Captain Kirk’s weekly comic review – 11/12/2015

The comic delivery was delayed this week. It was Remembrance Day in Canada (Veterans’ Day in the States) and this Friday is Friday the 13th. That’s why you should always keep things simple. Sometimes things don’t work out so, keep things simple and they’ll be easy to fix in the end.

That’s what comics need to be like.

Some creators strive to be as creative as possible – which is admirable, but lose sight of the fact that comics are a relatively simple medium at heart. Try too hard and things get overly complicated and that really messes up the enjoyment of a good comic.

Marvel Comics

Chewbacca #3


I don’t like this book. Sorry, Noto is a talented artist and it’s a solid story. Maybe it’s the limitations of Chewbacca being a second banana and not a character capable of carrying his own story? Of course, then that would justify it being a limited series instead of a full comic. Maybe it’s the lead character – Zarro? She’s a young, 13-year old girl who’s trying to rescue her planet which is a role that seems to be out of place for someone of her age. You could argue why not? But in my perception it’s a contrived role to create a character aimed at a younger audience market that doesn’t seem in line with the rest of the Star Wars tone. Remember why Phantom Menace wasn’t well-received? Young Anakin wasn’t a success. This comic has the same flavour as that.

Darth Vader #12


Brilliant, just pure brilliance. Not only is it great to see Vader as the master manipulator, but to see him manipulated in return by adversaries worthy of the conflict. My only regret is that there is to be a minor publishing event that will force readers to buy cross-over titles. I used to love cross-overs when I was younger (the thrill of the hunt, right?) but now, with so little time available at my disposal, I find it’s easier to just wait for the hardcover to come out. Still, that’s hardly comic-supportive, right? When it comes down to it, Vader is evil and this is the time when he scrambling for his own self-interests.

The Ultimates #1


Yet another iteration of the Marvel Secret Wars event. To be honest, I really feel like this event has lost its steam. With all the continuation of other titles in the regular mainstay universe, I just don’t see this as having any relevance any more. Does it really matter? You would expect there to be a reconciliation point after the main Secret Wars title has finished but I think that anticipation has been replaced with a general sense of apathy.

The Ultimates seems to be an example of that. After all, why do a title about a comic set in another universe now that the existence of that universe doesn’t even matter?

It’s a mixture of the elements of a good chunk of the original Ultimates line, but this comic seems to completely detach itself from the Secret Wars storyline. There is no mention of Lord God Doom or Battleworld. In fact, I’m not even sure how this comic fits into the event. Its independence from the publishing event is a bit of a disappointment for me, and that’s saying something, given that the entire event is a bit of a disappointment.

Thors #4


Now this storyline has been entertaining. The Battleworld police force is formed out of various versions of Thor and they maintain order throughout the various realms. However, this has a true cop story flavour to it. It’s innovative and it’s written and drawn by two of my favourite creators: Jason Aaron and Chris Sprouse.

It’s a decent ending – a bit abrupt, but it closes off this segment of the Secret Wars and hints at Doom’s eventual outcome in the main title. However, this has to be my favourite aspect of this event and it’s an example of what good talent can do.

Oh … and it’s the most creative use of the Jane Foster Thor I’ve seen to date.

Secret Wars #7 (of 9)


Heh … this is the first time I’ve discovered that that there were nine issues in this series. I actually thought they were going to go for twelve, like the original Secret Wars did. Surprise.

Sigh … too episodic and fragmented to make any consistent sense of the storyline. Hickman is an amazing writer, but the scope of this event might even be beyond him. It’s a shame – I had such high hopes for this event, but when all’s said and done … wait for the hardcover to put it into any sense. At this point, the only reason why I’m buying this now (especially when there are only two more issues in the series) is to find out what the resolution is as early as possible and pray that the Marvel universe hasn’t been irreparably damaged.

DC Comics

Batman #46


When is Bruce Wayne going to pick up the cowl again? Sorry, but Jim Gordon should stay who he is. I haven’t had much to complain about Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman so I think they’re getting off lightly. Mr. Bloom is an entertaining villain – a cross between the Joker and the Scarecrow, if you like. But Bruce Wayne needs to recover his Batman identity and step back into the shadows of Gotham once more.

It’s a good story but it’s not Batman any more. This is now a tale of Gotham’s police force that has adopted the Batman symbol for its own. I’m starting to lose interest now, which is a shame because this is pretty much the only DC title that I’ve been buying. Once this goes, so does my interest in the DC universe.

Dynamite Comics

Red Sonja/Conan #4


The end of the series. What a shame – a classic adventure of these two perennial favourite warriors. I have always had a fondness for Robert E. Howard’s creations and Victor Gischler and Robert Castro have done a truly … Dynamic job for Dynamite in representing these awesomely entertaining characters in a classic tale pitting their swords against Thoth-Amon’s sorcery.

Sometimes it’s the simplest things in life that work. This is an example of remaining true to origins and this is the comic pick of the week. Why re-invent the wheel? Just because something is old doesn’t mean that it’s useless. This is a pure combat-formula story: swords flashing, spells flying in the air, and at the end, Conan and Sonja quaff flagons of mead and laugh about their adventures.

… and that’s how it should be. “For never is there anything amiss when simpleness and duty tender it”. That’s from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and it’s as true today as it was when Theseus wanted to see the 17th century version of a comic as performed by Peter Quince and the other menials.

Are you going to argue with Shakespeare?

Pick of the Week: Red Sonja / Conan #4


About Captain John K. Kirk

Captain John K. Kirk
John Kirk is an English and History teacher and librarian in Toronto, Canada. In addition to the traditional curriculum, John tries to teach his students to make sense of geek culture. And with the name "J. Kirk," it's hard for him to not inject "Star Trek" into his lessons. Comics, RPGs and the usual fanboy gear make up his classroom resources.

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