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Graphic Breakdown: MARTIAN COMICS #1-4, FAITH #1-4, MAE #1, THE SPIRIT #10, BATMAN #51 & More!

Hello! My name is Lenny Schwartz and I am a playwright from RI and New York.

And I’m a life long comic book fan. I am so happy to write about comic books.

So without further adieu, here goes!

Martian Comics #1-4

Written by Julian Darius and Illustrated by various
Published by Martian Lit

-1

I decided to give this a shot. The art looked pretty good and I figured the mainstream comics fare was a little light this week. So I read all four issues of this book. And you know what? It was pretty good! Very out there, but that’s okay!

Julian Darius writes the main story here (and the backups) which is presently the first chapters of “The Girl From Mars.” It’s basically a story of Izzy, a college student who daydreams of a Martian world and Martian sex in vivid detail. So, we get a lot of naked Martians. Hey, to each their own! But Izzy keeps dreaming of Mars and then the story takes off. What happen?

Well, give it a read.

Darius is a pretty fine, if perverted, writer. But I like him and his work. He’s very good. The art is actually pretty spectacular for a book I never heard of. Sergio Tarquini is the artist on most of the book, and man, he’s good. Someone from the Big Two will pick him up. If he even wants that it is.

The landscapes and the characters make this a good read. I wish it moved a little faster but it’s definitely better than most books out there. Give it a read and lend some support. This company has a good product and a good philosophy they adhere to. I’ll be reading more.

RATING: B

Faith #1-4

Written by Jody Houser and Illustrated by Francis Portela
Published by Valiant Comics

FAITH_001_VARIANT_KANO-640x984

Jody Houser has a fantastic series on her hands here with Faith. So much so that Valiant has made this an ongoing series. And It should be as it’s well done wand well written. It also features a heroine that is outside of what we are used to.

This comic features Faith on the run from an alien invasion. And it has adventure, fun, laughs. I enjoy that faith isn’t the typical size of a hero. I said before in this column, Joshua Dysart gave this iteration of Faith life…and houser defines her even more. These issues are worth tracking down. Houser handle the writing very well, infusing Faith with a heart and emotion. Portela is a great storytelling. Together the two of them just fuse well into making one of the best books on the stands.

Give this a chance. Even if you’ve never read a Valiant Comic (You should they are amazing) pick this up. You can see what the medium is capable of when it opens it’s eyes and gives us something different.

RATING: A-

TNSpirit10CovAPowellWill Eisner’s The Spirit #10

Written by Matt Wagner and Illustrated by Dan Schkade
Published by Dynamite Entertainment

I read this book up until this issue and I am not sure how much longer I can go on. I think Matt Wagner is a talented writer…yet I tried and I tried and I can’t get into this as much as I want. It’s passable and the art and story aren’t too bad. It’s just…not Will Eisner. And I almost can’t get past it.

Eisner was a unique talent in the field. Yet, every time someone tries to do The Spirit that isn’t him, it generally rings false to me (except when Darwyn Cooke did it for DC Comics…that was pretty amazing)

Eisner had something that can’t be emulated. No matter how talented the creative team is. This issue finds The Spirit tracking down his kidnapper. I

t pays respect to Eisner and his storytelling and Wagner works really hard to involve us in that world. But it’s just comes off as Eisner-lite. And while that’s okay, it isn’t what I love.

Schkade is a decent artist too. But I couldn’t get into it as much as I wanted to. Not a bad try. But for me, I’d rather reread my Spirit by Eisner hardcovers. Those are what I love. For this, the best I can give it is the following.

RATING: B-

27658MAE #1

Written and Illustrated by Gene Ha
Published by Dark Horse Comics

I love Gene Ha. His work over the years has been consistently great. If you are looking for some of his best work, check out Top Ten. His storytelling is great and he draws some amazing imagery. So I jumped for joy when I saw he was both writing and drawing his own book. He did a successful Kickstarter (You all know how I love those) and off we go!

The story involved Abbie, who discovered a portal to a fantasy world and for the last couple of years has been having great adventures there. But when she turns 21 it all comes apart and she decides to come home. Her sister Mae has no idea what has happened to Abbie this entire time. She doesn’t believe Abbie until the monsters start to come over to our world.

Ha is a great storyteller. Here he does just that: Tells us a great story. The art is spectacular as always but it’s the writing that surprised me: It’s thought out, well paced, and fun. While it did feel a little slight, I was hooked from the first image. Where will it go? I can’t wait to find out.

Mae is an all ages book and I commend him for that. Many good things are coming in from the all ages market, and this stands tall amongst them. Pick it up. Read it with your kids. It won’t suck for you I promise and you’ll both enjoy Ha’s great first issue with glee.

RATING: A-

5174727-bm_cv51_dsBatman # 51

Written by Scott Snyder and Illustrated by Greg Capullo
Published by DC Comics

I said it last month and I’ll say it again: Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have created one of the best runs on Batman ever. This is the last issue of their stellar run together. After a great issue number 50, was this issue necessary?

Absolutely. This is killer. KILLER. So, after these two create one of the best Batman tales ever, they decide to do one last issue. One last issue which is literally one of the best Batman stand alone issues ever. It’s wonderful.

Snyder scripted this with emotion, heart, and everything that makes a story wonderful.

Capullo, well, what can I say? Brilliant from start to finish.

This stand alone issue is called “Gotham Is.” It’s simple, quiet, elegant. It is a love letter to Batman and it soars. I have no other words to say about this run except to the two creators directly: Thank you both. Now come back soon.

RATING: A+

BURIED TREASURE PICK

785558-tpb___solar0_hcSolar: Man Of The Atom: Alpha and Omega TPB

Written by Jim Shooter and Illustrated by Barry Windsor Smith
Published by Valiant Comics

Jim Shooter is considered a pariah in the world of comics. Yet, the man was very talented at one time. Case in point is this book. Written by Shooter, it comes from the brief time Shooter was writing most of the Valiant line. This however was a 8 page insert inside the first ten issues of Solar. It’s collected here in complete form. And it’s a doozy of a tale.

Phil Seleski tries to contain an put of control nuclear reactor. He manages to but becomes Solar in the process. Seems like a simple concept right? Well, go deeper. You’ll find one of the best stories you’ll ever read. It’s at once staggering and heartbreaking, exciting fresh and mind blowing. The story is one of the best written stories ever, books comics, everything.

The art by Barry Windsor-Smith is stunning, literally one of the most gorgeous things he’s ever drawn. I love him in general but this is his top work.

You can probably find a copy for dirt cheap online. Do it. And then read it. Don’t miss out on one of the best things you’ll ever read. And A guarantee! If you don’t like it, I’ll buy it off you. It’s that good.

RATING: A+

And that’s it for another week. I love you all and until next week, I remain:

Lenny Schwartz

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