By: Derek Ng

Let’s not beat around the bush, comics are getting expensive. With so many new issues, epic sagas, and never-ending disasters, my wallet can only take so much. Cover Price is a weekly comic review with the set budget of $15. I mostly pick my choices based on cover, price, and hype. Which company suckered me into buying their issues this week? Were the issues I picked up worth the $15 cut? Were the issues you picked up worth your money?

4/29/15 C.C.P. Reviews:

Batman #40 – $4.99

Superman #40 – $3.99

Avengers #44 – $4.99

Batman #40

Writer: Scott Synder | Artist: Greg Capullo

Batman40

The End Game Finale answers what if Joker and Batman fought to kill each other? What if Joker didn’t want to “play” his game with Batman anymore and Batman realized there was only one way to stop the infamous madman? Batman #40 is an issue that demands re-reading and contemplation. Scott Synder and Greg Capullo have crafted a Batman tale that involves all major characters, neatly contained within a 6-issue arc. But in truth, Endgame has allowed Scott Synder to involve everyone single Batman character he’s had to pleasure of working with. It almost feels, and is written, like the conclusion of this team’s Batman run. Beyond the future ramifications, this issue, particularly, is a very interesting study on the relationship between Batman and the Joker. What makes Synder’s conclusion to Endgame memorable is his take on the Batman vs. Joker fight that’s been used for decades. What happens when the unstoppable force meets the immovable object? On the art-side, as usual, Greg Capullo’s work is magnificent. The flow and style of the action scenes are executed extremely well and the color differences between the beginning of the book and the end add another layer of depth. Often times, Capullo is allowed to draw full pages without the interruption of sound effects or words. Who needs words when the art itself makes the reader feel every punch, kick, or bite? This issue is definitely one of Capullo’s greatest Batman issues. And even with all this praise, I’ve barely scratched the surface of this comic. I don’t want to risk spoiling anything for anyone. This comic is truly a buy in all aspects. This comic is worth the $4.99 and there’s no way around it.

Superman #40

Writer/Artist: John Romita Jr. (Inker: Klaus Janson | Colorist: Dean White)

Superman40

Superman #40 is John Romita Jr.’s chance to show off his pencil skills in art, as well as with story. However, Romita Jr.’s Superman doesn’t fly…it merely jumps to weird places. The characters and dialogue in this issue feel like they belong in the Golden Age. This isn’t the New 52 Justice League, but the amazing Super Friends. Superman got drunk, Batman smiles, Flash and Wonder Woman make jokes, and Aquaman rarely talks. Everything felt odd. Furthermore, Superman was written more like Peter Parker. He forgot to wake up and rushed out the door trying to put on his costume, all in Spider-Man fashion. The whole issue was such a step backward from Superman being established that I felt confused and lost. The art, however, is fairly good. Thanks to inker Klaus Janson and colorist Dean White, this issue, for the most part, is very pretty. There are many bright and vibrant colors which, along with Janson’s inks, help highlight Romita Jr.’s unique art style. This is all great in the slow moments of the comic, but when there are scenes of action, the art goes downhill fast. There are unnecessary explosions and electricity going everywhere which makes it hard to figure out what’s happening. All in all, Superman #40 is too different from the New 52. I wish I could recommend this issue solely based on how odd it was reading it, but alas, the comic is $3.99. You’re much better off waiting for Superman to fly again.

Avengers #44

Writer: John Hickman | Artist: Kevin Walker and Stefano Caselli

Avengers44

Everything ends and everything dies. The incursions have left only two worlds left and it’s an easy guess as to which two have survived. The Ultimate Universe and 616 are about to battle for dominance. Avengers #44 is the conclusion to Hickman’s long Avengers epic that spanned across 3 books. What I appreciate the most about this issue is that Hickman is able to highlight the differences between the two surviving worlds. The Ultimate-verse, which has survived countless “universe ending” experiences, is going to die fighting. On the other hand, the mature 616 believes there’s no point. So while most of the 616 characters deal with their impending doom, Steve Rogers and Tony Stark have different plans. Their conflict actually makes this conclusion really satisfying. From where these two characters began to where they’re ending now, we’re really reading the end of a friendship. This is the Civil War fight without Captain America giving a damn about the destruction around him. While Hickman scripts a decent conflict, I would have liked to see more of what the 616 characters were doing in their final moments. Kevin Walker pencils the beginning and ending of the issue while Stefano Caselli pencils the rest. Their styles are so different that it can get really distracting when reading the issue. Kevin Walker draws more exaggerated characters and with wider faces, while Caselli’s style is more modern (think Deodato without the shadows). Both styles are very good, but this distinct difference ultimately detracts from the reading experience. Overall, I would say this issue is a fitting conclusion to Hickman’s Avengers arc, but unnecessary for those curious about what happens before Secret Wars. Let me save you $4.99 and just tell you that everything dies.

Panel of the Week:

PanelOfTheWeek042915

And then they kiss…right?

There are many, many more books released by DC and Marvel this week. I wish I could read them all but my wallet can only take so much. What did you read this week? Which issues would you put on your $15 budget this week? Remember to read and buy what you want and support your favorite writers and artists!

Derek is comic book fan like none other. You can follow him on Twitter.

Alex Russo

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