Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What You Should Have Read #33

Last Week’s Awesomeness

I think Marvel’s Astonishing line is a silly concept. Stories set just outside continuity? Why make a separate line for that, when it’s not exactly outside continuity. All the stuff from Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men run is canon. He brought Colossus back, gave form to the Danger Room and introduced a new alien race, all of which moved smoothly into “regular” continuity. I loved Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine, I loved Warren Ellis’ run on AXM (and I’m enjoying Jason Aaron’s current run, although I don’t understand why they’re doing alternating stories), and while it isn’t the greatest Thor story I’ve read, I’m enjoying Astonishing Thor. Aside from the name, I’ve been intrigued by Alter Ego. This two-page spread by Mike Choi, though…well, it’s just epic. One living planet EATING another? Awesome.

These are men with a purpose. I expressed my dissatisfaction last week over the death of Bucky and Steve being back as Cap, but dammit if this isn’t just an awesome image.

This is the first DC book on here in a few weeks, I believe. But this image had too much going for it not to be included. Flashpoint royally fucked up everything in Batman’s world, but we know it won’t be the Flashpoint Batman that makes it into DC’s new continuity in September. I guess that means the entirety of his cast of characters is fair game for anything…and Azarello certainly is giving us anything and everything.

I grew up with G.I. Joe. Not the dolls, but the ACTION FIGURES!! Loved the cartoons, loved the toys, somewhat knew Marvel was putting out a comic. I picked up the book for a few months when Devil’s Due jumped on the nostalgia bandwagon a put out a new comic. I heard good things about IDW’s relaunch, though, and I’ve been hooked since their beginning. The stories are a bit closer to “real life,” and they’re pretty damn engaging. I’m singling out these panels, though, for the (probably) last words of a Joe who is proud to go out like a true geek.

Ho…ly…crap. It wasn’t until I read the afterward in issue one of Red Skull that I found out that the writer of this book, Greg Pak, also wrote Magneto: Testament three years ago. I remember really being moved by that book. I’m similarly moved by this book, the story of the Red Skull, but instead of sympathy for the main character, I feel nothing but horror. At first I worried that Pak was going to attempt to make the Red Skull a sympathetic character, showing kindness to the puppy and another boy at the orphanage, but the end expertly illustrates the hate and evilness that will one day turn Schmidt into one of the villainous villains in the Marvel universe. Nothing says “future villain” like “child puppy killer.”

As with every issue of Secret Six, there’s a lot to like about this issue if you enjoy snappy dialogue and unwasted panels and pages…and I do. I picked out this panel (as opposed to Knockout remember the fun of battle or King Shark singing as he attacks a house) because it illustrates one of the things I like about this book: Gail Simone is not trying to reform these villains. These are bad people have no questions about their morality or their deeds. And Lawton says it best, “I just like to shoot things.”

I’ve loved Thunderbolts since Warren Ellis took over the title. Never cared for it before, but everybody who has worked on it since has been wonderful. I like tie-in with Fear Itself. It doesn’t feel force like some regular titles do when they cross into big events. It WAS a bit weird, though, to read Uncanny first, where Juggernaut is already on the West Coast, but here he’s only as far as Chicago.

Oh, shit. Namor knows how to bury a knife and then twist it all the way around. I guess Emma isn’t all that used to be on the receiving end of a hurtful barb like this. Also, I hate Greg Land’s art. This book is just ugly. At least the story is compelling.

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