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.
Last week was big on comic releases and holiday festivities. I hope you had time to make it through your stack but if you didn’t, here is just some of the highlights you’re in for starting with a wonderful cover to the new “Gotham by Midnight #1” by Ben Templesmith. The art inside is just as good as Templesmith’s cover work but the story gives the book an added edge that makes it a must read. As long as Templesmith is onboard this book I don’t think anyone should drop it.
DC had a big week for covers that made my artistic mind happy. It’s a complete 180 from this time last year. It’s a nice refresher to have DC covers be the spectacular things they can be as evidenced by this Jae Lee and June Chung “Catwoman #36”.
Marvel comics gets an appearance this week because every issue of “The Superior Foes of Spider-Man” has been amazing and it’s sadly come to an end. While I was walking the floor of the Second annual Salt Lake Comic Con I ran into Steve Lieber’s table and he promised the final cover would be a great one. Nick Spencer and Lieber both drop the ball on not making more great work together but the cover and the contents are terrific. If you missed this book do not continue to miss out by skipping the trades too. This book is a must have for anyone’s collection.
Back to the DC covers with Sook and his mood setting ocean travelling cover for “The New 52 Futures End #30”. I love everything about this cover. The ominous giant O.M.A.C. in the background towers into the sky as our heroes travel in the foreground. The waves have a definite depth and sense of motion with the blurring around the edges.
Finally I’m going back to “Gotham by Midnight #1” but I’m picking Andrea Sorrentino’s variant cover. I love Sorrentino’s dynamic style and I miss him dearly on “Green Arrow”. I’m very excited to continue to get Sorrentino work and if Templesmith leaves “Gotham by Midnight”, the editors couldn’t possibly pick a better artist than the one who designed their first issues variant cover.
Lazarus is a spectacular piece of research, political and economic commentary, and mature look at strategy. I am hoping I get a nice fat hardcover very soon but until then I’l just have to do with amazing looks at future technology on display in the book. These panels are wonderful because they show the depth underneath these Lazarus characters as well as having a reasonable forward thinking eye for where technology will be in fifty years.
Matt Fraction has hit another home-run with “ODY-C” and it’s due in large part to the artist he picked for the book, Christian Ward. The panel layout reminds me of J.H. Williams III’s sensibility but with a bright and punchy feeling that’s all Ward.
The Archaia series “Butterfly” is unfortunately a mini-series that is quickly coming to an end. It’s helmed by Arash Amel and future big shot Marguerite Bennet. The art is out of this world and with covers by Phil Noto, you can tell the book was begging for readers to give the quality work a chance. This is a book I will be giving to my spy-story loving brother-in-law. I may just add a collected edition on my shelf next to the floppies. For now though, all I can do while waiting for another wonderful issue is tell everyone I can to demand their shops carry “Butterfly”.
That’s all for this 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. And remember, from now on we'll see you on Mondays!