That's why Damnation seems to have made such a positive impression on me. It has a strong and easy-to-follow plot, smart twists and turns, a minimum of spin-offs, and a very clever use of a range of second-string characters. Sure its open-ended conclusion points to a forthcoming Midnight Sons series, but at the same time I don't need to wait for that series to get a satisfying conclusion here.
The artwork is strong, the dialogue sparks, and I really cannot exaggerate how well it utilises its broad cast of characters. With Marvel struggling to maintain market share in recent years, events like Damnation are a big step in the right direction. (4/5)
Doctor Strange: Damnation #4. Marvel. Written by Donny Cates and Nick Spencer. Art by Rod Reis and Szymon Kudranski. Colours by Rod Reis and Dan Brown.
Under the cut: reviews of Batman and the Signal, Doctor Strange, and Saga.
DC Comics. Story by Scott Snyder and Tony Patrick. Script by Tony Patrick. Art by Cully Hamner. Colours by Laura Martin.The three-issue miniseries is a sadly under-used format in comic books. In comes with a ready built three-act structure, and for relatively simple stories like this one - which introduces Duke Thomas' new superhero identity of the Signal - it's the absolute perfect length. Sadly three issues only amounts to 60 pages of story these days, and that's simply too short to repackage as a trade paperback. Tony Patrick writes up a satisfying climax that both wraps things up and provides hooks for future adventures. Cully Hamner's artwork is just wonderful. This has been a really enjoyable little series. Hopefully Duke gets a sequel miniseries soon (for one thing it could bulk out that trade paperback). (4/5)
Marvel. Written by Donny Cates. Art and colours by Niko Henrichon.This tie-in issue was released simultaneously with Damnation #4, which seems fair enough since the events of the two books run simultaneously anyway. While Wong battles Mephisto in Las Vegas, Strange is in a hell dimension with the souls of the Avengers. The only way out requires making a literal deal with the devil: the demon Dormammu. It's a smart, surprisingly funny wrap-up, one that manages to provide a whole extra angle on the main climax in Damnation (reviewed above). The denouement is particularly superb. (4/5)
Image. Written by Brian K. Vaughan. Art and colours by Fiona Staples.Prince Robot and Squire prepare to receive their new identities, as a new arrival threatens to destroy everything for good. There is a great mixture this issue between the peaceful character development stuff and one big plot development that I did not predict and am a little sad to see. That's sad in a "this outstanding writing has made me sad" way, and not a "I am disappointed in the writing" way. The ending is seriously great, in a way that takes a second to realise exactly what has happened. Issue #52 looks set to be great. (4/5)