Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What You Should Have Read #55

Thought on Last Week’s Comics

Amazing Spider-Man #677 – I was not expecting Mark Waid’s name in the credits. I knew this was going to be a crossover with Daredevil, but I thought that Dan Slott would still have the writing duties on this side of the story. Hmm. I’m enjoying Waid’s current Daredevil run, but I’m nervous that this is going to be a little jarring compared to what I’ve come to love about Slott’s style with Spidey. Let’s see. […] Eh, not bad. Waid has a good handle on Spidey, and I loved the awkward at his suggestion of a hook-up to Felicia, but I like Dan Slott’s zaniness. I like the relationship between DD and Spidey. I’d go so far as to say they’re superhero best friends. You might argue and say Johnny Storm is in fact his BFF, but I look at them more like brothers. Waid uses that relationship to his advantage when Spidey swings to him for help in this issue. So, yeah, it’s a good issue, but it doesn’t totally feel like an ASM issue.

Brilliant #2 – I haven’t formed any concrete thoughts on this title yet. I’m a Brian Michael Bendis whore, I’ll admit that. I will buy every comic that lists him as the writer. I’m also a sucker for Mark Bagley. I’ve been enjoying his work since I picked up New Warriors #1 from the spinner rack…22 years ago? Damn, now I feel old. I’ve enjoyed the first two issues of this series, but I honestly can’t see anything new here, at least in the set-up. This whole thing sounds like it might have been a rejected idea for the new Ultimate Spider-Man. I can already see a “Peter vs. Harry” rivalry foreshadowed between Albert and Amadeus, unless (crossing my fingers here) Bendis is totally going to surprise us. That’s what I want, not Ultimate Spider-Man 2.0 (or I guess 3.0 would be more accurate).

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 9 #5 – I’m sure this issue will be another reason for the Buffy “purists” to continue hating on everything post-Season 5. Granted, I haven’t enjoyed everything that’s come after the TV show, but it hasn’t been bad, just different. The last page here, though…I don’t know. It seems like it’s the most shark jumpy thing you could do. I think I might have to take a break for a while and just focus on Angel and Faith. That’s a fun title.

Deathstroke #5 – So apparently Rob Liefeld is taking over this series in a couple of issues. I’ll be stopping with the issue prior to that. This book has been strong, so I don’t know why DC is messing with it. Does Liefeld EVER get positive press, fan reaction or critical reaction? Anyways, this issue went by extremely quickly. We learn how Alex hooked up with Slade, and we got just a smidge of history on Grant. Not bad, and a new Legacy shows up.

G.I. Joe: Cobra #8 – I’m not a big fan of villains. I mean, I like to watch heroes kick the crap out of them, but I don’t root for them. Now, if there’s a good reason for a villain to find redemption, sure, then I’ll root for him. Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer springs to mind. And sometimes I like how a villain is portrayed, but I love it even more when he’s brought up so high, because the fall is usually epic. Norman Osborn is a good example of that. But I don’t root for the villain. That said, I’m way more interested in the goings on of Cobra instead of the Joes. Sure, I’m digging on the entire line…well, THIS part of the line. A Real American Hero isn’t really my thing. But the way IDW has taken this cartoon and toy that I grew up with and made it into a serious comic is wonderful. It almost makes sense that the military would have a special group like this. Watching the rise of Cobra has been way more interesting, though. The writers of all the books have taken these extremely goofy characters and made them staggeringly dangerous and cunning. It’s been a surprise hit for me, and I can’t wait to see what the new Commander does.

Journey into Mystery #633 – The first half of this book was better than the last. It was Loki being a clever wordsmith. The stuff with Hellstrom just seems a little forced, shoehorned into this book. This book has been top-notch since the beginning, though, so I have faith in Kieron Gillen to pull it off.

New Avengers #20 – Holy crap on a biscuit, now THAT was a fight! I have always loved Osborn and his teams, be they Thunderbolts or Dark Avengers, and this new team is no exception. Granted, they don’t ACT like a team, but that’s part of the fun. The biggest question raised out of all this super-punching gooditude is, “What’s up with Osborn?” The Green Goblin can’t take a punch from Cage, let alone knock him the fuck off his feet. New Goblin formula? Something more devious? Probably something more devious.

Resurrection Man #5 – I don’t remember much at all about Mitch Shelley’s origin from his previous series. I’m pretty sure he was tied to Vandal Savage in some way, but I can’t remember how. Did their powers come from the same meteorite? That sounds like something I might have read. Anyways, I like the glimpse of his origin that we received in this issue. Deathstroke was shown just enough so as not to feel unnecessarily thrown into the issue. This book always hovers between solid read and must have comic, but continue with issues like this and it won’t be a question every month.

Scarlet Spider #1 – Other than Spider-Island (and the stuff with Kraven’s family before that) I have absolutely no ties to Kaine. I stopped reading all of the Spider-Man titles right as the clone crap was beginning, and I didn’t get back into it until way after the death of Ben Reilly. Because of that, I’ve only got a vague curiosity about this series rather than any real desire to read it. I must say that the first issue has at the very least made me decide to give it one more issue to fully snare me in its web. The pacing was good, the internal conflict gripping enough without totally turning Kaine fully into Peter Parker, and I want to know why this bad guy is destroying anything connected to the container of dead slaves.

Secret Avengers #21 – As with Bendis, I am also a Warren Ellis whore. I love it when he brings his fringe science love to superhero comics, so I’ve really been enjoying his short run on Secret Avengers. This issue, though, his final before Rick Remender takes over, was something of a letdown. Maybe it’s that I wanted a few more issues out of him or maybe something a little weirder, but this issue just didn’t sit well with me, especially the ending. We’re supposed to believe that Cap wouldn’t have given Hood a quick pat down to check for weapons? I know they were on a time crunch, but I don’t think he’s that sloppy. Oh well, what’s done is done. I’m looking forward to seeing where Remender takes this team. I’m hoping for a Secret Avengers vs. X-Force run-in when the whole Avengers vs. X-Men shebang goes down.

Shade #4 – I don’t remember it being mentioned in an interview prior to the beginning of the series (or since, I guess), but I guess this issue firmly puts the Shade in Earth 2, right? If Superman is the first superhero of the DC’s New 52, then if superpowers are known in WWII, then this has to take place on the JSA’s Earth 2, right? James Robinson is writing both of these, so it makes sense, but then you’ve got Deathstroke showing up in the first issue, which leads the reader to think this is in the main universe. Can the Shade traverse the multiverse via his shadow powers? I liked how Robinson brought in Vigilante, who he wrote years and years ago in a mini. All in all, this was a beautifully written comic. We’ve seen the Shade as someone with compassion and love in his heart, but saving his great grandson and then having a chat with him seemed to humanize him even more, but he still had that air of mystery about him. What a great, great issue. Also, in case you missed it over the weekend, I may have scooped a story on an artist for an upcoming Earth 2 arc. Maybe.

Suicide Squad #4 – While not a quirky as the previous series (well, Secret Six), Suicide Squad is shaping up to be a winner of a book. I like that writer Adam Glass is afraid to sacrifice who he needs to, even though he’s only working with mainly low-level characters. Right now this is shaping up to be a Deadshot book, and I’m okay with that. He’s the character with the highest profile, and right now he’s the only one whose back story I care about. I’m looking forward to seeing the new team next issue, and the hunt for Harley should be fun.

Wolverine #300 – Stop it, Marvel. Just stop right now. I had originally thought this issue was a special little thing, like issues 900 and 1,000, but no, this is another renumbering thing, isn’t it. Gah, useless. It’s nothing but a joke to you guys. Although, the issue was pretty good.

Wolverine and the X-Men #4 – I read this issue with a feeling of joy and happiness. The actions and words of just about every character seemed true and real. I like Logan’s no secrets policy. Is that Husk at the faculty table with her hands bandaged, or is this something we’re supposed to remember later, the fact that this person isn’t being listened to, is interrupted by Beast and then not seen the rest of the issue? I like that Genesis and Angel are getting this new start at the school. They’re both different sides of the same coin and seem to have unlimited potential to go either way in the grand scheme of things. I like Deathlok casually throwing out possible futures, and I like Bobby’s decision to take care of Warren. Good…no, GREAT stuff this issue.

X-Factor #230 – Not a ground-breaking issue by any means, but still a solidly entertaining one. Actually, some big things happen. Layla lets slip why she seems to know so much. Madrox gives us a disturbing yet totally reasonable explanation for his powers. And two X-Factor alumni show up, but that’s not really a surprise if you’ve been following X-news for the past few months. Still, the last page brought a smile to my face because I started reading the X-books with Peter David’s first go-around with X-Factor (and the rest of the line-wide direction shift of that time).

This week I'm looking forward to:

Fables #113
Wonder Woman #5
Amazing Spider-Man #678
Avengers #21
Avenging Spider-Man #3
Daredevil #8
Invincible Iron Man #512
Moon Knight #9
Thunderbolts #169
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #6
Uncanny X-Force #20
Cobra #9

It’s a bad (good?) week to be a Bendis whore.

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 here and an unsure/shaky work situation. 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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