This week on the Wal-Tor Weekly Review we take a look at The Worst X-Man Ever, Daredevil teaming up with the old Captain America, and another exciting chapter of “The Darkseid War” in Justice League.

X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever #1

X-Men_Worst_X-Man_Ever_1Bailey is your average teenager, looking for a reason to fit in. He isn’t a jock, popular, or strikingly handsome. Everything changes for Bailey when his parents reveal that they are mutants which means he is potentially a mutant as well. Less than thirty minutes later, Bailey makes a trip to a certain school for mutants to meet with The Beast to try to discover what his mutant powers are.  Little does Bailey realize how deflating it can be to have an incredibly lame power.

Max Bemis and Michael Walsh bring a fun, new X-Men miniseries to life with X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever. Bemis crafts words that weave together an excellent introduction to the lead character in Bailey. This issue is all about understanding who Bailey is and what makes him tick while giving him a purpose in the X-Men universe. Within  three pages a clear picture of Bailey is painted for the reader, allowing you to see that he is an excitable, energetic young kid who wants to be someone. Bemis has shown a penchant for wit through his comic writing and that doesn’t change here, although the comedy is dialed back in favour of actually giving you a strong introduction to Bailey. Simply put, Bemis shows that he knows where to develop his story beats, with the comic being fun when it needs to be but not shying away from tragedy to help form the character of Bailey more. Michael Walsh, backed with colours from Ruth Redmond, bring the story to life in only ways that they could, being a pitch perfect art team for a book like this one. Walsh’s panel choices succeed in showing a variety of differing emotions for Bailey, highlighting the ups and downs of this oddball teenager’s life. The artwork is strikingly consistent from the first page to the last, with every scene feeling purposeful and fluid. It’s lovely to see that an action scene under Walsh’s pencil can be just as compelling and exciting as a scene with three characters conversing about life. Redmond’s colours are the final piece to the successful equation of this book as they help to make the character of Bailey pop right off the page. Walsh and Redmond shine during the climax of the issue, that is just as fast paced as it is beautiful.

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PROS

+Fun Satire

+Great Art Team

+Good Lead Character

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[threecol_two_last] CONS

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Wal-tor_Rating_4_5Overall:

X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever is one of the most fun X-Men comics that I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a long time. It is so distinctly a X-Men book but still manages to set itself apart from the rest of the line. The book retains your classic X-Men elements of isolation, fitting in, and character tragedy but it is still so wildly different from your normal X-Men stories. Bemis makes the story feel like a satire on the X-Men but still makes it all work as an X-Men story. Michael Walsh and Ruth Redmond are two key parts to this comic working so well, as their combined forces in the art department really make everything spring off the page. For a five issue mini-series, you can’t go wrong with X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever.

 

Justice League #48

justice_league_48The Crime Syndicate and the Justice League come together to battle the newly transformed Anti-Monitor, now referred to as Mobius. As the two opposing forces gear up and form an alliance, the drama of the Darkseid War shifts into a higher gear. Players from all across the DC universe are drawn together in hopes of stopping Mobius once and for all. Grail, the daughter of Darkseid, appears to have her own plans and begins to set them into place.

Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok continue to produce what is perhaps the best superhero comic hitting the shelves currently with Justice League. Geoff Johns makes the story feel epic in scope and size as this keynote in the third act of this massive storyline begins to tear down everything he and Jason Fabok have built over the last nine or so issues. There’s a clear conflict that unites all the characters and they all stay on the path to trying to solve said conflict. There are a few lines of dialogue that fail to hit the way Johns likely intended for them to, but that is forgivable considering how exciting this issue is overall. Jason Fabok continues to show that he is an A-list artist on Justice League, with a bevy of characters on his plate this issue to help state that claim further. The issue opens quietly to set the stage before kicking off into a colossal war zone that would make even the biggest blockbuster movie look like child’s play. Together Johns and Fabok have shown time and time again that they are the gold standard in superhero comics right now. Justice League #48 doesn’t change that, setting them out even further ahead of the pack

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PROS

+Exciting and Colossal

+Fast Paced

+Gorgeous

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–Some Dialogue Falls Flat

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Wal-tor_Rating_4Overall:

With an impending “relaunch” coming to DC comics this summer, the temptation to jump away from books or just “wait for the trade” might feel strong, but if you’re not reading Justice League right now on a monthly basis you are missing out. This issue might lack the subtlety that has been a high point across Johns’ recent Justice League issues but rest assured this issue still packs a serious punch thanks to both Johns and Fabok. Johns shifts the third act of Darkseid War into a completely different gear while Fabok shows he can still elevate his body of work as well. With two issues left on their Justice League run, part of me wants to beg these two creators to never leave this book because this is the best ongoing superhero storyline I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a long time.

 

Daredevil #4

Daredevil_4Daredevil calls up his old friend Steve Rogers (a.k.a Captain America) looking for someone to confide in. Steve Rogers flips the script when he recruits Daredevil to help him thwart amateur bomb makers who have been terrorizing a tenement. More mystery is added on to the fact that everyone has suddenly forgotten Matt Murdock is Daredevil. Meanwhile, Blindspot seeks to confront his mother about her allegiance to Tenfingers.

Charles Soule and Ron Garney deliver another exciting chapter of Daredevil as it feels like this creative team is finally starting to find its stride on this book. After a rocky first few issues, Soule and Garney feel as though they have turned a corner, sinking into the cores of their main characters. This issue seamlessly flows between your leads in Daredevil and Blindspot, nearly going page for page in telling their respective stories. The runaway star of this issue is, unsurprisingly, Daredevil, who shines so brightly that it makes you wonder why you should even care about a character like Blindspot. Soule does an excellent job of making you care about the drama in Matt Murdock’s life but fails to make the character of Blindspot really connect with the reader, feeling as though he’s forced on you for the sake of adding another layer to the Tenfingers saga. Beyond that, the dialogue is sharp and this issue just flows cleanly. It’s an issue that feels as though it could stand out on its own from the series thus far whilst still tying into the main story. Ron Garney, much like Soule, shines the most when he is working with Daredevil. His art has the perfect amount of grit for the character of Matt/Daredevil, brilliantly illustrating the unfolding tension of a race against time for the character. What’s even more surprising is that, for as beautiful as his pages illustrating Daredevil in action are, his best pages in this issue are actually afforded to the quiet moments shared between Matt Murdock and Tenfingers. This scene between the two characters is some of the best character driven artwork Garney has produced on this series yet and it’s exciting to see the different levels to Garney’s art given the situation.

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PROS

+Dual Plot

+New Layers To Artwork

+Captain America Cameo

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–Secondary Characters Are An Afterthought

–Weak Character In Blindspot

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Wal-tor_Rating_3_5Overall:

Charles Soule and Ron Garney appear to hit their stride with this fourth issue in their Daredevil series. The plot trades off between the two primary characters in Daredevil and Blindspot, with Daredevil shining so brightly in his story that Blindspot becomes a bit of an afterthought to the reader. The dialogue shared between Daredevil and Steve Rogers is sharp and has a satisfying snap to it that the series truly needed. Garney is a rock star when it comes to drawing Daredevil but his best pages in this issue actually involve Matt Murdock, not his superhero counterpart. After a rough start, this series is beginning to show a surprising amount of promise. Let’s hope Soule and Garney can keep the ball rolling going forward as they try to carve out their own legacy with The Man Without Fear.