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Al Ewing and Javier Rodríguez’s Defenders has been a gorgeous book from the jump, a supernatural romp in which Doctor Strange and some magically selected companions flit through the multiverse on a quest to stop a bad guy and corral a bunch of wild magic. But with this issue, Ewing and Rodríguez put a very different kind of power into its characters hands.
In fact, one might say it’s the fundamental underpinning of all of comic book magic.
Yes, I’m talking about the four color printing process.
What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Monday Funnies, Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. But there will be great comics. (And if you missed the last edition, read this.)
This is the kind of metatext that gets me going: The power of this team of Avengers, Strange explains, comes from how they represent the four houses of the Tarot and the Secret Fire, thus forming the five elements of the pentagram, the Sign of Five. They are “all the colors” of magic — which Rodríguez represents throughout the issue as yellow, cyan, magenta, black, and white.
That is, the four colors of the four printing process that combine to make all the colors on a printed page — and white, the color of the page itself. Whatta chef’s kiss.
I quite enjoyed the first issue of Arkham City: The Order of the World, thanks in large part to the work of artist Dani and colorist Dave Stewart, who are bringing some real classic Sandman vibes to the series. Most Arkham Asylum stories are eventually about how everybody who gets put in the Asylum — staff included — slowly goes madder just from being there, but Order of the World seems like it’s pointed somewhere different than that old well, and I’m curious to see where.
I would say that Amazing Spider-Man #75 is a great place for new readers to pick up the book but honestly… it really feels like a continuation of Nick Spencer’s just-concluded run, which was spectacularly dense and continuity-heavy. The quips, though, are excellent.
Dirtbag Rapture begins with one premise: An asshole protagonist who can house restless spirits within her mind makes a living by reluctantly transporting ghosts that are tethered to the location where they died to anywhere nicer. Then on the final page, as you can see above, things get more complicated.
The Eternals are doing a bunch of one-shots while the rest of their ongoing series gets ready for its second arc, and they’re all really good. This week, two Eternals face the fact that the Avengers have hollowed out the corpse of one of their gods to use as a headquarters. Which is rude.
This is just to say that DC’s creator-owned horror comic The Nice House on the Lake still rips extremely hard, especially the art.
Speaking of great art, Rod Reis is just killing it over on New Mutants, as the gang gets trapped in the Shadow King’s illusions. Gorgeous, gorgeous work.