Wednesday, January 11, 2017

2016 Comics in Review - Part 3

I already discussed the high proportion of Deadpool comics in this year's haul. Overall, Marvel was at 73, which is one book less than 2015. The percentage (60.83%) is a little higher than the year before, since I only bought 120 new comics in 2016, versus 124 the year before. Still, Marvel has landed between 70 to 80 comics in 5 out of the last 7 years (2012 and 2014 being the exceptions). DC had 11 comics (9.17%), which is its lowest total ever, but still a slightly better percentage than 2007 (7.41%). Third-party publishers combined for 36 books, which is a new high, in total and percent. IDW accounted for 15 of those books, which marks the first time I've had any non-Marvel publisher edge out DC by itself on new books. The remainder were split pretty evenly between Scout, Image, and Joe Books.

Howard the Duck #6: This was the second half of a crossover with Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, as they try to keep from being killed by a lady who wants to hunt animal-themed superheroes. The crossover was not my favorite part of Squirrel Girl's book, but this issue did give us Howard in a DC-themed supersuit, and his catchphrase, "eat bread and kick head," so not a total loss.

Illuminati #3-6: The book got canceled the issue after I dropped it, not really a surprise. The Hood's attempt to build a gang of super-crooks collapsed entirely, because he's bad at pretty much everything related to crime. So Joshua Williamson got that right. I enjoyed Shawn Crystal's art, especially in the fight scenes and how he worked the sound effects into the page. Plus, Kev Walker drew one issue, I like his art.

Locke and Key - Small World: Ampersands always cause formatting problems, so I'll just use "and". I reviewed Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez' one-shot return to their work a couple of weeks ago. A little spider got inside the little dollhouse, which meant there was a giant spider running around the actual house. It was a well-illustrated story and enjoyable, but inessential story. Just something playing around within the universe.

Ms. Marvel #3-13: G. Willow Wilson is still writing, and Ian Herring has been consistently doing the color work, but the artists have shifted. Takeshi Miyazawa drew most of five issues, Nico Leon drew three, Mirka Andolfo drew the two most recent issues, and Adrian Alphona drew one, plus parts of others. Not a great year for Kamala. Had to fend off HYDRA a couple of times, failed in her attempt to use mad science to be everywhere, had a falling out with Carol Danvers and most of her friends over Civil War II.

High Point: Herring's color work does a lot to maintain a similar feel for the book, in spite of the rotating cast of artists. Bruno's various attempts at mad science are usually good for a laugh, especially since they gave Miyazwa and Leon opportunities to add all sorts of little details. The collapse of her friendship with Bruno was very sad, but it worked.

Low Point: Wilson has this irritating habit of introducing these potential subplots involving the supporting cast, then doing absolutely nothing with them. Kamala's mom knowing she's a superhero, Aamir's strange powers, Nakia's growing frustration at the distance between her and Kamala. The stuff gets introduced, then forgotten for months, if it ever even gets mentioned again.

Nova #1: We'll see if I keep buying this. Ramon Perez' art is impressive, and Ian Herring is doing some lovely work on the colors here as well. But there's going to have to be a lot more Richard Rider in this book.

Patsy Walker aka Hellcat #2-13: Kate Leth wrote every issue, and Brittney L. Williams drew all of them except for issue 6, which was Natasha Allegri. Megan Wilson and Rachelle Rosenberg have gone back and forth on color duties. Patsy set up her temp agency, thwarted Arcade with She-Hulk's help, then dealt with She-Hulk being put into a coma in Civil War II, has kept fending off Hedy's attempts to mess with her, and is currently struggling with the Black Cat.

High Point: I'm a sucker for issues with Arcade, so #6 was a particular delight, although Allegri's art was variable. Sometimes it was excellent, other times I think her colors overwhelmed her linework and made things look muddy. But when it was good, it was real good. Patsy's explanation to a furious Arcade that she does Krav Maga and is, like, crazy strong cracked me up. I also really like how Williams draws Jubilee's mist form, meaning a fluffy pink cloud with sunglasses and fangs.

Low Point: The current arc with the Black Cat has been a letdown. Felicia as a crime boss was always going to be a hard sell, and her scheme seems so vague and pointless, which isn't helping. Also, I don't like Ian's crimefighting outfit at all. Losing She-Hulk from the cast hurt, although Leth has rolled with that by adding Jubilee, who plays off Patsy differently from Jennifer Walters.

Tomorrow, the remainder of the alphabet. Not very many titles. A couple of mini-series, a one-shot, one ongoing.

1 comment:

SallyP said...

Excellent books all.

You know who I think the break out character at Marvel has been last year? Kraven the Hunter... mainly because of Squirrel Girl and Howard the Duck.