Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What You Should Have Read #9

After weeks like this one, good comics are a necessity. Please please please let this be a good comic week.

Absolution #6
Action Comics #885
Amazing Spider-Man #617
Booster Gold #28
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #31
Dark X-Men #3
Die Hard: Year One #4
Invincible Iron Man #22
Jericho: Season 3 #2
Marvels Project #5
Nation X #2
R.E.B.E.L.S. #12
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #2
S.W.O.R.D. #3
Secret Six #17

This looks like a mostly so-so week, but there are a few heavy hitters in there.

After last week’s Suicide Squad issue, I’d probably say that Secret Six is tied with Invincible Iron Man for most anticipated book of the week. Nothing else inspires me.

Stuff That I Loved

S.W.O.R.D. Well, this was an extremely pleasant surprise. I really was not expecting this comic to be my favorite of the week. After two issues of reading a slightly above-average comic with a nice quip here and there, the third issue steps up and delivers a wonderful issue. First off, the cover was awesome. Lockheed with guns, by John Cassaday. Nice. Second, Gyrich is effective, if not totally predictable. This allows both Beast and Brand to anticipate every thing he does, even if they can’t do much about it. Third, Beast is shining here. This issue is his and he just owns it. What a wonderfully enjoyable book this was.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8. After some fantastically average issues, it takes the creator to give is something exceptional. Whedon is back for an issue, and we get Buffy flying, having an incredibly awkward (from her side, at least) conversation with Xander, having an incredibly touching conversation with Riley, and beating up some goddesses. I guess when you’ve defeated one, defeating more is a cakewalk. And what exactly is a cakewalk? Let’s hope the good momentum from this issue carries on into the fallout of the little war that was just fought.

Amazing Spider-Man. I take back what I said two books up. THIS was my favorite book of the month. I’ve never particularly cared one way or the other for the Rhino. He was just muscle. Hell, but best story I read with him in it was a Spectacular Spider-Man issue where Harry Osborn (pre-BND, natch) hired him to torment Peter. I think the only other thing I read that attempted to flesh out his character some was the Deadly Foes of Spider-Man mini where he attempted to get the Rhino skin removed. This, though…I felt like I knew him, and like Peter, I wanted him to have some sort of happiness. So far the Gauntlet is doing a great job of breathing some new life into Spidey’s classic villains. Let’s hope the payoff is as good as the buildup.

Stuff That I Liked

Secret Six. Wow, maybe I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind to enjoy this issue, but it was a bit of a letdown. And really, it was everything I expected after last week’s Suicide Squad issue: nothing but fighting. The quips were great, as usual, but I just didn’t feel any urgency in any of the confrontations.

R.E.B.E.L.S. An excellent issue that considered the Blackest Night detour as just that, a slight detour. But now the title is back on track, and Dox has the gang retrieving the components for his weapon that’ll bring down Starro. This is NOT a team book. This is a book all about Dox, and all the “team members” are just chess pieces in his game.

Marvels Project. I think I expected more spectacle with the “first” appearance of Captain America, but I guess this story is more about the Angel than him. As with other comics this week, it was really a solid issue, but I just didn’t get into it all that much. I think I just need some more of the plot lines to come together.

Invincible Iron Man. Wow. I couldn’t even fully get into THIS book, one I look forward to every month. I think it’s just that the book is missing the awesome, sure-of-himself Stark and we’re getting side characters and fever dreams. It wasn’t bad, just not awesome…except for the art. BEAUTIFUL.

Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard. Too much politics (ANY politics is too much for me) and not enough action in this crossover. It was nice to see Quasar again, but I thought he was already back on Earth at Project: Pegasus. The Fault just isn’t striking me as much of a threat, not like the Annihilation Wave or Vulcan. C’mon, let’s get to some carnage!

Booster Gold. The Blue Beetle backup brought this up from Meh to Like. The Booster stuff was good enough, but kind of impotent. What can happen? He’s not going to change anything. The Beetle stuff, though, that felt like the series again. I hadn’t been all that thrilled about the backups since they started, but this one nailed it. I would much rather have had the Blue Beetle book continue with Booster backups

Absolution. A decent ending to a decent little mini. With this being an Avatar book, I wasn’t expecting the bloodless ending. I had really expected the book ending with Alice killing John, but I like this ending better. If nothing else it leaves it open for Gage to tell more stories.

Stuff That Was Meh

Nation X. (The saving grace of this issue was the Martha/Quentin story. Other than that the book was a boring mess. The Northstar and Gambit stories were just awful, story AND art. Looks like I’m done with this mini.), Jericho Season 3: Civil War. (Works better as a TV show.), Die Hard: Year One (Similar to Jericho, this works better as a movie. The movies are totally ridiculous and fun; this mini wasn’t.), Dark X-Men (I’m just ready for Osborn to be gone), and Action Comics (If I’ve done my math correctly, if you take all of the regular issues of Action Comics, the Zero issue, the 1,000,000 issue, and all of the annuals…this is the 900th issue of the book. I think that’s pretty impressive. Moreso than the story inside.)

Stuff That I’ll Never Ever Ever Read Again

Nothing this week. Whew.

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