Deadshirt Is Reading… is a weekly feature in which Deadshirt’s staff, contributing writers, and friends-of-the-site offer their thoughts on this week’s hottest releases. For more of our thoughts on this week’s new comics, take a look at Wednesday’s Deadshirt Comics Shopping List.
Sarah Register is reading…
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Mike Deodato
Colored by Frank Martin
Lettered by Cory Petit
“I don’t think there is a ‘Doom.’ I think it’s a made-up story to keep us here. To keep us oppressed.”
The Secret Wars event has pushed out some good titles and some OK titles, but Guardians of Knowhere is probably in the running as one of my favorite thus far. The story has a great flow to it, drifting through multiple continuities as effortlessly as a giant alien head drifts through space. The Guardians team feels a lot like the Dan Abnett ensemble, especially with Mantis playing a larger role and Rocket in his blue and red and superior-to-all-other-uniforms uniform. Down to its meat and potatoes, it’s actually a pretty typical Guardians story: so-and-so is hunting down [fill in Guardian(s)’s name] for such-and-such while something cosmically important is happening. However, what makes this installment so interesting, at least in my eyes, is Gamora’s heretical views of Doom. Most people in this labyrinth of realms worship Doom, and even their local myths are reconstructed around him in what I assume is regular continuity Victor’s ultimate fantasy existence. Other people seem to only hold Doom in a passing regard or don’t consider him a god. Gamora, however, straight up doesn’t believe in him. More specifically, Black Vortex Gamora, with all of her cosmic-y potential unlocked, does not believe Doom exists, even though she has violently operated under that assumption in the past. This concept, amid all the incredible fight scenes and daring escapes contained in this comic, is the most intriguing. Poking holes in god-Doom as an idea seems almost more powerful than the ability to physically fight him, and I look forward to what else Gamora has to say in the next installment. On top of all this story intrigue is a stellar art team pushing out some gorgeous work straight from the get go, with a full page shot of the glimmering celestial head of Knowhere. Mike Deodato, who did the artwork for a previous Marvel event set mostly in space, is no stranger to cosmic grandeur and dynamic fight scenes. Coupled with Martin’s knack for coloring shadowy faces and glowing eyes, this is a dang pretty comic. I was incredibly weary of Secret Wars when it was first announced because it just seemed like a way for Marvel to suck up all my cash if I wanted to keep up with the characters. But, heck, this has been fun, and most of the titles seem well crafted and clever. Guardians of Knowhere definitely made it a little less painful to pony up most of my paycheck on Wednesday.
Joe Stando is reading…
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Felipe Andrade
Colored by Rachelle Rosenberg
Additional art by James Stokoe and Paulo Coelho
Lettered by Clayton Cowles
“In 20 days, the Shield falls. Thanos dooms us all.”
The Shield, a world-spanning wall that separates a few especially dangerous zones of Battleworld from the rest, is among my favorite Secret Wars concepts. It wears its Game of Thrones influence on its sleeve, but it’s also unlike anything that existed in the old Marvel universe. I’ve been waiting for a series set there that truly does the concept justice, but thus far, most of them have ranged from mediocre to aggressively irritating. Siege #1 is the antidote to all that wasted potential. The comic follows Abigail Brand, a lesser X-Men character who is in charge of most of the Shield’s defenses. She’s delightfully nihilistic and pretty badass, but without being the sort of stock Strong Female Character comics sometimes relies on. She’s surrounded by an absurd, glorious cast of characters, from Kang the Conqueror to Leonardo da Vinci to a legion of Cyclops clones called “the Endless Summers” who are just as whiny as the original. They’re all rendered in Andrade’s vivid, kinetic style, and the flashback spreads from Stokoe and Coelho are appropriately vast. Scale is key here, and these battles really sell it. The other cool thing about Siege is that it follows up on a ton of threads from other books in the overall event. We see 1602 Kate Bishop and A-Force Ms. America, both of whom had been banished to the Shield in other books. We got confirmation of a HUGE theory regarding the nature of the Shield and how Doom created the world. And the final pages’ prophecy of Thanos leading to the destruction of the Shield are a tantalizing tie-in to the main series or The Infinity Gauntlet or both. All in all, it’s just the kind of book I’ve been waiting for.