Holy crap, it's a lot of Marvel. And all of the solid gold was non-Marvel stuff. What a wacky world.
All New X-Men 1 - Fun, but I don't think I care enough about the kids to keep reading? Never really liked Cyke, Laura and Angel's relationship I can track in Wolverine, Beast is weird, and Iceman they're just making a spectacle of, quite literally. The good things that could come from here are Kid Apocalypse and Pickles - good reveal. Is that one of the little ones from the old Jean Grey school?
Avengers 2 - Still awesome, still huge, still don't care that much. When things get this big it's hard to muster up much caring. It's great, but it has no ramifications. They're meeting each other, which I'll hang out for, but I can't imagine staying on past that point. Good stuff, not great. The art doesn't help.
Angel & Faith 21 - First off, I'd love one of those Dark Horse hoodies. Secondly, good on the old man for not inviting vampires into his home. Thirdly, the story is really meh. Everyone else had to see the weirdness of Brandt for so long, right? And this is all still part of the plan. Angel may or may not actually be bad now, but it won't matter ultimately. His friends will save him, Archaeus will be defeated and he's never felt like an actual threat, just an overblown perfunctory Big Bad. The art's gorgeous and I'm happy to be reading the continuing adventures of the crew, but they're not great. It's more just something to read.
Barrier 1 - BKV does not disappoint but he sure knows how to shock. When the issue dropped out of nowhere on a Tuesday, I knew I was going to save it for last. And yep, that last page still made my jaw fall agape. I'd heard it was weird, but that doesn't even come close to covering it. Most of my Spanish got me through, but I'd be upset with his claim that I could get through with none if I knew none. I think there's some important stuff in those sections and I can't believe he doesn't think so. The story is only going to be a five parter, too, according to the back page, so I'm hoping this'll represent a new pattern for Panel Syndicate: more stuff, more often, all at the same great deal. For now, let's see where this one goes next.
Black Science 18 - Single issue of the year? It's on the fucking nose, no doubt about it. Full of cliches and tropes that we've seen a hundred times before, but it does them well, and it feels authentic. Grant McKay is facing his demons while we're learning about his past, it's beautifully drawn and things feel so good. Incredible issue.
Daredevil 1 - Welp, I guess I'm off Daredevil. Charles Soule is a fine writer, but Ron Garney is NOT my favorite artist and I am not feeling this new direction at all. I have all the answers I care about: Matt's secret ID is back in the bag, except for Foggy, Kirsten is (apparently) gone, they're back in NYC, Matt is now a prosecutor (an ADA, at that!) and we're back to grim and gritty status. I don't expect different from Daredevil and I've loved plenty of those dark stories, but this feels like several steps backwards. They could have done all the same things, but still kept moving forward. Blindspot could turn out to be a cool new character but I definitely don't care enough to stick around.
Dr. Strange 3 - Still fun. Still amazing art from Bachelo. Still a nice arc from Aaron. Still don't care much for or about Strange. I'm on board, but not loving it. But that's a fault of mine, not of the book's.
East of West 22 - Holy shit. I'd already committed to Black Science and then I read this?? Incredible. What a bounty of riches we've had this week. A silent issue (except the last page) that actually delivers and makes us feel the speed and intensity of the action? It's a rare fucking thing indeed. The factions are developing real enmity at this point and I can't wait to see where it goes from here.
Extraordinary X-Men 3 - Bobby continues to be the most interesting X-Man. He's had this untapped potential looming over his head for the last 2 decades, but slowly and surely, he's been fulfilling it. It's not just looking like the scary icicle guy from AoA, it's the abilities. And he's got them. Then, we have the cute inversion of the Logan-Jean Grey mentor-mentee role and that's awesome. The gang's all together, and they're so different, but so familiar. This is, by far, my favorite X-Men book, but I'm still excited by the prospect of Uncanny, which I'll obviously keep track of for a while. Great stuff here, but they'll need a new artist once Ramos runs through his usual burnout style.
Iron Man 3 - That was actually pretty fun. I mean, new Doom is still weird, but Mary Jane showing up was way better than I thought it was gonna be, and as soon as she started talking about how her old club was blown up, we knew this one was in trouble. But the best thing was the page with 24 panels. It was still just an old fashioned splash at its core, but I love to see the ways in which artists like to break their things up. Also, Friday is great, their dialogue is fun, and the suits are awesome. Plus, it opens with Iron Man fighting bio-ninjas on the beach. This is a good book. You should be reading it.
Paper Girls 3 - Damn, I have no idea who to trust. Our crew is in peril and it seems (increasingly) like this is just some weird video game contest to the outsiders? Maybe this is just some sort of game and everything will be fine at the end? That doesn't seem like a typical BKV ending, but he's gonna change at some point, huh? All I know for now is that this is the third straight solid gold comic that I've read this week. It's an embarrassment of riches.
Plutona 3 - Whoah. This took a turn. And I love it. Man, Teddy is a weird kid, huh? I mean, I'm sure he's got his reasons, but... I love the small ways in which this works. It's a quiet book, not bombastic (except for the backups, which are a cute addition) but that's a good thing. I'm hoping it's gonna be a recurring set of minis because apparently this series is only going 5 issues, which definitely will not be enough.
Spidey 1 - Buy this book for your kids. It's fun, and it's going to continue. It's basically an Ultimate Universe Spider-Man but set in our world. It's just gonna be a modern reboot, but telling the stories we already know. It's not for us, but it is for them. This was good.
Totally Awesome Hulk - I was not psyched, then I was, then I was not again. Hulk's never been a character I've really cared for. There have been some awesome arcs that I've bought and loved, but in general, I don't really care about him. So, trying it out, I thought, enh, I probably won't care. And I didn't. Cho is most inspiring when he's being the 7th or 8th smartest person in the new comics way - building a better world. But now he's trying to do that as an homage to Banner (who might be totally out of the picture? But I wonder where he is on that scale? And I wonder what order it goes in? Reed-Doom-Stark-T'Challa are our top 4, right? Pym? Banner? And then Cho? Maybe Parker? This is more interesting to me than anything in the book, which kinda proves why I'm not the ideal Hulk audience...) by catching monsters. He's got a robot sidekick, who's actually his sister in remote form, and he thinks he's in control, but he's obviously not. He has a switch that we see him use, but we also see him start to Hulk out when he doesn't hit the switch. That'll be cool, if they can turn it into that kind of book and Greg Pak might be the guy to do that, but I wouldn't know because Planet Hulk, despite all the praise it got was not one of the arcs that I thought was interesting enough to justify my reading the Hulk. So for now, it stays in the maybe pile.
Book of the week goes to East of West. It could have been a lot, but Hickman wins.