Well I found two books from last week, at least. Nothing from this week, though. I might go to Columbia this weekend to seek more comics, but it's going to storm a lot, so I might not. Also, I don't really want to drive anywhere this weekend after last weekend.
Ms. Marvel #18, by G. Willow Wilson (writer), Francesco Gaston (artist), Ian herring (color artist), Joe Caramagna (letterer) - Well that's sweet and depressing at the same time. Depressweet. Depreet? Swepressing? This combining words to make combo words is harder than the Germans make it look.
Bruno is struggling to adjust to his new situation as a student in Wakanda, and his injuries. His roomie drags him along on a highly illegal jaunt to acquire some Vibranium, ostensibly to impress a young woman, but really as part of a plan Kwezi has to build Bruno an exo-suit of sorts to give him some greater mobility. And Kwezi is distantly related to T'Challa, so nobody needs to go to jail.
Not sure what I was expecting, some sort of resolution to the emotional distance between Bruno and Kamala. Which I don't think was ever on the table. The character is still trying to figure out what he's going to do going forward, if he's going to go forward at all. That needed to get sorted on some level before he could worry about patching things up with someone else. I especially liked that moment where Bruno thinks about how much he hates when people tell him to stop saying he "can't" do something, and to instead think positively, and also how much he wishes they were right. I've had those moments before, although it feels like I'm on the other side more often, trying to find something good to say, but worried it's all going to seem trite and feel as though I'm dismissing their problems lightly. A really genuine moment there.
It's amazing to me how much Ian Herring's color work keeps this book feeling the same through all the different artists it's had. There's nothing bad about Gaston's art. He can do exaggerated expression when he needs to, he gives the surroundings a distinct look so you can tell this is a much different place than Jersey City or even New York. His art feels like it's somewhere between Adrian Alphona and Takeshi Miyazawa's, not quite as exaggerated as the former, not quite as slick as the latter. But there were times reading it I expected the art to look like Miyazawa's because the color work makes it still feel like those earlier issues. The particular blue for the field surrounding the Vibranium, the colors of the flames from the hovercar, the yellow of the screens in the classroom (or as the background of that one panel of Bruno and Kwezi seeing the Vibranium), it's all in line with Herring's work on earlier issues, and so the issue still feels like it fits, even with a different pencil artist.
The magic gem will collect a person's soul, and if you put the gem in another body it takes it over. The dwarves want the gem to take control of some giant mindless monster. Gwen uses her knowledge of the current Ghost Rider to track him down in his civilian i.d., while not letting Kate learn it, so they can all team-up to stop the dwarves. They do, Cecil takes control of the monster, the dwarves flee back to whichever realm dwarves are from, and that's another friend sort of helped after Gwen screwed his life up in the first place. And now Gwen is going to go look up the versions of her family that exist in the Marvel Universe. What I want to know is did they always exist, or did Dr. Strange create them when he did his hoodoo to give Gwen a past in this universe?
This was not one of the stronger stories. Maybe because I came in after Cecil was dead, so I missed all the stuff that would make me care. I don't know, being a ghost seems somewhat preferable to being a shaggy purple monster. The latter seems like a good way to have Elsa Bloodstone blow your head off. Everything just felt perfunctory. Here's Kate Bishop, let's have them team-up. Oh, throw Ghost Rider in too. Other than some brief drama about whether the spirit in G.R.'s car would convince Cecil to possess Gwen instead, there wasn't any point to it. And I don't care about either of those characters enough to be like, "oooooh, Kate Bishop! Sooooo excited!"
Haynes' art seemed stronger in the flashback sequence. Maybe it's easier for her to draw guys in robes and boots and armored helmets versus trucks and Ghost Riders. Although she did pretty well with the floating skull spirit that was trying to tempt Cecil. And when the monster is first released from the crate. The linework was a little busier, more shading than on a lot of the other panels. Gave it some heft, made it feel a little different from all the other characters. But the rest of the book just feels flat. The action sequences don't have much impact. Rosenberg seems to be going with a pretty basic color range, and I'm not sure it's doing the art any favors.