ISP: For the Week of 25/05/13
In which your erstwhile cartoonist talks about recent comics.
Welcome! To “In Stores POW!”, a semi- weekly feature in which I plan to exposit on something that’s been released in comic shops during the week. Some reviews. Some recommendations. Some pointless whining. Wherever the wind take me.
(“POW” is both a comic book sound effect, and part of my name. These are the jokes.)
For the inaugural installment, I’m gonna talk a little about the current run of Marvel’s “Journey Into Mystery”, because I am in LOVE with it. The old-school book that debuted and became “Thor”, it was brought back in recent years as a secondary Thor-themed title with a rotating focus. After a much-loved run about Kid Loki by writer Kieron Gillen, this newest version focuses on Sif, Asgardian warrior, and Thor’s wife (I think?).
Writer Kathryn Immonen (Runaways, Hellcat) and relative newcomer Valerio Schiti (Battle Beasts, Infestation 2) succeed in a relatively difficult thing: making me really like a fantasy book. It’s not impossible mind you, just a little rare. But JiM hits my buttons in much the same way “Incredible Hercules” did a few years back (which is high, high praise).
Immonen has been one of my favorite writers recently, as she’s one of the best around at taking the inherent silliness of superheroes and really playing it for all it’s worth. Applying the same theories to the fantasy lore of Asgard works wonders. It’s all the high fantasy you’d want of the genre, but then Sif just yells down a dragon cuz he’s a jerk. It’s great at shifting gears. It can jump from high action to Shakespearean drama, to giant norse-women sitting in a waiting room.
Valerio Schiti is going to be a damn star in a few years. If not, there is no justice. He’s a one-man master class in comic book storytelling and art. His facial expressions, action staging, and sheer draftsmanship; all top notch. And the pacing! My God the pacing. Along with the wonderful facial expressions, his pacing sells every joke perfectly. Just look at this thing:
Also, there’s some blood. Mythology and all. My point here is, I love this book quite a lot. It’s one of my favorite books out right now, and I really hope people check it out. It’s kind of what people are always saying we need more of. It’s easy to jump into, it’s fun and lighthearted, it stars an awesome female hero, it’s great. This week saw the release of the trade paperback of the first arc “Stronger Than Monsters”, AND the first issue of it’s second arc with issue #652. In that issue Sif goes to space. As you do.
Now, can we talk about how this guy is just Moe from The Simpsons?
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