May is here already and I’m sure there are many of you out there who are excited for your studies to be over! Just in time to catch up on some of the best comics that were released during the month. So let’s go ahead and take a look at some of the comics that really stood out this month! Again, there are spoilers ahead.
Captain America #10
Ta-Nehisi Coates and Adam Kubert continue their brilliant run on Captain America with another issue in the Captain of Nothing story arc. Steve Rogers is running out of time and running out of options as his enemies stack up against him both outside the walls of the superhuman prison and within. Cut off from his allies, Steve has is caught in a dangerous trap with one of his greatest foes, Baron Strucker running the prison and using his power to beat his prisoners mercilessly for sport. However, Steve’s allies are quickly looking for a way to break him out of the prison. Sharon Carter and the Daughters of Liberty are hard at work looking for the one who set up Steve and with the Power Elite making a play with Steve off the table, time is running out for all of them.
Captain America is easily one of my favorite books being published at the moment. Coates’ take on the character feels like a spiritual successor to Brubaker’s historic run on the character. While similar in tone, the book is most definitely its own thing. Coates’ has a brilliant voice for Steve and the themes he plays with are written with the utmost care and tact. Adam Kubert’s artwork is dynamic and kinetic. This creative team works beautifully together with both of them allowing each other to tell the story. Kubert’s exciting and kinetic art style guides your eyes masterfully through each issue. This is going to be a Captain America run to remember, and while some might not care for the slow burn, the pay off will be entirely worth it in the end. I highly recommend this series.
The answers we have been looking for are finally revealed, or at least some of them! After helping the sea gods with their battle with Namma, they honor their agreement and give Aquaman the means to retrieve his memories. Kelly Sue DeConnick is joined by guest artist Viktor Bogdanovic for this issue and the next. Aquaman finds a being known as Mother Shark, an entity who holds onto the memories of those who pass on. Here, Aquaman finds memories of himself and those he loves including his parents, Mera, and Garth. Mother Shark explains to Arthur that these memories were here in a place called the Sunken Forest when he died, but the ocean is not done with him.
This was by far the best issue of Kelly Sue DeConnick’s run yet as we get some answers to Arthur’s situation since her run began. I’ve been loving the mythical and fantasy elements that DeConnick has introduced in her run and I hope she continues to play with those. Bogdanovic’s artwork is incredible in this book, whose style reminds me of Greg Capullo’s. Ongoing artist Robson Rocha takes a break for these next two issues, but the artwork remains just as exciting with Bogdanovic. With inks by Jonathan Glapion and Daniel Henriques and colors by Sunny Gho, this book is easily one of the most visually arresting titles on the shelf. Everything from the layouts to the facial expressions to the designs of Mother Shark and the Sunken Forest is beautifully executed. Bogdanovic draws us into this fantasy world of Aquaman and it’s hard to leave it behind! The cliffhanger is certainly quite shocking and I’m eager to see where this series goes. For those of you who have been looking to get back into Aquaman, this is a perfect place to jump on in.
Once in a while, you’ll hear readers talking about series that are amazing but fly under the radar. Well, one of those books is Invaders by Chip Zdarsky, Carlos Magno, and Butch Guice. The beautifully constructed political thriller has slowly led us to the confrontation between Namor and his fellow Invader allies as well as the Avengers. Since this story was first introduced in Jason Aaron’s Avengers run, we’ve seen Namor’s hostility towards the surface world and his attacks carried out under his orders. Invaders continues that story and it all leads to this exciting issue. Steve Rogers still believes that he can reach his old friend but it’s becoming clearer that Namor is in no mood or mind for negotiations. But the time for peace is over as the first strikes against both Atlantis and the surface are underway. This book has been captivating from the start and Zdarsky masterfully conveys the tension between these nations and characters. Magno’s artwork through the issue accentuates the tension and drama, especially towards the end of the issue and the inclusion of the Avengers. Butch Guice also does exceptional work with the more subdued flashback sequences. I can’t recommend this book enough to comic readers who are looking for a captivating, dramatic, and emotional series to get into.
Justice League Dark #11
The magical community of the DC Universe just can’t catch a break in Tynion’s astounding Justice League Dark title. Under assault by the Lords of Order led by Doctor Fate (or Nabu really), our heroes have had to make a stand in the mythical realm of Myrra, but even that won’t be their salvation. Meanwhile, Zatanna and Diana come face to face with the Lord of Chaos, Mordru, and things don’t turn out well for the heroines either. They’re facing creatures and entities far outside of their league. Tynion has done a fantastic job of establishing these captivating characters as well as building up the tension and desperation with their fight against the Otherkind and the Lords of Order. The strength of Tynion’s writing comes from his attention to each individual character. Tynion gives each character a chance to shine, allowing the readers to get invested in each member. The interactions between the team members are handled beautifully as well. I’m a big fan of superhero stories that deal with magic or supernatural elements, so this book is basically made for me, but I wasn’t expecting to love it this much! Alvaro Martinez Bueno’s gorgeous artwork really pushes the book forward as well. This title is filled with exciting action and grotesque, yet captivating character and creature designs as well! This is easily one of DC’s best books being published and I highly encourage readers to jump on board.
War of the Realms Strikeforce: The Land of Giants
Marvel’s big event of the year, War of the Realms, continues and the heroes are trying their best to fight against the forces of Malekith and his allies. Without Thor there to defend them, the heroes are struggling to hold the line as Malekith has already begun his conquest of the world, giving continents to his followers. There have been three “Strikeforce” one-shots so far and this one by Tom Taylor and Jorge Molina is the last one. Land of Giants follows the team of Captain America, Wolverine, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Spider-Man as they travel to Jotunheim to find and retrieve Thor from the grasp of the Frost Giants. This was by far the most entertaining issue of the three one-shots filled with fun, emotional, and hilarious character moments coupled with breathtaking artwork. If you’ve read any series by Tom Taylor, you’ll know he writes team books exceptionally well and this book is no different. His characters are written beautifully and there were many instances where I burst out laughing. It’s hard not to laugh when you see these street level heroes having to take on fantasy creatures and ride into battle on flying horses. Jorge Molina gives us some of his finest artwork yet in this issue. His characters and facial expressions are rendered illustrated perfectly, and his giant battle sequences are exciting and energetic. This is an issue you’ll want to check out, even if you’re not reading War of the Realms.