Comic Book Reviews
for the Week of June 20, 2012
This week’s issue of Avengers vs. X-Men is the best I’ve read so far. There’s enough dialogue to make this last more than a couple of minutes, and there’s a lot going on. I thought the hunt for Hope was pretty stupid. Leave Hope to Scott, and if you’re worried about the Phoenix, send your people to try and take care of it (which, yeah, that happened, but the whole Utopia strike team thing was ridiculous). It’s good to see the Iron Fist plot from New Avengers finally being brought into the main book. It didn’t clear anything up, but it’s good that those ideas are here. I’m enjoying the new art from Olivier Coipel. I have no problems with John Romita, Jr., but I find that his work doesn’t flow all that well. His panels look more like tiny pin-ups. Coipel is much easier to flip through. I knew the ending of this issue was going to happen, but I wasn’t planning on Cyclops being the one to utter the words. I was expecting it’d be Scarlet Witch. After spending the previous five issues wondering how disappointed I was going to be at the end of the crossover, I find myself a little excited to see where this is going to go.
This was my first issue of Avenging Spider-Man, and I picked it up because it was the “Ends of the Earth” epilogue. It was bad, but I don’t think it was really necessary as an end cap. Except for the beginning and ending bookends, the story is a flashback where Spidey recounts a previously untold adventure with Silver Sable who, despite the lack of a body (also no Rhino body), is in fact dead. Never mind the fact that Sabra and Kangaroo also apparently bought it while helping out Spidey. Sable was a friend; the other two were just random international characters that were easy cannon fodder. There was one thing about this issue that made me sad. An editorial box said that this took place after Web of Spider-Man #72. I had that issue! Anyways, Spidey tells Sable and Strange that he can’t get married because he has a girlfriend. Web took place well after Pete and MJ got married, so why didn’t he say he was already married? Because that was scrubbed. It made me sad when I realized Pete and MJ never got married. It was a great nod to current continuity, though. There was also a member of the Wild Pack. Yay ‘90s!
Not a single member of the Dark Avengers appeared in the Dark Avengers this issue. Not a problem, though, because the issue was awesome. We finally find out why the Thunderbolts have been bouncing through time. There’s a wonderful guest star that is firmly rooted in current continuity. The story looks like it wraps up rather quickly, but I think the issue flows wonderfully. The whole thing centers around the Man-Thing, and this new version of him/it is terrific. I’d really rather read more stories about this team than the new team, the Dark Avengers. Of course, I have faith in writer Jeff Parker to flesh out this new team and get me to care about what happens to them.
Truth be told, I was a smidge disappointed in this week’s Invincible Iron Man. Stane was taken out like the chump he is. The hostage situation made absolutely no sense. Why didn’t Justine have her soldiers take out Doug from a distance? A good sniper with a head shot would be able to take him out with no harm to Sasha, correct? And Spymaster took the easy way out? Really? Still, the art by Salvador Larroca was as great as always, and the dialogue flowed wonderfully, but I can’t get behind the actual plot…except for the Tony/Bethany/Rhody stuff. I was totally okay with everything that happened there. Despite my disappointment, I do like that I have no idea where writer Matt Fraction is going with the story. I like to be surprised.
The best part of this week’s Journey into Mystery was the recap by King Arthur. I thought the bit in the club with Hellstrom was rather pointless, since we don’t see him actually doing the job that Loki tasked him with. Loki could have just mentioned his plan to Leah, and we would have gotten a bit more of their excellent back-and-forth. Of course, then we wouldn’t have learned about the Trashcan of Doom. I hope that comes into play by the end of the storyline.
Ah, finally an issue of New Avengers that isn’t utter crap! Sure, it’s still all about the Phoenix’s connection with K’un Lun, which isn’t explained, but we do get to see a red-headed Iron Fist who becomes the Phoenix. Also, this issue also actually has two members of the New Avengers in it, and it’s Spidey who brings the issue home. I love Hope’s skepticism at her reason for being at K’un Lun and her complete and utter turnaround once Spidey gives his speech. Granted, it’s a speech he’s given to himself plenty of times, but it’s a wonder when we get to see someone else’s reaction. So, yeah, great bit of story. And the art? Wonderful. When he first started out, I was not a fan of Mike Deodato. Not at all. But now, his work is art, not just lines on paper.
I’m giving X-Factor a second read because it was late when I started reading it and I really had to work at staying awake. That’s not a comment on Peter David’s writing. I was just really, really tired. Hell, I didn’t even notice that Jamie and Guido were talking over Longshot, who was laid out on a slab. While the last issue set up Rahne’s big journey, this issue set everybody’s new arc in motion. Rahne takes off with Rictor and Shatterstar to look for her abandoned son. Banshee and Havok head to Ulster, NY to see why it looks like Theresa is killing people. Maddrox continues investigating Far Sight’s death…right after he has a roll with Layla. And Lorna and Monet wait for Longshot to wake up. They have the easiest job. There was no action at all in this issue, but that’s par for the course with set-up issues. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a meaty issue. Dan Slott should be very happy with it. I know I was…on the second reading…when I was awake and alert.
My back issue purchases were Amazing Spider-Man #s 655 and 656.
Here are my planned purchases for next week:
Amazing Spider-Man #688
Wolverine and the X-Men #12
What a gloriously tiny week. That makes up for the Ultimate Spider-Man Omnibus that I pre-ordered a month or so ago and received earlier this week.
And if I can make a little gripe, DC also has the Infinite Crisis Omnibus HC solicited for next week. I’m not going to get it, but I wanted to check out what was included in it to make it an omnibus edition. The main mini itself wasn’t going to be big enough. Sure enough, it includes ALL of the Infinite Crisis minis…except the main one. If your book is called the Infinite Crisis Omnibus HC, shouldn’t you have the main series included in it? Or title it something slightly different?
If my LCS gets a Locke & Key Card Game in, I’ll buy it. That’s somewhat of an empty promise, though, because I’m 95% sure they didn’t order one “just in case.”