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Comics to Check Out for 1/20/2021

batman batman/catwoman cable catwoman dc comics donny cates gerry duggan king in black marvel comics mikel janin phil noto ryan stegman tom king venom x-men

Happy Monday, everyone! This week saw the release the release of a cornucopia of cool comics for our eyeballs to feast on. Here are just a few to check out!

Cable #7

With the dust settling after the X-event “X of Swords” has concluded, Cable #7 doesn’t let the young Nathan Summers rest for long, as he and his erstwhile sister Rachel Summers team of with law enforcement to track down missing mutant children. However, there may be more to the Order of X, the children’s kidnappers, than meets the eye at first blush. Nathan discovers that his past—even if it’s the past of his older self—is something he can never shake.

Writer Gerry Duggan can always be counted on for deft characterization, top to the bottom, whether it be from Cable himself to a throwaway cult member. Duggan’s work consistently makes you fall in love with his cast members, something he excelled at during his run on Guardians of the Galaxy and which carries over here.

As always, artist Phil Noto’s art is gorgeous and, while he composes action scenes beautiful, his character work is forever sublime, rendering some of the best facial reactions in comics. This skill pairs beautifully with the emotional groundwork that Noto lays, and the result is a tale that’s as engaging during the quiet moments as it is when Cable is using telekinetic derring-do.

 

King in Black #3

The culmination of writer Donny Cates and artist Ryan Stegman’s world-building of Venom’s universe rolls on, and it continues to be as crazy-town banana pants as the previous installments. With Eddie Brock killed by Knull last issue, the world’s heroes have their backs to the wall, using Eddie’s son Dylan as a last-ditch effort to undo the havoc wrought by the King in Black.

What you can always count on from Cates—from his work on Thanos to Cosmic Ghost Rider—is his willingness to go huge with whatever story he’s tackling, and this issue is no exception. (Case in point, mild spoiler. Three words: Celestial Iron Man.) Between his plotting and Stegman’s linework, the whole story feels breakneck doesn’t let you breathe—in a good way. And that ending, folks: WOW.

 

Batman/Catwoman #2

Writer Tom King and artist Clay Mann’s long-awaited yarn that folds Batman: The Animated Series’ Andrea Beaumont—The Phantasm—into the DCU proper (or, at least, in DC’s Black Label imprint) continues, looking at both the present and the future of the caped crusader and cat burglar paramour. Throw The Joker in the mix and chaos, as always, is assured. The Clown Prince of Chaos seems scared of The Phantasm, but why? What can make even The Joker sweat, in the present and in the future to come? King and Mann tease us with just enough to keep us on the hook.

A hallmark of a King Batman/Catwoman tale, whether in this series or during his run on the Batman main title, is using time and different timelines to weave a story that eventually weaves seemingly disparate threads into one unified story. Mann is a veteran collaborator with King and a professional, so his instincts as to when to keep the action rolling and when to pause and focus on a scene serve the story well.



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