What You Should Have Read 2
As excited as I was about this (and by this, I mean the previous) week’s selections, the holidays and personal issues really screwed up my reading schedule and thus this review. Sos I guess I better get to it.
Here’s what I read this…uh, last week:
Amazing Spider-Man #613
Avengers: The Initiative #30
Blackest Night #5
Dark Avengers: Ares #2
Dark Wolverine #80
Ender’s Shadow: Command School #3
Fantastic Four #573
G.I. Joe Origins #9
Green Lantern #48
Guardians of the Galaxy #20
Image United #1
Incredible Hercules #138
Invincible Iron Man #20
Justice League of America #39
Justice Society of America #33
Justice League: Cry for Justice #5
Ms. Marvel #47
New Avengers #59
New Mutants #7
Project Superpowers: Meet the Bad Guys #4
Secret Warriors #10
Son of Hulk #17
Superman: Secret Origin #3
Talisman: The Road of Trials #1
Teen Titans #77
Thor: Giant-Size Finale #1
Ultimate Avengers #4
Uncanny X-Men #517
Web of Spider-Man #2
Whew. See why it took me so long to get through everything?
I think I’d like to start off this week with the biggest let-down. That honor belongs to Thor: Giant-Size Finale. It was by no means a bad book. The main story was great, and the preview of the next issue was very promising. But if I buy a book that claims to be a giant-size finale, I (a) expect a conclusion to the current storyline and (b) expect a longer story. What we got was a regular-sized story with back-up material that justified a bigger book. First we get a preview of the next issue by the new creative which, sure, looks great. But we’ll get those pages again next month. The second back-up was a reprint of Thor’s first appearance from Journey into Mystery. Nope. Don’t care. And then there’s the fact that this wasn’t a finale. Well, it was the finale for a certain character, and it was handled extremely well, but the storyline itself seems to be far from over. So for those reasons, the book was a let-down.
Stuff I liked: The Web meeting Batgirl and ; the Electro story and bits and pieces of the JJJ story from Web of Spider-Man (as well as a much better part 2 than the previous issue’s part 1 of the current Amazing Spider-Man story); Rogue kicking some Predator X ass in Uncanny X-Men; Spider-Man complaining about never getting to yell “Avengers Assemble!” in New Avengers; the date with Spider-Man in Ms. Marvel; Incredible Hercules and Guardians of the Galaxy were both very passable…nothing great, but still enjoyable, and Inc. Herc. had a few well-placed one-liners; Fantastic Four was much better than the previous 3 months; Dark Avengers: Ares – “You have horses for kids?” “It’s different for gods.”; and Penance finally getting his memory back in Avengers: The Initiative, and hopefully this heralds the return of Speedball.
Stuff I loved: Ultimate Avengers was just awesome. The new team against Cap, and they spend half of the issue getting schooled. Then we get some nice continuity with an Ultimate Fantastic Four story, and I never thought I’d say this, but I now like the Red Skull.
Superman: Secret Origin was great. Did you know that Geoff Johns worked for Richard Donner during the first two Superman movies? Reread this with that knowledge. That is Christopher Reeve’s Clark Kent.
The art in Justice League: Cry for Justice is simply amazing. That alone is worth the price of the book. I also love that Robinson has brought back two of his characters from Starman, a series that holds a special place in my heart. The story itself is kind of dull. Robinson is pretty hit-or-miss with me, and story-wise this book looks like it’s going to get a miss. There was a pretty big thing that happened that didn’t seem to get the response it should have deserved from the characters.
The Blackest Night tie-in in Justice League of America was pretty strong. Mark Bagley is finally getting the chance to shine at DC. He was good in Trinity, but he was doing a book a week and wasn’t able to put any great detail in his work. And to a degree, he and Bendis were putting Ultimate Spider-Man out every 3 weeks instead of once a month, so his art time was still cut a bit short. He shines in this issue, and Robinson turns in a more compelling story than he did with Cry for Justice.
Pretty much all of Invincible Iron Man was talking. But it was awesome talking. It was Stark at his futurist (yes, I mean futurist and not futuristic) best. It was Osborn being a cocky son-of-a-bitch. It was awesomeness from head to toe. I am so excited to see where this is going.
Things that were “meh”: The Deathstroke family reunion in Teen Titans, and it’s a Blackest Night tie-in, so we’re not just talking about the still-breathing Deathstroke and Ravager; Mon-El’s return in Superman; The Shield; Alexander’s judgment in Secret Warriors…all that hoopla for a quick decision; New Mutants moved too quickly with too little happening; Image United was a better concept than story…just like Image’s conception 15 years ago, it’s all pretty art with sub-par story; ugh, Hulk, please at least tease us with a clue or answer or something…the book is just getting tedious now, and the art isn’t enough to keep me coming back…let’s hope Fall of the Hulks injects some life into it; and Dark Wolverine was pointless.
Things I feel I need to mention: I like that DC is trying to bring some more of it’s purchased properties into the main DCU. They started a while back with the Milestone characters, and now they’re doing it with the Archie/Red Circle/Impact line. I’m enjoying these current takes on the Impact (that’s where they were when I was first introduced to them) characters, and I’m really looking forward to the eventual reintroduction of The Fly and The Comet, my two favorite characters from that line.
After a LOOOONG hiatus I’m reading the two main X-books (Uncanny and Legacy, which was just X-Men when I was reading it) again. I’m not too lost, but really Greg Land’s art in Uncanny is really not doing it for me. It’s all just posing. Nothing looks fluid or natural.
I don’t yet know how to feel about The Talisman. I got really excited for it after reading the zero issue, and I’ve absolutely love the Stand and Dark Tower books over at Marvel. But this issue seemed like it tried to cram too much stuff into too few pages. I’ll still read it because I love just about anything have to do with Stephen King’s works, but I really hope the book doesn’t take to long to find a natural groove.
On a somewhat similar note/topic, I’m loving the Ender stuff at Marvel. I haven’t read the actual Shadow books, but I’ve read the original 4 Ender books, and they are by far my favorite Science Fiction books. Reading the Shadow comics makes me want to hunt down the books and read up on Bean.
I’m passing on Spider-Man: The Clone Saga. That storyline was one of the reasons I stopped reading comics for about two years. A few years ago, though, I stumbled upon a website called The Life of Reilly, and it gives an in-depth analysis on what SHOULD have happened with the Clone Saga, why it didn’t happen, and why what actually happened happened. You can check it out here. It’s an extremely interesting read, and I think there’s supposed to be a book eventually published.
I’ve been reading Son of Hulk since it was Skaar’s book, and right now I’ve got no idea what’s going on. If I end up caring a bit more, I’ll go back and reread the last 5 or 6 issues, but if the kid in this book is the Son of Hulk, then what is Skaar? There’s two kids? Wha-huh?
I am officially bored with all of the Project Superpowers stuff. It all still gets my money, though, for the pretty pretty Alex Ross covers. I will by any comic that contains that man’s art.
Blackest Night Disclaimer!! Read Green Lantern #48 before reading Blackest Night #5. Other than that mention, both issues were pretty ho-hum. Nekron turns his sights from the dead to, well, others. I don’t want to spoil it for you.
I think I’m done with the G.I. Joe books for the time being. I’ve really liked the direction IDW is taking the franchise, but I can my 80s nostalgia itch only needs to be scratched for a bit before it goes away, and I think this is about the same time I gave up on the Image relaunch of the Joes.