Overall July was a better month than June in terms of what came out and the average quality (although no Sex Criminals is…criminal). For this list I’m going to expand to include the 15 books I read in July. A few notes: there were four all-new number ones in my reading pile this month: Black Market, Death Vigil, Low, Storm and Grayson, the latter of which reminded me that I don’t need a faux spy title while the excellent spy series Velvet is around.
So, without further ado …
1. Velvet #6 (Image) 5.0 – some of the finest character + story work this century, Brubaker & Epting at their best.
2. Cyclops #3 (Marvel) 5.0 – can’t stress enough the high quality of this series under Rucka’s pen and Dauterman’s pencil.
3. Southern Bastards #3 (Image) 4.5 – Southern-fried justice served up with a big stick (literally)…can’t help but root for ol’ Earl Tubb.
4. Lazarus #9 (Image) 4.0 – satisfying end to this extended world-building second arc.
5. Saga #21 (Image) 4.0 – has rolled three 4 stars in a row, not normal, will it ever match its first 18 issues?
6. The Wicked + The Divine #2 (Image) 4.0 – a slight slippage from the stellar debut, but not by much.
7. Black Market #1 (Boom!) 3.5 – earns its rating with its strong premise, high concept and pacing.
8. Outcast #2 (Image) 3.5 – impressive bounce back from the underwhelming debut, now I care.
9. Veil #4 (Dark Horse) 3.5 – wicked and vivid and really sets up a big payoff in the finale.
10. Rat Queens #7 (Image) 3.5 – weakest issue of this stellar series yet, pains me to say.
11. Rise of the Magi #2 (Image) 3.5 – and now merges the fantastic with the urban.
12. Storm #1
(Marvel) 3.5 – the windrider’s first “ongoing” series gets off to a good start (see the rather glowing CBR review
13. C.O.W.L. #3 (Image) 3.5 – great concept still unfolding, would make great television.
14. Hawkeye #19 (Marvel) 3.0 – Clint Barton is deaf, so half the issue is quiet and using sign language; executed well by David Aja, but overall a weak issue for this series.
15. Low #1 (Image) 3.0 – the best I’ve seen Tocchini illustrate, and the concept is quite interesting with good world-building, but Remender’s script was a problem for me.
Trees #3 (Image) 3.0 – the pivotal issue to make or break the series for myself and many, even stated so by the author himself Warren Ellis; I think I’m out (although there’s only a few more “trial” issues left before it goes on a decision-making hiatus).
Grayson #1 (DC) 2.5 – another failed attempt getting into and caring about the DCU by me; just not my thing.
Death Vigil #1 (Image) 2.0 – spec buy during a light week, didn’t hold my interest.
August brings new promise in Brubaker & Phillips’ The Fade Out and the seventh issue of #SexCrims. Until then . . .