Deadshirt is Reading… is a weekly feature in which Deadshirt’s staff, contributing writers and friends-of-the-site offer brief recommendations for a diverse array of comics, from name-brand cape titles to creator-owned books to webcomics.
Max is reading…
Black Dynamite #1
Written by Brian Ash
Art by Ron Wimberly, Sal Buscema and JM Ringuet
Comics-Based-On-A-Movie are tricky, especially when the book in question is based on a (really, really good) comedy. I’m happy to report that the first issue of IDW’s Black Dynamite ongoing dispelled my wariness; writer Brian Ash manages to capture Dynamite’s well…”dynamite-isms” and the general tone of the original film and Ron Wimberly’s pencils are reminiscent of the Black Dynamite animated series’ style while doing their own thing (though I would *kill* for Jim Rugg to more than just a variant cover for this series). Even better, the choice to go with a late 80’s “Does The World Need Superman?/Dark Knight Returns”-y direction for the opening arc gives them some fun stuff to work with here and presumably down the line. Bonus points for the comic genius of using Roots author Alex Haley as a semi-antagonist.
Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Steve Epting, Elizabeth Breitweiser
Brubaker and Epting’s “What if Moneypenny was secretly the biggest badass of all time?” comic hit a whole new level with this month’s issue, which finds titular rogue agent Velvet on a mission to bust a Russian general’s wife out of prison while staying one step ahead of her former employers. What I loved about this issue was how self-contained it felt while still advancing the larger story; the last few pages are genuinely surprising and end on such a perfectly sad note. The use of circular “captions” in a party scene (“Not Mrs. Stepanov”, “His Assistant”) were also inspired bits of levity in an otherwise pretty heavy issue.
Special Guest Contributor Joe is reading…
Inhumanity: Superior Spider-Man
Written by Christos Gage
Art by Stephanie Hans
I don’t generally go in for a ton of event tie-ins, especially since Inhumanity is so close on the heels of Infinity, but I picked this one up on a whim. It was a good decision. This one-shot is my favorite kind of event tie-in, one that uses the larger framework of an event to tell a small, personal story. Gage has a good grasp of the Doc Ock-as-Parker conceit, and uses it well in a tight, disaster aftermath setting. I love the current Spidey costume design, and Hans’ art nails it. Spider-Man feels sort of creepy and intimidating, which is exactly the point. Superior Spider-Man doesn’t add a ton to the overall direction of Inhumanity, but as a showcase of both the character and creators involved, it’s great.
Deadshirt contributor Joe Stando is a freelance writer and amateur stand-up comedian from definitely-a-real-place Kalamazoo, Michigan. He enjoys comics, TV, Legos, and sandwiches.
Special Guest Contributor Kayleigh is reading…
All-New X-Men #21
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Brandon Peterson and Brent Anderson
All-New X-Men has, from the beginning, been about the old clashing with the new—and that’s never been more apparent than in #21’s opening scene, a flashback by guest artist Brent Anderson that looks like a missing chapter of “God Loves, Man Kills.” The present day storyline, in which the original X-Men fight the fanatical Purifiers, is solid but never quite matches the strength of those first few pages. (Jean Grey even points out the villain’s cliché motivations.) X-23 is the wild card of the book, and it will be interesting to see the original X-Men clash with one of the most iconic new characters of the last decade—although her addition to the crowded Scott/Jean/Beast/Angel love polygon is a bit scary. Now, bring on “The Trial of Jean Grey!”.
Special Guest Contributor Adam is reading….
The Maxx: Maxximized #3
Written by Sam Kieth and William Messner-Loebs
Art by Sam Kieth
The third issue of Sam Kieth’s rereleased 90’s epic continues, revealing more of what connects jungle king/homeless man-in-a-box The Maxx to freelance social worker Julie Winters. The story is a kooky twist on the “man of two worlds” archetype, but the real treat is Kieth’s psycho-realistic art style and crazy inventive page layouts. If you’ve never read The Maxx, start now.If you have, now is a great time to remind yourself of what really original comics look like.
Deadshirt contributor Adam Pelta-Pauls enjoys the ethereal majesty of Gundam Wing and lives in Cardiff, UK.
Thanks for reading about what we’re reading! We’ll be back next week with a slew of suggestions from across the comics spectrum. In the meantime, what are you reading? Tell us in the comments section, on Twitter or on our Facebook Page!