As always, “Five & Three” brings you my favorite things in comics this week. Every week I pick my five favorite covers and three favorite panels to create “Five & Three”. I like to talk about why I picked the covers and panels and welcome hecklers and trend setters alike.
This week I’ve got to start with one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while. Sure it has some local SLC (Salt Lake City) flavor behind it, but that makes it all the more sweet. Chad Hardin, local Utah comic book creator and the current artist behind DC Comics “Harley Quinn”, put Shannon Barnson of the Geekshow podcast into issue #7 of Harley Quinn. That’s the panel I’ve included below but that’s not all. Go pick up an issue of #7 and you’ll also see references to our recently passed mentor and friend Jeff Vice AKA Jerkbot in the graffiti of page 20. The word balloons block most of it out but you can see the full version before colors and lettering in this @Geekshow tweet. From all of us at Big Shiny Robot to Chad Hardin: thank you for the tip of the hat via the ink of your pen.
Now, onto the covers and this week we’re starting with a very cool one from IDW “Star Trek: Harlan Ellison’s City on the Edge of Forever” issue one. It’s art deco and has elements of the flattened modern look. It also has the used paperback novel touch which I'm fond of.
Chip Zdarsky knocks another one out of the park with the cover of “Sex Criminals” #6 from Image Comics. For anyone who can read books in the mature rating, pick this one up. I promise you will not be disappointed. Fraction is spinning a crazy interesting sci-fi love story mixed with elements of heists and it’s all done through time stopping sexual encounters.
The new book “Thomas Alsop” from BOOM! Studios has a really cool cover. The top and bottom half of the cover itself tells a story of a time past and a time present. The strength of the piece is in the color though, because that’s what tells the eye there is more to the image than just the small parts. This book is getting a lot of critical attention and cold be a sleeper hit this summer.
I’m a sucker for Jerry Gaylord’s “Loki: Ragnarok and Roll” covers. I picked the first issue for a “Five and Three” way back in February. I knew I’d be featuring another one at some point. The punk rock aspects, the coloring, it’s all terrific and all worthy of a pick.
The last cover for this week is an Alex Ross masterpiece for “Batman ’66 Meets The Green Hornet”. The comic book has been fun but the covers have been out of this world. If you’re OK with some R rated revelry for this all-ages comic you can go listen to Ralph Garman and Kevin Smith’s audio version of the physical issue #1 on the “Fatman on Batman” podcast.
Next up is panels and the first one of the three is from “Wonder Woman” #32. Take a look at the beauty in these panels. When Cliff Chiang and Goran Sudzuka are working together, their book looks just as good or better than the best books on the shelves. Every month fans of the New 52 Wonder Woman can expect mastery and if you’re not reading Wonder Woman or you’re a fan from across the isle, I promise you’re missing out on some of the best storytelling around.
Jonathan Hickman can be a really depressing writer. The bleak future being teased in “Avengers” #31 is just as bleak as every other future story going on in comics of the Super-Hero genre. To that, why so many dystopian future stories in comics right now? That deviation aside, I think a Thor that is no longer worthy is probably the worst of them. OK, maybe not THE worst of them, but certainly the worst this week! I am confident that when Hickman turns this freight train of his around, the climax of the story is going to knock reader’s socks off.
I promised I’d be picking something from Brian K. Vaughn and Marcos Martin’s “The Private Eye” and I’m delivering. This set of panels is another great interaction between PI and his granddad. The great part about this is that his Granddad would be a Millennial. If Millennials in 40 years are still referencing Star Trek than the future isn’t as bleak as the dystopian minded would like to think it will be. By the way, am I the only one that loves Munsta Vicente’s coloring?
That’s it for the week. If you disagree with a pick, let me know in the comments or on Twitter @MarkAvo or on Instagram @TheMarkAvo. If you think I should’ve picked something else or if you have a pick in mind for next week, give me a shout out and let me know. If you’d like to check out more “Five and Three” comic book moments start with “Five and Three” from last week. If you’d like more of me yammering on about art you can check me out on video with my buddies from the Salt City Strangers doing the deviantArt Podcast right here. Until next week, have a great day and an even better weekend!