Monday, September 22, 2014

comics for the week of 09/17/14.

Huge week.

All New X-Men 32 - Huh. Well, that would be an interesting way to re-introduce the newness of this gang. I don't actually think they're going to stay in the Ultimate universe, but this'll be fun for a while. It's interesting that they were all together but transported separately. It's interesting that I thought it was Turkey where Hank washed up, too. But most of all, it's fun to see Miles interact with yet another set of people that he thinks he knows and has semi-sorta-secrets from. Bobby is going to save them all? And what's going to happen with Angel and Jimmy?

Avengers 35 - This is what I've been waiting for. Throw me into the deep end, Hickman! Different artists for different stories in one book. We start with Ex Nihilo and Abyss (whose story is probably the most important, right, but it's the one I obviously get the least) and their casual observance that Earth is at the heart of the death of the universe. Then we get Eden/Manifold and Sunspot dropping in on Cannonball, who's living in the Shi'ar Empire? And has a kid? With a girl I don't recognize? (Am I supposed to know who this Izzy is? There's too many characters and I have a horrible memory.) They're reconvening the Avengers. Bobby fills him in on the missing 8 months, where people either dropped out or focused on "The Tony Problem." This is sounding dire for the new Iron Man book. It's almost compelling me to read it! It's time to come home. Next we get Starbrand and Nightmask who are apparently getting younger, and I'm glad that dialogue was in there, because the art certainly made it look that way. Also, they're dealing with survivors from the Bleed and we see "old models" and a reference to Sunspot as the most reliable Avenger. Finally, we see a Kingdom Come-style bearded-Supermanesque Hyperion. He must be the second of the titular three Avengers, right? (Which, BTW, is the most effective way to shatter the old. Replace that trope with completely new guys. Holy moly it's a killer when the one that's changed the most is still actually the same but so totally different.) He's in the Savage Land, building some sort of machine with his children and AIM (oh yeah, apparently Bobby bought AIM and they're good guys now?) The troubling parts of this issue is that the former Avengers Tower is now called Golgotha (an ominous name, to be sure), the intruder's mind moves like Quicksilver, but it turns out not to be Magneto's son, but Amadeus Cho, and the SHIELD guys are wearing helmets that make them look a hell of a lot like evil Reed from the Ultimate Universe. There's a LOT happening here. It looks like Cho's got an Infinity Gem? And he's called part of the Illuminati? And he says they've lost Stark? And who's he talking to? Ms. Marvel, Hawkeye and War Machine look to be the other side of that three, and it's sad to see such great characters (apparently) on the wrong side of the equation. The capper comes on the last page where we learn who's wearing that evil Reed Richards mask: his wife. It's a great, great, great, fresh start to a book that's going to be heading into amazing territory right away.

Buffy 7 - The Odd Couple and the restart, as penned by Xander himself. This is awesome. The comic adventures of two of the best characters in the series are always amusing when they happen, but the fact that Brendan is writing helps the tone, as previously noted. The arc itself is a bit silly (sirens, really?) but the dialogue is fun, Anya's got her place, Xander shows progress and regression and so does Spike. They're getting to good places, but for them, like all good characters, it's not a destination that actually matters they arrive at; it's the journey. I'll be interested to see all the jobs the various characters get, too, and how those fit with their personality types.

Daredevil 8 - What an awesome way to change the dynamic, keep a character relevant and reinvent him (them) for the next generation. And it was all accomplished in one issue. Mark Waid is absolutely killing it on this title. Samnee's art wasn't as great as I've come to expect, but he still stands head and shoulders above most of the rest of the crowd, so that's A-OK. The Purple Man appears to be dead, but his legacy should live on for quite a while, not only in Daredevil but in the MU at large. As a little note, I love all the DD merchandise we see in this issue, as well as the great way that Kirsten and Matt's relationship has progressed. No Foggy mentions this issue, which isn't great, but he'll make his way back to the spotlight.

Edge of Spider-Verse 2 - Yep. Gwen Stacy, Spider-Woman. This was everything I wanted and so much more. If she joined the 616, I might even start buying Spider-Man comics again. Gwen as Spidey has just a little bit of everything that made Peter Parker a great character for so long: some tragedy, some personality, a little ordinariness despite extraordinary circumstances, etc. The art was fantastic, too. I'm on board.

Fables 144 - Bigby is a killing machine and gets called the God of killing. This is shaping up to be way more tragic than I thought it would be. Mrs. Dark is almost completely transformed, it looks like she'll be ready to take on the whole gang of magicians, so it's lucky that Totenkinder comes back on the last page, looking all rejuvenated and ready for war. On the other hand, it's a shame to lose both Beast and Ozma in such cavalier fashion. However, it's wonderful to see that Snow White is finally accepting what's to come and that some of the Fables might stay in the Mundy world after it's all done, now that the secret's out?

The Private Eye 8 - As usual, BKV does a great job of flipping the script. Last issue it was a revelation that perhaps we'd been cheering for the wrong side. And this issue, we re-induce doubt. PI going after Mel is the touching part of the story, but Gramps surviving will be a major accomplishment if that's what's to come. On the other hand, we got more nods to journos (Greenwald and CNN) as the dominant force and more pop culture. The series is obviously gearing up for the finale and I can't wait. Journos getting overrun by CNN, the bad guys having noble intentions, the hero going after the sidekick, the girl along for the ride who (hopefully) won't just turn out to be another secondary character? This is a great time.

Thor: God of Thunder 25 - It's weird how many Thor books have been cancelled given how popular he is. And I know, just like the back page tells me, that this book isn't truly ending, per se, and the re-numbering makes sense. But it's still strange. This issue, though, gives us some great looks at all the characters we've grown to love over the course of this series. Old King Thor, with his Destroyer's arm, is a hint at what's coming. Because we've seen Avenger Thor with one in the near future. And young Thor? Well, he's not the worthless drunk he was at the beginning of this run. It's incredible to see that progress. However, it's not all good news: Esad Ribic is leaving the book. The new book faces an uphill battle without him. I'm hopeful that the new character, with her buzzworthiness simply about her gender will bring in enough readers to counter any of those stupid enough to leave over that same factor. For me? I'm still on board and probably even more committed than I was when I started this book. Jason Aaron knows how to write Thor and I'm game for more in this realm. Too bad this one marked the end of such a great artist working with Aaron, but I'm confident in Marvel's ability to grab some new talent.

Ultimate Spider-Man 5 - The longer they play this out, the more inclined I am to believe that this is actually Peter Parker. I don't think I actually want that, as they've done such a good job of getting him off the stage, but I'm kind of past the point of incredulity by now. It certainly seems like Peter Parker is he's holed up with Mary Jane. Maria Hill is with Miles, getting his story. Ganke will come into it in some way. And last but not least, JJJ takes a hell of a stand. I don't think it's going to work out well for him, but it's nice to see his character continue to evolve. The art was lovely, the scripting was nice, and the double page spread of the two of them together, with their hands up, was perfect. It got more than a few chances to shine, too, as the backdrop of the TV in others' panels. Seriously good stuff here.

The Unwritten: Apocalypse 9 - I don't know how to react. There's still so much more to wrap up. But yes, this was yet another almost perfect issue of one of the best series of our time. The connections are all revealed at this point, except for the fact that they're not. This is like that penultimate episode of LOST that so many people hated, but I have a feeling this one will go over so much better. Why? I have no idea, but it feels like a fulfilling part of the story. Loved hearing Cain's real name, loved seeing Madame yet again, loved the Will reveal. Loved that this is almost the end and the only real glimpse we get of the protagonist of the series is through his pseudo-self, the word-child, but it still felt complete and worthwhile. This book is incredible. There's one more note to play. I could not be more excited.

The Wicked and the Divine 4 - Baal was cool, the Tron hall was cool, the Gods were cooly indifferent and Luci took the easy way out. I still suspect the journalist, especially with her hands in those odd positions at times. But the art wasn't as good as it's been in the past, especially with Baal's supposed-to-be dramatic turn making his chain and jacket look like they're up in the air, which would be way too hard to do on a basic turn. I'm over this, but it's still beautiful. I don't care who killed the judge. I don't care about any of these characters.

Book of the week goes to Avengers. I'm all for the ambitious plans.

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