Deadshirt Is Reading… is a weekly feature in which Deadshirt’s staff, contributing writers and friends-of-the-site offer their thoughts on a diverse array of comics, from name-brand cape titles to creator-owned books to webcomics.
Joe Stando is reading…
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Dave Marquez, David LaFuente, Sara Pichelli, Mark Brooks, Mark Bagley & Andrew Hennessy
“But I can’t help but wonder if Peter was still alive and I ended up getting my stuff together like I have now, would we end up being, like, a team?”
Ultimate Spider-Man, for me, was always the best Ultimate Universe book. It was the clearest, strongest execution of the concept: classic Marvel characters, updated and made relevant for a new generation. The book debuted when I was going into high school, and it was one of the main series to get me back into comics in a big way. Even as other Ultimate lines wavered in quality, USM was a singular voice: Peter Parker, for a new generation.
And then it actually became more than that. With the death of Peter Parker and the introduction of Miles Morales, Bendis and Pichelli created a Spider-Man for a new generation. A new kid, with a different backstory and costume and powers, but the same core values and relatability that drew people to the character for decades. I’m excited to see where Miles Morales goes in the new Ultimate status quo. But I’m also glad that this issue took a moment to look back at Peter Parker, and specifically a Peter Parker who gave his life to protect others.
Like last week’s Survive, this issue is a quieter affair, downtime between Cataclysm and the big relaunch coming up. It’s the second anniversary of Peter’s death, and Aunt May is holding a memorial service to celebrate his life and remember him. It’s full of long-time supporting characters, like Gwen Stacy, Kitty Pryde and Mary Jane. It’s nice to see a lot of them again, and the form the bulk of the issue takes, a number of two-page spreads illustrating characters imagining the future Peter might have had, is engaging and heartfelt. It also allows for almost every artist who has worked on the book so far to contribute, which is really cool. I’m a big Miles Morales fan, and I’m excited for the inevitable action of the relaunch. But this introspective issue is a great epilogue to the story of Peter Parker in the Ultimate universe, and a must-buy for anyone who’s ever enjoyed the series.
Written by Charles Soule
Art by Joe Madureira (pencils) and Marte Gracia (colors)
“Let us see where your journey will take you.”
Inhuman follows the aftermath of the Infinity crossover event, when a cloud of Terrigen Mist was released and began to mutate those who encountered it. It’s an interesting premise, sort of like a more dangerous X-Men, and Charles Soule builds on it in a clever, engaging way. It turns out Black Bolt and the Inhumans of Attilan aren’t the only Inhumans out there, and some of the others aren’t as eager for a large segment of humanity to join their ranks.
The lead of this issue, Dante, is caught in a struggle between zealot Lash and Queen Medusa, even as he struggles to control his own emerging powers. It’s all well-paced, with Madureira’s eye-catching character designs and good action pacing. Medusa is an interesting character who I never feel we see enough of, and I’m glad she gets some of the focus here. She gets to be heroic and active, rather than reactionary to Black Bolt, as is too often the case.
I’m excited to see where the series goes, especially as it expands its focus to other newly transformed Inhumans. It’s a little early in both series’ runs, but I’d love to see a crossover with another newly-minted hero, Ms. Marvel. All in all, a solid first issue, and hopefully the beginning of another strong element to the Marvel universe.
Max Robinson is reading…
Written by Charles Soule
Art by Javier Pulido (pencils and inks) and Muntsa Vincente (colors)
Lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles
“Oh, it’s just father. Ernst here is apparently a Doombot with instructions to take me back to Latveria if I go against father’s wishes.”
If you’ve held off on picking up Soule and Pulido’s fantastic She-Hulk, this month’s issue will handily win you over. Picking up from last issue’s cliffhanger, super-powered lawyer Jennifer Walters finds herself helping Dr. Doom’s estranged adopted son/heir to the Latverian throne Kristoff Vernard gain asylum in the United States. Whether it’s Midnight Run or The Blues Brothers, I have a defined weakness for “get me to the church on time” caper stories and She-Hulk and Kristoff’s attempts to evade Doombots and get to a courthouse before 5pm is the kind of giddy fun we complain about superhero comics not having enough of.
As with his work on Waid’s Daredevil, Pulido continues to put out some of the best Marvel Comics art going on this book and issue #3 is no exception. Three issues in, I really appreciate how he draws She-Hulk; it’s nice to read a superheroine-fronted comic where the she isn’t especially sexualized and Pulido’s take isn’t afraid to portray her as, well, buff. The layouts on this book are amazing, whether its Jennifer getting ejected from a limo moonroof or the Saul Bass-y title page in this issue.
If you aren’t reading She-Hulk, correct this. It’s a series that’s drenched in Marvel continuity porn (a scene in this issue takes place at 70’s Peter Parker hangout, The Coffee Bean), it’s genuinely funny (“Bored eurotrash” is an inspired take on Kristoff, a fairly obscure character who dates back to the Byrne Fantastic Four run) the kind of nontraditional stories we so rarely see in superhero comics.
Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Art by Wellinton Alves (pencils), Manny Clark (inks) and Jay David Ramos (colors)
Lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles
“W-who said anything about running?”
Marvel’s attempts at turning the movies made from their comics back into comics have led to pretty mixed results in the past but for their two issue prequel miniseries to this August’s Guardians Of The Galaxy film, they made the wise decision of bringing the writing team of Abnett and Lanning on. For those who may be unfamiliar with the duo, “DnA” are the writers responsible for much of Marvel’s cosmic comics over the last few years and, especially, the incarnation of the Guardians that the highly anticipated film is based upon. If you can get past the hideous photo cover, this first half of the prequel of sorts is a welcome return to the kind of comics that inspired the upcoming movie.
What really makes this issue work is it’s tight focus on the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of Thanos hench-cyborg Nebula. The story cuts between Nebula’s balls to the wall, guns blazing attempt to secure an artifact in a heavily guarded temple and flashbacks to her early days training to become an assassin with rival Gamora. The idea behind this story, that Nebula comes back from each failure stronger but colder, isn’t exactly subtle but provides a compelling hook for the character. Alves’ does a nice job with the action sequences in this issue and his ability to capture actor likeness is very strong. If you’re a fan of DnA’s older space-centric Marvel work or are just excited for the new film, this is definitely worth picking up.
David Lebovitz is reading…
Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by Salva Espin (pencils) and Veronica Gandini (colors)
Lettered by VC’s Joe Sabino
“I always knew being amazeballs screwy would come in handy!”
Just look at the title. Why have you not bought this already? The plot is simple: Carnage is going on a murderous rampage around the country. The authorities can’t track his movements. Deadpool figures that he is the only person insane enough to track Carnage and get on his wavelength, so he just gets off the couch and goes to work. His investigative technique? Get off the couch, stand in the middle of New York, and let the universe guide him. It works. What more do you need?
The issue has everything you’d expect from a Deadpool comic: self-referential humor, some fourth wall breaking, wisecracking, an utter lack of subtlety, and gratuitous-yet-hysterical violence. If you like watching sociopathic alien symbiotes getting blown up with rocket launchers, this comic was made for you.
My only criticism is that issue’s a bit light on the words – Deadpool’s biggest strength, never mind the healing factor. Of course, this was issue one and the titular characters aren’t known for their depth, so there’s time to grow. Besides, there’s a nifty little twist at the end that shows this series will be more than a simple nonstop melee. It’s hilarious, action filled, and pure unadulterated Deadpool.
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!