I have just recently been washed up on the shores of the gigantic sea of graphic novels. I like to think that I’m not a complete novice, because I am somewhat familiar with the world of manga. But the fact that I’m fairly new to graphic novels, is still just that – a fact. I’ve been picking up and sampling a number of comics these days, and here’s my opinion on some of the Marvel ones.
Black Panther #1 – #8: Ta-Nahesi Coates, Brian Stelfreeze, Laura Martin
Black Panther has been one of my favorite avengers ever since I read Civil War. He has that mysterious aura around him (which has nothing to do with how he always wears black) and his personality, which jjust exudes class. My interest in him is also somewhat influenced by Storm being his love interest and their wedding scene from Civil War which was just breathtaking.
Coates however divulges into the world of Wakanda with utter submission. He never fails to bring in subtle aspects of the culture which I can only partially appreciate as I’m not as acquainted with African culture as I would like to be. He doesn’t give up the questioning yourself characteristic trait of a superhero, though it is more subdued (maybe because Wakanda is so obviously in chaos and everyone is doubting T’Challa anyway).
What bought me over to Coates’ side is the constant discourse on monarchy and politics which definitely gives you something to chew on.
Without doubt, these discussions are the treasure trove of the black panther comics. Brian Stelfreeze does a wonderful job with the art. I love the simplicity of T’challa’s costume, the masks that capture the rebelling women and how the colours flow from Wakanda to the dream world to where the rebels are hiding.
This comic has the potential to be a gem in Marvel’s crown of comics with its thoughtful discussions and beautiful art.
Mosaic #1 & #2: Geoffrey Thorne, Khary Randolph, Emilio Lopez
Remember how I was talking about the self-doubting superhero in Black Panther, Thorne takes all that self-doubt into his hands, wraps it in a fabric of moral obligations, and throws it out of the court of Mosaic.
An acclaimed and repulsively overconfident basketball star, Morris, who has everything in his life – skills, fame, a loving girlfriend, a father as constant support – suddenly has everything brutally taken away from him leaving behind a superpower that feels more like a curse. The only way for Morris to survive is by possessing (or rather becoming) other people and living through them.
The simplicity of the art in the comic contrasts with how intricate Morris’s powers are. Since the comic is in the starting stage, the story is still not developed enough to form a definitive opinion.
One thing I’m really looking forward to is how Morris grows into his superpowers and his view on being a superhero, because he is definitely not one right now.
I also like the name ‘Mosaic’ as a complement to Morris’s powers. Even if the people he’s lived in may forget what happened to them, Morris does not. And some part of them remains in him and will definitely affect his personality. I really like the lettering in the books, done by Joe Sabino, especially when Morris has a personality breakdown during body snatching.
As Mosaic is still developing, I will just be another reader on the sidelines. For now, I can say that it is definitely grippy.
Groot #1-#5: Jeff Loveness, Brian Kesinger
This is my first comic on anything related to the Guardians. I’m surprised myself that it took me this long seeing how much I loved the movie. But somehow, Guardians without the music did not really appeal to me that much. However, I feel like I didn’t understand enough of Groot’s personality in the movies except to recognize him as an overly friendly tree who’ll go to any lengths for his friends.
I wasn’t a fan of the art style chosen in the comic. The lining was too harsh even though the expressions were interesting. I didn’t get the dig at Superman with the Kor/Al scene either. What I did like about the comic was how Groot’s character was center stage. You could see the effect he had on people around him, even with his limited three-word vocabulary. The little adventure with silver surfer was fun too.
I wouldn’t call Groot a favorite, though it is good enough for when I’m missing the duo. I did have doubts about the series since it stars a character that can hardly speak. But I soon realized that Groot’s personality needed no more words. I may still grow into the comic.
The Mighty Thor #1 – #7: Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman, Matt Wilson
The new Thor has been raging strong in The Mighty Thor continuing from where it left off in Thor. The war of the realms that was hinted at since the beginning is finally gaining speed as more realms are thrown into turmoil. I have been a fan of Aaron’s work ever since the first Thor came out. Feminism aside, what drew me into the story was that the new lady Thor is just so… badass. And when the identity was finally revealed at the end, it was a perfect win.
If you’re into women superheroes or even if you would like to give it a start, this is just the book. If not that, the Thor universe in itself is pretty sticky. There is a lot happening in this series with rainbow bridges, light elves, crazy CEOs, Loki being Loki, the All-Father being incredibly stubborn, Malekith being enchantingly evil, and Thor flying around wielding Mjolnir.
I also forayed into The Unworthy Thor just so I can know what was happening with Odinson all the while that the lady Thor was stealing all the glory. All because the new comics got me so into the world of Asgard.
That is all on my mind from the Marvel side of the universe.
So what have you been reading lately?