Serials for today: Avenging Spider-Man, Chew and more

Avenging Spider-Man #5
by Zeb Wells and Leinil Yu

When I read the previews, it sounded like Zeb and Leinil had something to say about the industry: Captain America used to draw WWII comics! And I was right: the issue's a dedication to Joe Simon, co-creator of Cap himself.

Zeb writes something of a fraternity of Avengers, in which everybody likes to rib around with each other -- beating up the bad guys is merely a formality to these guys. The meat of the issue is Peter Parker fawning over Captain America, because he realized that Cap was a "nerd," just like him. What follows is something like a little dog jumping around to impress the bigger dog. It's sweet and shows a side that super comics doesn't show a lot. Zeb has a knack for character writing, and this is a team-up story that'll be a good team-up story years from now, no matter Spidey's status quo.

One nitpick: here's a shield scene from Leinil:

It's not very good. I can see where the shield starts, but where does it go? Who does it hit first? Is this a quantum shield, that exists simultaneously across different space?

What I'm trying to say is, the shield goes from point a to point b, and the art does a poor job of showing how it gets there.

Atomic Robo: Real Science Adventures #1
by various

Five stories! Four pages each! I love anthologies; if you don't like a story, there's four more you can look at. This issue is the platonic ideal of serialized fiction: you're meant to get a full reading experience from one piece, and that's what three of the five stories do. The other two are the first of six-parters, and tell their own self-contained stories.

I'm not sure if I can recommend this to people unfamiliar with the characters of Atomic Robo, but here's a velociraptor cackling as he hijacks a lab in India:

I like Atomic Robo, and if it so happens that you're curious, you can check out the preview.

Chew #25
by John Layman and Rob Guillory

It's the conclusion to "Major League Chew"! And it's a doozy. Amelia takes over the issue, but we still manage to see what every other side character is up to. She does some top-notch sleuthing to save Tony, and it's a sight to see.

Here's a page about Amelia. I think it speaks for itself about the quirky world that Chew's built and what a joy it is to read. If you like good comics, give Chew a try.

Secret Avengers #24
by Rick Remender and Gabriel Hardman

The Secret Avengers make a bigger mess as they try to rescue a mutant's son from the Adaptoids in their own world. Beast gets shot in the chest, both he and Hawkeye are captured, Valkyrie and Black Widow are besieged by Adaptoids, and Captain Britain and the Human Torch (the android version) don't know what to do.

It's a per-diker-ment that's compounded with a killer cliffhanger. Remender's telling an exciting storyline with Marvel characters, and Hardman's drawing it intensely. Check out this one panel here:

It's less than an inch tall, and occupies less than an eighth of the comic page. Look at the detail! There's more detail here than there are in some whole pages in comic books. It's crazy.

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