Thursday, March 16, 2006

Weekly comic round-up - Here be spoilers!

So, here we go with my first round of my weekly comic buys. I'll give you a head's up warning at the front. The mainstream Marvel Universe lost me a long time ago. I keep a passing interest in it, but I buy almost no X-Men or Spider-Man that isn't an Ultimate title. Just so you know. Also, I'm a text person. Rarely will art be the thing I focus on in a comic book. Bad art might turn me off from a comic, but good art won't be reason enough to get into it. And to get this out of the way. I saw the Spider-Man with the new costume. I didn't buy it. And it won't be around long enough for me to care about it.

Green Arrow 60
One Year Later, and Oliver Queen is now the Mayor of Star City. Star City clearly got decimated during the Crisis, and I'm sure that 52 will tell us all about how that happened. There's a lot of good character development here; I'm interested in seeing how Big Business copes with an utterly incorruptible Mayor, his staff seems interesting, and watching them hire Deathstroke to go after him should be entertaining over the coming months. My largest criticism here would be that the suspense seemed forced. Even if they somehow managed to not hear about the future of Mr. Queen, no one who reads this comic will get past the fourth page before they realize that the new Mayor is clearly Ollie. Still, it's a minor quibble.

Infinite Crisis Secret Files 2006
Wow. Color me impressed. If there's been one thing that has bothered me about Infinite Crisis (ok, there's been a lot more than one thing, but work with me here) and that would be the motivation behind Alexander Luthor and Superboy Prime. What turned these incredibly selfless heroes into the masterminds behind the deaths of millions? Well, here we get to find out. I also like the idea that Superboy's pounding on the walls of their "prison" is responsible for the changing history and continuity. It's a little bit sloppy, sure, but it works.

Spider-Woman Origin 4
I want to like this comic. I really do. Jessica Drew is a fascinating character. Bendis is one of my favorite authors. And yet, it just isn't working for me. I don't know if it's the casual disregard for human life that Jessica and Fury display, but I'm feeling very "meh" about this mini-series. If I wasn't so heavily invested in the New Avengers, I doubt I would finish out this mini-series. Fortunately there's only one more issue. Oh? What happens? Jessica runs from SHIELD and Hydra, mouths off to Nick Fury, and tries to find her parents.

Superman 650
One Year Later. Alright, I'm going to confess it. They got me on this one. When Lex busts open Clark's jaw with that punch, I didn't see it coming. I should've. Why would Clark not be active as Superman if he still had his powers? No reason I can think of. None at all. Heck, they shouldn't have been able to sneak up on him either, for that matter. Pretty solid issue. I'm interested in finding out more about Supergirl's filling in for Kal-El. I'm chomping at the bit to find out what happened to Superboy and why he isn't filling in as well. Also, the Kryptonian crystal Lex has in this issue made another appearance this week, over in Teen Titans Annual. We know that they're going to mess with the past to make it more like Smallville, and here we see more of it coming. I wonder when we'll see Chloe.

Superman/Shazam: First Thunder 4
I want to bookend this series with Kingdom Come. The dynamic between Superman and Captain Marvel has always fascinated me. By being Billy Batson, Marvel brings a perspective that Superman just can't provide. Marvel has always intrigued me also because any of us could be told the magic word and become Marvel, but none of us were born on another planet. (As a side note, if you're an alien reading my blog, please contact SETI.) So, it made total sense to watch Billy lose it and almost kill Sivana. And it was even cooler to watch Superman tell off Shazam. I can't help but wonder if this will have further ramifications in the post-Crisis world, since Marvel is now the keeper of the Rock of Eternity. Which also begs the question: Where does the Marvel Family get their power from? If it's from the gods and heroes that make up the acronym, the Marvels should have been weakening the same way that Wonder Girl has been. If it's from the wizard, they should have lost their power when he died. I'll have to think more on this.

Teen Titans Annual 1
In case you missed my last post, I loved this issue. Absoultely loved it. Aside from the romance of Cassie and Conner, it was wonderful watching Robin taking the lead in the reconstruction of Bludhaven. Good characterization all around. I'd also like to give a call out to the DC editorial board here for this issue, and recent events on Smallville. Teenagers have sex. There. I said it. We may wish they didn't, but they do. I have a daughter, and while she's still far too young for it to be an issue (she's 17 months old), I still wish she wouldn't. It would have been easy for them to keep the romance unconsumated, and that might have appealed to the family values crowd, but it isn't realistic. Other comics show teenage superheroes having sex, but Superboy and Wonder-Girl are iconic figures. That's a gutsy move. Good on DC.

Ultimate Extinction 3
Hmmm, now this is interesting. The Silver Surfer has shown up, fired at Earth by Gah Lak Tus. He also kicked the crap out of Iron Man and Marvel, but that's beside the point. So, who is the silver guy with the wings? It's also interesting watching Reed's inner struggle here. While there is certainly something amazing about the 616 Reed being a super genius just because he is, it is equally fascinating that the Ultimate Reed can literally "stretch his mind" around a problem. And the Ultimate Ultimate Nullifier is something that Reed will create. Wow. That's a level of angst no teenager needs. Thank goodness for Sue.

Ultimate X-Men 68
I don't know why I don't care about this. There's a lot good here. Logan is going to be cloned. Storm and Logan's romance develops, Bobby and Rogue's romance develops, Scott and Jean's romance develops, and even Kitty is getting into the act with Spider-Man. This is the kind of stuff I should be loving. Our new reality warping mutant has potential, and the relationship between the Shi'ar, Phoenix and the Hellfire club is a nice twist on the 616 Universe. But something about this comic just left me feeling blah.

So, there we go. These are the comics I read this week. Next week we'll do it again! And tomorrow? Well, tomorrow we'll talk about what makes a superhero a superhero. At least in my book.


Blogger Al B Here said...

Wow, I can't believe there's actually a blog about comics. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised since there seems to be one for any other sort of topic.

It's nice to see someone taking the time to promote the medium and help it stay alive! I collected comics back in the day and, occasionally pick up my old faves to see what's what. Anyway, keep up the good work!

6:51 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Glad you seem to like it. I'm just getting started, but I don't plan on going anywhere.

I noticed you listed the Wild Cards novels in your profile. Man, I loved those books. They may need to get a write up here sometime soon...

11:39 PM  
Blogger Al B Here said...

I'm sure there's plenty of ground to cover. I always liked the Wild Cards "mosaic novel" approach. There are limits to how well an author can portray different charcters point of view, but using different authors to run different storylines (and thus different character perspectives) was pretty cool. Once I got used to the writing style, I really enjoyed them.

6:32 PM  

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