Monday, July 7, 2014

comics for the week of 07/02/14.

Before these books came out, the US soccer team lost to Belgium. I'm still sad.

Angel and Faith 4 – Hm. Cool. First of all, I love the art in this book. But beyond that, the story is working on several levels. I like what's happening with Nadira, and the detective, and Corky, and the magic bottles and the reveal of the baddie at the end. I even flipped back a few pages to see if she was around. Yup, she was. I'll have to check some of the previous issues at this point. Really cool take on bringing back yet another old face, but I'll be curious to see how it all gets explained, if it does at all. I mean, I'm sure there'll be some kind of token, but... There's a lot of ground to cover. For now, I'm not really clear on believing who's the good guys versus who's the baddies. (Except for the last page.) And the most interesting wrinkle in that equation is Faith, on the other side of the pond, who's got to contend with a missing Riley all of a sudden. Yep, that's worth sticking around for. And, as much as I've always hated Riley, he's a great draw to continue to connect the series to the books. I hate him and it was a hook even for me. So good for the writers.

East of West 13 – Huh. Well, I still don't understand this book at all. Beside the fight between Death and the lawman, I didn't grok any of the Crow/Wolf/demons encounter. But I guess I don't necessarily need to just yet. It's a long game (as usual) Hickman's playing. It's pretty and it's entertaining and I feel there's some sort of (mini, perhaps) conclusion coming up, so I'm happy with that.

Original Sin 5 – Well that was different. A hell of a retcon, there's no doubt. I mean, when the term was introduced, I don't think they even contemplated this scale. But here it is. Nick Fury is Jon Snow. The man on the wall. Times infinity. But with Howard Stark dead, why does he continue? Who does he talk to? To whom does he make his reports? How will he know how to pass the position on to? Why does all of this seem so convoluted? Really, I mean, that's all we get from this issue, aside from the question of who killed the Watcher. It still doesn't seem like it was Nick, but he certainly knows who it was. Also, way to write a mini-series for the express purpose of retconning everyone and everything Marvel. I can't believe it took this long for someone to suggest this concept, much less this long for the comics industry to embrace it. Damn, this is going to be a hell of a game changer when it's over, regardless of how this series turns out. We can just introduce all kinds of secrets from “back in the day” and say they've been around all along and were obscured by the Watcher or Fury or this semi-SHIELD (notes of Hickman's old series, huh?) or just...stuff... Man. What a weird thing I'm reading.

Thor 24 - Sad, in a weird way. But fitting. Asgard leaves Earth, through an odd set of circumstances, but no more weird than what brought it to our planet in the first place. (Ragnarok, right? I mean...) Roz gets some real love here, not just from the oblique references of everyone around her (good thing for comic book writers - characters live as long as you want them to, they're not subject to contract renegotiations, so Roz looks like she'll be around for the long term) but also from Old King Thor himself, having his granddaughters name a river after her, Jane and Steve. (Love the love that emanates from every character in the Marvel Universe for Captain America, BTW.) Also, Galactus is a whipped little puppy but he's transforming, we see that Roxxon has, in fact, set up base on Mars - but is apparently in no shape to challenge Galactus upon his arrival there like old Thor did when he showed up on Earth, so at least that's good - and we get the conclusion of the saga in Broxton. (Is that the name of the town?) Thor makes many sacrifices, Jane will still be around, she's accepting of Roz and next issue is a diversion. The art wasn't perfect, because I think only Ribic's art is perfect for this book and I'm going to be disappointed every time he's not on it. But it's still a hell of a comic book.

Ultimate Spider-Man 3 – Oh cool! The recap page just told me that Miles' girlfriend is Katie Bishop! I'm sure that's supposed to be an analogue for Stature in the 616, right? So...can we assume she has powers? Or is this going to be yet another divergent point? But then the issue started and all I could see was responsible JJJ, the beautiful art of Marquez and the LOLz at cross-dressing Carol talking about the incursions. Man, this book is so good. It's the little touches: the way Norman disables Chang by talking to her, the Blaire realty sign, the Scooby Doo homage, everything that used to make comics feel like a cool in-joke that nerds could get is in here. But it doesn't feel exclusionary. The only bad part of this issue was the fact that it ended where the cover began. It wasn't a huge surprise, but I hate to be drawn out like that. Beautiful all the way around, I feel bad for Spider fans who aren't reading this.

Book of the week goes to Angel and Faith. It's weird, I felt like ALL the books this week were great, but looking back over the list, a single title didn't jump out at me. That's not a diss of Angel & Faith, just a note.

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