12 Feb 2017

Mini Reviews 12/02/2017

We may not have time to review every book on our pull-lists but we do aim to provide a snapshot of what's been released over the past week, encompassing the good, the bad, and those that lie somewhere in between.

KINGPIN #1
Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Ben Torres & Jordan Boyd
Marvel $3.99

Matt C: Wilson Fisk, aka the Kingpin, is an endlessly fascinating character, a crime lord with depth and complexity, and over the years, as various writers have fleshed him out and added layers to his backstory, he’s become increasingly more compelling. There’s certainly potential to give Fisk his turn in the spotlight, and Rosenberg provides a fairly nuanced approach, bolstered by some dynamic, imposing artwork that establishes the edgy tone nicely. The problem with the way the narrative unfolds is that it seems to veer a little too closely to Fisk’s arc in the first season of the Daredevil TV series. It’s not a carbon copy by any stretch of the imagination, but there are certain story beats that feel familiar, and the absence of a definable spark of originality lessens its impact. Superior to last week’s debut chapter of Bullseye, but it will still have its work cut out to establish its own identity. 7/10

GREEN VALLEY #5
Writer: Max Landis
Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Gliff Rathburn & Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Image $2.99

Matt C: This series still hasn’t reached the heights that were expected of it going in. There has been a twist in the progression of the narrative that could have been seen as revelatory, if not for the fact that it’s not an original idea (for starters, it’s reminiscent of the curveball that's made Kurt Busiek’s The Autumlands such an eventful read). This is not a bad thing and Green Valley is certainly not a bad comic – the slick, dynamic artwork is a definite highlight – but the main characters feel like they’re getting lost in the mix a little and without a strong emotional hook it’s difficult to get fully involved. A book that has much to recommend it but after the excellent Superman: American Alien I hoped Landis had found his groove in this comic game and would turn out to be unstoppable. 7/10

JESSICA JONES #5
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Michael Gaydos & Matt Hollingsworth
Marvel $3.99

Matt C: It’s been immensely satisfying returning to the world of Jessica Jones with the creative team that brought her into the Marvel Universe at the turn of the century, and while the preceding chapter offered up a pleasing, unexpected twist, it’s with this issue that things are kicked up into the realm of the sublime. At the start of this series Jones took on a case where a guy told his wife he’s from another reality, and that thread reaches fruition here in the most mindblowing of ways. Not only does it link itself - albeit in a subtle way - with one of the most shattering events to befall the MU of late, but it does so by way of a kind of meta-commentary, questioning the meaning of a world that witnesses persistent resurrections, timeline alterations, alien invasions, and so on, and whether anything can really ever matter in such a place. It’s an audacious concept, particularly coming from Bendis, a man responsible for many a seismic event at the House of Ideas over the last decade or so, but it’s that kind of ballsy approach to storytelling that is making this title stand out from the pack in a major way. 10/10

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