and grotesque gods you’ll find in any book on the shelves. (9/10)
— Ari Bard