Comic Reviews: Batman, Venom Inc, Doctor Strange, And More

Each week, there’s a huge amount of new comics that are released. With so many issues on sale and the cost of each book, it’s not always easy to pick up every single title you’re interested in. On the same note, with so many comics, it’s not always feasible to review every single comic. Finding the time to read all those reviews would add in another factor to deal with.

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Starting with last week’s releases, this will be a first attempt to cover a handful of books that are worth reading. Be sure to pick these up the next time you visit your local comic shop or get them digitally through the Marvel or DC app or comiXology.

Batman #36

1 batman 36

What It’s About

Batman and Superman are two of DC’s most popular heroes. Despite their differences, they’ve always shared many adventures and developed a unique friendship. With the changes happening in Batman’s life, what will Superman think of his decisions?

Why You Should Read It

Tom King’s been doing great things on this title. We’ve seen countless stories with the Dark Knight, but King keeps taking the character in different and unexpected directions. One of those unexpected choices was Batman proposing to Catwoman.

Each issues since the proposal shows exactly why their relationship is more than just a story or plot twist. Now that readers have had time to process everything, it’s time to find out what Superman thinks. King eloquently captures the thought process of the two stubborn males. Leave it to Catwoman and Lois Lane to be the voice of reason throughout the separate conversations.

Clay Mann’s pencils along with Seth Mann’s inks and Jordie Bellaire’s colors provide stunning visuals that will blow you away. This is an issue that’s more about the dialogue, but the background action the two heroes are taking part in look amazing.

As the first of a two-part story, this is going to establish what Batman’s proposal to Catwoman will mean for his friendship with Superman.

Amazing Spider-Man: Venom Inc. Alpha

ASM VenomInc1

What It’s About

What do Peter Parker, Eddie Brock, and Flash Thompson have in common? They’ve all been hosts to the Venom symbiote. Even though we’ve seen many different symbiotes over the years, we’re about to see a lot more Venom.

Why You Should Read It

I’ll admit, I’ve kind of had my fill of Venom over the years. Eddie Brock was a great and deadly villain. Then he started popping up everywhere and became an anti-hero. Flash Thompson’s tenure as Agent Venom added a new angle, but his time with the symbiote soon came to an end.

In this Alpha issue, Dan Slott and Mike Costa are setting up the next big Spider-Man story. Ryan Stegman’s art with Brian Reber’s colors mean it’s a sweet-looking comic. Brock may be back with the symbiote, but who’s to say how long that will last. There’s another party that’s joining the party. This will lead to the “Inc” part of the story arc. There’s also a pretty interesting change that happens to a character at the end you’ll want to see.

The six-part story continues in Amazing Spider-Man and Venom.

Hawkeye #13

3 Hawkeye 13

What It’s About

Kate Bishop has been working in the LA area as a private investigator (despite the fact she’s unlicensed). Clint Barton shows up, and it’s a Hawkeye reunion. When they go out for a pizza, the reason Clint showed up is revealed. Someone is trying to kill them.

Why You Should Read It

Each month, this book is such a delight to read. Kate Bishop is a great character. She’s come a long way since her introduction. This is a character that doesn’t have any super-human abilities and has to rely on her wits and archery skills to solve problems and defeat any enemies. Similar to the previous Hawkeye series featuring Clint, Kate sometimes gets injured. She can often be seen with bandages on her wounds or using frozen peas to help with any swelling or bruises. The guest appearance by Clint here is great and ties into the recent Marvel Legacy: Archers one-shot. This book is pure gold.

Kelly Thompson perfectly captures Kate’s personality in each issue. Leonardo Romero has quickly become one of my favorite artists. Jordie Bellaire’s colors always makes everything look dynamite. This book has a nice amount of levity and brightness even though Kate is going through some pretty dark moments involving the death of her mother. I can’t get enough of this comic.

Doctor Strange #382

4 DrStrange 382

What It’s About

Did you hear the news? Stephen Strange is no longer the Sorcerer Supreme. He lost the title and it now rests in the hands of…Loki. What is Stephen up to now? He’s become a veterinarian and is hanging out with a talking basset hound named Bats. When Stephen hears his former assistant, Zelma, is hanging out with Loki, a confrontation is inevitable. It’s going to result in some crazy stuff for the Marvel Universe.

Why You Should Read It

Donny Cates, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, and Jordie Bellaire have eased into the title nicely, making it their own. Dr. Strange has sometimes come across as a stuffy character. Having him humbled a bit makes him more human. He might be feeling a little sorry for himself, but that likely isn’t going to last long. When Strange realizes he may not be ready to face Loki, he does something pretty unthinkable. He awakens a “beast” in the Marvel Universe and is playing an extremely dangerous game. It’s pretty nuts.

And I’m still shaking my virtual fist at Cates for one development that occurs before the final pages.

I had given up reading Doctor Strange recently. I am now hooked on Stephen Strange’s new adventures.

The Jetsons #2

5 Jetsons 2

What It’s About

Life may seem pretty cool in the future time period of the Jetsons. What we soon discovered in the last issue is there is an impending doom headed Earth’s way. It’s up to Jane Jetson to help come up with a solution.

Why You Should Read It

Nostalgia is always a drawing factor that can pull readers in. Similar to some of the other Hanna-Barbera properties given the revival treatment at DC Comics, The Jetsons isn’t exactly the show you may have watched in your younger days. Jimmy Palmiotti has given the characters and their world an update and more serious feel. The essence of who they are still remains. They simply have been given more depth.

One of the aspects I’ve always wondered about with the show is why we never seen the ground. All the buildings are floating in the sky. Palmiotti has given an answer to this questions and has raised the stakes for Earth’s future. Pier Brito’s art gives the book a separate feel from the animated series, which fits with the more mature aspect of the story. There’s a lot of potential with the characters and it’s fantastic to see where Palmiotti is taking everything.

Batman: White Knight #3

BatWhite 3

What It’s About

The story continues with a different look at the battle between Batman and the Joker. When Joker is cured, he sets out to reveal the criminal nature of the city’s activities in profiting off Batman’s violent mission. When another player enters the game, there’s no telling what might happen to Gotham.

Why You Should Read It

Sean Murphy has been doing an amazing job with his take on Batman’s world. His art, along with Matt Hollingsworth’s colors, is phenomenal. This isn’t the Batman you grew up with. It’s a dark and twisted story with a fascinating look at the familiar characters. Even though Joker’s been cured, you can’t help but wonder what it will all mean. The twist with Harley adds a new layer as well. Batman has already been going down a violent downward spiral and a new development may be the deciding factor that pushes him over the edge.

You can read my full review for issue 1 here and issue 2 here.

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Those were just some of the comics released last week. Let me know what you think of this format. I debated whether I should take a more spoiler-filled approach or stick to a vague review-type description. I will also look at some non-Marvel or DC books from time to time.

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