My Week in Comics: July 30, 2010

Rains won't stop me from getting my weekly comic fix...unless it's rain like what we get here in Manila these past few days. Water from heaven is all well and good, but when it gets to a point when even an umbrella won't stop the rain (raining sideways, by the way) from soaking you through your undies...

But I digress. It's another Friday, which means its time for the most verbose comic reviews around! Let's see what I got myself into this week!

Aspen Splash Swimsuit Spectacular 2010 may not be a proper comic book, but if it’s in my pull list, it gets reviewed.

The swimsuit special is kind of a lost art these days, so I guess we should be thankful Aspen still does these things. It’s a pinup portfolio of heavenly bodies drawn by Aspen’s best artists, and some of these pinups are gorgeous, if not altogether boring. You can only do so many poses in bikinis, I guess. It says a lot that I thought last year’s Swimsuit Spectacular was better looking and had more variety. But hey, girls in bikinis! If you’re into your favorite Aspen characters wearing thongs and little else, this could be for you. This one’s a 3 out of 5.

Flash continues to provide non-stop comic book fun with issue four, which sees the speedster go toe-to-toe with the newly resurrected Captain Boomerang while the time-displaced Renegades are out to book his speedy butt for murder. It feels like there’s a lot going on in this ish, but nothing is ever hurried. Geoff Johns never lost his stride since issue one, and I’m amazed at how I’m continuously enjoying every single Flash issue he pumps out.

Also, Francis Manapul is starting to wear my “knocked it out of the park” expression to the ground. If Johns’ concepts are awesome, Manapul just one-ups it, bringing those concepts to life in unexpected ways. Whether saving a helicopter from crashing (in a sequence that has to be seen to be believed) or catching dozens of boomerangs all at once, the art just takes comic book storytelling one step further. The literally sketchy nature of the art might not be the cup of tea of some, but it works wonders here.

Flash is a solid superhero title. Buy, buy, buy this book on sight, and complete the previous issues while you're at it. A solid 4 out of 5.

And so we come to Artifacts #1, Top Cow’s ambitious crossover event that brings together the entire stable of characters from the Top Cow universe for an adventure that might spell the salvation of their world…or its doom.

The first issue is a surprisingly light read, devoting the entire issue to laying the groundwork of the series for newbies to understand. The role of the twelve artifacts were explained in brief (just in case you didn’t get Artifacts #0) while the forces of Hell hunt down the priest wielding The Rapture, one of the Artifacts in question, and Sara Pezinni’s daughter Hope becomes the target of unseen forces. But while it is light, it's all racing towards a cliffhanger of an ending that serves as a spark for all things to come. I would have wanted this issue to have more meat to justify the $3.99 (P200) price. Still, the very premise of the race to gather 13 artifacts that herald Armageddon is enough to get me excited over what the next issue has in store. That and Michael Broussard’s art has that sketchy Whilce Portacio vibe that I’m digging.

Artifacts is shaping up to be one exciting event. I'm all for supporting stuff outside of the Big Two, so Artifacts is highly recommended for me. This gets a 4 out of 5.

Lots of good books this week. Flash is putting my faith back in mainstream comics, which is good. Let’s hope the rest of them step up their game. Agree? Disagree? Which Artifacts cover did you get? Leave a comment and let’s discuss! That’s it for My Week in Comics. Thanks for reading!

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