Deadshirt is Reading… is a weekly feature in which Deadshirt’s staff, contributing writers, and friends-of-the-site offer their thoughts on Big Two cape titles, creator-owned books, webcomics and more.
Andrew Niemann is reading…
Luke Cage #3
Written by David F. Walker
Art by Nelson Blake II
Colored by Marcio Menyz
Lettered by Joe Sabino
“Nobody touches my car!”
David F. Walker’s Luke Cage is a fun book, especially if you liked the frenetic action of his previous run on Power Man and Iron Fist. It’s a pretty great jumping-on point for new readers, since the story revolves entirely around Luke’s origin and his relationship with his “maker,” Dr. Noah Burstein. The New Orleans locale makes the story feel fresh and new, although I wish Walker and Nelson Blake II would showcase more iconic areas around the Crescent City instead of sticking to Ninth Ward shotguns and palatial swamp estates.
The most intriguing part of this issue is probably Cage’s team-up with Warhawk, a fairly obscure Claremont X-Men/Iron Fist villain. Warhawk is the most Claremontian comic book character I’ve seen in a modern comic, with his baby blue skin and punch-drunk attitude. Luke and the reformed Warhawk have good chemistry and it’s fun to see Cage play the straight man to a legit psychopath. The first half of the issue is very action heavy with the pair fighting a mafioso’s son who gets a heavy dose of Burstein gas, giving him Warhawk’s powers. There’s some great bits involving Warhawk getting angry over his car getting crushed.
The second half of the issue deals with the mystery surrounding Burstein and an army of super soldiers. A gripe I have with this issue is that Luke’s female companion, Dr. Lenore Mornay, doesn’t have any agency and several panels show her crying or needing rescue. The art by Blake II is colorful and simple especially during action sequences but nothing in the book matches the cover where Luke is punching a streetcar. Overall, it’s a tightly paced book and I want to see where Luke’s travels take him down the bayou.
Mike Mastropietro is reading…
Written by Dan Abnet
Art by Stjepan Sejic
Lettered by Steve Wands
Publisher DC Comics
“The Widow-hood is, of course, above such screwing.”
Two issues in, the “soft reboot” of Dan Abnet’s Post-Rebirth Aquaman series isn’t all that new-reader friendly. Despite a new status quo, it’s a direct continuation of the previous 25 issues and tries to fill new readers in using worldbuilding-via-exposition. By the truckload. Not to say there’s not interesting stuff here. Abnet’s building a new cast with clear social parallels, and this issue offers a really nice solution to the whole “What to do about Mera when you want a solo story” problem.
But to be completely honest, the new jumping-on point wasn’t really about the story. Readers know it, and as it seems by the marketing, so does DC. It was about making Aquaman fuckable. Apparently DC’s middleground for having Jason Momoa portray the character on the big screen is, rather than redesign the character to resemble the actor’s Hawaiian features, just port over the actor’s muscular sex appeal. Stjepan Sejic, of bondage porn epic Sunstone fame, was the man tasked with the job and his efforts are successful, if limited by the script. The titular lead gets to show off his soft and dreamy facial features alongside his hard chest and noticeable bulge. Unfortunately, this issue doesn’t have a moment like the one from #25 where Aquaman takes up a whole page just standing in a doorway wearing a loose fitting tank top.
Of course, that’s not to say Sejic’s work is a hollow T&A delivery system. Sejic created several new designs to fit with the world of mutant fish-people outcasts and all his new designs carry a cool fantasy look. His colouring is especially notable for conveying the sense that this is all really underwater. So, it’s a very good T&A delivery system.
So far, Aquaman is an unbalanced book with two different creative goals, but I’m interested in each direction enough to hold on for one arc.
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!