Thursday, April 27, 2006

Weekly Comic Round-Up

It's been a very good week for comic books. Very good indeed. But you don't want to hear about it in general. You want to read my specific thoughts on the comics, so let's dive in, shall we?

Amazing Spider-Man 531
An amusing thought: Spider-Man was created at roughly the same time as the Avengers, so Peter has been at the hero thing just as long as Stark. But somehow, Tony just seems so much older, and worldly. Significantly so. Maybe it's because of the age they were when they began as heroes (Stark was already an adult when he built his first suit of armor, Peter was in high school), maybe it's the circles they move in, but their worldviews are so different.

It shouldn't be surprising then that, while Spidey is able to fight Stark's enemies, such as Titanium Man in this issue, he is completely out of his depth when dealing with Congress. For the second issue in a row, Peter tries to speak truth to power, and is smacked down.

I thought it appropriate that Stark was willing to lie to Peter about Titanium Man, but at the same time, Peter was cagey enough to suspect.

Astonishing X-Men 14
Ok. Look over to the side at the cover. Take it in for a moment.

Are you done? Good.

If you're like me, you don't like the idea that Scott is with Emma. Scott's one true love is Jean Grey. They shared a love that could literally overcome death. But Whedon has made it work for me, and this issue really digs into the guts of that.

Emma either really, really, really understands and gets Scott, or doesn't even come close. I'm not entirely sure which it is. And the final page of this issue has me utterly puzzled. Utterly, utterly puzzled.

But I really want to avoid the spoiler effect, so I won't talk about the mind games Emma plays with Scott, and the possible repercussions. Instead, I will share two incredibly cute moments.

A nude Kitty Pryde phases through the floor, startling several students. She runs back upstairs to find a probably nude Collossus holding the door slightly ajar. She says, "Oh my god. I phased. Right when we were. That's never happened before. This is your fault you know," to which he replies "I would like to think so, yes."

Later on, Kitty and Piotyr come downstairs for breakfast. Logan is sitting at the kitchen table, and looks at one. Sniffs. Looks at the other. Sniffs. And then says "Bout time."

Whedon rocks.

Blue Beetle 2
Ok, now, maybe it's just me, but I never thought of the Scarab as sinister. But here we go with it playing havock with other magic users, and controlling every aspect of this poor kids life.

I don't know what to think anymore. My previous comments about the similarities with the Guyver suit apply all the more now, however. I hope he gets it under control. I really do.

And the end was interesting. So, he's been gone for an entire year, huh? Well, that does solve the issue of where this comic fits into continuity (whether or not it's part of One Year Later, or still contemporary with Infinite Crisis). But it raises questions too. Where was he for that last year?

As for the posse, I suppose there's a palce for them. And it'll give the new Beetle people to team with. Every character needs a supporting cast. We'll see how this goes.

Fantastic Four 537
A while back, someone did something incredibly stupid. They had Doom cast off his technology to focus on magic. This was dumb. Dumb dumb dumb. Doom will use any path to power, and his will is unmatched, but he shouldn't ever abandon his great technological achievements. (Frightening tangent, imagine Doom with a Power Ring).

So, I was glad to see him back in the traditional armor, rather than that monstrosity of magic. And I loved that he tried to claim Thor's hammer.

I have no clue what the burst of energy was at the end. I have no idea what it signifies. But I love that Thor's hammer would not budge for Doom. There never should have been any doubt, but somehow there was. And I loved watching Ben try to pick it up as well.

Incredible Hulk 94




Hulk is a gladiator. Hulk is strongest one there is. Hulk doesn't want to deal with people. Hulk is selfish.

I get it.

I haven't been keeping up with the Silver Surfer, but it also seems really weird to think he has been forced into gladiatorhood.

At least at the end the Surfer can take the Hulk back to Earth and we can leave this stupid story behind.

Ion 1
Ok, time to confess. I was part of the Team Rayner camp. I always liked Kyle, right from the beginning. And that liking for Kyle remained even through Hal's return.

So why does this first issue of Ion leave me feeling cold?

The mystery just isn't exciting for me. The idea that he is having trouble controlling the power, even though it's now in him instead of being in a ring is, well, laughable. And the way he's losing control seems all too familiar with Hal's descent, but less thought through. Also the art leaves much to be desired, and considering that Kyle is an artist, that's just unforgivable.

They will get another few issues out of me. But if it doesn't do something special, I won't make it through all twelve. And it just might take the other Green Lantern books with it off my reading list, which would be a damn shame.

Lucifer 73
Hmmm, this issue didn't work for me. Part of that is that I've never liked those little imps. Part of it is that the Godhead figures work best when they are distant and incomprehensible. Elaine was far too hands-on in this issue, I think.

That out of the way, the idea raised in the issue about what Yahewh's departure means for the greater beings was interesting.

If you accept the premise introduced that He knew He would one day step aside, and that Elaine's creation is His chance to watch His children be adults, it casts everything, from Lucifer's fall, to Lucifer's creation, to Elaine accepting the Godhead in a very different light.

And one I think I rather enjoy.

New Avengers Annual 1
Adorable baby? Check!

Wedding sequence between Cage and Jessica Jones? Check!

Obligatory cameo from Stan Lee as the minister? Check!

Peter making a rookie mistake that shows he isn't really in his element working with the Avengers? Check!

Peter than using his brain to figure out exactly how to beat the new Super-Adaptoid? Check!

The weirdness that is the Sentry and the Void having a major impact on the story? Check!

Tony Stark showing the strain of realizing that the Civil War is coming? Check!

Great issue. Just wonderful, really. If this had been a role-playing game, I would have been so jealous if I missed that session. I did have one Huh? moment, however. Aunt May and MJ are at Avengers Tower. Does Aunt May know that Peter is Spider-Man now?

Tron 1
No, don't adjust your monitor. That is, in fact, Tron.

Tron. Disney movie. Still holding up today. Rebooted with Tron 2.0, the video game that sadly never led to a new film.

Well, this comic picks up after the end of Tron 2.0, and follows Alan's kid, Jet as he finds himself, once again, pulled back into the computer world.

I never played Tron 2.0. I think I need to fix that. But this issue does a nice job of pulling everything together so I didn't feel lost. And the artwork... my god.

It's only $3.50. Go to your local comic book store and buy it. Right now. Come back and read my thoughts on the Ultimate Fantastic Four and the Villains United Special later. Really.

Ultimate Fantastic Four 29
You're still here? Fine. But now you must promise to go buy Tron once you finish reading this post.

Anyhow, back to the Ultimate FF. I enjoyed the idea behind President Thor. I cringed watching as the Skrull claim the power of every superpowered being on the planet. And it was absolutely chilling to watch as every one of them died except for Ben, the only human on a planet of supermen.

Oh, wait. The Skrull's powers come from the other superhumans, and they're all dead? Whoops.

I'm glad the universe got reset. I like the Ultimate Universe. I don't really understand how the teleporter created the other timeline, or how Ben came back, but I'm happy with the results, and the story of that ill-fated world.

And one week until the Zombie Fantastic Four break out? Watch me shiver, with antici................pation.

Villains United Special 1
This was good. It really was. But it wasn't what I was expecting. The plot as Luthor's Society frees all the worlds supervillains to prepare a massive assault on Metropolis was beautiful to watch.

I loved watching the Calculator (and Luthor, of course) outmanuever Oracle. Barbara's frustration was beautiful to watch. She and J'onn did an amazing job of adapting to the Crisis. The heroism of the DCU, missing their marquee heroes, was incredible. And when Doomsday appeared next to Doctor Psycho you could feel the suddent tension. I never cared for Doomsday, but he's a part of the DCU, so I've learned to accept him. But like Barbara said, there might have been more powerful villains already among their number, but his appearance immediately brings to mind the shattered body of Superman, and a flag-draped coffin.

So, where was my problem with this issue? Frankly, I wanted to see more of the Six. I want to see the relationship between Knockout and Scandal. I want to watch the buddy story between Deadshot and Catman. And I want them to make a decision. At the end of the Villains United miniseries, it was obvious that Catman wanted more than just to be a mercenary, so the idea that they'll stay in the middle just didn't quite work for me.

Ah well, there will be a Secret Six miniseries soon. We'll see what develops from there.

So, even with my minor disapointments, it was a good week. Lots of good stuff to read.


Anonymous os said...

A Tron comic? I guess I should finally see the movie then...

6:08 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Didn't I loan you that?

6:36 PM  
Anonymous os said...

Nope. I think you may have mentioned needing to loan it to me once, but I think we were in Oxford at the time.

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

Aunt May discovered Peter's secret about five years ago (real time) in Amazing Spidey #35 when she walked into his apartment to find the Spidey costume laying on the floor and her nephew resting after his battle with Morlun.

10:36 PM  

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