It’s been a pretty solid week in comics for us over here at Nerdophiles! Weavers came to a ‘so-so’ ending this past week and Briggs Land finished off it’s very first story arc. Meanwhile Jonesy introdcues the main character’s mother and tears will flow. But the real winner last week was probably Superwoman #3 with it’s five star rating!
Want to hear more about what we thought about these issues? Read on – and let us know what you thought in the comments below.
Author: Sam Humpheries
Artist: Caitlin Rose Boyle
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Source: BOOM! Studios DRC
Are you ready to cry? Because you’re probably going to cry. I mean, you might not but it’s certainly an emotional issue for Jonesy – espsecially considering the quirkiness of the past six issues. See, this issue focuses on Jonesy’s relationship with her mother. We all know that Jonesy lives with her father and works with him at his donut shop but we haven’t really seen much of her mother. We just know that her parents are divorced and her mother no longer lives with them.
It turns out that Jonesy seriously resents her mother for leaving them. She and Jonesy’s father married young and when they broke up her mother moved to the city to follow her dreams of being a lawyer. She spent years in school living in a tiny apartment with a bunch of roommates – which meant she was never able to have Jonesy visit. Nor was she able to visit very much either. In this issue, her mother has finally finished school and gotten a job – and her own apartment. She wants to spend time with Jonesy and have her visit more. She wants to reconnect.
But Jonesy nearly refuses to even spend a day with her. She and her friends got to the mall with her mom and the whole time everyone has fun but Jonesy. She keeps talking about embarassing her mom with her powers and when the time finally comes she does something else. She tries to make her mom fall in love with her. (As we all know, though, it doesn’t work that way.) After a fight and a little bit of love magic, they land in ‘mall jail’ where the tears start to flow. Jonesy gets the chance to confront her mother about her feelings of abandonment and her mother gets a chance to explain things from her side.
In the end, they make up and it’s just so happy. But the issue itself offers a really important look at the effects of divorce on kids. Especially when you don’t talk to them about things. Jonesy had every right to be upset. She spent years thinking her mom chose the city and law school over her when in fact that couldn’t be further from the truth. Lots of emotions here, folks. I’m glad it had a happy ending.
Briggs Land #3
Author: Brian Wood
Artist: Mack Chater
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Source: Dark Horse DRC
I’m really digging this book and I hope you guys are, too. This issue marked the end of the first three-issue arc and I think it did a really great job of showing just what we’re in for moving forward. These last few books have provided us with a lot of exposition and a look at the way Briggs Land has been run for generations now. Grace Briggs wants to change things. She’s not going to cast out women because of the sins of their husbands. She’s not going to blame the abused. She’s going to emphasize education and redefine what community means by focusing on women and children.
It’s a lofty goal and clearly one that’s going to earn her a lot of pushback from the men who are so used to being in control.
In this issue, Grace takes out the man her husband sent to try and kill her but shows mercy to his wife and child. Jim Briggs has some things to stay to her but she doesn’t care because she’s come to realize just how wrong she was to go along with things for as long as she did. She also comes face-to-face with one of the feds who is on her tail – though she doesn’t know it yet.
I’m interested to see what’s going to come next. The Briggs boys are still doing plenty of things that are illegal but it sounds like Grace is at least trying to make her people more respectable. Whether or not a crime syndicate funning out of a separatist compound can really be respectable… well. I guess it’s a matter of opinion.
Also: shout out to Tula Lotay. This cover is gorgeous!
Weavers #6 (of 6)
Authors: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Dylan Burnett
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Source: BOOM! Studios DRC
There was a lot going on narratively to tie up the loose ends of Weavers and it felt busy at best. Sid learned last week who tried to set up the coup amongst the family, but this week he learned about the affair that set everything in motion – and they weren’t the same person. How this web managed to stay stuck together is beyond me with all of the familial issues they were hiding, despite how many times we were told it stressful and difficult to keep a secret from the rest of the spiders.
Somehow, Sid was betrayed by his friends and, while trying to get Pneema out of town, he gets confirmation of this story from the boss himself about the change of events. He was nudged into seeing the boss as a traitor and killed him, accepting his spider and hooking up with his daughter when the dust finally settled. It’s only the morning after that he realized what she had done. And in the end, Sid can’t even trust his own memories. Ultimately, he leaves. The end.
Does that sound busy to you? That’s because it is. There were so many loose ends to tie up that it almost guaranteed an informational dump of an ending and Si Spurrier did not disappoint in that sense. I didn’t find it disappointing, as much as I found it anti-climactic. Why should I have cared or rooted for any of these awful characters throughout the short series? I’m not sure.
Dylan Burnett at least continued to have fun all the way through to the end, drawing chaotic art and going crazy with Sid’s powers that seemed to fluctuate once again. That and the coloring from Triona Farrell served to keep the issue moving even through the large speech bubbles of exposition.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for a quick, unique sci-fi read, you could pick up Weavers with no real expectations of grand storytelling. The six-issue series focused on one family-shattering event that just happened to also have spider-given powers and a clash between dueling factions.
Authors: Phil Jimenez
Artist: Emanuela Lupacchino
Publisher: DC Comics
It’s often best not to think about the relative values of comics and I’m not talking about the spectator market that almost broke the industry just two decades ago. I’m talking about the decisions we make every time we step into a comic shop or fill up a cart on Comixology. It’s the weird impulse that has one, say, spending $95 on a collection of X-Men comics you’ve read dozens of times in a new printing but, y’know, passing on a new series because the first issue costs $4.99 because it’s only 32 pages. Not that I would know what that’s like. No, not at all. I’m a rational comics reader. Yeah, for sure.
Still, I think it’s genuinely important that readers consider just what their dollars are paying for when they take an issue home. DC’s made hay over the last two years by publicly dropping their cover prices below Marvel’s selling most of their books for $2.99 an issue, with books that have a higher price tag justifying it with yardstick covers and extra pages. It makes it easier to commit and try new books and highlights just how much Marvel is continually milking customers every week. Still, it wouldn’t mean much if the content in their books wasn’t up to snuff.
Superwoman is decidedly one of DC’s most high concept books, using an extended homage to one of the most loathed Superman stories ever to tell a tale of the divide between the two women in Clark Kent’s life and how they define themselves without the man who meant so much to them.
While all of the issues before this week’s #3 were both written and drawn by powerhouse Phil Jimenez, he depends art duties to Emanuela Lupacchino this week, who delivers with a big, cartoonish fist fight between Lana and the Atomic Skull as well as a villainous face-off between the bested Lex Luthor and his sinister sister, Lena.
To put it simply, this is one of the best looking comics DC has released in months and that’s saying something. Post-Rebirth, the whole line feels reinvigorated, with no office benefitting more than the Superman one.
What makes it such a memorable issue is seeing Lupacchino so clearly emulate Jimenez’ tight, packed panels and splash pages, he’s riffing but putting his own spin on the characters. His Atomic Skull leans on the goofiness intrinsic in being a floating, glowing skeleton and he casts Lena and her army of Bizarro Earth-3 Superwoman clones in foreboding shadow.
Those jam packed panels also make plenty of room for Jimenez’ dense, hyper-literate script. There’s plenty of plot to get through here and lots of character development as well, something of a feat for a book with a cast this big and as big of action sequences as there are to get through. That’s all packed in to 20 pages of comics and it’s sort of incredible that it works as well as it does.
This is a comic that feels like it’s at least twice as long as it actually is in the best way it possibly could. It’s a value that’s obviously going to be more exciting for those who are invested in Lana Lang’s character arc over the last 6 years of Superman as well as people who’ve kept up with Luthor’s machinations in Justice League.
If anything though, Superwoman #3 makes a compelling argument for giving this series a try, starting from the beginning to see how ambitious this sort of narrative can be while still being in keeping with a very traditional superhero framework. It’s a value in every sense of the word and a great continuation of one of DC’s most ambitious comics.