Monday, January 21, 2013

comics for the week of 01/16/13.

I'm going to start adding Daredevil to this list, but first I have to get caught up. Expect a review on next month's issue 23.

All New X-Men 6 - This was the first issue of this book that I thoroughly enjoyed, but amazingly, it wasn't because of the art by David Marquez. I've noted before that I thought this was kind of a one-note story, but this was the first time that I've seen a more full potential. I don't know why it was this issue that hit me over the head with these facts, because there's nothing necessarily new (other than the awesome bit with Kitty as the new Xaiver [great cover!] and helping Jean) - this group is going to stay here, see and do some crazy things, and then go back and get mind-wiped. But I guess now I'm seeing some of the good potential. The bits with Jean figuring out her telepathy, Cyclops fighting Wolverine, Angel finding himself were great, but the highlight was (and always has been) Bobby interacting with Iceboy. I'm on board with this one for the time being.

Batman 16 - The Death of the Family story continues and I'm on board with what Snyder is doing, but it's becoming a bit...protracted? It seems like it's just stretching more than it should be. This probably has to do with the fact that it's an entire Bat-family story and I'm only reading the core book. I'm not getting all of the chapters, so what's happening here seems like it's moving more slowly than it should be. That's a fault of mine for not reading everything, but it's also a fault of the story for being stretched too thin. Here, we've been focusing on Batman and his infiltration of Arkham. He gets in, gets past the traps that Joker's set for him with relative ease and I never had a doubt that it was all going according to the plan that Joker had set up. He made such a big deal out of making Bats think that he'd arrived early that it wasn't possibly the case. The back-up chapter, with Jock on art, came across even better than the main story. I'll be curious to see how this ends up, but for now, I've gotta be honest and say that I feel like this story has lost all of its momentum and Joker has lost that scary-edge that he had in his return. Here's to hoping the finale can change my mind.

Saga 9 - No surprise, really, that BKV knows how to layer a plot, even a mere nine issues in. His grasp of the importance of introducing characters who are going to be meaningfully important, his command of relationships and how we oftentimes don't know what we want, and the gifted dialogue...they're all on display in this issue. The focus once again is on The Will and his time on Sextillion that we saw previously, but the introduction of Gwen last issue pays dividends here, as does the running gag of the Lying Cat. The Stalk continues to make her presence felt, despite being dead, and Slave Girl is proven to be worth the bizarre introduction that probably threw more than a few people off. The relationships that all these characters already have with one another is only going to get deeper as we get further into this book. The Will is a complicated man, as seen in his daydream that opens the issue. Gwen is going to be with him on his quest now. And Slave Girl? She might turn out to be the most important piece. Incredible.

Willow 2 - I have no idea how I missed this when it came out, but it's so good. (Why are all the sideline Buffy books better than hers? Why am I only now coming around to the viewpoint that Buffy viewers have always yelled at me about??) The art is superb, the storyline makes complete sense for Willow, and we get to see her back on her magic game, without any real worry regarding Dark Willow coming back. I hope that's not an angle they try to go with because, while I know it's an important part of Willow's past, I feel like she's grown so much since then. There are so many more interesting approaches to inner conflict in the case of Ms. Rosenberg. Here, Willow gets to fight a baddie, gets pointed in the direction of the Emerald City, so to speak, and gets repeated advice from the hookah-smoking caterpillar - always advice worth taking.

Book of the week goes to Saga. With the focus on the other side of the story, Vaughn proves that this is going to be a sprawling epic and that he's got it in his hands.

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