The holidays are a time of bustle and confusion. It may sound cliché that we often lose track of what really matters, but, you know what? There is a fair amount of truth behind such clichés. So, it seems rather appropriate that for this final Finest of 2015, I selected a book centered on an exploration of family.
Last month, Saga returned from its intra-arc sabbatical with an update on Hazel. The issue focused on how well (or not) the child was adapting to life in a refugee detention center. This week, the series shifts the focus to her parents, asking how well they are handling their daughter’s absence. The answer is not too bad, under the circumstances. Continue reading This Week’s Finest: Saga #32→
Sometimes you need to simply go with your gut. There were a lot of strong comics this week. What made the selection of Finest especially difficult was the wide variety of ground they covered. Secret Wars, The Violent, Scarlet Witch, Twilight Children–these are all comics using different methods of storytelling coupled with striking art. To be honest, picking just one seems a little arbitrary. Yet, those are the rules of the game. As I narrowed down my choices, I thought to myself which comic grabbed me and most thoroughly pulled me into its pages? Which made me stop multiple times and mutter “damn” to myself? (Not too loudly by the way, so that co-workers and fellow commuters did not consider me odder than usual). Well, in that case the answer is Secret Wars #8 the latest chapter in Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic’s epic reimagining of the Marvel Universe. Continue reading This Week’s Finest: Secret Wars #8→
The first issue of this Secret Wars tie-in started with a bang: a full-page, stunning illustration of the barbarian hero Arkon locked in mortal combat with a menacing squidshark. Yes, squidshark. As absurd as that concept might sound Aaron and Del Mundo sold it from the very first beat. Del Mundo’s art had a visceral charge, matched by Arkon’s determined narration. It was a thrilling moment. It was also one that knew better than to take itself too seriously. “So swears Arkon, Lord of the Warlords. Arkon the Magnificent. Arkon the utterly lost.” This combination of adventure and whimsy set the tone for the entire series which this week comes to a fitting conclusion. Continue reading This Week’s Finest: Weirdworld #5→
This week, Matt Kindt draws to a close his outstanding creator owned series Mind MGMT. The dust has settled on last month’s emotional confrontation with the Eraser. In the end, Meru triumphed, but it was not without a price. Lives had been lost. Also, the burden of command now rested solely on her shoulders. After spending the last 35 issues, chasing, investigating and fighting Mind MGMT, Meru holds in her hands the power to take the newly reborn agency in whichever direction she chooses. She can either destroy it or reshape it. That is, if it does not alter her first.
Conflict had been one of the constants of Mind MGMT since its debut. Henry’s conflict with his family, projected tragically onto the citizens of Zanzibar; the pursuit of the Immortals; Meru’s antagonism with Henry (really every character’s antagonism with Henry); the Eraser’s schemes, and so on. Last issue continued this theme with an exciting, action-packed melee, which culminated in the hand-to-hand contest between Meru and the Eraser as a building literally crumbled around them. The finale strikes an entirely different note, however. Kindt dials down the action, preferring a series of quiet character beats. Instead of continuing to ask what the characters are struggling against, Kindt rephrases the question as what are they struggling for? Continue reading This Week’s Finest: New MGMT #1→