Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What You Should Have Read #18

It’s time for the fun cooker!!!

Amazing Spider-Man #625
Dark Avengers #15
Doomwar #2
Fables #93
Green Lantern Corps #46
Guardians of the Galaxy #24
Hulk #21
Incredible Hulk #608
Siege #3

Not a whole lot to look forward to today, but what there is promises to be pretty damn amazing. Buncha books from some big events.


Two stories in Avengers vs. Atlas, and both of them seemed to be fillers. Both teams pooled forces to take down the Hulk, and all it took was a song by Venus. Other than that, the only point was to try and understand the time fluctuations, which really didn’t happen. The back-up was amusing, but just pointless. It seemed like it would be more at home in an annual or an anthology book.

Although Spider-Woman was probably one of my least favorite Brian Michael Bendis books, it was still a book that I thought could have ended up being pretty darn good. I liked the idea of Jessica hopping around the globe looking for Skrulls and other rogue aliens on Earth. But Maleev stretched himself too thin with this book and the corresponding motion comic, so we get this lackluster mini, instead. I hope we’ll see Jessica as an agent of S.W.O.R.D. revisited at some point in the future.



I’m happy I stuck with Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth. While not the laugh-a-minute book that the main DP book is, it’s still gotten very entertaining. I think I like him fawning over Dr. Betty and Professor Veronica (yeah, I get it…but Peter David did it better in Incredible Hulk). Now, are we supposed to assume that the gang brought Headpool back to the wrong zombie infested dimension, since a whole and “healthy” zombie Deadpool showed up? That’s what I’m going with. And who’s the guy with the sword?

Prelude to Deadpool Corps is just…no. No no no. I get Lady Deadpool. I was somewhat amused by Kid Deadpool. Dogpool though? No. No no no.


It’s definitely war (DOOMwar) in Wakanda as the Dora Milaje make the Spartans look like a Boy Scout troop and Shuri and T’Challa carve their way through any Desturi they find in the palace. Doom has apparently killed all who were with Ororo except for T’Challa’s mother, but by the time T’Challa reaches Doom, she’s nowhere to be found…and neither is the vibranium. Ooh, that’s gotta hurt. I hope we get to find out how Doom got past that final lock. It was supposed to be the trickiest.

Fall of the Hulks

I like how Hulk parallels Incredible Hulk each month. And having them come out the same week works well for that, too. Hulk follows Red Hulk and Incredible Hulk follows banner, and they pretty much end the same. Rulk teases us about his identity this issue (I still think it’s Talbot), letting us know that Banner knows who he is, and then he infiltrates the Intelligencia’s helicarrier (which I thought was gold). A bunch of heroes also show up, as well as Deadpool, and by the end of the issue they’re all Hulked out. So Fall of the Hulks is now over, and World War Hulks starts next month. I’m still entertained, so I’ll still be looking forward to it.

Incredible Hulk was pretty confusing. I get the end, it’s just everything that led up to it. The problem with comics that contain a lot of explosions is that’s it’s difficult for the artist to make everything else around those explosions clear. How much of this story actually happened in Banner’s head, and when was he captured by the Intelligencia? Was it at the point where everybody got turned into Hulks, or is that part of his dream? And assuming that the Hulkification of the soldiers actually happened, how did that come about? Is the Intelligencia actually working for the military, or is this some rogue agenda by Talbot and Ross (is he still dead?)? The answers to these questions better make sense, or I’m going to feel extremely cheated.

Realm of Kings

The thing I liked least about this storyline was the name: Realm of Kings? I guess I just don’t get it. Is that what the invading force is from? Eh. Realm of Kings: Inhumans was a good story, mainly about a reluctant leader and his former comrades. This issue brought it all together and really made the impending invasion seem like a threat. It looks as though Thanos is going to be the next big bad before the invasion begins. He’s been a good foe in the past (assuming that he’s going back to his evil roots), so this could be a good little intermission.

Good stuff happening in Guardians of the Galaxy. Well, good stuff for the reader, not so much the Guardians, or at least half of them. Phylla keeps getting pulled in all sorts of directions and ends up releasing the inhabitant of a familiar cocoon. Familiar if you know anything about Warlock. Of course, there’s a bit of a twist. A nice one, too. Also, Peter proves again why he’s the leader of the motley group as he secures a seat on the Galactic Council for the Guardians. This has been, by far, the best book during this whole Realm of Kings storyline.

I don’t like it when characters come back from the dead as a past version of themselves, so I don’t think I’m going to like Namorita’s return in Nova. I already don’t like that Tony Stark’s rebooted brain is from before the Civil War (second time he was replaced by a younger version of himself), and now we’ve got a pre-Stamford ‘Nita back in the Marvel Universe. And really, was that the whole point of this Sphinx story? To bring her back? Her? I get bringing Steve Rogers back, and Thor, and Superman and Batman and all the important people, but her? And next month has to do with Thanos, who had a pretty good death during Annihilation, so sure, let’s just bring all the dead people back, even the crappy ones.


Well, the revelation in Dark Avengers that it was the Sentry/Void that took out Doom in the Siege: Cabal one-shot was kind of anti-climactic. I was hoping for someone more surprising, more off the wall. Sure, it makes sense, but, I don’t know, I was expecting more of a jaw-dropping reveal. Anyways, you would assume that THAT would be the big thing in this issue, but nope. That’s not even secondary, it’s an afterthought. No, Bullseye completes the assignment that Osborn gave him last issue, and, wow, the Sentry/Void is incredibly stupid if he’s going to take Osborn’s word that Bullseye had nothing to do with Lindy’s death. Surely nobody on the rest of the team buys it. And is it just me, or does the Void’s outline and mouth look a bit like Onslaught? I’ve read the Sentry’s Wikipedia entry, and I think I’m more confused about the character than I was before. Could the Sentry actually be Onslaught? That would be a twist.

I expected a little more from the latest issue of Siege. I expected more of an outrage at what Sentry did to Ares. I expected a more inspiring splash page of Cap’s shield smashing into Osborn. Those complaints aside, it was still a good issue, and it managed to surprise me. Seeing Iron Man back was great. The enormity of the Sentry’s power is what surprised me, and having him be the actual “big bad” of the story was a nice twist. Osborn’s green-painted face was nice, and I would have felt cheated if Spidey wouldn’t have gotten his punch in. It’s all over next month, so I’m expecting a HUGE battle, somewhat larger in scope than the Asgardian battle we were shown.

This issue of Siege: Embedded pretty much dealt with Ben Urich and his photo-journalist friend running away from H.A.M.M.E.R. goons. No Asgardians, least of all Volstagg, appear in this issue, so the fun of last issue is gone. I was surprised with how quickly the ending came up and thought, “This is it?” I hope the last issue is a little more satisfying.


Amazing Spider-Man was truly amazing this week, amazing and heart-wrenching and powerful. I’m glad we’re getting “stuck” with the original Rhino, but I feel incredibly bad for the guy. I know he blames Spidey for Oksana’s death, but I also wonder if he’ll go after the Kravinoffs since they put Aleksi in the new Rhino’s sights. This and the other Rhino story have probably been my favorites out of the Gauntlet. I hope he has a large role in what’s to come.


I think I’ll give X-Factor Forever a chance since it’s only a limited series, but my X-Factor will always be the government-sanctioned reboot team written by Peter David. That’s the era that I got into the X-books, and although I’ve caught up with just about all the previous issues, Guido and Jamie and Pietro and Rahne and Lorna and Alex will always have a place in my heart. But this mini looks promising. Apocalypse seems to be the main villain, and he’s recovered Hodge from the Genosha wreckage to apparently meld him with Master Mold. I think I can dig on that, ‘cause that’s what’ll keep me coming back. As for X-Factor, well, I like the characters as they are now. Seeing them like this, especially a younger Iceman, is just kind of weird. But we’ll see how it goes.

It seems like, in every book lately where somebody has a plan, that plan is actually to tell his enemy the plan because it’s not actually the plan, while keeping everyone (including the reader) in the dark. So how far back in Wolverine: Origins did Wolvie go to Deadpool and The Answer for this brilliant plan of his? I’m getting to hate this little device. But maybe this means we’ll get a nice Wolverine/Deadpool team-up next issue. That could be fun.

X-Men: Legacy focuses on Rogue and her duties on Utopia as a counselor and mentor. She ends up siphoning off a bit of the Cuckoos’ telepathy and wanders the island. There’s a run-in with Gambit and Magneto, all the while focusing on trying to help Indra deal with how his powers impact his faith. It was a really well-written issue. There’s a bit of humor while Rogue tries to feel her way around the Cuckoos’ telepathy, but it’s also somewhat of a touching issue. You feel that Rogue really belongs on the island as a mentor to all of these young kids.

Other Marvel Books

Lots of reminiscing to be done in Hercules: Fall of an Avenger. And since the reminiscing is about Hercules, it’s humorous with a heartfelt quality. Thor tells a tale about drinking, Namor about fighting, and Alflyse about, well, the Elven Tickler. The Agents of Atlas back-up deals with Venus and Namora traveling the globe and putting Herc’s mortal assets to rest. It’s a right and proper tribute to the Prince of Power with a bit of a twist regarding Amadeus Cho’s next step in life.

Wait, has the Golden Age Vision shown up before this? Until he mentioned the Thinker, I just assumed we were seeing a conversation between he and the Torch in the past. The art in this book is ugly, and the Mad Thinker looked like a doughy tub of lard. As for the story itself, I guess this has all got to do with Nazis. These are Golden Age heroes, after all. I wish that the art was a bit better, because bad art makes it hard to enjoy a story sometimes.

Blackest Night

As with books with lots of explosions, books with lots of characters can also become quite confusing. Green Lantern Corps has corps members from all across the ring spectrum teaming up to take out Black Lanterns in Earth orbit and the black power battery in Coast City, so there’s no shortage of soldiers in this book. I sometimes forget that Ice was dead for a while, so it came as a bit of a surprise when her black-ringed self tussled with Guy for a bit. And after shaking off his own black ring possession, Kyle had to relive his first failure as a Green Lantern, the death of his then-girlfriend Alex. We then get to see where the Anti-Monitor has been during this whole shebang, and Guy comes up with a pretty clever solution to the problem surrounding the Anti-Monitor. Too bad it doesn’t go quite according to plan. While I’ve been enjoying Blackest Night, I’m ready for this book to be scaled down a bit. There are just too many characters running across the pages and it can be a bit difficult to keep up at times.

Fall of Green Arrow

The only time I read Green Arrow regularly was when Kevin Smith brought him back. And just that first storyline. I never much cared for him. Or for Hawkeye, for that matter. Not much into bow and arrows (although Ollie is the closest thing to a good character on Smallville). But since I stuck through Cry for Justice, I thought I’d check out the ramifications in Fall of Green Arrow. The Rise and Fall one-shot was pretty bad, but this issue was pretty good. I have no doubt that Ollie will be redeemed and all his sins forgiven, but I’m liking his fall so far.

Last Stand of New Krypton

Supergirl picked up right where Last Stand of New Krypton left off, with Brainiac attacking and the Legion arrested. There’s lots of punching in this book, and Supergirl and Mon-El share a surprising kiss. Kara also gets her mom to pardon the Legion, allowing them and her to head to Brainiac’s ship to free the rest of the cities that have been bottled. I guess it was a good story; I just don’t care any more. DC has run this story into the ground, and now that it’s about over, I just don’t care.

Red Circle

Not a lot to say about the Shield. It’s a very solid book, but not all that remarkable. I like how the hero is just a soldier who follows orders and chain-of-command while not trying to overshadow the non-enhanced soldiers. I also like the flashbacks to when Higgens just got the suit and was actually doing normal training rather than just letting the suit do all the work. As for the backup, I don’t recall the Fox from the Impact books…although I didn’t last more than a handful of issue past the beginning of the run. I’m not a fan of Michael Oeming, though, and his artwork really takes me out of the story.


I got American Vampire for the Stephen King story, and it was mediocre at best. I didn’t even bother with the main story (or is this an anthology?). I’m slightly burned out on vampires, or at least entertainment that’s focused on them. I’ve watched all seven seasons of Buffy about three times, same for Angel. I just finished the second season of True Blood and I’ve got the books, but I haven’t read them yet. I tried to read Twilight, but it was a horribly written book and I couldn’t get through a quarter of it. I think I only lasted about 10 minutes into the movie. So, yeah, I think I’m going to take a rest on vampires until this summer when True Blood returns.

Other DC Books

Okay, if anyone is going to revisit the destruction of Coast City, Dan Jurgens is the man to do it. He was the one that destroyed it and brought Superman back, right? I still don’t like all this time-travel stuff because, as I’ve said before, it’s just impotent posturing. But Michelle is now back, and we get to see a grown-up Booster Gold. The scene with him and Rip was nice.

I know a lot of times the Demon’s rhyming is thrown out the window by writers who, I guess, just aren’t creative enough. JMS does a great job in Brave and the Bold of keeping the rhyming in while not making it sound hokey or ridiculous. I like that this was a bit of an unknown chapter in the lives of Aquaman and Etrigan, two different characters who apparently come together once a year to save the world for no accolades or recognition of any kind. Artist Jesus Saiz did a great job of conveying the scope of the impending tragedy as well as the power of Aquaman and Etrigan. Another great done-in-one issue. You don’t see a lot of those anymore.

Other Books

I LOVED the ending to Locke and Key: Crown of Shadows. Joe Hill has been crazy creative with coming up with different types of keys and the different things they did. And now the giant key? Just awesome. And Gabriel Rodriguez’s art is tight and clear, and he makes the shadows really come alive. It’s spooky. Also, Hill has really done a great job of making the three kids into strong, likeable characters. Like all good characters, though, they’re still a bit flawed and real…well, except for Bode, maybe. That’s a neat kid.

Okay, I buy the fact that initially Bette hid her affair from the group. I get it. She was ashamed, and she didn’t realize what Tony would end up doing. But once he started really going bat-shit crazy and murdering people in the thousands (millions?), I find it a bit difficult to believe that she wouldn’t have stepped up and said, “Here. Here’s how we stop him. Let’s just do it, I’ll tell you how this came to be after we’re done.” So Plutonian is just a kid throwing a tantrum, Samsara is actually possessed by the world’s most diabolical villains, Charybdis is now a power-hungry egomaniac, and Bette Noir is a bit of a slut. Is this book going to show how ALL heroes are really irredeemable? ‘Cause that would kind of suck. Sure, I like my heroes to be human, but I still like them to be heroes.


Scott Snyder said...

Aw, Rob - give us more of a try than that! The stories go together...

Rob Rosenblatt said...

Well, crap. I guess if the writer of a book I commented on asks, I better give it more of a try. I'll take a look at it this weekend (more than the cursory glance I afforded it last week) and, we'll see if I can punch up review that's at least informed. I make no promises, though.

Out of curiosity, how'd you come by the blog? Did it come up on a Google search of American Vampire?