Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Comic Shop Comics: December 30
Writer Brenden Fletcher's idea of a "battle of the bands" is an unusual one, as it features Black Canary (the band) and BO M (their rival band), setting up side-by-side on the same stage and playing simultaneously. That's...not how it works. Luckily, we get a more literal "battle," as Black Canary (the superhero) fights the super-powered members of BO M one at a time for the best part of the issue, a passage that realizes the rock band-that-brawls-on-stage suggestion of the first issue. Some strange stuff happens, and much of the title's story remains elusive to me (in that frustrating way that I can't tell if Fletcher is leaving stuff out or making the narrative a little too opaque accidentally, or if I'm just supposed to know details about Black Canary's background from the pages of Team 7 or Birds of Prey).
Annie Wu's art remains as gorgeous as always, there are some really great bits of pure art story-telling in here and I particularly liked some of the cutesy business during the fight scene, like Black Canary writing music with her fists as notes.
As with the previous five issues, I don't quite like this as much as I'd like to like it, and, to be honest, I wouldn't mind terribly if it was cancelled and replaced on the schedule by a new Birds of Prey book featuring the line-up on the cover of an upcoming issue of Batgirl. That would certainly free Wu up to draw this theoretical new BOP book...!
This is maybe artist Sonny Liew's strongest cover to date, and the imagery within is also probably his strongest, as Paul Levitz's scrit takes our hero and villain to the ancient Egyptian underworld, and Liew therefore gets all kinds of cool shit to draw. Like Black Canary, this is another book I really want to like, but the scripts of which leave me not liking it as much as I feel like I should.
I particularly appreciated that this issue provided artist Erica Henderson (who, between this and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is drawing not one, but two of the best mainstream comic* comics** available at your local comic shop) the opportunity to draw so many of Jughead's classmates: Archie, Betty, Veronica, Chuck, Kevin, Moose, Dilton, Reggie and other Riverdale residents).
I kinda wish Archie would knock it off with all these damn variant covers though, and just publish the ones by the interior artist. I mean, I love Ty Templeton's art, but I'm not crazy about his Jughead, and would have preferred Henderson's cover.
*By which I mean "funny."
**By which I mean "comic books."