Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What You Should Have Read #47

Last Week’s Comic Book Awesomeness

Amazing Spider-Man #672 – Despite the absolute corniness of this issue, the script was extremely tight, as I’m becoming very accustomed to when I read this series. This story had what all the great Spider-Man stories have, Parker heart, Parker determination, and a great supporting cast. The quips were flying, and they weren’t just coming from Pete. MJ, the Thing and Kaine all got in some great lines. And although I took my first ever break from comics because of the infamous Clone Saga, I’ve really enjoyed Kaine’s story since his return. I assume he’s going to be the new Scarlet Spider that I’ve heard rumors about, and I’m interested to see where his story goes from here. Spider Island turned out to be a great event. Kudos to the whole team.

Amazing Spider-Man #673 – I swear, there wasn’t anything I disliked about this issue. Well, maybe I would have liked to see Mary Jane with spider powers for a bit longer. But taken from the beginning, we’ve got a wonderful homage to the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #50. I love cover homages, and this is a great one. I kind of wish Stefano Caselli would have acknowledged Romita’s cover, though. Isn’t that kind of standard in the industry? I loved all the nekkid jokes. “PANTS OVER HERE! We need pants for Hercules!” Nice. Jackal hinting at future plans. Pete and MJ sharing a couple of moments. Eddie Brock being a hero. Kaine leaving with a costume. Spidey getting respect from the common man…then from Jonah. Carlie’s reaction to realizing that Pete is Spider-Man. Spider-Man’s corny spell being voided. I seriously have not loved this series this much since David Micheline was writing it in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. I’m getting so much enjoyment from reading it.

Avengers Academy #20 – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Avengers Academy from the beginning. I’m a sucker for well-written teen super teams. This issue was a good wrap-up for the first “era” of this group of kids. Veil is gone, Speedball and Vance are gone (New Warriors reunion!), the Academy is now headquartered West Coast Avengers compound, and enrollment has been opened to ALL super kids who want training, not just kids who were screwed up by Osborn. I think I’m going to enjoy the next chapter in these kids’ story.

Avenging Spider-Man #1 – First of all, I’m going to talk about the art. I liked Joe Mad when he became a star with Uncanny X-Men. I did not stick around for Battle Chasers, but I did, unfortunately, read Ultimates 3, which featured his uninked artwork. It was pretty awful, so I wasn’t all that impressed when it was announced that he was providing the artwork for this series. But it’s a new Spidey team-up series, so I was going to dive in regardless of the art. I’m glad I did. It really fits the style that’s being used in Amazing Spider-Man, almost a combination of Humberto Ramos and Stefano Caselli, and that’s definitely not a bad thing. Now, let’s see if he can keep up a regular schedule. The writing by Zeb Wells was solid throughout the series, but it was the dialogue between Spidey and the Avengers that sold the issue for me.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 9 #3 – I’m not all that into licensed comic book properties. As much as I enjoy various TV shows and movies, I can’t seem to get into the continuing adventures in the comics. But Joss Whedon’s creations get a pretty good second life thanks to comics. While I haven’t been totally blown away by the Dollhouse or Firefly comics, I’m hooked on the Buffy and Angel adaptations. While I wasn’t totally thrilled with how Season 8 ended, that didn’t stop me from jumping into Season 9 with high hopes. Three issues in and I’m intrigued by where this new status quo will ultimately take the Scooby Gang.

Journey into Mystery #630 – Oh Volstagg, how I do love your stories. And I also love how you’re raising your children. Just because Hitler had a thing for Norse mythology, let’s not assume that any Norse myths wanted anything to do with him. I think I need to teach my kids how to say, “Death to Nazis!”

New Avengers #18 – Norman Osborn as written by Brian Michael Bendis is an incredible bad guy. He’s Lex Luther, but smarmier. Hmm, Oscorp = Lexcorp. Iron Patriot = Lex in his battle suit. Well, you get the idea. I like Norman’s new Dark Avengers, but I was a bit unsure about the new Wolverine. Was that Gorgon? He looked tinier.

Ultimate Spider-Man #4 – Dammit, Bendis! You brought up Parker’s funeral again, and with the little girl who asked if Aunt May was Spider-Man’s mommy? At least I didn’t tear up this time. But I like how Miles is being woven into Peter’s death. It works. It doesn’t feel forced. I also like how Bendis is pacing the new Spider-Man’s origin similarly to Peter’s when the Ultimate line was started.

Uncanny X-Men #1 – The first issue of X-Men: Schism must have been a fluke, because Carlos Pacheco absolutely killed it with this book. I don’t necessarily like the team or the attitude of the book, but the writing IS good and the pictures are purdy. Now, I think I need to read up on Mr. Sinister. The last time I saw him was…damn, when he released the Legacy virus? It’s been a while.

Wolverine and the X-Men #1 – If I have to choose between a serious X-Men book and one with a sense of humor, I’m going to pick the sense of humor one almost every time. With that in mind, I enjoyed the first issue of this book more than the first issue of the new Uncanny series. Well, as far as the writing goes. I’ll always choose Carlos Pacheco over Chris Bachalo. But yeah, where Pacheco killed on the art front in Uncanny, Jason Aaron nailed it here. I’ve been incredibly impressed with him since the latest solo Wolverine series started. He GETS the character, and I think he really gets this side of the X-Men. I like Toad as a janitor; I like the inclusion of Broo; I like the Danger Room being incorporated into the entire school (and the bathroom gag was great!), and I liked absolutely everybody’s characterization. The only thing I didn’t like was the inclusion of Kade Kilgore in the issue. I don’t like him. I think I made this clear in a Schism review. I had thought it would be a while before we would see these new villains again, give them time to really start something, but we’re hit with him a month after the split. But I guess having a kid fighting a bunch of kids is good for the story. I’ve got faith in Aaron, though, so I’ll be around for the long haul.

Also, in case you've forgotten: When I can remember to add this to the bottom of my posts, I’m going to whore myself out with an impassioned plea: click on the ads. PLEASE click on the ads. I don’t care if you exit out of it immediately or actually look around. This isn’t some professional blog where I believe in the products I’m shilling. These are automatic ads placed by Google. But when you click ads, I get a little bit of money, and as a single father of three, every penny from every source helps...especially with Christmas looming on the horizon. So I’m going to keep this tiny bit of begging at the bottom of my posts, and I hope you’ll take an extra 10 seconds after reading my blog to click on an ad. The only thing it costs you is time. :) Thanks so much!

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