Comic books are fun.
Angel and Faith 20 - Yeah, OK, that was good. We can see that everyone is focused on the big picture now, which is always a good place to be. Nadira is coming along as not only a red herring but a good character in her own right, Angel is thinking straight, his relationship with Faith is progressing, Fred is finding her footing again, and Koh is worthwhile. But it's not stellar, so I'm hoping for something meaningful from the conclusion.
Black Science 17 - Black Science is back and, while there's still no doubt it'll read better as a trade, this is a hell of a start to the 2nd part. It's gonna be a bit smaller (a 5 part story to start us is a good sign) and so I presume it'll be broken up into little chapters to make up this whole? Either way, this issue was entertaining as hell. The circularity of the plot continues, which is awesome, even while three years have passed, but the highlight here was the art. Seriously, from the first page to the splashes toward the end, it was incredible. Love that we'll be getting some more on Grant's backstory. And, with the cast scattered throughout the Eververse, the focus will be a bit more narrow for a while, which will free some things up.
Doctor Strange 2 - Well, Mikee told me to continue giving it a chance, so I'm doing so. I've really never cared about Doctor Strange. I don't dislike him. But even as a kid, when I was reading the most random assembly of comics, I didn't find my way to him often. Every once in a while, when Ghost Rider and Blade and he would team up as the Midnight Sons, or when he changed his costume, I'd find something worthwhile, but for the most part, he's not for me. But with Jason Aaron and Chris Bachelo doing the book, I owe it more of a chance. And while the art is lovely (thanks Bachelo!) and the story is cool enough, I just can't find myself caring about the mystical world and all the huge level machinations that I feel like this book is destined for. It's not that I think it's bad. It's just not for me.
Extraordinary X-Men 1 - This book has a chance to be THE X book. Ramos is the perfect style for Colossus and I love the relationship between him, and Magik, and Nightcrawler. (But Ramos is not the perfect fit for Nightcrawler. He looks weird.) The interplay between Storm, old Bobby and young Jean will be interesting. The Terrigen Mists being out in the world killing mutants (and, even more so, making them sterile, ensuring that "No more mutants" will be Bendis' lasting legacy to the Marvel Universe) will make every X book feel like it could be the last. Which is weird. Business is a stupid thing, and when it fucks up my comics, I get sad, but I guess that's just part of the whole industry. But for now, this book feels like it could be one of the good side effects. The last page cliffhanger with Old Man Logan really just emphasizes that. This could be a uniquely good time. But...it also feels like it might the last of its kind.
Invincible Iron Man 3 - Another suggestion from Mikee that I didn't really think I'd follow up on, but I gave it more of a shot because of his encouragement. While Bendis writing Tony Stark isn't always the best match, because of BMB's propensity for making all of his characters sound like teenagers trying so desperately hard, it kind of works for Doom? The new Doom is strange and different and is obviously going to be more involved in the world of Doctor Doom, so I think this is kind of a weird crossover between he and Tony, but like he said in 2, they do have some shared history. Madame Masque is being well-developed as a character gaining new powers, but the other woman in Tony's life seems to be the ultimate cliche: he even tells her that he's just using her to become a better person? And she thinks that's a cute thing to say? Bummer that Bendis, with all his other over the top tropes, had to put this one in, too. The back and forth banter with Friday is not actually Tony Stark, nor is his insistence upon a high five with Strange, those are just Bendisisms that he can't leave behind. A last note of disappointment: Marquez's art is usually beautiful but I found some things about it, in this issue in particular, that were crazy bad.
Paper Girls 2 - Cool stuff. I'm not sure where this is going, though. It's clearly got some rather large time travel issues, beyond the obvious Apple hook, though, right? I mean...those were pterodactyls, right? Also, that last panel is OMINOUS. Great work by Chiang. The pencils were kinda rough (not bad, but, like, as a descriptive word) the whole rest of the issue and I'm wondering if this is a new stylistic thing he's working on? It's a different look for him and I don't mind it but it's gonna take some getting used to. We're slowly but surely getting some personalities from the girls.
Uncanny X-Men 600 - I'm not the world's largest X-Men fan, but for some reason, this was the issue that I was pumped about the most this week, and that I thought about the most for the last two, three, four months while it's been delayed. I really have no explanation for why, but I think I thought it was gonna be great. It was not great. Despite all the delays, the art was still varying from page to page. The ideas weren't particularly revelatory. The story didn't do anything that we didn't all expect, and I didn't feel much emotional resonance from it. I came away pretty disappointed (especially in the art, because of all the delays) and feeling like I definitely won't care much about the X-Men in the new Marvel Universe.
Book of the week goes to Black Science. A welcome return.