Cover of Black Canary #8; art by Annie Wu.
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Cover of Black Canary #8; art by Annie Wu.

Black Canary #8, written by Brenden Fletcher, cover art by Annie Wu, interior art by Sandy Jarrell and Lee Loughridge, lettering by Steve Wands. DC Comics, February 2016. $2.99.

This issue takes a turn from the battle of the previous issue. Dinah’s trapped near Berlin and has to fight her way out without her voice; the rest of the band has to try to save her without Ditto’s help. Mostly action and not too much character development or other narrative; I found this issue less interesting than the previous ones. I’m intrigued by the hints about Dinah’s mother, though, and I’m getting something of a Kill Bill vibe in her backstory that leaves me curious about future issues.

Ms. Marvel #4, written by G. Willow Wilson, cover art by David Lopez, interior art by Nico Leon and Ian Herring, lettering by Joe Caramagna. Marvel Comics, February 2016. $3.99.

Oh, what a fun issue! A new story arc starts in this issue with Kamala struggling to balance her Avengers duties with her school life and family life. She ropes Bruno into creating golem clones of herself to be in multiple places at once—but then something unexpected happens with the golems. Wilson’s writing effortlessly introduces cultural issues into the story, and I appreciate that Sana Amanat is on editing—I can feel lived experience coming in through the words, and I wonder if that’s her hand. The artwork is clean and fun, and Ms. Marvel seems to always rock the beautiful color palettes. Fantastic issue.

Cover of Pretty Deadly #8; art by Emma Ríos.
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Cover of Pretty Deadly #8; art by Emma Ríos.

Pretty Deadly #8, written by Kelly Sue Deconnick, cover & interior art by Emma Ríos and Jordie Bellaire, lettering by Clayton Cowles. Image Comics, February 2016. $3.50.

Another gorgeous issue of Pretty Deadly. We go deeper into the war with Cyrus and Melvin and see their friendship grow. Rios’s paneling is exquisite as always, and the stark lime green against blood red of the gas mask scenes shows Bellaire’s skill at commanding unique atmospheres through color. There are so many subtle details to note in the pages, and the in-depth process details in the backmatter illuminate so the thought process that went into constructing those brilliant details. The tale of the farmer in this issue becomes particularly poignant when interlaced through the violence of the war. Fantastic installment.

Red Wolf #3, written by Nathan Edmondson, cover art by Jeffrey Veregge, interior art by Dalibor Talajić, José Marzan, Jr., and Miroslav Mrva, lettering by Cory Petit. Marvel Comics, February 2016. $3.99.

Unlike the last issue, which was more expository, this issue is packed full of action and throws us into a bigger plot. I’m loving all the characters in Red Wolf and am particularly fond of the titular character—he’s smart, observant, and does his best to adapt despite being thrown way out of his element. Both sheriffs have great personalities too, and I’m dying to see how the cliffhanger in this issue resolves itself. The narrative pacing of Red Wolf is great, too: a lot happens in every issue, but I don’t feel overwhelmed with how much happens. Fantastic art as always, and these two panels are my favorite—I get the sense that Veregge is offered a real hand in consulting for the comic:

Panels from Red Wolf
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DEPUTY ORTIZ: Hey, Apache Joe, how about you back off our crime scene?
RED WOLF: Cheyenne.
DEPUTY ORTIZ: What?
RED WOLF: I’m not Apache. I’m Heévahetaneo’o. You might say Cheyenne of the South. Apache were an enemy, though my people didn’t fight them directly. And as a matter of fact, more than anything I was raised by my mother, who, on the outskirts of—
[OFF-PANEL]: Deputy!

Silk #4, written by Robbie Thompson, cover art by Helen Chen, interior art by Veronica Fish and Ian Herring, lettering by Travis Lanham. Marvel Comics, January 2016. $3.99.

Oh my god, I was not expecting the twist at the end of this issue. Thompson’s writing continues to be poignant and funny all at the same time, providing such a great voice for Silk’s character. I teared up over Silk’s flashback to her last moments with her parents; when her dad asks her if she really wants to spend her last moments outside ice-skating with her old man, I felt such a wave of affection come over me—I’ve had my own dad ask me similar questions when I spend time with him. Thompson’s great at including tiny details of verisimilitude and emotion. I loved Veronica Fish’s art for this issue; it’s a combination of Ford’s style and Lee’s style, fitting the aesthetic I’m coming to associate with Silk, with more fantastic color work by Ian Herring. Great issue.

Silk #5, written by Robbie Thompson, cover art by Helen Chen, interior art by Veronica Fish and Ian Herring, lettering by Travis Lanham. Marvel Comics, February 2016. $3.99.

A twist to end the twist! This issue felt a lot more decompressed, the opposite of the tightness of Red Wolf—it went by really quickly, though I’m not sure if that’s necessarily a bad thing. I’m loving Fish’s art, and the twists and turns in Thompson’s stories keep things fresh. This issue had less emotional content and more action, though it’s heartwarming to see how much Silk’s friends and mentors are watching out for her—I only hope that Silk comes to see that herself, too. Can’t wait to see what happens next!