Howard the Duck #3 (Marvel) – Zdarsky’s second run of Howard comics definitely improves and builds upon excellent foundations and it wasn’t surprising that my one of my favourite series also had one of my favourite issues of the year by far. Finally Howard and Tara come to face to face (or more accurately Bill, face, muzzle and bill) with Shocket and Linda and I can’t wait to see the interactions between them as they try and shake off the annoying advances of The Wizard and the ever looming threat of The Collector. This title along with Squirrel Girl, which it will soon cross over with, always deliver the prefect mix of humour and heart. Once again the talented Mr Quinones is back to regular art duties after the wonderful single issue by guest artist Veronica Fish last month.
Doctor Strange #4 (Marvel) – Continuing a whole week gorging on All New All Different Marvel is issue four of the Bachalo and Aaron’s run on the Sorcerer Supreme. While last issue felt like somewhat of a re-tread of the first issue in terms of plot it’s still a series I’m enjoying. The slow burn of the whole science versus magic story that the duo have been building over the last three issues, with Strange discovering in the last issue that fellow Sorcerer’s are being killed along with places of magical power. Bachalo’s artwork is gorgeous, in particular the way he presents the astral planes and Strange’s unique view of New York City, teaming with mystical parasites. The washed out planes with splashes of colour are simply striking and hint at even greater artistic flourishes to come.
Rocket Racoon and Groot #1 (Marvel) – Spinning out of the pair’s excellent solo books the gung-ho raccoon and his monosyllabic companion are finally back together in one book, once again written by Skottie Young, also contributing covers for the series. The addition of new artist Filipe Andrade made me sceptical at first after seeing his one off issue from the last volume. The previous two volumes divided art duties between Young and Jake Parker, both of whom did a delightfully adorable Rocket!
It was the only issue I didn’t like, and for me the artwork seemed jarring against the other two artists more cutesy and cartoony take. While a great style in its own right it was just too serious and seemed out of sync with Young’s quick paced, witty script. However I’m big enough to admit when I’m wrong and Andrade seems to have tweaked and softened his style slightly for the new series bringing back in some of the cute. The preview pages have definitely renewed my interest in the title. I eagerly look forward to seeing the mix of his art and Young’s comical hijinks as this issue opens with the pair being mourned by their fellow Guardians!
The Vision #3 (Marvel) – King and Walta’s eerie look at the Vision and his new family continues to spiral out of control as they struggle to stick together as a ‘normal family’ despite the secrets that threaten to tear them apart. Truly the strangest and most gripping book that Marvel are putting out at the moment, even with the post-secret wars shake up putting the Vision in suburbia to explore humanity and normality is really bold and it completely pays off. Despite the title, the standout character of this series for me is Virginia. While all this is going on she battles with her own identity and place in the world. Haunting and shocking in equal measures.
Also posted on Graphic Policy