Best Comics of the Week – 22nd December 2021


Eat the Rich #5(W) Sarah Gailey (A) Pius Bak

So we reach the end of this original Horror title from Boom Studios, and we are treated to a grisly, but wholly satisfying conclusion to the series.

The crux of the story had Joey going to meet her boyfriend Astors family, who all come from privilege, in Crestfall Bluffs.  What she has learned over the course of the story is that wealth and social standing can hide any personal horrors and indulgences from public view.  And also that rich people really get up to some sick and perverted things, and enjoy testing the limits of both the law and basic humanity.The art and writing for this series has been extremely consistent and of a high standard the whole way through.  When this hits trade, make sure to pick it up.  And also keep an eye on what the creators Sarah Gailey and Pius Bak come up with next.

Catwoman #38(W) Ram V (A) Caspar Wijngaard

And so the Ram V era on Catwoman comes to an end.  And boy, does he wrap it up in style!

The final issue here takes on mainly a flashback style narrative, as many loose ends from the series are tied up, motivations and actions are explained and accounted for, and it leaves Selina in an interesting way where new writer Tini Howard can pick up the reins and pretty much go off in any direction they’d like.I’d happily have had Ram stay on Catwoman as he has elevated the title massively, focusing on utilising Selina’s smarts when it comes to planning and executing heists, while making sure she never falls back into a life of crime.  She is portrayed here more as a Robin Hood-esque figure who takes from the Haves and helps the Have Nots.A fitting end to the run, and I would highly recommend picking up the trades.

Batman: One Dark Knight #1(W/A) Jock

It’s a sign of just how strong so many titles were this week, that this Black Label #1 from Jock is not my pick of the week.  This was an absolutely blistering first issue, filled with dynamic action, phenomenal art and a streamlined Batman story that can be summed up as Batman trying to aid the GCPD in transporting a criminal from one side of Gotham to the other.  This is Jock’s debut as a writer on a Batman title, and his writing is every bit as good as his artwork.  The tension drips off of every page.  We have a supervillain, EMP, being transferred, but of course gangs have found out about the transfer route and are determined to attack.  EMP is able to escape, and as I’m sure you can work out from his name, that spells trouble for Gotham as the city is plunged into a complete blackout.It’s no surprise that this title is absolutely gorgeous.  It’s no secret I’m a long time fan of Jock’s work and he knocks it out of the park here.  It’s a title that suits the prestige plus format, as it is very cinematic with lots of double page spreads, high intensity action, hero shots for Batman and glorious city wide vistas.Cannot wait for issue 2.

Nightwing #87(W) Tom Taylor (A) Bruno Redondo

So after a few issues tying into Fear State, we are back to Nightwing’s own narrative and what an issue to return to it.  #87 has been hyped for quite some time and billed as the ‘one long continuous panel’ issue.

It could have been something of a gimmick and an idea that worked better in the planning than the execution.  I should really know not to doubt this creative team over anything at this point….Nightwing #87 is a perfect issue for new readers.  It is a perfect issue for fans of unique ideas.  It is a perfect issue for long time readers.  It’s just a pretty perfect issue.  It’s a self contained one shot issue where some bad people kidnap ‘Haley’, Nightwing’s dog.  And Nightwing sets out to save them, aided along the way by Batgirl.If you ever wanted to hand someone an issue of Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo’s run, to sum up their style of storytelling then this is it.  It’s fun, visually spectacular, with quipped dialogue and fast paced action.Essential.


Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #6(W) Tom King (A) Bilquis Evely

So from one beautifully drawn DC title written by a Tom to another.  And given this issue was able to keep both One Dark Knight and Nightwing off of the top spot this week, it gives you a clue as to just how good it is, and how great this series has been in general.

We’ve highlighted nearly every issue so far on the podcast (if not every issue) and this is a series that hit the ground running but somehow still managed to raise the bar with every new instalment.Every issue of this title has been its own journey, almost a confined one shot, but it is all part of a brilliant connecting narrative, much akin to Tom King’s brilliant Superman miniseries – Up in the Sky.This issue doesn’t actually push the main story forward much, as a majority of the issue is spent in flashbacks and origin stories. Kara and Ruthye have finally encountered Krem and his cohorts, but the villain is prepared for their arrival. He aims another Mordu globe at Kara, having had previous harrowing success in the issue prior by sending her across the universe. But Kara is also prepared (clearly she’s given Batman a call in between issues), and this time she has her own secret weapon—the super-horse Comet, who can move even faster than even a Kryptonian and might possibly be the only thing in the universe that can outrun magic itself. So we have a ticking clock device, a race against time in one of the best action scenes of the series (in itself no small feat given how great every issue has looked)—but it’s also utilised here for King to reinvent Supergirl’s origin as only he can, in a really cool flashback to the last days of Krypton—and beyond.This is an issue that actually had me cheering while reading it, almost to the point it was an interactive comic.  You can feel yourself willing Comet and Kara on, and hoping they can foil the dastardly plan.  The set up is so deceptively simple but just brilliantly executed by the creative team all round.We’ve said it so many times before but it really can’t be overstated just how beautiful this series is.  Whatever Bilquis Evely moves onto next will be straight onto my pull list.Overall, Supergirl might seem like an odd character for this type of story from King, but in many ways it feels like she’s always been waiting for this story—to let her voice be truly heard much louder than her more famous cousins.

Stray Dogs #1 (of 2)

(W) Tony M. Fleecs (A) Trish Forstner

A follow up to the surprise horror hit of last year arrives, and it’s not actually a sequel, but a prequel, filling in the blanks of how all the characters introduced in the series ended up at their new home.  So strap in, and get ready for some heartbreak, as we all know the endings for each of these individual tales are going to be bittersweet.

I use the term bittersweet because of course there is the tension of knowing where all the pups are going to end up, but you also have the joy of seeing them happy with their original owners.

Overall there are six short stories in here, all perfectly drawn by Trish Forstner in that they are cute and colourful one minute, but the move into horror and peril is seamlessly executed.  Sometimes all it takes is one panel to completely turn the story on its head.

Issue 2 will cover the rest of the characters, and you just know that’s gonna be another emotional rollercoaster of an issue!

Dark Knights of Steel #1 (of 12)

(W) Tom Taylor (A) Yasmine Putri

Welcome to the latest edition of the Tom Taylor corner, who we have recently learned has signed exclusively to write for DC.  And as a DC fan, this is certainly excited, though I had always secretly hoped for another volume of Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man….

But anyway, back to the DC Universe meets Game of Thrones.  This was an exceptionally fun opening issue.  We see the familiar beats of Krypton exploding, and Jor-El and Lara talking about needing to send their son away from here and start a new life.  Thew twist this time?  The parents actually flee their dying planet with their son this time.  They crash land in a strange place, where Jor-El instantly uses his powers to defend his family.  At the same time, a seer named John Constantine is having visions of strangers arriving and how they will spell humanities end.

Flash forward 19 years and Kal-El is all grown up and the lands are now known as the Kingdom of El.  Bruce Wayne’s parents used to rule the lands but are now deceased and have entrusted the ruling of the land to Jor-El, relying on their abilities and moral fibre to rule over the kingdom, and usher in peace.  Batman acts as a Knight for the El Family, and is dark and brooding as we’ve always come to know him to be.  He has a fleet of Robins under him to utilise.  And Harley Quinn is present as the King’s Jester and provides most of the comic relief for the issue.

The main hook that they story ends on is to do with Bruce Wayne’s heritage.  He was subject to an attack from this worlds Black Canary, whose scream should have torn Bruce to pieces.  However, he survived and is not sure why any mortal would have.  He believes himself to be cursed.  But maybe in this world, Bruce Wayne is more than a mere mortal…

This was an awesome first issue.  As ever, Taylor’s strength is in his world building and his trust in his audience that they will recognise characters from the DC Universe, and enjoy his twists on those characters.  In the first issue here we are introduced to Batman, Superman, Constantine, Black Lightning, Black Canary, Harley Quinn, Stephanie Brown, Dick Grayson, Green Arrow and more.  Batman and Superman are almost warring brothers, unsure of each other’s motives and practices.  It’s a relationship that has been explored in so many ways in previous comic series, yet Taylor may have just found a fresh take here given revelations that are unearthed towards the last few pages.

Yasmine Putri’s art is fantastic.  It is by turns bright and heroic, but also dark and foreboding.  It is a perfect fit for this kind of material.  The designs of the character’s suits all include subtle hints to classic looks meaning you know who is who, but they also feel new and interesting.  She also does the colouring work for the series and it elevates the art even further.

A supremely confident, entertaining and beautiful start to DC’s latest maxiseries, and once again Tom Taylor remains a writer you know will deliver.