The Sheriff of Babylon #7: Writer Tom King | Art by Mitch Gerads
Firstly, hats off to DC Comics for locking these guys down to exclusive deals. Sheriff of Babylon has been like a dream book for me, personally, through its first seven issues.
Not only does it play with format and structure that I normally only fantasize about, but it's a series based on The War in Iraq in 2004, written by a former CIA Op. in Tom King with art from the best in the game at wartime, gritty topics in Gerads.
Stuff gets real in this one. Nassir is a freaking animal, but eventually he can't kick, punch and (literally) crap his way out of this one. Oh, and parents, this is a gritty book. It deals with some important issues and events, but it's done in a very realistic, no holds barred manner. So just a heads up!
Back to the scenes with Nassir miraculously kicking his way into more trouble while in custody. There is so much format play going on here. King has got a perfect mix of background talk, main dialogue chatter and the splitting between location/ scenes that when you throw in Gerads' spot-on, hardcore, emotional art and colors ... that it's just damn near perfect.
There is a scene. My god. (Spoiler alert). There is a scene that just stuck with me. It feels like a real inside look into what went on over there.
We have Nassir, dragged out to the desert with a gun to his head as he kneels in front of his grave. The Americans are demanding answers that he's not giving.
Seriously, when I turned the page I wasn't sure if this was the end of this character or what.
Then I turn the page to a guy flipping him off before the two Americans talking about how weird Kiefer Sutherland is and how they got the first season of "24" in at base.
It is scenes like this that urge me to urge you to buy this book. Please, go get read this book.
The perfect mesh between King and Gerads is breath-takingly on display in Issue No. 7. I force myself to find something I don't like or something that I would change about this book, and it's just not happening.
My only beef was the absence of Chris, but then these two throw him in on the last page in hilarious, real, hitting fashion. These are real people in Iraq. They aren't just characters in our head or people we hear or read about in the news.
That's what's so special about this, is King's ability to tap into this realness from his own personal experience. You aren't going to get that anywhere in a comic book besides between the pages of Sheriff of Babylon.
Rating: 9.5/10 This is another as close to perfect as you can get wartime, hardcore, real Comic Book reading as you can get. Tom King and Mitch Gerads are the hottest duo in comics. If you are not reading this book, we need to talk.
Thunderbolts #2: Written by Jim Zub | Art by Jon Malin | Colors by Matt Yackey
If anything, Thunderbolts No. 2 plays to its strength; the mysterious, adorable, terrifying person ... ugh I mean thing .. that is Kobik. For those unaware, Kobik is broken off pieces of the Cosmic Cube in the form of a cute, almighty child.
As seen in the first issue, Kobik rips Miss Moon's Moonstone out; like right out of her chest out Temple of Doomy. I love the exchange between Bucky and Kobi that follows. The art in particular by Jon Malin is rock solid. He does such a fantastic job with this essential Oxymoron of a character. This character's terrifying, savage little girl persona is solely created through Malin.
This issue teters off a bit after the strong opening sequence, but makes it worth it in the end with a teaser!
Rating: 7/10 When focusing on Kobik, Thunderbolts #2 is a fun ride. Jon Malin's work in this issue is fantastic.
Black Canary #12: Writer Brenden Fletcher | Art Annie Wu, Sandy Jarrell | Colors Lee Loughridge
"There are so many futures to choose from."
The finale of Black Canary marks the end of another darn fine book from DC Comics. While I'm not complaining -- because that's how HOT Rebirth has started -- , I'd be lying If I told you this one didn't sting just a little.
This book goes out in prime fashion and to be honest, the obsurdity, interesting take on this character goes out with another weird chapter.
So. Many. Time. Jumps. Brenden Fletcher, you dog, you. Definitely took some risks, but I feel the reward paid off. It oddly reminds me of the Parks and Recreation final episode in particular, which is awesome because this is a Black Canary, trippy dream sequence issue. I'm not certain what artist did the panels with the TV interview, but that was done spectacularly. We're a year in the future, but the colors somehow seem ... vintage? It gives a really good feel to a really awkward scene.
Rating: 7.5/10 Really easy to follow along on this weird, wacky, time-jumpy journey. An postive off-the-wall end to the Black Canary series. The last 3-4 issues of this series were fantastic.