Monday, May 27, 2013

comics for the week of 05/22/13.

Well, the ties between comic books and movies aren't quite as high as the last time I wrote with such enthusiasm. Between Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness and The Great Gatsby, I honestly think the last was the best. That's not really a knock on either of the nerdy movies, but just a compliment to Gatsby. It was really, really good. If you haven't seen it, do so.

Avengers 12 - "Scarcity, need, desire - ugly as these things can be, they're the fundamental building blocks of most any societal structure. With nothing to lose, there's no sacrifice. When you need for nothing, do you dream of anything? From struggle comes virtue. It's part of our virtue." I made the case, with the last issue of Avengers, that Hickman is the King of all comics currently being made. My nerd friends convinced me that BKV might top him, but reading this issue is exactly the thing to sway me back to my original position. It feels like an animated philosophy textbook, with some in-jokes for the cool kids. The Spider-Man bit was hilarious, given what we know about Otto being under the suit as opposed to Peter. (Quick sidenote: How much longer is this charade going to be allowed to continue? I've come to my own personal terms with Doc Ock being there and I'm all for the changing of the character, but are you seriously telling me that Iron Man & Captain America haven't noticed something seriously amiss with this guy? That they have noticed and they're just letting it lie for now? Come on! Neither of those is believable or acceptable.) The reference to Tony being in two places at once was deftly handled, in the best way of the best writers; it's not a serious issue, here's a tricky explanation made simple, be happy. And yeah, it totally works. But the bet bit of the issue is the juxtaposition between Clint and Jessica's 'class' and Thor and Hyperion's. But even more than that, we have the simultaneously contrasting and complementing manners of Thor and Hyperion themselves. Seriously, the way Thor talks about Tony and Steve is so amazing and the narration from Hyperion proves that these two are operating on a different level. I love what's happening in this book even if I don't totally understand it. But the fact remains that there are some serious threads being pulled consistently tighter and tighter, as the appearance of the High Evolutionary proves at the end of this issue. There's going to be some fantastic, galaxy-level stuff happening in this book's near future and there's not much that I look forward to more.

Daredevil 26 - The double-size fo this issue was a little bit tricky for me. When I finished the first story, I felt a little cheated, because the storyline has been so good and the reveal was amazing and I wanted more of Ikari. But then, as the Foggy story started to get really rolling, I remembered that this is truly the best part of this book. The Foggy solo issue was one of the best in this run, as well as one of the best single-issues of the year. And while we got to see some interaction between Matt and Foggy this issue, it wasn't the focus and it didn't really hit home. (Which sounds like a criticism, but shouldn't be taken as too much of one. This issue was awesome, and the action was really what drove it.) So here we get the big reveal, we get to see Matt track down the big bad to his hiding place and we see Ikari ready for (perhaps?) the final showdown - next issue, cuz that's the cliffhanger. But getting there was amazing. We can feel the paranoia in Matt when his appointment arrives, but then we understand his doubt. Sure, we've seen him take worse beatings, and that bit felt a little forced, but there's nothing wrong with getting into the action. But after the cliffhanger, the Foggy story, as I've already said, really affirms the fact that Mark Waid has got a solid handle on this book. A truly great book will always have the most amazing and compelling supporting characters and Waid has done that here in Daredevil in a way that hasn't been done in this title in a long, long time.

Mind MGMT 11 - Again, I wasn't able to find this title in time for this review this week. Looks like I'll be starting a pull list at a store some time soon in the future. A return to form could only be dictated by not finding a book this good multiple times. It's a gotta have.

Powers Bureau 4 - I guess it's cool that it ends with Deena shooting Walker. And the part with the psychic was cool. Did he see the truth about what Walker's doing and give him a pass? Does he work with these bad guys but not respect them? I don't know, because, ironically for a Bendis comic, we don't have any kind of wording or explanation. Oh well. The overall point is that those were really the only two great parts in a mediocre comic. We're re-using the mob family that we've already dealt with. Walker's undercover and there's more powers-based illnesses that are being invented, this time via babies. It's interesting enough, but it's not GOOD. It's just more of the same, certainly not bad, but it's treading water. Powers used to be a MUST-READ, now it's a I've-kind-of-already-read-this.

Unwritten 49 - Well, it's a hell of a start to a story that was already insanely good. Pullman gets to play the role of Morpheus in the story of Orpheus to Tommy's Neo, as the journey into Hell becomes the Matrix revelation. Tommy essentially stops the bullets in mid-air and also gets the joy of converting one of his long-time nemeses into a quasi-ally. (Nope, not Pullman. That dude's in the battle for the lonnnngterm.) I'm not really clear on whether Pauly did his duty and turned around to look at Tommy, in order to fulfill the Orpheus plotline, to be honest. I know he was going to. But we never actually see the movement. What is clear, though, is that Tommy falls, and he winds up in a space that I was not expecting but am delighted to see. This is going to be amazing. I'm curious to see what happens with the side characters during this upcoming arc, because it's clear to me that it should focus on Tommy in the Fablesverse. But with Wilson getting back up above-ground and Lizzie (presumably) reuniting with Savoy, the kids getting returned to life and the effect that'll have not only on their dad but the religious nature of the world, it's about time that Tommy cleared up the distinction between Leviathan and God. When Tommy and Lizzie are discussing the repercussions of his plan, he says, "I've got God on my side." This is about to elevate this story to a whole new level because, while we're going to be dallying with stories in the next arc, clearly, Pullman's role as Cain and the disparity between Leviathan and the non-story (or maybe it'll turn out to be another one, I'm genuinely excited to see what's going to happen, regardless) God is coming up. Fantastic.

Young Avengers 5 - Hah, well, yeah, that was great. It may or may not have spoiled some of Journey Into Mystery for me, seeing as I'm not finished with it yet, but that just provides impetus to get through it. Great book, more great feels. Love the Tumblr intro to the book, as always and love even more that Yahoo's now bought them so the Yamblr is even more meta. Love the circumstances dictating that this group must stay together when it seems as though most of them don't REALLY want to, despite the fact that they like each other and they play well together. Most of all, though, love the fact that we've got genuine voices for young characters. Growth in characters is something that I really crave from the superhero genre and it's few and far between when I can actually get it. YA/Runaways has usually done a good job of it and this book continues that tradition. Plus, the art is beautiful.

Book of the week goes to Avengers. I love super hero comics and I love finite storytelling and I love huge themes. This combines all of them.

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