Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What You Should Have Read #52

This SHOULD have been my 500th post, but I messed things up by posting those last three links. While the post is double-sized, I'm missing the requisite variant opening paragraphs. Sorry about that.

Thoughts on Last Week’s Comics

Amazing Spider-Man #676 – As much as I’m loving Dan Slott and his Amazing Spider-Man, I had a hard time believing that Doc Ock and his Sinister Six could take down the Intelligencia. I realize the guy is smart, but smarter than MODOK, the Mad Thinker, the Wizard AND the Red Ghost? I’m not sold on that.

Avengers #20 – I can’t say I’m all that thrilled with the new line-up. The Protector hasn’t been fleshed out enough to make me care about him. I mean, I loved Grant Morrison’s mini that introduced him, but everything after that has been extremely lackluster and random. I don’t like his current look or identity, and how random was it when he brought his girlfriend over to meet the team? He’s got a girlfriend? When did that happen? The only upside I can see, at least in the immediate future, is his former relationship with Osborn. The guy was on the first iteration of the Dark Avengers and left for moral reasons. Will the fact that Osborn has a new team affect him at all? Also, the Vision came out of left field. Stark has been working on him in his spare time? What spare time? And what about the kid over with the Young Avengers? Isn’t he part Vision or something? I usually go ga-ga for anything Bendis writes, and while I like Osborn coming back and attempting to start some major shit, there are just a few things that are pulling me out of the story.

Boys: Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker #6 – Ennis is really doing some awesome shit with this superhero opus. The main series shows us stuff that forces us to ask questions. We might get an answer every now-and-then in the series, but not many. Herogasm helped, as did Highland Laddie, and this mini is doing a lot to connect a bunch more dots. I thought the way he put himself in the story was a bit much, though.

Daredevil #7 – There’s something to be said for a good story, a one-off issue that isn’t bound by the restraints of an event or a crossover. Daredevil has been doing

Fables #112 – The only bad thing about the pacing of this book is that sometimes I forget things that happened quite a while ago. Like with this issue, I forgot that Rose was hired on by…the Blue Fairy? Is that who she’s working for now? And how long ago did that actually happen? Other than that, I enjoyed her journey and orientation, and I’m continuing to enjoy the search for/training of a new North Wind.

Fantastic Four #601 – Let’s just ignore that this is the third time we’ve jumped back into the first volume of this title (1-416, 500-588, now 600-601…ridiculous, Marvel). Oh my fuckin’ God, Johnny Storm is back and it’s awesome. This was such a good issue. I was wondering how this was actually going to be a problem, what with the Annihilation Wave and the Inhumans kicking ass in space, and then I got my answer on the last page. Unintended consequences, just like Ronan was dealing with.

Invincible Iron Man #511 – I love that Mandarin and Stane are doing tape review, like a football team before a game. They’re looking at Tony and looking for any possible weakness, and they may have found it. And Tony’s enemies are teaming up. Spider-Man has the Sinister Six. The Fantastic Four have the Frightful Four. The X-Men have the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Flash has The Rogues, the Justice League has the Injustice Gang, and the Justice Society has the Injustice Society. Tony needs a team of villains against him, and it looks like this may be it. Now they just need a cool name.

Journey into Mystery #632 – Marvel is doing a pretty good job about being creative with their first page recaps. Between Loki and Ikol’s introduction in this title, the Daily Bugle headlines and articles over in Amazing Spider-Man and Peter David’s personal updates in X-Factor, these are very entertaining and a good way to ease into the comic. Not that this issue needed to be eased into. It was a one-off that wasn’t quite a one-off. Those hell-puppies were adorable, and I’m looking forward to some good stories in the future starring them.

New Avengers #19 – I am full on loving this Osborn comeback. He’s not just a Spidey villain, he’s a MARVEL villain. And I like this team so much more than the main one. It’s just more fun, less serious.

Shade #3 – I think it’s a crime to do a write-up about this series and not mention the absolutely exquisite covers by Tony Harris. Cully Hamner is a good artist. I’ve got no complaints about him, but Tony Harris IS Starman to me…and to a lesser extent so is Peter Snjejbjerg. But the covers that Harris is creating for this series are nothing short of works of art. I would LOVE to have one of these (hell, probably any Starman cover he’s done) framed and on the wall of my house.

Suicide Squad #4 – Is it wrong that I’m slightly turned on by Harley? This ain’t your Batman Adventures Harley Quinn, that’s for sure. I think it’s pretty obvious that she’s the one who started the riot. It’s a convenient way for her to escape, now that the bomb is deactivated, and get to Gotham to check on Mr. J, to see if Boomerang was lying. Also, I was happy to see him used as a pawn rather than the team leader. This isn’t the Suicide Squad that I fell in love with, but I have to admit that I’m enjoying what I’m reading.

Thunderbolts #167 – Nice twist to the issue, but I was kind of hoping that the reason for the Ripper would be a bit more sinister and a little less mystical. Still, a solid issue, and I’m looking forward to Camelot in the next issue. And hey! What’s Ghost up to?

Ultimate Spider-Man #5 – Is it okay for me to really like a Spider-Man that isn’t Peter Parker? I hope so, ‘cause I’m really liking Miles. Also, I really like Bendis’ Nick Fury. I really dislike Millar’s Nick Fury. They don’t even seem like the same character. This issue was great. From Spider-Woman to the Ultimates to Electro, it was just plain great. Like Fables, it’s difficult for me to praise the same things issue after issue.

Uncanny X-Force #18 – Originally, I was disappointed in this because, well, it’s not like I wanted anybody to die, but the whole thing was leading up to Warren’s death. Then he just walks back to the group, a winged amnesiac? I thought it was a big cop out to a great story. Then I read an interview with Rick Remender who said that Warren is in fact dead. The Life Seed that killed him then rebuilt his body from the ground up. All it is is a shell, a baby, really. It’s alive, but it isn’t Warren. I’m more okay with that, especially since this WAS such a good story.

Uncanny X-Force #19 – After going almost nonstop for 18 issues, this is a much-needed down issue. Wolverine’s involvement in and continuation of X-Force is addressed with Beast, and Evan, the child clone of Apocalypse is enrolled in the school. Nightcrawler is back, kind of, and Angel…well, we don’t know about Angel yet. He’s a blank slate. Although, it looks like he still has his metal wings, which I assumed were gone. That was an Apocalypse thing, and I was under the impression that the Life Seed rebuilt Warren, not Archangel. Great issue, even if there was no action. I’m hoping I can follow the Captain Britain stuff coming up since I only barely know of the Corps background.

Wolverine and the X-Men #3 – Oh, what fun. The offspring of Krakoa is now a student? Nice. I’ve always been a sucker for well-written teen superheroes. Geoff Johns’ Teen Titans. The original New Warriors. The Young Avengers. The beginning of the second New Mutants series. And now this new school for gifted youngsters, where the students are as much a part of cast as are the X-Men.

X-Factor #229 – I…I really don’t know what to say about this issue. It’s confusing, but readable because there’s a bit of an explanation as to what’s happening, just not why.

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 bills 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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