Wednesday was the first time in a couple weeks that I was back to my regular routine: jumped on the subway after work, walked into my local shop, met my bestie, and then went for our weekly Comics and Beer time. It was a good day. A good Wednesday. But Hera help me, I could NOT get into my comics this week.
I mean, there’s were really solid books out this week. The Ramon Perez issue of Wolverine and the X-Men finally came out and I’d really been looking forward to it. But... I don’t know, call it malaise or ennui or meh-ness. I was half-way through my stack of comics and nothing was really jumping out at me.
And then Nick Fury and Frank Castle broke out of a Vietnamese prison.
Fury Max #9 by Garth Ennis and Goran Parlov
It’s not even fair how good this book is. I’ve never really been into Nick Fury (despite my love of espionage) and try as I might, I’ve never really cared about Frank Castle. But you put the two of them in a war comic by Garth Ennis and I will read that stuff every day of the week and twice on Sunday! Ennis doesn’t pull his punches with this comic. It’s a Max title, so he’s got plenty of room to be gratuitous with his violence and sex. But he’s not. There’s a frank but honest brutality to Fury Max. And that’s what makes it so very good.
Batman #17 by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, and Jonathan Glapion
I read this comic half-hidden under the blankets. I mean, I knew Alfred and the rest of the Bat Family were gonna be OK. In my rational brain I knew that. But that didn’t stop me from being on the edge of my seat the entire issue. Scott Snyder is fantastic with moody suspense, and this issue was full of it. Yes, we’ve all seen the Bats-Joker Tango before. But when it’s done well, when arch-nemeses spar in the way only polar opposites can spar, it’s a thing of beauty.
Speaking of arch-nemeses...
Peter Panzerfaust #9 by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Tyler Jenkins
If you’re not familiar with this Image comic, Peter Panzerfaust is essentially Peter Pan set in France during World War II. The Lost Boys are all orphans of the war, Tiger-Lily and her tribe are the French Resistance, and the Darlings are a British family trapped in France. And this issue, we finally meet Captain Hook, who is unsurprisingly a Captain in the Nazi Army (and surprisingly Peter’s dad? maybe? possibly? We’ll see). Anyway, there was more brilliant arch-nemeses sparring (in my head, Hook was played by Christoph Waltz) and a deadly gamble. Just a stellar comic book.
Holy cats was this a bleak week! It’s Friday afternoon, so I’ve gotta lighten things up a bit...
Archer and Armstrong #7 by Fred Van Lente and Emanuela Lupacchino
This book was a wonderful palate cleanser. I read it right after Peter Panzerfaust and good lord did I need it. I chuckle when I read this book. It’s funny and fun and full of adventure, which are the makings of my favorite kind of stories. I started reading this series around issue 5, so I don’t have a lot of history with the book. But puts a smile on my face when I read it. And sometimes that’s exactly what you need.
Come back next week for more "Wonder Ali's 'Best Stuff I Read This Week!"