Monday, March 15, 2010

What You Should Have Read #17

Wednesdays are my Fridays. Let’s read some comics!!

Amazing Spider-Man #624
Justice League: The Rise and Fall Special #1
S.W.O.R.D. #5
Secret Six #19
Superman: Last Stand of New Krypton #1
Twelve Spearhead #1
Ultimate Spider-Man #8

A couple things have me scratching my head in wonder, thinking they might be good or might not. I hope Twelve Spearhead deals with the limited series that JMS abandoned when he went over to DC. Dude doesn’t have a very good track record (except for Spidey, I guess) with finishing what he starts. I’ve got no thoughts about the Justice League book, so I hope it’s good. And I’m hoping that Last Stand of New Krypton cleans up all the dangling plot lines that are running through the Superman books. I’m ready for something new, as I think I’ve made perfectly clear.

Spider-Man Books

Bad art aside, we were given another remarkable issue of Amazing Spider-Man this week. We finally got the origin of the newest Vulture, which by itself is unremarkable. What made this issue stand out was yet another notch in the belt of the Parker LuckTM. Spidey seems at his best when the deck is stacked against him, and now with his gallery of rogues getting powered up and now the loss of any chance at a decent job, that is definitely a poorly stacked deck.

The Lizard's origin in Web of Spider-Man was okay, but not one of the best short origins we’ve seen. I did like the addition of Man-Thing to the story. I wonder if that’s going to play into the Gauntlet at all. The Lizard DID burn at the Man-Thing’s touch, and then the story was over. Other than burning, I don’t know what the Man-Thing actually does to somebody, though. Is it more than just physical trauma? The Curt Connors story that finished up the book was just so-so, and the art was extremely ugly.

Ultimate Books

Well, Project Pegasus has some pretty power weapons under its roof: the Infinity Gauntlet, the Wand of Watomb, a cosmic cube, the ultimate nullifier, and the snake ladies are looking for the serpent crown. Story-wise, this issue of Ultimate Spider-Man was very mediocre. But it’s full of what I’ve loved about this book since the first issue (of the first series), awesome dialogue. I love this little group of Spider-Man and his amazing friends. They all play so well off of each other. Bendis also did a good job digging into Ultimate Power and Ultimate Origins

X Books

So, what did Dark X-Men really accomplish? Osborn now has Nate Grey in his grasp. Is he the individual that Osborn used in Siege: The Cabal? Could be. And if so, this is how he came to be under Osborn’s thumb. We also got no closure on the “team,” so I hope we hear something about them during or after Siege. I imagine they wouldn’t fit in too well at all in the new “Heroic Age” that Marvel will be going through. But there was no break up, so I assume they’re all still loosely palling around.

While it still wasn’t on the same level as the regular Deadpool series (or even Merc with a Mouth), this week’s issue of Prelude to Deadpool Corps was better than last week. The artwork by Whilce Portacio helped a bit (always loved his style, since his X-Factor days), and the story was cute. Horn dog Xavier was just about worth the price of admission all by his lonesome. He was definitely more interesting the Kidpool. I’m not expecting much from the next Dogpool issue.

Wolverine: Mr. X is a little bit too little and a little bit too late. It’s nothing but a fight book, and a very mediocre one at that. It’s also would have been more appropriate a year or so ago. X mentions that Wolverine and the rest of the mutants are living in San Diego, which was the past. And the end, well, spoiler, the book ends with Osborn contacting X about joining the Thunderbolts. I guess this is out now since the Thunderbolts as we know them are ending, and X’s recruitment was never brought up. He was just on the team. Nah, too little too late.

And Wolverine: Savage is yet another book to stay away from. It’s just a joke. Wolverine is inexplicably fighting the lizard when the book begins, fixes a bunch of sushi, then fights a monster that has eaten (but not yet digested) the sushi chef’s father. It’s not good.

Other Marvel Books

I think Criminal: The Sinners is the only non-comicky comic book I read. It’s noir at its finest, and I hope Brubaker continues to churn out more issues. This mini may have been a little slow at times, but this final issue brought everything together nicely and neatly. And while our hero did end up saving the day, he didn’t get away scott free. This seemed like a story that actually could have happened. Nice, Mr. Brubaker.

Hulk: Let the Battle Begin is a one-shot that has nothing to do with anything going on currently in the Hulk titles. It’s set in the random past when the Hulk was dumb, and in it he fights the Wrecking Crew and Thor. Unless you’re a die-hard Hulk (or Thor, I guess) fan, you can safely pass on this. The writing is mediocre at best, as is the art.

I hate that S.W.O.R.D. was downgraded to a mini-series rather than an on-going. These past five issue were superb. The dialogue was quick and witty and charming, and the back-and-forth between Hank and Agent Brand was excellent. I’m glad Gyrich is gone, because even as a foil I didn’t like him. I hope we’ll see more mini-series featuring this great group of characters soon. There’s a LOT of potential here.

Well, The Twelve: Spearhead DID deal with the characters from JMS’s defunct series, but it was a tale set back during WW II, and we were also treated to an appearance by the Invaders. There were two things that were somewhat shocking about this issue: 1) it was more violent than I was expecting, and Chris Weston’s art made it all the more graphic. 2) There was an ad in the back for issue #9 of The Twelve, finished up by JMS himself. Yeah, I’ll believe it when I see it.

Justice Books

It looks like Justice League: Rise and Fall bridges the gap between the end of Justice League: Cry for Justice and the upcoming Fall of Green Arrow storyline. We get a recap of what happened to Roy, Lian and Star City, and how that affected Ollie. The big thing, though, is that Flash and Green Lantern discover the body of Prometheus with a green arrow sticking out of his head. I would assume that that little tidbit would be covered in Fall of Green Arrow, so if you’ve already read Cry for Justice and are planning on reading Fall of Green Arrow, you can more than likely skip this book.

Y’know, I’m starting to enjoy Magog. It helps to have your shoot-first-ask-questions-later hero to actually act human every now and then. He’s taking an interest in his community and looking into what happened to him when Gog gave him his powers. And Howard Porter has come a long way since his days drawing the JLA. It was good then, it’s damn good now.

Superman Books

I’m not 100% sure what happened in Action Comics. Okay, Jax Ur is Vohc, the third in Rao’s trinity of god-like beings that also include Nightwing and Flamebird. He’s created a new Rao and then goes and banishes Nightwing back into the Phantom Zone. Is that about right? I would figure Lois would have been a bit more upset by that last part, considering Nightwing is pretty much her adopted son and all. But apparently all she has to do is make a call, something that she does throughout the issue to get what she wants. Stuff happened a little to easily for her this issue. Her contacts are really that good?

Well, now that Superman: Last Stand of New Krypton has started, we’ve got Clark back in his Superman garb, Supergirl is back on New Krypton, Brainiac and Luthor are attacking, and Superboy, Mon-El and the Legion have shown up to help. All we need now is General Lane and his crew to do something, and all of these long-running Superman plots can be wrapped up, hopefully nicely. Superman has been the only one of DC’s big three that I’ve ever really been able to get into, but the storylines can be drawn out quite a bit. New Krypton had it’s time, and now that time needs to end.

Other DC Books

Starro was finally defeated in R.E.B.E.L.S., and it wasn’t all thanks to Dox, although he’s taking all the credit. The ending seemed a bit anti-climactic, though. No big battle, no dire straits. Just a well-placed poison dart. I like the cast of characters that Dox assembled or was forced to use to defeat Starro, and I hope they all stick around. And Adam Strange is a good foil for Dox, hopefully keeping him in line as he tries to assert his L.E.G.I.O.N. through the galaxy.

The latest issue of Secret Six seemed somewhat scattershot as far as the dialogue went. The budding romance between Ragdoll and Black Alice is disturbing, but I’m better it’ll be fun to watch (but not in a pervy way). Did Chesire and Catman have a thing? Does he have a son with her? Is that what those guys were doing with her? If so, that could have been explained a bit better. And really, I hope he tears into the rest of the team next issue. That should make for an interesting issue.

Other Books

Things are definitely not looking good for Mayor Hundred right about now. Recently in Ex Machina, his mom has been killed, his best friend and mentor has been working against him, there’s a freakshow out there with powers similar to his but they work on humans instead of machines, and his administration is in disarray. So what does our real-world superhero do in a crisis of this magnitude? He cries in the bathroom, of course.

This month’s G.I. Joe: Origins focuses on Ripcord, and it looks like it’s borrowing pretty heavily from the movie. Ripcord is a self-appointed “comedy stylist” who wants out of the Army and into the Air Force. I’m hoping that’s where they leave the similarities, because I hate just about everything from the movie, and I’d hate to see it sully some decent comics. The issue ends with Ripcord in somewhat of a tight spot, so I’m guessing he’ll earn his badass creds (and thus his place as a Joe) next issue when he gets out of it.

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