Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What You Should Have Read #8

After a week away from comics, I’m ready to get back into it.

Boys #38
JSA: All Stars #2
Marvel Boy: Uranian #1
Nation X: X-Factor
New Mutants #9
Siege #1
Siege: Embedded #1
Suicide Squad #67
Superman: World of New Krypton #11
Ultimate Spider-Man #6

Alright, here’s something new for the new year. I’m going to do some forecasting based on the titles alone.

First of all, there aren’t as many comics on this list as I was hoping for. That being said, the first issue of Siege is here, and I’m extremely pumped about it and what it may do to the current Marvel landscape. If Ultimate Spider-Man is ever in my stack, it usually ends up being the best book of the week. I’m betting Siege gives it a run for its money.

I’m getting Suicide Squad because it’s by the Secret Six team, not because I have any love for the Squad. I’m betting it’ll be just as good as a regular Secret Six issue. I’ll tell you what I AM looking forward to, though, with these quirky little cancelled comic continuations. Starman. Robinson back on Starman. Sure, it’s only for an issue, but oh, that’s my favorite series of all time. I may just weep after (or during?) I read it.

I’m assuming that Embedded is the Frontline equivalent for this event. I didn’t much care for the Frontline books during the other events, so I’m not actually planning on liking Embedded, but I will give it a shot.

Stuff That I Loved

Suicide Squad. I hate it when villains are turned into good guys. I just don’t think it works. Which is why this book (c’mon, it’s really a Secret Six book) works so well. These are bad guys, and Simone (and Ostrander in this book and the last issue of SS) aren’t trying humanize them to make them likeable. They’re making them likeable by portraying them as the bad guys they are. There’s not one character that you feel sorry for because this is how their life turned out. We root for these guys and gals and their evil ways, and we don’t think twice about it. It’s some damn good writing. And this issue has the Six going up against Waller and her Suicide Squad? Awesome. Oh, yeah, and it’s a Blackest Night crossover to boot. Not so much in this issue, this is kind of a prologue, but I assume that the next issue of Secret Six is going to be all sorts of violence and mayhem and death.

Siege. Maybe I’m a sucker for spectacle. Maybe I’m a whore for Brian Michael Bendis. Or maybe this was just an awesome way to start an event. Now, Loki being part of a villainous cabal and scheming up a Marvel event is nothing new. He was the mastermind behind the Acts of Vengeance a couple of decades ago. But it’s what he does, and he’s been manipulating Osborn superbly. So Osborn is now leading a charge against Asgard with Ares as his general? Goosebumps. I also really liked how, although the lot of them seem to be somewhat normal people, ALL of the Asgardians are recognized as gods, not just Thor or Loki or Hela, gods OF things. And Osborn’s Avengers know this and are rightfully scared to face them down. The only thing I had a problem with was starting the book off like Civil War, with a disaster with a well-meaning hero at the center of it and the persecution of a group of people because of it. I guess it’s just the last few years coming full circle. Also, ALSO, I dislike the cover treatment for this event and its crossover issues. As with Civil War, it's wasting a good chunk of the cover that could have more art on it. Eh.

Stuff That I Liked

Nation X: X-Factor. This book was snarky and witty and full of puns, just like you’d expect from a Peter David book. At the end of the day, though, the only thing it accomplished was leaving Longshot on Utopia. The way the issue ended, though, we’ll see if he’s actually staying on the island or if he’ll be right back in X-Factor. I enjoyed all the interactions between X-Factor and the mutants on Utopia, but again it’s made clear that I’m a little off on recent history.

Ultimate Spider-Man. I feel a little bad putting this book in this section rather than the previous. This has consistently been my favorite book each month, what, 10 years or so? The book’s starting to get too crowded, though. Peter Parker/Spider-Man has always had a large supporting cast, but now his house is becoming a home for wayward superboys. Now, I’m still loving the dialogue between all of these characters, but we’re really going to need a scorecard to keep up with everyone.

The Boys. Very, very solid origin story for the Female, but not enough there to make me love it. It was definitely better than Frenchie’s story. As with Butcher, you really felt sorry for her situation. It’s been really nice to finally see why all the characters are on the team.

Stuff That Was Meh

Superman: World of New Krypton. Yawn. I’m ready for Superman to get back into costume and back in his own books. I’ve grown more attached to New Krypton than I have any of its residents. I like the concept of a world of Superman on the opposite side of the sun from Earth. I just haven’t been made to care about any of the new characters, though.

Siege: Embedded. Ben Urich is a supporting character and is not interesting enough to warrant his own book. This idea was novel during the Civil War, predictable during World War Hulk and Secret Invasion, and no it’s just tiring. Maybe, MAYBE Volstagg can save the book in a way that Speedball couldn’t with Civil War: Frontline. But how many times has Urich had his chance to take down Osborn, and how many times has he failed? I think I’ll stick with the fighting and stuff in the other Siege-related books.

New Mutants. I have a feeling that had I not taken a lengthy break from the X-Universe, I might have liked this issue more. Doug has the ability to grow on me as a character. I’m not giving up on him, no matter how lame he was in the past. It’s Illyana. The last time I saw her, she died of the Legacy virus. Apparently there’s been a lot that’s happened to her since then. This issue gave a solid attempt at trying to explain who or what the current incarnation of Illyana is, I just couldn’t grasp it, though. Maybe I’m just to tired right now. I’m not giving up on the book, though.

JSA: All-Stars. This book seems to just defy the purpose of the Justice Society. It’s to train the next generation of superheroes to be HEROES, not soldiers. No thank you. I’ll stick with the main book.

Marvel Boy: The Uranian. I guess Marvel felt like they had to delve into Bob’s origin a bit, but so far with this first issue I’m just yawning through it. The misunderstood stranger angle has been played to death, and so far this issue has offered up nothing new. Add that to the fact that I find Bob to be the most uninteresting member of the Agents of Atlas, and you’ve got a book I’m no longer interested in…except for the pretty covers.

Stuff That I Never Ever Ever Want To Read Again

I hope to never have to put anything in this section. There's very little out there that I'll never pick up again. Usually it'll depend on how crappy I think a writer is. I can deal with crappy art as long as there's a wonderful story to go along with it. But not even crazy-good art can save a horrendous story.

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