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Triple Shot: SIDEKICK #1, LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #11, SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #2

JMS takes on the dark twist of a superhero sidekick plunged in to the depths of despair after the assassination of his hero in Sidekick #1, Paul Jenkins returns to Batman in Legends of the Dark Knight #11, and Nick Spencer’s misfit Scooby game of super villains are still one short of being Sinister until the Punisher shows up!

SIDEKICK #1
WRITER: J. Michael Straczynski
ART: Tom Mandrake
Publication Date: August 7, 2013
Price: $2.99
Publisher: Joe’s Comics / Image Comics
UPC: 70985301407200111
Buy it HERE

We’ve seen the fall from grace story a few times recently, in fact these are some of or favorite superhero books.

From Irredeemable to The Mighty and The Boys we see a super being turning bad and turning on the world he’s sworn to protect.

This most recent JMS superhero story focuses on Barry Chase aka Flyboy—sidekick of The Red Cowl.

At a parade in his honor, The Red Cowl is assassinated and Flyboy is left alone. Chase is left living in a tenement apartment trying to fund his career with Kickstarter, seeking the company of prostitutes, and staging saving the day with fake crimes for his public reputation.

Needless to say, life sucks when you are a sidekick and are living under the shadow of the hero you served with, even when that hero is gone. Things aren’t looking up for Flyboy as he struggles with his identity in Sol City.

Straczynski’s return to comics is strong with this title and Ten Grand. Here’s to hope he continues his streak with The Protectors in November.

LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #11
WRITER: Paul Jenkins
ART: Omar Francia
Publication Date: August 7, 2013
Price: $3.99
Publisher: DC Comics
UPC: 76194130955201111
Buy it HERE

We’ve covered some issues of the collected digital first Legends of the Dark Knight series before at Triple Shot, and a common theme here is that these are great traditional Batman one-shots that are not (necessarily) bogged down with current New 52 continuity.

These are the best kinds of Batman stories—the ones that can just be about Batman, his rogues and protecting Gotham from the scum of the Earth.

Before being signed on to Boom! Studios, Paul Jenkins was working with Batman most recently on The Dark Knight title in the New 52 with David Finch. He’s teamed up here with Dark Horse artist Omar Francia who merged great storytelling with awesome tech, bombs and absolutely the coolest Batplane we’ve seen in a long time. The Batplane here looks like an actual bat merged with the Tumbler from the Nolan movies.

The Batplane isn’t the only highlight of the book, however.

Jenkins kicks off the high tension story about a terrorist bombing at the Independence Day celebration at Gotham Knights stadium by saying, “We’ve got 50,000 witnesses, but you know how it goes with eyewitness testimony, that’s 50,000 versions of what happened”. In fact we hear at least three versions of what Calendar Man was up to that day, and we’ll take Batman’s version over all others.

Clever storytelling from a comics writer juggernaut that is Paul Jenkins, all wrapped up in one issue and for fans of Batman not reading anything else on the spinner rack or SpinnerPad? Kindle Spinner? SpinnerXology? Oh I give up!

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #2
WRITER: Nick Spencer
ART: Steve Lieber
Publication Date: August 7, 2013
Price: $2.99
Publisher: Marvel Comics
UPC: 75960607941400211
Buy it HERE

I’d be hard pressed to ask what it is that I like about how Nick Spencer writes a comic book.

He’s funny for sure (especially at moments in this particular issue), he gets how people interact with others in real life and is able to translate that onto the page. His team dynamics are perfectly flawed in the way that many families or companies or groups tend to be.

Spencer also has great dialogue and tends to have superheroes use their powers in interesting ways.

What I can’t exactly put my finger on is his appeal to me, plenty of other writers do all he does, and many do them better.

Nick Spencer just sort of has ‘it’.

That ‘it’ is the same indescribable flavor driving Fraction’s Hawkeye and Bunn’s Venom at Marvel.

This Sinister Six minus one leaves the team with five members, and seeks to be the Avengers book if the Avengers were bad guys. Instead of Cap confidently leading the team, Boomerang is de facto leader, when not going before a parole board hearing and planning the next heist.

This issue, The Punisher shows up to foil their best laid plans of robbing a ridiculous restaurant where you can order fine jewelry with your shrimp cocktail. Talk about ice! And this can only happen in New York of the 616.

Things get complicated with the Punisher, as you can well imagine, and no spoilers!
Do yourself a favor and check out these two issues for a shot at a comic that is nearly as funny as Buffy and has so many shout outs to old Marvel continuity you’ll be looking at OHOTMU for reference!

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