Monday, February 10, 2014

comics for the week of 02/05/14.

Every week should be this good, where every book had something incredible. It doesn't hurt that I missed out on one of the best books in a long, long time.

New Avengers 14 - I've never particularly cared for Simone Bianchi's art, but it seemed to suit this issue well. We start off by seeing the POV of a different Illuminati, which is always awesome. If I'm looking at this as an extended Elseworlds tale, it's a lot easier to just enjoy, on a purely base level. Then we have Doctor Strange going to a crazy magical land, trying to buy more power. That seems like the last thing you should want to buy, especially if the ONE lesson you've learned in all this time is that the price is always too steep. Hickman has done more for the character of Captain Britain with one line in one alternate view than the entire Otherworld story in Remender's X-Force run (the vast majority of which I loved) when he repeats, "I don't run!" Then, finally, his love affair with Victor Von Doom reaches new heights. Alterna-Reed sacrifices him for Omega Level aterna-Doom and regular Reed sees it through their new mirror and, man, it's effective. But the money shot comes on the second to last page, when Stephen is framed just like the Devil and agrees to the price. It's not a surprise what the price is or what he's willing to pay, but the art really, really worked, in that one frame, if nowhere else. This is a high stakes book.

Trillium 6 - I don't even know how to praise this anymore. If you're not reading it, you're a fucking idiot, but it might be too late. Wait and pick it up in trade and feel stupid that you didn't get to it. The innovation hasn't stopped, the story is more human than ever while simultaneously casting out about the universe and exploring an alternative world where the British Empire never died and is fighting blue aliens in Peru. The art is sublime and the story is feeling wonderfully personal. This is exquisite.

The Unwritten: Apocalypse 1 - I have no idea how this happened and I'm ashamed to report that it did: I wasn't keeping close enough track and I missed this issue when it came out. But I'm happy to have read it in such a light week, because it was the best. It's almost superfluous to say at this point, but Mike Carey and Peter Gross have created something far, far better than we ever give them credit for; and they get tons of credit. This, though, is one of those series that deserves all the praise it gets and so much more. Here we see the birth, transformation, death and rebirth of Tom Taylor, who might also be Tommy Taylor, in addition to a dung better (or something like that?), the ugly duckling, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi (or the sons and daughters of Nag and Nagaina?), the doormouse, and Aslan. Jesus. (No pun intended.) It's fucking intense. But this is the beginning of the end and when the puppet lady Madam Rausch (or...Frau Totenkinder...or...some combination...or...it doesn't matter because they're all the same character...or...they're different and it's really important...) switches places with him and allows him to die for her... Man. That's when my head exploded. And we hadn't even gotten to the ending where Tom is finally reunited with Richie Savoy and Lizzie Hexam, but maybe they're too late to save the world? Savor this ending, man. It's going to be sweet.

Book of the week goes to Trillium. Unwritten might have been better, but I can't give it to that book as I missed out the first time. Luckily, it's a win-win.

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