Captain Kirk’s Weekly Comic Review – 11/23/2016

The list of pulls for this week are:

DC Comics

Action Comics #968

Teen Titans #2

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #9

Marvel Comics

Star Wars #25

IDW Publishing

ROM #5

I used to be a Marvel guy, through and through. However, in my forties, I’m naming DC as my favourite publisher. Seriously … while they still have an issue about appealing to their retro fans (ie: the fans in my demographic who have more disposable income – hint, hint …) by pulling in some of the previous artists of that time to do more work, they know how to react to the times. I have to respect that adaptability and recognize it as the secret of modern-day success.

But still … wouldn’t it be great to see some of Ty Templeton’s work in some mainstream books again? The guy is a solid workhorse, knows his stuff and he could probably be a real mentor to a lot of the upcoming new talent that DC currently has on staff.

Hey … that’s just my opinion, right?

But DC is responding to the changes of the market, fitting their properties in with the times, and while I may have been the guy screaming continuity, I think that even this old dog can learn new tricks. After all, who can deny the appeal of their television properties? They’re assimilating their books to match this popularity, attracting a new audience and making sure that the books continue to be sold – and that’s a real success formula.

Let’s get to the accolades.

Honorable Mention

I’m giving consideration to IDW’s ROM #5 for this week’s pulls. If the absolutely stunning cover by Bob Layton doesn’t immediately fill older readers with a sense of winsome nostalgia, then it’s an awesome lesson for the new generation of readers to see a guy who knows how to draw power armour and robots in action. I’ve been a Bob Layton fan from way back, and I even have an original sketch of his on my wall, but it was a really cool treat to see his cover on this incredible book.

Via IDW Publishing

What I really enjoy about this story is that ROM has more depth than his Coleco toy origins character when Jim Shooter of Marvel had the idea to license toy products into comic stories. ROM has the freedom in the IDW incarnation to become someone different and it doesn’t feel like that there is a forced motivation to make up a character to justify the license. IDW has a firm story idea set in mind with Christos Gage and Chris Ryall at the helm. As opposed to the Marvel character, IDW’s ROM isn’t the last Space Knight and we discover that in this book. While this may prove to be a source of reinforcements, it’s a greater source for more plot developments and I think that indicates the great strength of this new incarnation of ROM: growth. ROM isn’t as static as he was in the Marvel comics of the 1980’s and Ryall and Gage have to be credited with the quality of the reinvention of this classic property.

The Pick of the Week has definitely got to go to Star Wars #25.

Via Marvel Comics
Via Marvel Comics

Even though I can’t help but feel that Marvel is stagnating in other titles, this one is the exception. But look at the talent: Mike Deodato and Rain Beredo on the cover, Jason Aaron as writer and Jorge Molina as artists – this is a book that is stacked for success. This is the last issue in a five-book story arc in which the Star Warriors have commandeered an Imperial Star Destroyer and are facing near-insurmountable odds in which there is a slight sliver of a chance of overcoming them. It’s a classic Star Wars story and Aaron certainly knows how to replicate that pace.

In my opinion, this is the shining jewel in Marvel’s stable right now. It’s the book that isn’t just making their numbers, it’s also restoring faith in the fans that if they can get this right, then they can get the others to a similar status as well. After all, given the success of The Avengers movies, why aren’t we seeing the same sort of storytelling on that title? Star Wars has its own appeal, that’s true, but Marvel needs to remember where it came from. Hey – perhaps this is a place where those veteran storytellers like Layton and Templeton could be of use and import those original values back into books for the new generation of readers?

Hey – but that’s just my opinion, right?

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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