Thursday, May 25, 2006

Weekly Comic Round-Up

Lets skip the preamble, and get right to the comics, shall we?

52 3
Week number three, and a new status quo is being established. Booster is still being a professional super-hero, despite Skeets "history" files being full of errors. The body of Alexander Luthor has been found, which explains how Luthor has been cleared of charges in the One Year Later continuity, and Black Adam has established himself as a force for… well, not quite good, but something.

I don't agree with Adam's philosophy of heroism, and Terra-Man didn't deserve the fate he got, but I do enjoy seeing Black Adam.

A minor complaint about this issue would be that we didn't see anymore of the Question or Ralph Dibny. But I can handle that, so long as they're back next issue.

Blue Beetle 3
Poor Jamie. Being a superhero isn't working out well for him. Guy Gardner wants to kick his butt, he lost a year of his life and now his mother can't accept that he's back. This on top of the fact that the scarab is still acting beyond his control and seems more than a little homicidal.

Of course, I still want to know why the scarab is behaving so much differently for Jamie then it did for either Ted Kord or Dan Garrett. Not only in terms of the abilities it grants, but in terms of how it behaves. Perhaps it has something to do with the Tenth Age of Magic?

On the plus side, his friends seem willing to accept his return, and he hasn't done the stereotypical "I must hide this from everyone" thing. Oh, and of course, there is more to be done with the Posse.

Sadly, I'm not finding the supporting cast to be all that compelling, so unless Jamie hooks up with a team like the Titans or the Justice League (once they reform), I think I might soon drop this book.

Daredevil 85
Mysteries abound for poor Matt Murdock. We're still no closer to figuring out who "Daredevil" is, or who killed Foggy. On the upside, we had another classic meeting between Daredevil and the Kingpin.

Personally, I'm a little bothered that Matt was even briefly tempted to use the shiv on Fisk. Matt shouldn't have even brought the shiv with him from his cell.

The other highlight of the issue, of course, was the guest appearance by Frank Castle, the Punisher. The Punisher was originally created to show how the "street level" heroes like Daredevil and Spider-Man could go wrong. So, having him be in the same jail that Matt is brings things around in an interesting circle.

I wonder also how the registration act is going to affect Murdock's status in jail. Will he be forced to remain there? Will they pull him out if he registers? Questions, questions and more questions.

Green Lantern 11
Well, it was inevitable that Jordan's actions leading up to Parallax would come back to bite him in the ass. And here we go. I suppose it's a good thing that some of the Lanterns Jordan thought he had killed have somehow survived, although it's rather unfortunate that they ended up on the Manhunter homeworld. Jordan disobeying the Guardians to go and rescue the missing Green Lanterns isn't going to go well. At all.

It's also good that they're acknowledging the fact that the other Green Lanterns don't trust Jordan, and nor should they. Honestly, Guy, John, Allen and Kilowog have all been way too trusting, in my opinion. True, it's not Jordan's fault that Parallax possessed him, and he did eventually battle back from that. But I still don't get why people are comfortable around him.

But we're not talking about the really cool part of this issue. The return of Hank Henshaw, the Cyborg Superman.

The Cyborg got overused shortly after the end of the Reign of the Supermen, but I always thought he was a cool villain. The idea that he's been upgrading the Manhunters into cyborg-like creatures, using organic materials and Kryptonian technology makes me want to squeal with joy.
Is there a reason for him to again be wearing the "S" shield or the cape, both of which he abandoned once he stopped pretending to be Superman? Nope, but they make for a great visual, so they get a total pass on that one, at least in my book.

(And a brief Teen Titans related thought. Henshaw's body is made of a combination of cloned material from Kal-El and the technology of the birthing matrix. Henshaw could probably clone Superboy back, if he were so inclined.)

Last Planet Standing 2
More fun in the MC2 Universe. Galactus wants the Odinsword, and Thor and the other Asgardians are going to stop him! This new herald, Waverider, can't possibly stand up to the power of a Warrior Born!

Oh, wait. He can? Crap.

So, Galactus is destroying galaxies, and collecting artifacts of immense power. And now he's on his way to Earth. Reed Richards and the Fantastic Family (I'm tired of trying to append a number to them, and there's way more than four or five at this point) are trying to outrace him to use Reed's new Ultimate Weapon.

There is some irony to the fact that Galactus has become the major threat to the MC2 Earth, the Marvel Zombies Earth (well, the zombies became Galactus, but close enough) and the Ultimate Earth, but is noticably absent in the regular 616 continuity.

In any case, Galactus is coming, and Waverider already took out Nova and the Earth Sentry. Thunderstrike has been de-powered with the loss of Asgard, and all in all, things are looking grim.

The best part? This is a bi-weekly book. So I get to read issue 3 soon!

New Avengers 19
One would think that a superhuman entity containing all of the mutant powers of those mutants who lost their powers due to the House of M would be the biggest threat that the Avengers have to deal with at one moment.

One would be mistaken.

Oh, the fight with this "Michael" matters, don't get me wrong. And it has been handled wonderfully, with both the Sentinal and Iron Man doing the heavy fighting. But that's not what matters in this issue. What matters in this issue is the cross-over into Civil War. They specifically talk about the fact that the Registration Act is being written during the issue.

And S.H.I.E.L.D. is downright despicable in this issue, pulling information from Spider-Man's head, shutting down the new Vision, and pulling rank on Captain America. Presumably, this takes place before the battle with Captain America in Civil War 1, otherwise I imagine they'd do more than simply "pull rank."

The wretched part is that S.H.I.E.L.D. made the right call here, and it is a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who points out that letting Michael go to his destination, which might very well be the Scarlet Witch, would be the best course of action. And where else would he land other than Genosha?

Secret Six 1
And the sixth member of the Six is... the Mad Hatter?!?

I love it. Seriously.

That said, it makes no sense to me why Blake and Lawton are teaming with the rest of the Six. Ok, Scandal is useful, and smart and sane. But she comes with Knockout, who is quite frankly, psychotic. And Ragdoll is just plain demented.

In any case, I enjoyed the "rescue" of Deadshot from the camp, and I enjoy the idea that the Society hasn't forgotten about the Six. Doctor Psycho especially. It's almost like he has some sort of grudge against Catman...

Oh, that's right. He does.

Anyhow, I had hoped for something other from the Six then becoming mercenaries. It's not that there's anything wrong with it per se, it's just less than I hoped for. On the other hand, this doesn't have the One Year Later logo on the front cover, so perhaps this is still in the immediate aftermath of the Crisis. Maybe things will be better by the time they catch up to continuity.

She Hulk 8
Well, the whacky-ness of the She-Hulk's transformations has now been corrected, although it comes at the price of allowing those who wish the She-Hulk harm can now target Jen Walters.

Right at the time when super-heroes are really unpopular. What wonderful timing.

It's intersting that She-Hulk is so conflicted on the Registration Act. As She-Hulk she supports the act, and sees the need for it. As Jen, she doesn't want her private life being threatened. I suspect most of the heroes share similar conflicts, not including the ones who have openly stated their identities, but in Jen's case the division is more obvious than many.

And the backlash against the New Warriors is absolutely terrifying to me. I liked the Warriors, I really did. And it's really regretable that they screwed up so badly that it sparked the Registration Act, and the ensuing War. Now, even their biggest fan, and almost member, Hindsight Lad, has turned against them.

Marvel, you are handling the Civil War absolutely right. It is chilling, scary but realistically handled. I emplore you, stay on this path. Don't back down, don't take the easy way out.

Teen Titans 36
I never trusted the Chief of the Doom Patrol. Never. The Doom Patrol may be made up of misfits and freaks, but I always felt like he talked down to them, and that he manipulated them to working with him. It's kind of like "What if all the nasty suspicions everyone ever had about Xavier turned out to be true?" Even if the Chief isn't a psychic himself.

This issue did nothing to increase my trust for the Chief. At all.

I find it interesting that Kid Devil has been lying to the Titans about still being in contact with Blue Devil. The Titans are really a home to the lost now, for both Ravager and Kid Devil. I hope that Cyborg chooses to stay with the Titans, and even manages to get Gar to return, rather than having Cyborg join the Doom Patrol. I hope Cassie rejoins the team. I hope that somehow, somehow, Superboy returns.

I'm going to be really sad if my two favorite characters from the Reign of the Supermen, Superboy and the Eradicator, are both gone from the DCU, but Steel and the Cyborg remain.

In other news? The Brain has a body again. The cloning worked. I'm almost positive that next issue Robin is going to try to get his hands on the cloning equipment.

Man, this series just keeps getting better and better.

Wolverine 42
I am not the biggest Wolverine fan. I haven't really been fond of the character for close to fifteen years now. Why? Well, because the evolution of the character was dropped in favor of the "cool" factor of having him kill. A lot.

But this is a Civil War tie-in, and I'm glad I picked it up. The issue did a nice job of integrating moments from the other Civil War titles I've seen, including the exchange between the Sentinels and Wolverine at the "accident" site, and the fight between Earth's heroes regarding the Registration Act.

That isn't why I enjoyed the issue though. What I liked about this issue is how Wolverine approached the issue of Nitro. Why hadn't he been captured yet? He isn't that powerful, or that hard to track. And of course, Logan hits on the reason. Because someone doesn't want him to be found. Nitro is scarrier if he remains un-caught, not unlike a certain terrorist figure today.

The real world doesn't have Wolverine, however.

I have no doubt Logan will find Nitro. I have no doubt bad things will happen to Nitro as a result. I have no doubt that Nitro will never be taken into US custody.

So, we reach the end of another week in comics, gentle readers. Until next time, Make Mine Marvel! (And DC. And anyone else writing good superhero comics. Oh, never mind.)

4 Comments:

Anonymous Matt said...

I didn't have any problem with Matt bringing a shiv to the meeting with Fisk after the fight with Hammerhead in the last issue. Matt isn't Daredevil for the moment. Morally Matt's holding himself somewhere between his old Daredevil standards and the Punisher's.

Frank acknowledged that Matt had slipped and there was potential for Matt to fall to his level. I wondered if it was going to happen during the meeting with Fisk. Would Matt have used the shiv if he found out Fisk had ordered Foggy's death?

Doesn't matter since the plot went another way, but I'm wondering whether these darker changes in Matt will end once he gets out of prison (right now they seem to be necessary) or whether they will lead to darker changes in Daredevil once he gets out. Maybe further developments will help explain the coin Daredevil was playing around with in Civil War, if that was Matt in the Daredevil costume.

4:35 PM  
Anonymous os said...

Is the Secret Six going to be a new, regularly published title? I thought I heard somewhere that it was just a mini-series?

11:44 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Matt,

I realize that Murdock is holding himself to a different code than he did as Daredevil. But I still have problems with him being willing to kill.

Os,

Sadly, Secret Six is a six-issue mini. But if it does well, there's always the possibility of them making an ongoing series out of it.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Matt said...

If it were Spider-man or Batman who had been put in Daredevil's situation and taken the shiv with him to the meeting, I would have probably had problems with it since both characters have an extreme reluctance to kill.

Matt however has shown that he is willing to kill multiple times when someone close to him has died.

When Elektra was killed, Matt had no problem letting go of Bullseye's hand and letting him fall to the pavement several stories below, hoping that he'd die from the fall.

When Karen Page was killed, Matt had no problem letting Mysterio kill himself. Matt says he knows where the bullet is going, and yet takes no action to prevent Mysterio from pulling the trigger.

Matt also admits during his first fight with Bullseye in Bendis's run that he went looking for Bullseye after Karen's death in order to find and kill the assassin. The only reason he doesn't kill Bullseye is that he reasons Bullseye wants Matt to kill him, and therefore it is more of a punishment to deny him death.

So should Matt show willingness to kill the man he suspects ordered Foggy's death. Absolutely. Although the action deviates from the standard we like to hold our superheroes to, it is justified by Matt's personal history.

9:55 PM  

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