Thursday, May 2, 2013

What You Should Have Read #67

Comic Books Released on May 1, 2013

It’s Thursday, so what does that mean? That’s right, yesterday was new comic day, which means that I stopped by my local comic book store (Rick’s Comic City…go there, it’s pretty awesome) and came home with a stack of four-color goodness. Let’s get down to it. As always, be prepared for spoilers, and all images are taken from the comics’ publisher’s websites unless otherwise note.

Aquaman #19 – (Variant cover scan grabbed from Things from Another World) I have no idea what’s going on in this book. I picked it up because my shop had a variant cover, and I seem to be a sucker for them. The cover image seemed to have very little to do with the book. The Ice King guy from “Adventure Time” is taking over? Is that it? While Mera met the icy guy, Arthur did not, in fact, have the chance to kneel before him. Oooh, is that it? Is this Aquaman’s Zod? I’m very uninterested in DC right now. I’m enjoying Batman, and I’m going to pick up Zack Snyder’s Superman book when it begins, but otherwise, blah. Also, this MAD variant is pretty ugly. I really need to reevaluate my purchasing criteria.

Earth 2 #12 – (Variant cover scan grabbed from Things from Another World) The only other DC series I’m enjoying is James Robinson’s Earth 2. It’s not Starman, which is kind of what I was hoping for, but it’s also not Justice League of America, which is good, because I thought is run on that title was pretty much crap. I’m enjoying his take on these “Golden Age” characters, though. We’ve got familiar names with familiar powers, but the similarities end there. And I like that Robinson is taking his time turning these characters into a team. They don’t just become a team, they’re pretty much forced to come together, and they’re slowly being formed into one. I like that. It’s natural.

Age of Ultron #7 – I was really hoping this series wouldn’t turn into a “What If” scenario. Do we need yet ANOTHER alternate universe to keep track of? Will we eventually get spin-off mini series set in this world? Age of Ultron: Secret Invasion? Age of Ultron: Kree/Skrull War? Age of Ultron: House of M? For the most part, I’m being entertained by this story. I’m a Bendis whore. We all know that. I just have a hard time caring about throw-away alternate universes.

Spawn #231 – (Cover scan grabbed from Things from Another World) I’ll be ho
nest, I only got this for the McFarlane cover. He was the first creator that I ever collected, that I followed from one book to another and for whom I frantically sought out back issues. I haven’t been getting all of the Spawn issues lately. Instead I’ve been picking up the ones that are homages to his earlier work. This one is, of course, an homage to his Spider-Man #1 cover. The thing is, he’s done this before. To his credit though, Toddy Mac didn’t just reuse the cover to Spawn #8 (which came out almost exactly 20 years ago, so that’s kind of neat).

All-New X-Men #11 – The big reveal of this issue was kind of ruined in last week’s Uncanny X-Men, but that’s okay. The treat here was the education of Jean Grey. Bendis is doing a good job of corrupting her pretty quickly. The Phoenix Force is gone, so I doubt we’re going to have another Dark Phoenix Saga, especially so soon after A vs. X, but might we not get Bendis’ take on the Hellfire Club’s brainwashing/corruption of Jean that originally turned her into the Dark Phoenix? I don’t trust her. I’m still on Wolverine’s side of this ever-widening schism, but I’m also on Emma and the Cuckoos’ side of the whole “We ain’t trust no Jean Grey!” thingamajig. The heart-to-heart with Kitty did nothing to reassure me.

Hawkeye #10 – Once again, this is a book I picked up because of the variant cover. I’ve got no idea what’s going on. This issue is NOT a good jumping on point for this series. I also feel I need to say something about my purchasing of variant cover. I know a lot of people hate these with a passion. They use the covers as proof that the industry is heading for 90s-eara crash. Hey, if you don’t like the multiple covers, don’t buy ‘em. I buy them because I’m a collector, not a speculator. I don’t toss these on eBay on Wednesday afternoons. I bag ‘em, board ‘em, and box ‘em with all my other comics. I like having a complete collection when possible. Now, I don’t get variants if they’re more than cover price. I’m lucky in that my shop occasionally sprinkles the regular issues with a couple variants. Sure, the prices on the really limited ones are jacked up, but I’m perfectly okay with paying cover price for a variant cover. Also, this “Many Armors of Iron Man” variant by Paolo Rivera is one of the better ones in the series.

Iron Man #9 – I thought I was going to drop this book after the first storyline, but I wanted to see how/why Tony got into space. Then I figured I’d drop it after that storyline, but you know what? It’s a damn fine book. If I weren’t so confident in Gillen’s ability to tell an absolutely gripping story (he’s the only writer to ever make me give a crap about Thor’s cast of characters), I’d be a little hesitant with him retconning space into Tony’s origin. I’m also enjoying Greg Land’s art a lot more than I have in the past, so I was disappointed to see that Dale Eaglesham was taking care of the art in this issue. He’s not a bad artist, it’s just that I think he tends to make all characters a little bulkier than they should be.

Superior Spider-Man #9 – I’m not buying it. I refuse to believe that Marvel allowed Slott to fully kill off Peter Parker. I do not believe they would allow a non-Peter Parker Spider-Man to be swinging his way through the Spidey books while there’s a major motion picture being filmed. I’ve loved Slott’s take on Spidey since he started writing the Wall Crawler, and I’ve really enjoyed Superior, but I have issues with this issue. First, I get that Peter’s friends and family are his strength, but when Ock starts getting rid of them and he realizes he’s “more than just Peter Parker,” why didn’t he also pull the Avengers and the Fantastic Four out of his memory to fight Ock and his mind villains? Also, did Ock think this all the way through? If he gets rid of Parker and all of his memories, what will he access to convince the world he’s the same Spider-Man everybody knows and loves? So is he now just Ock in Peter’s body? I’m going to trust Slott and assume he’s got all his bases covered. I think he’s earned it. One thing I did like was how Ock viewed himself in his mind. He wasn’t the dumpy villain that we know he is. He wasn’t as slim and trim as Spidey, but his weight looked like muscle instead of chub.

X-Factor #255Peter David recently announced that this title would be ending this fall, and I’m okay with that. I’ve recently realized I have no attachment to this team. Instead, I have an attachment to David writing the adventures of this team, and if he’s done, then I’m done. Is it possible to really enjoy a piece of fiction without having any emotional attachment to the characters? Maybe? I find this realization somewhat disturbing. It’s obviously something wrong with me, because David has done a stellar job making each character unlike the other, giving them their own voices and personalities. I read each character differently, I just really don’t care what will happen to them when the series ends. I felt a twinge of sadness at the death in this issue, but it didn’t have the resonance for me that Ted Knight’s (Golden Age Starman, not the actor), Ultimate Peter Parker’s, or even Miles Morales’ mom’s death had. So I will not weep for X-Factor Investigations after I read issue 262. I will bag the book, board the book, put the book with my other books, and I celebrate this complete story that was told.

Next Week’s Anticipated Purchases
Batman #20
Avengers #11
Avengers Assemble #15AU
Avenging Spider-Man #20

That’ll be the tiniest week I’ll have had in quite some time.

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