Want to see what other comic books I read each month? Well, look no further: One Shots is my new weekly comic book round-up, covering everything I can’t get to in my regular reviews. This week I’ll be covering books from BOOM! Studios, DC, and Marvel, so prepare your face for some rapid fire reviews!
Scripter: John Allison
Artist: Lissa Treiman
Colorist: Whitney Cogar
Score: 4 out of 5 stars
Giant Days from Boom Studios is a six-part series about three friends navigating the strange and unpredictable world of college. The home-schooled Daisy Wooton is optimistic, sweet-natured, and comprised mostly of her very large hair. Esther De Groot is the drama queen of the group, whose tendency toward involving herself in inter-school brawls and cult activity gets her friends into the trouble. The main protagonist is Susan Ptolemy, a self-described human silo of common sense charged with keeping the others safe, alive, and out of jail. When the mysterious and mustached McGraw transfers to the school, Susan’s past comes back to haunt her, sending her in a bit of a tail-spin.
With its easy sense of humor and charming visual style, Giant Days is a fun read. The typical teenage friendship adventure story structure is aged up for university students, making for (only slightly) more mature subject matter. Treiman sets up every visual gag for great pay-off and Allison’s characters are just endearing to watch. Highly enjoyable from the jump, this series is one to follow.
Scripter: Brenden Fletcher & Cameron Stewart
Score: 5 out of 5 stars
When a Joker virus spreads across Gotham, it’s up to Batgirl to keep the murderous horde from taking over the city in this outstanding one-off adventure. Fletcher and Stewart deliver a great script for Bengal to bring to life, carrying the narrative weight without dialogue or caption boxes to provide exposition. Punctuated by the clever use of symbols and sound effects, Batgirl: Endgame #1 is a gorgeous, action-packed read that uses strong graphic narrative to the fullest.
If you haven’t already picked it up, I can’t recommend this book enough.
Scripter: Dennis Hopeless
Artist: Javier Rodriguez
Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Debuting her newly redesigned costume, Jessica Drew takes to the streets of New York City in her one-woman war on crime. She’s retired from the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. to take the law into her own hands, one block and bad guy at a time, and she’s feeling pretty good about it. That is until Ben Ulrich shows up with a lead on a case: somebody’s been kidnapping the family of super villains, using these hostages as leverage to commission costumed mayhem. Since the cops aren’t paying attention, it’s up to Jessica to figure out who’s behind this extortion plot. Hopeless and Rodriguez helm this latest chapter in Jessica’s life with humor and aplomb, from her snarky banter to her slick, motorcycle racing-inspired costume. Clean line work and cool page design make this an entertaining read from start to finish.
Scripter: Ryan North
Artist: Erica Henderson w/ Kyle Starks
Colorist: Rico Renzi
Score: 4 out of 5 stars
This wildly entertaining series is back in its third issue from North and Henderson. On her way to fight Galactus in a borrowed Iron Man suit, Squirrel Girl and Tippy-Toe get waylaid by an encounter with Whiplash. She loses her treasured Galactus trading card in the skirmish, but Squirrel Girl wins the day through the power of squirrels and ingenuity. With time to spare, she manages to stop a bank robbery and save her roommate Nancy before shooting off to the moon to face off against the devourer of worlds. With its playful sense of humor, cheeky tone, and lively visual style, Squirrel Girl #3 is a delight. Its irreverence is perfectly balanced by Squirrel Girl’s uncompromisingly positive outlook, offering a fresh take on the theatrics of the superhero life that readers of all ages can get behind.
Scripter: Nathan Edmondson
Artist: Phil Noto
Score: 4 out of 5 stars
Natasha’s ongoing war against Chaos brings her to a peculiar crossroads in Black Widow #16. Met by the mysterious Prophet, the founder of Chaos, he tells her that the organizations’ true purpose is to provide balance in the world. They are the “caretakers” of the chaos already at work, not the agents or instigators, and the Prophet gives Natasha the choice to work for them rather than against. Interspersed by flashback sequences of Natasha’s violent and traumatic childhood, this issue is one of the most fascinating and personal of the series so far. Edmondson and Noto continue to be one of the strongest creative teams at Marvel’s disposal, providing a haunting and visually beautiful story of Natasha’s lifelong struggle with identity in a world that wants to use her for one means or another.