This week, Sam read Goldie Vance from BOOM! Studios, while new contributor Beatrice reviewed Assassin’s Creed: Uprising #1 from Titan Comics. Jackson continues to enjoy Deadly Class from Image Comics, but wasn’t as impressed with Bullseye #1 from Marvel Comics. Renee, on the other hand, greatly enjoyed Champions #5 also from Marvel Comics.
Want to hear more about what we thought about these issues? Read on – and let us know what you thought in the comments below.
Goldie Vance #9
Artist: Noah Hayes
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Source: BOOM! Studios DRC
Sugar Maples is back!
I’m trying to stick to the positives because this issue started off a little traumatically for Goldie. After a sweet date with her new girlfriend, Goldie is driving home when she gets hit by a hit-and-run driver who totals her beloved bicycle. The loss of her wheels helps set this story arc’s plot in motion and I’m sure that the person who hit her will reappear at some point. But poor Goldie! At least she walks away all right. The problem is that she’s been saving all her money to buy a used car and now she has to get a new bike in order to get around.
Pretty decent start to a new arc, right? New problem – time to find a solution! Of course, this isn’t just a matter of saving more money because this is Goldie Vance and Goldie is a detective. This is where Sugar comes in.
It’s the eve of a racing competition and Sugar is convinced someone is trying to sabotage her. She’s certain someone is messing with her car and after another racer stole her wheels only to immediately wreck spectacularly she needs someone she can trust to get to the bottom of things. Plus if Goldie helps her out, Sugar has promised to buy her any used car she wants.
Basically, we’re in for a great story.
I love the idea of this new arc focusing on Sugar and Goldie’s relationship. They may have had a falling out when they were younger but this may be the chance they need to work things out. With Sugar’s life essentially on the line and a mystery revolving around one of Goldie’s favorite things in the world (cars!), she is going to be totally in her element. We’re in for fast cars, daring mystery, and maybe a chance for the two to become friends again. Plus I’m never going to say no to badass girls being awesome and defying gender stereotypes. Race on, Sugar!
Assassin’s Creed Uprising #1
Artist: Jose Holder
Publisher: Titan Comics
This series is definitely written for those who have been reading the other Assassin’s Creed comic titles while also playing the games. It merges characters from both Assassin and Templar comics into one interwoven story-arc. Theoretically, this is also the conclusion of the Phoenix Project storyline that permeated the game Assassin’s Creed: Unity, meaning that it is best understood in the context of the current timeline of that game in particular.
Deadly Class #26
Author: Rick Remender
Artist: Wes Craig
Publisher: Image Comics
In the last few months, Deadly Class has been long on character development and short on, well, anything else. Some of that’s the nature of the narrative. The end of the “Kill the Rats” arc led to a new cast of characters, a new status quo and a dramatic change to the way readers viewed death cultist and ninja assassin Saya. It’s been a vastly successful arc but other than a few grindhouse style D&D sequences and the escalating tension between Saya and her brother, it’s been light on action.
Deadly Class #26 changes all of that dramatically with a palette-cleansing all-action piece of pure, unadulterated carnage. Told with a minimum of specificity until a few last page reveals, the issue lays out a desperate assassination attempt, as a gas-mask wearing killer breaks into a compound, murdering his way through a cadre of guards and chain gun wielding psychopaths to rescue a tortured woman in the basement. There are a couple great lines of trademark Rick Remender dialogue and plot swerves that could only come from him but this story is all artist Wes Craig. With exaggerated figures, tight framing and massive, panel filling sound effects, he crafts a visceral, issue long fight sequence that doesn’t let up until the last page.
The final line of Deadly Class #26 offers a fairly massive hook for readers who’ve maybe been a little unsatisfied with recent developments in the series and it’s a shocking twist for a series that’s never pulled punches. However, that change also comes with some damage to the series as a whole. The return of a pair of characters dramatically recolors another recent story but it offers a mystery that readers will definitely want to see solved.
Artist: Guillermo Sanna
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Garth Ennis’ run on Punisher MAX is a comic that, on paper, should be easy to repeat and god if Marvel hasn’t tried to make lightning strike twice. Ennis was vastly working through a formula, setting up a villain or group of villains, having them commit a series of unconscionably evil acts and then unleashing the Punisher on them like an avenging animal, his every immoral action justified by the malice of those he slaughters. It’s a formula that should work for any villainous or antiheroic character, who, by virtue of the antagonists, ends up looking at least a little heroic by nature of bringing down some truly terrible people.
Penciler: Humberto Ramos
Published by: Marvel Comics
When Nova, Ms.Marvel, and Spider-Man walked away from Civil War II, tired of the animosity and fighting amongst the very heroes they admired, they did not have much of a plan regarding what they were going to do with “life after the Avengers.” However, Ms. Marvel, ever the optimist and filled with hope, opted that they create a team, named The Champions.
The Champions don’t fight your typical villains. They stand up for the people in their community and the world who face daily injustice, from the sexual trafficking of teenage girls to traveling across the world to protect the rights of women.
In Champions issue #5, the team finds themselves with an unwanted teammate, Gwenpool, as they investigate the burning of a mosque. They discover that since the sheriff has been elected, hate crimes have gone up exponentially.
Gwenpool, a more disruptive team member, who like her namesake, is a fourth wall breaking, hit first ask questions later teammate. Gwenpool tells the team that on her earth, a supervillain is always responsible for bad things like this. Ms. Marvel addresses that not all evil people are villains and that, “Corruption and injustice and racism can infiltrate authority structures all by themselves, without a supervillain’s help.”
While they are in town, the Champions stop teenagers from spray painting swastikas and racial slurs across the city, while other members of the town mill in front of the sheriff’s station with signs. Viv makes the observation that, “There is something in the air, something intangible, something toxic,” referencing the intolerance and hatred that surround the town and it’s people.
Later in the comic, the Champions confront that acting deputy that the Sheriff is responsible for the hate crimes, to which the deputy replies that he needs to keep his silence about the matter to continue to help others and stop the same thing from happening.
The Champions leave and perch on the roof as they watch the protesters, reminding Gwenpool that not everything is solved with violence. The deputy announces to the public the truth about the Sheriff and the Champions take this moment to help keep the peace. Ms. Marvel reminds the team to act as champions and not resort to unnecessary violence.
What I love about this comic book series, is that the writers have no problem in addressing current social issues and pointing out the different ways that these issues could be solved. The overarching theme of this issue was about combating hate with non-violence, as well as showing that corruption and injustice are everywhere.
Renee Marriott is a staff writer at Nerdophiles.