Saturday, September 15, 2012

What You Should Have Read #66

Comic Books Released Sept. 12, 2012


Avengers Assemble #7 - First off, I'm dropping this title as soon as Bendis and Bagley wrap up their run. Bendis has not been wowing me with his Avengers work since AvX started. Marvel NOW, rather than serving as a jumping-on point, is providing me with a number of options for shorting my hold list. This series has been better than Avengers or New Avengers, but not by much. I think Bendis is leaving the franchise at just the right time, if not a bit late. There was a lot of ambiguity in the issue, and things just happening. None of the normal human Avengers died in the vacuum of space. Thanos used a cosmic cube to "destroy" cosmic beings then apparently became "reality." I did enjoy the art, though. Bagley's work is reliably pleasing.

Avengers vs. X-Men #11 - I had hopes for this series. High hopes. With the lackluster beginning, I was hoping it would end strong. My hopes were bolstered with a somewhat more engaging middle, but now, nope. Although it reads like two characters COULD have died, only one actually did. And you know what? Big whoop. Seriously, Professor X has been redundant for quite some time, at least as long as the mutants moved to Utopia, probably longer. He has no allegiance to Wolverine's "side" or Cyclops' "side." He no longer teaches or leads mutants. He's not fighting for tolerance or mutant rights. Hell, except for that Legion story a while back, I can't even remember the last time he showed up in a book. Sure, he's Scott's father figure, but even that's something that's been put on the back burner since at least Schism. The only way this would carry any weight for me is if there would have been a build-up sprinkled throughout AvX at least and ideally through some of the X-books. As it stands, the dude just falls down. Hell, I had to read the "AvX Commentary Track" on Comic Book Resources to confirm that he actually WAS dead. Other than Wolverine telling Hulk to throw him, there is no reaction other than people just standing around. Hell, Magneto being taken down got more of a reaction than Charlie's death. And really, how many times has Xavier been killed? And is it actually possible to kill one of the greatest telepaths in the Marvel Universe? Dollars to donuts he's alive somewhere on the astral plane, just waiting for the next big X-Men crossover to happen so he can return. So no, I don't like. It's cheap, it's easy, and really, it's sloppy.

Batman #0 - As much as I'm loving Snyder and Capullo's Batman, I think the gem of this issue was the back-up. It starts out as the "origin" of the Bat Signal, but we're also treated to a brief glimpse into the pasts of Tim, Jason and Dick...and it all comes back to the Bat Signal. I did like the main story, but I was a bit taken aback by Bruce's non-reaction to the death of the bank employees. I thought he'd at least berate himself a bit when he got back "home." Nope. Just more dead people in Gotham. Other than that, though, good script by Snyder and good-looking art by Capullo. Can't wait to see where the Red Hood Gang pops up after (or during?) the upcoming Joker story.

Journey into Mystery #643 - So, what do you really think is going on here? Is Loki back to his evil ways, or is this another scheme within a scheme within a scheme? Regardless of the answer to the former, I'm sure latter is still true. Whatever the reasoning and whatever the outcome, I'm ready to end my close association with the Asgardians. It was a fun and surprising run, something I never thought I'd buy regularly, but my interest is starting to wane, despite the best efforts of Mr. Gillen.

New Avengers #30 - Although Iron Fist was nowhere to be seen in this comic (remember when the covers teased a scene from the comic? A plot point? I miss those days), this was a passable tie-in to AvX. And really, it had as much to do with the main AvX story as this week's Wolverine and the X-Men. The ending was pretty predictable, and truthfully it was a long time coming. I'm okay with Luke quitting the Avengers and focusing on his family. What does a man with indestructible skin do after something like this, though? Private security? Security guard? Is he actually qualified to do anything? If Avengers Academy were still open I'd think he would make a good teacher. It'll be interesting to see where Luke goes from here.

Shade #12 - This was an extremely verbose issue, but it did the one thing I've wanted since I started reading Starman, but I didn't think we'd get it with this limited series: The Shade's origin. This was a good story for those whose introduction to the Shade was this series. For those of us who consider Starman the best thing they've ever read, there were some great nods to the series. Charles Dickens. Culp. Piers Ludlow. Had Deathstroke not been included in the beginning of this series, I'd assume this was set in the pre-New 52 DC universe. As it stands, I don't see how it can be in DC's new continuity. The JSA never existed, so Jack Knight's legacy wasn't there. Don't care, though. It was a great series, and I hope we see some more in the future. We need to learn about Scathach. My only problem with the issue was the Shade's journal entries. Maybe it was just me, but the script was difficult to read. With the amount of writing on the page, though, I don't think any attempt at making it slightly more readable would have worked. It would have covered up too much of Gene Ha's beautiful artwork.

Uncanny X-Force #31 - This is by far my favorite incarnation of X-Force, and I've been around since the beginning. I really came down on Betty's side with this issue. Why not kill Daken? Just 'cause he's Wolverine's son? What is different about his situation? Like she said, they're ready to kill Evan because of what he MIGHT do, but Daken roams free despite all he's already done. Wolverine doesn't even like him, right? Doesn't think there's any chance of rehabilitation?

Wolverine and the X-Men #16 - This is a very loose tie-in issue to AvX, but that doesn't mean it's a bad issue. In fact, that might make it better. Killgore's takeover of the Hellfire Club is explained, and as much as I disliked the little tyke and his gang when they were first introduced, I enjoyed the story. A lot. I liked Emma and Scott's reaction to how evil the kids really are. I liked the prison break. I liked Killgore's origin. Yup, that means I liked the book.

No comments: