An almost all-Marvel week? What the hell is the world coming to? And I'm even enjoying all of it!
All New X-Men 41 - So it's all coming to an end and Jean Grey is the voice of reason, huh? That seems right. And this is gonna be the end of what Bendis has been working toward, huh? That seems good. So now the question remains: what is that? Does it mean Jean Grey comes back to life without coming back to life? The young mutants get to stay in the present, so we have a bunch of "new" mutants but we don't have to deal with people saying that death doesn't matter. We also get some of Bendis' coolest ideas without being burdened by Bendis trying to constantly making them cooler and cooler - which almost always has the opposite effect. Cool. I'm all right with it, overall.
Angel and Faith 15 – A fun little one-off, but pretty unnecessary. Fred and Angel take a trip to Ireland for no reason. All the dialogue felt forced. No one's connection felt authentic. The walking tour was ridiculous. The innkeeper and her servants were easily disposed of, indicating their importance. The only part that seemed to matter was the ending and getting Angel over to the States. It would have been better to have the issue start with the phone call and then have a comedy issue of how to get a vampire from England to San Fran; does he take a redeye? Does he have to worry about flight delays? How does he pay for it? How does the gang pick him up? Those conceits, while poor, would have been better than this wasted issue.
Future Imperfect 1 - Marvel does dips into the past well. Or maybe it's just that they've got a more rich past? I don't know. I honestly can't figure it out, because DC clearly has the advantage on the generations of heroes. But this was so cool. It's fun to see this wacky version of the Hulk again, it's fun to see the changes that Janis and her rebel alliance have gone through since we thought we'd disposed of the Maestro. It's fun to see the new leader and how he's going to try to deal with bad bad Banner. And it's even more fun to think - shit, this guy might be part of the MU proper going forward. Man, that would really change the Hulk's character.
Secret Wars 3 – Wow. It's everything I could ask for from an event. We've got things implied, but not fully fleshed out. We've got echoes of characters who are familiar and back stories that could go for days but won't – and that's a good thing. We've got circles inside circles inside circles – and I know we're going to get more. But best of all? It feels like there's a concrete plan, a definite story to be told, with a purpose and a set ending. Something huge will be spinning out, sure. It's comics. They almost always have to. But usually we move restlessly from event to event without any real defined story arc set down. That does not feel like it will be the case now. Doom knows what he's done and so does Stephen. It appears no one else does, though, which is good, and also totally understandably explained by Strange. Sue gives a little background on Johnny and we see more of the Thor Corps, but the real meat here is in seeing what's coming up. The last page is setting up quite a bit, but I'm more interested in the middle. Reed reacts reasonably well when he finds out it's Doom, but I don't think that can last. We'll see, though. We've got a lot more room to grow. It's fabulous so far.
Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows 1 - Guh. Several parts of this book gutted me. First of all, her name's not Mayday which is funny (in a good way, because it shouldn't be) but I couldn't help but think of Annie that way the whole time I was reading it. Secondly, it's amazing how strong of a character Mary Jane can truly be. She's a confident woman who's earned her partnership with Peter. They work great together. But otherwise, this was a focus on Spidey and Venom, which wasn't what I was expecting, but maybe it should have been. The Goblins' resurgence, if I'm now remembering correctly, really spun out of this whole ending of the baby ordeal. So if it had never gone that way, maybe Eddie would have remained the number one threat on the board. It was troubling to see Peter make the decision he did in the end, but I wasn't unwilling to believe it. I'm excited to see how it'll finish.
Years of Future Past 1 - Not as much fun, maybe because we've had Days of Future Past overload between the movies and the fact that Secret Wars is filled with much better stuff (?), but still good. Cute to see Wolvie's son and Kitty's daughter as the pair most likely to succeed and weird to see Rachel back in the old-timey Phoenix outfit, but, obviously, appropriate.
Book of the week goes to Secret Wars for the immensity, but Renew Your Vows for the heart. Really, nothing can take down the grand picture that Hickman is painting for us.