Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What You Should Have Read #19

Before I get to the reviews and thoughts on last week’s comics, I’d like to take a moment to mention my excitement about something. Here is an excerpt taken from an article on Comic Book Resources regarding James Robinson’s current plans:

“James said he has no intention of ever bringing his fan favorite character, Jack Knight, back, but that if he did, it would have to be a big event and not something like the extra/final issue of “Starman” that was recently released.”

While I’m disappointed to hear that there aren’t any plans for Jack Knight, I’m pleased to know that Robinson would want it to be something big and not gimmicky.

“The upcoming "Shade" series will be 12 issues, but more will come if the need is there. The series will be broken down into three-issue arcs, with every fourth issue a "Times Past." Robinson wants to make sure the first 12 issues are perfect before he tries to continue on with the character in an ongoing. While he couldn’t reveal much, he did mention that the artist for the first arc is both highly regarded and an interesting choice that fans might not expect, but he can’t say who she is.”

This is the news that got me excited. I’ve always thought that a Shade series written by Robinson would be a no-brainer. The possibilities are endless, what with his age and the mystery surrounding him. He’s a virtual blank slate, even with all the attention Robinson paid to him in his Starman series. The only thing that would have made me more excited about the news would be hearing that Tony Harris would be providing cover art.

Okay, on to reviews.


So, that’s the finale in X-Force. Not bad, but the usual complaint still applies, and I assume that it will until a new artist is found. Not that I’m calling for one. I like Crain’s work when I can make out what it is, and the darkness really does fit the title. My main problem with this story is something I’m going to tackle more in Blackest Night #8 because it upset me more there than it did here, but that’s the mass resurrection of dead characters. I’m assuming though, as opposed to what happened in Blackest Night, the ones who escaped Selene’s destruction are still technically dead. I guess there are a bunch of mutant zombies running around now. But how will the demise of Selene affect their “programming”? Will the resurrected good guys go back to being good? Hmm, something to ponder.

Realm of Kings

Well, Medusa’s a bitch, isn’t she? If it hadn’t been for the fact that she beat the crap out of Gorgon, I’d think that Maximus is playing her. I like the take over in Imperial Guard at how Gladiator is handling being thrust into the political spotlight, rather than how Medusa has been handling it in Realm of Kings: Inhumans. I imagine that all of this will come back and bite her in the ass when Black Bolt returns, because you know he will. If Necrosha-X and Blackest Night has taught us anything (and really, comics during the last 30 years) is that nobody stays dead, not even Bucky.

Second Coming

I probably should have read all the X-Men books from the end of House of M until X-Men: Second Coming. I know the general details of what has happened, but I know nothing of specifics, and I think those would help a bit. Is it too much to ask that, for a few months at least, we lay of the events? Necrosha-X ends this week, and the Nation X banner just came off the books. We’ve still got Siege going on and Fall of the Hulks. Is there no time to just take a step back and relax? Eh, I guess that’s what the Kitty Pride story in Uncanny was for. Anyways, this issue does a good job to show us the villains and let us know the main thrust of the story: Hope and Cable are back and the bad guys want to kill Hope in order to destroy mutants for ever (wow, subtle much?). It’d be a lot easier to root for hope if we knew HOW she was going to save mutant-kind; fictional faith can only keep me interested in a story for so long.


Yet another issue of Dark Wolverine that didn’t actually happen. I feel so cheated when books do that. And how strong are his claws? I wasn’t under the impression that they were laced with adamantium like his daddy’s are. Aren’t they just bone? Is that enough to gut an Asgardian? So have we actually learned anything about Daken? I’m not so sure we have.

New Mutants was an odd little book. It carried the Siege banner, but didn’t actually impact the storyline. Remember when Osborn had the Avengers attack the X-Men and Moonstar went to Hela to ask for assistance? Well, Hela is calling due the marker now that a bunch of Asgardians are dying. This is actually a story that can be passed up by both New Mutant readers and readers of Siege…unless you’re a big fan of Thor and his mythos, then I guess you’d want to check this out. Casual readers, though, can bypass this.



Raise your hands if you think that that is Professor X in the Captain Universe garb at the end of Amazing Spider-Man? Yeah, me too. This is yet another solid issue of Amazing Spider-Man, and the stories have really been harkening back to when I first got into comics, and Spidey specifically. There’s no mystical Spider-totem mumbo jumbo, no clones, and no organic web-shooters. This is a down-on-his-luck hero who fights the good fight. While there was no actual fighting to speak of in this issue, we got Spidey being all altruistic with trying to help the Juggernaut (of all people) out. I also like that the editorial boxes have been reinstated over the past few years. I never understood why they were removed.



Is it too much to hope that Deadpool Corps is better than Prelude to Deadpool Corps? This mini was pretty bad. And we still don’t know what enemy the group is facing. At least we know that it’s of cosmic importance and who was responsible for tasking Deadpool with recruiting his corps.

I’m not quite sure what the point of the latest issue of Wolverine: Origins was. I assume Mariko or her death will play some part in this new storyline, otherwise we just got a recap of things we should have already known. I felt really cheated by the issue. And I miss Doug Braithwaite’s art. Scot Eaton wasn’t bad, just not what I wanted. And Daken shows up to help him out with whatever is coming next. Really? Does something happen during the end of Siege to where they can stand each other? THAT needs an explanation.

Other Marvel

I’ve never been much of a Cloak and Dagger fan, but this one-shot had a really solid story with some nice art. It wasn’t ground-breaking and a must-read, but it wasn’t a pile of crap, either. Lately, it seems like everything I’ve read has been at one end of the spectrum with no room for the middle. Sometimes, and nice middle-of-the-road story is all you need. We were quickly reintroduced to Cloak and Dagger, found out that they are not in fact mutants, and probably set them up for a new mini. Kudos to Stuart Moore and Mark Brooks for such a solid one-shot.

Was the irony intended in Fantastic Four when Medusa said, “Black Bolt has a saying.” No. No he doesn’t. And when a rocket is launched to the moon from the heart of New York City, where does the first stage fall to? When launched from Florida, the boosters or whatnot falls into the ocean, right? When Reed announces first stage separation, where does that first stage fall to? As for the story itself, it doesn’t suffer quite as much as the previous two issues of having too grand a scope in too little of a package. But where is this city traveling from that it hasn’t heard about the death of Black Bolt? Or are they viewing him as some sort of messiah figure? I think I’m going to need a massive, dumbed-down recap before Hickman gets to his big storyline that he HAS to be working on. This all has to be leading up to something great.

Blackest Night

This final issue of Blackest Night was a steaming pile of crap. Y’know, I should expect stuff like this from massive crossovers by now, but I still have hope. They almost always sound awesome and promising up front, then fall flat. Also, whenever there’s a main mini with other books that tie into it, I hate how the main book is usually filled with gaps that you HAVE to pick up the other books for. I’ve noticed that being more of a problem with DC than Marvel, as far back as Crisis on Infinite Earths, but especially horrible with events like Millennium, War of the Gods and Invasion. And real quick, let me say that Ivan Reis did a great job of providing definition and clarity to the amount of characters Geoff Johns made him vomit onto the page. There were just way too many characters in this, but Reis did an admirable job with it. No, I blame Johns for dropping the ball on this crapfest. Johns did a relatively good job at explaining why the formerly-deceased heroes became Black Lanterns, and then they just happened to become White Lanterns when Hal merged with the Entity? Why not when Sinestro did it? And now, thanks to the white rings, all the Black Lanterns are now alive? That’s ridiculous. Did that need to happen? EVERYBODY’S alive again? It’s stupid. It’s just stupid. There, I said it. And the line Hal said at the end, “I think dead is dead from here on out.” Sure, like we haven’t heard that before. That used to be the mandate over at Marvel, too, and that didn’t last. Sigh, at least it’s over…until Brightest Day starts, I guess.

Justice League/Society

James Robinson did an AMAZING job in Justice League this month of making sure all the characters are where they need to be for other books. It ended up whittling down a daunting line-up into just a team of four. I’m okay with that. It was too crowded and too Titans-centric to begin with. I hope that when all is said and done, Robinson picks a concrete line-up and sticks with it. There seems to have been a lot of turn-around lately. I don’t know what I think of the Multiverse angle yet. We’ll see.

Wait, did I miss something? When was the last time the Justice Society fought the Fourth Reich? Lighting seemed to know them, so it had to have been relatively recently, but I don’t recall them EVER fighting them, at least not since Geoff Johns brought the team back to popularity years and years ago. As for the current battle, well, I’m kind of tired of Mr. Terrific flaunting his terrificness around. What I enjoyed was the last few pages, the planning stages of a breakout that’s going to happen where the heroes, I’m assuming, will attempt to go back and alter the past. I liked the interactions and attention to detail (Michael’s beatings, using and disposing of toilet paper, etc.). After a ho-hum start, this could turn into a pretty decent story.


Last Stand of New Krypton

To rank the three stories in this issue of Adventure Comics, I’d have to put the Car-Vex story on top, with the Legion story following and the Superboy/girl story a distant third. That was just a bit too sappy and sugary for my tastes, what with bringing all the Kryptonians (sort of) together to fight the common enemy. It had to happen, but I don’t have to like it. I liked the Brainiac story for what it was, a comparison of Brainiacs throughout history. As much as I like Superman, though, I don’t like that he’s so important to all of time. His death by Brainiac destroys the universe? Whatever. But the Car-Vex story, a story about treachery and sacrifice, was definitely the high point of the issue. In such a small amount of pages we see Officer Romundi forced to betray one of her own and we’re shown why it hurts so much. Good job.


Red Circle

As with the Shield a week or so ago, I find that I’m liking The Web, rather enjoying it, but I can’t find any one reason. The art is good…not great, but good. Same with the writing, the characters and the plot. I’m a little disappointed, though, that the bit I enjoyed most was actually the inclusion of Oracle and Kitcat. I don’t mind that these books and characters have now been folded into the DCU, but you’d think they’d be good enough to stand on their own.

Other Stuff

This issue of G.I. Joe: Cobra II has thoroughly confounded me. I thought Chameleon and Le Tene were the same person. I Chameleon was masquerading as Le Tene to find Chuckles. I guess I don’t remember the first mini all that well, or came to an incorrect conclusion at the end of it. I should probably reread it. I thought Chuckles speech to Chameleon in his camp was very generic. “I’m a rebel. I’ve seen it all and my way is the only way.” It could have been from any buddy cop movie with a tough-as-nails system bucker and wide-eyed rookie. I am loving, though, seeing the more clandestine side of Cobra. I like this part of the reboot the most. All the cloak and dagger and mystery. The Joes are giving just about everything up to the reader, while Cobra is cloaked in this air of secrecy. That’s what is keeping me coming back for more.

Okay, I think I’m getting it. Irredeemable is heroes against THE hero, and Incorruptible is THE villain versus other villains. As an idea, I like it. As it is, though, it’s just falling flat. Both series are. If dude wants to be a hero, go after the Plutonian. Fighting your old buddies won’t do crap if the Plutonian is still going to kill everybody else.

Looking Forward To

  • Boys #41
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 #34
  • Deadpool and Cable #25
  • S.H.I.E.L.D. #1
  • Stephen King’s N #2
  • Superman: Secret Origins #5
  • Wolverine: Weapon X #12
  • World War Hulks #1

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