Thursday, September 27, 2007

Weekly comic round-up

Every week (roughly) Aaron goes to the Laughing Ogre in Columbus, Ohio and spends far more money than his wife would prefer. He then comes back here and writes about the comics he reads that he thought were noteworthy. This isn't everything he picks up, just the things that he feels merit discussion - either for being really good, or for having something really wrong with them.

Avengers: The Initiative 6
The cover really gives this issue away. Someone has taken out “The Gauntlet” – and logically the suspicion falls on all of those recruits who have been abused by him for five issues straight now – especially the former New Warrior, Rage. (Justice gets implicated as well, despite being a part of the staff, for his own New Warrior connections).

S.H.I.E.L.D.’s investigation is interesting enough, especially considering my general distaste for that kind of story. And it’s fun watching Gyrich sweat that S.H.I.E.L.D. might discover his personal black ops team.

The continuing mystery about the death of MVP also rears its’ ugly head, and Hardball continues to communicate with his conspirator.

What’s most fascinating is that Gauntlet wakes up and lies about who his attacker was – to protect his soldiers, the way any good sergeant should. But the shocker of this issue is who the attacker was –someone who has previously been drastically underestimated. A nice compelling issue that goes a long way towards making us finally care about these recruits.

Teen Titans 51
The world of the future Titans is not one I would want to live in. The future visions of the team are brutal and unforgiving, and not terribly far removed from the Justice Lords from the Justice League cartoon.

I wouldn’t want to read an entire series about them. But they’re fun guest stars, in that “we’re really villains” sort of way. It’s fascinating watching them try to warp their younger selves into becoming who they are. The Titans are, obviously resistant to this to varying degrees. Some fight against it with all their will, while others (looking at you, Kid Devil) succumb to temptation from their future selves.

The first high point of the issue for me would be the fact that this world gives some credence to my hopes that Kon-El will return from the dead somehow, and that his relationship with Cassie will rekindle. The second would be the confrontation between the two Tim Drakes – The future Batman who carries the same gun which killed Bruce’s parents, and the Robin of today.

Ultimate Spider-Man 114
Well, Bagley’s art being absent is felt in this issue more than it had been in either of the issues prior – I really wanted his pencils for the fight between Electro and Spidey. It’s still fine art, but it just feels off somehow.

The issue mainly focuses on Peter’s attempts to get those he cares about out of the line of fire, now that Osborn has been released. Why? Because he’s Peter Parker and he does that. We also get a tease of future storylines, as we say May on a date with Miles Warren.

Once the family is safely sequestered, Peter goes on the hunt for Osborn, and instead finds Electro. They fight, unsurprisingly. S.H.I.E.L.D. shows up to end the fight – but the cavalry isn’t here to help Spidey. They take both villain and hero down, and the issue ends with Peter in custody of S.H.I.E.L.D.

I’m thinking that the less-than-pleasant relationship between Peter and Fury is going to bite Parker on his butt next issue.

Justice League of America 13
We’ve been building to this – starting with the wedding special, and now that it’s here, it doesn’t disappoint. The Injustice League is prepared for the JLA, and the League is quite seriously caught with their pants down. With Luthor and the Joker as their masterminds, the Injustice League is well-prepared, and has set a series of ambushes for the League.

One by one, we watch each of the League’s heavy-hitters go down. Batman frees himself and attempts to free Wonder Woman, but presumably that goes poorly. Green Lantern, Hawkgirl and Red Tornado are quickly dismantled by Fatality, Shadow Thief, Killer Frost and Poison Ivy. And it is only due to the intervention of Black Lightning that Superman, Vixen and Black Canary manage to avoid defeat at the hands of Grodd, Dr. Light, the Cheetah and the Parasite. But waiting in the wings is a power-armor clad Luthor.

I am tingling with anticipation for the next issue.

A few books which don’t deserve an entire write-up, but are worth picking up if you get the chance. In Green Arrow: Year One 5 we finally get to see a bit of who Ollie is meant to become. It’s taken way too long to get here, and unless you are the most die-hard Ollie fan, I think this whole series could easily have been skipped, but it is starting to be good. Countdown 31 continues the saga, with a pleasant re-appearance of the Crime Syndicate (Society, whatever) fighting against Donna, Jason Todd, Kyle Rayner and the Monitor. Towards the end of the issue, they’re assisted by the Jokester – the only man crazy enough to fight the Crime Society, and who ends up following our heroes on their quest through space and time. (I’m beginning to think that Duella Dent is actually the daughter of the Jokester). Secondary character Holly Robinson continues her story, Mxyptlyx gets abducted through a rip in reality, Jimmy’s powers cause chaos for everyone at Cadmus, and Mary Marvel continues her descent into evil at Eclipso’s guidance. This issue might have earned a full write-up, but it loses points for the fact that the best part of it was the two-page bio of the Joker at the very end.

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Blogger Superhero said...

Good to know that there are other heroes too.

3:57 PM  

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