Whenever comic book blockbusters like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hit theaters, they leave comic fans in a strange position. Sure, we're excited anytime the hobby makes it to the big screen—but there’s always a sense of questioning. Most ask questions like, “Will it be true to the comics?” Maybe that’s not even a fair question. Even though the reviews coming in for BvS are cool (to put it kindly), one wonders how much of that is due to the fandom that surrounds it. Could it have been a better movie if it wasn’t tied to comic conventions? Or would that have made it worse? Is it receiving poor reviews because it’s not living up to cinema expectations? Or are those reviews in some way colored by a dedication to characters who have existed for well over 60 years? This week’s comic roundup takes a look at (appropriately) a Batman comic and a Superman comic, then dives into indie territory with some hip-hop history and a story about a schoolteacher getting shipped off to a man-made moon.
Written by Scott Snyder, pencils by Greg Capullo, inks by Danny Miki, colors by FCO Plascencia.
Batman #50 signals the return of the caped crusader. The tenth part in the “Superheavy” arc, this issue sees Bruce Wayne finally don the mantle of the bat again and help James Gordon (who was pretending to be Batman) take on a giant plant monster named Mr. Bloom. This is a sprawling, chaotic, fast-paced issue that does a nice job of wiping the slate clean for future, more traditional Batman narratives. Capullo, Miki, and Plascencia give this issue a messy, urgent feeling. If you’re a Bat-fan but haven’t been following along, you can probably catch up via context clues and jump right in with this issue. And you should, it’s full of action, nice panel construction, and promises a steady future for the Caped Crusader.
Written by Dan Jurgens, pencils by Lee Weeks, inks by Scott Hana, colors by Jeromy Cox.
It only seems right to take a look at the worlds of both Batman and Superman this week. While DC released a free Batman/Superman team-up comic, perhaps it’s better to see what the character’s up to in his native comics. Superman: Lois and Clark features a bearded Clark Kent and Lois Lane living in San Francisco with their son, Jon. Superman dresses in black, and because of weird continuity stuff, there’s also the classic red and blue Superman flying around Metropolis. But don’t worry about that… It would take too long to get into. This issue really delivers on the promise of the title: We see Lois as almost as large a character in this work as Superman himself, even though she falls into the "damsel in distress" role by the end of the comic. Still, she’s an anonymous reporter blowing the whistle on a huge gang, and that gang’s out to get her. In the end, this is a very traditional Superman story, even if Supes is sporting a dadbeard. And fans of the hero, or fans left wanting after the movie, could do worse than to sink their teeth into this story.
Written and illustrated by Ed Piskor.
Each issue of Hip Hop Family Tree tells the tangled story of the birth of hip-hop in an easy-to-approach, visually grabbing way. This issue starts with a short story about how Jean-Michel Basquiat produced a rap record, and goes on to (generally) chart the influences, rise, and early mistakes of Run-DMC (they wore leisure suits before finally settling on their iconic look). Other great moments include Steve Stein and Douglas DiFranco’s creation of the Payoff Mix, and the creation of the song “Rockit.” Illustrated to look like a weathered 1970s Marvel comic, Hip Hop Family Tree is one of the best, most informative, innovative comics being made today.
Written by Adam Bash, pencils by Jim Lawson, inks by Colin Panetta.
The Typhon of this comic’s title refers to a man-made second moon of earth. At the start of this comic, we meet a schoolteacher being rocketed to Typhon. Her assignment: to work with and teach an artificial intelligence that’s refusing to learn and is acting like a child. This is a short-ish comic, but it holds a lot of promise and potential for future installments. This is also a part of a deeper web of stories, hosted on the Sayer Podcast series, which features an artificial intelligence that goes rogue/evil/deadly. With a beautiful cover and a light, airy feel inside, this comic could lead to great things to come.
What were you reading this week? Let us know @CreatorsProject or in the comments below.