Age of Ultron #8 by Brian Michael Bendis and Brandon Peterson
Okay, so now that Wolverine and the Invisible Woman went back in time and killed Hank Pym before he could invent Ultron and inadvertently cause the Age of Ultron, Age of Ultron is now a comic about something else that is in no way related to Ultron. Sure! Why not!
Now a gooey, Uncle Fester-esque Iron Man runs things with his robot army, and the only superhero team seems to be a version of The Defenders. Morgan le Fay is now the greatest threat to the Earth (Age of Morgan?) because of some crazy war during which Asgard pulled out their support for Midgard, apparently? Now she's waging a full attack, and Iron Man blames the dimensionally-displaced Logan and Sue Storm.
Now, I don't know if there's some sort of precedent for this, or if Bendis is just pulling it out of his ass. I personally am not aware of any comic in which Morgan le Fay was about to take over the planet and it was all down to Giant-Man to stop it with his powers of embiggening, and it seems a little far-fetched. However, I like this fake Age of Ultron reality better than the previous fake Age of Ultron reality, so I'm just gonna' roll with it. At least this reality has colors other than grey.
Avengers: The Enemy Within #1 by Kelly Sue Deconnick and Scott Hepburn
This crossover's a bit of a puzzle. It's just continuing the story arc that was already unfolding in Captain Marvel, but unfolding it into Avengers Assemble as well, a book that Kelly Sue Deconnick also writes. It sort of feels unnecessary? It may just be a marketing idea, to get fans of one of Deconnick's books to read the other, I suppose. That being said, I think Deconnick is great, and I've really been enjoying both of the books that this storyline is playing out in.
Yon-Rogg has returned and is apparently trying to reassemble the Psyche-Magnetron and use it to ruin Carol Danvers' life / destroy the world maybe? He's been sending villains from her past after her and kidnapping her friends, all as a diversion to break into her apartment and steal her fragment of the alien wishing-machine that gave her superpowers in the first place. Meanwhile, she still can't fly, lest she have a super-aneurysm, but she keeps ending up flying anyway because it's the only way she knows how to fight.
This issue ends with a sort of "Welp, better call in ALL THE AVENGERS," which seems like the most practical thing to do... but is still extremely rare in comics, to be honest. Like, when Aquaman is having problems with somebody like Black Manta, it seems to never occur to him that Superman's one of his best friends and could get there to help in less than a second. So seeing Spider-Woman basically point out to Carol that she has people like Thor on speed-dial is actually really nice to see.
Also, this comic had a T-Rex fight.
|Better get assemblin'.|
Batgirl #20 by Gail Simone, Daniel Sampere, and Carlos Rodriguez
Despite loving Gail Simone's comics dearly, I haven't actually been following this one. I grabbed it because she was talking on her Facebook page about how much she loves writing supervillains, and I gotta' say... Her Nü52-y version of The Ventriloquist is pretty fucking terrifying. Well done on that count: Simone is often at her most brilliant when creating something twisted, and I adore that about her.
However, I'm actually not crazy about this one. I've always thought that The Ventriloquist was one of Batman's more clever villains - created for Batman: The Animated Series during the years where that show was light years ahead of the comics as far as creativity went - and he was sort of lighthearted and fun.
However, if there's one thing the Nü52 is absolutely NOT, it's "lighthearted and fun". They've gone out of their way over and over again to remind us of that fact. Including in the pages of Batgirl, where Barbara Gordon is apparently reeling from having killed her own brother with a batarang to the eye-socket, and Commissioner Gordon has vowed to kill Batgirl at all cost.
It's... Um... Well, it's the Nü52, I guess.
|But at least there are face-kicks.|
Cable and X-Force by Dennis Hopeless and Salvador Larroca
This is an example of a comic that started out rock-stupid and has really grown on me. While I still can't forgive it for the "kill all the fat people!" storyline that kicked off the series, it has Tabitha Smith and Domino (two of my absolute favorite X-Characters) having space adventures, Agent Brand has shown up (she's one of the only things Joss Whedon's created since the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie that I genuinely love), they're keeping Cable mostly pouch-free, and they have Colossus at an appropriate level of mope, so I'm really getting into it.
This issue is the end of a story-arc, so there isn't much I can say about it without being totally spoileriffic. But suffice it to say that it was a pretty satisfying conclusion, and it made a lot more sense than the last arc did.
|Spaceball Special FTW.|
FF #7 by Matt Fraction and Michael Allred
Mike Allred's back on the art in this one, and I'm glad. Last issue didn't look bad by any means, but it's always strange to see one artist trying to mimic the style of another.
We've finally found out why Medusa has been acting all villainous. SPOILER: IT WAS MIND-CONTROL. The Wizard has transported the entire Baxter Building to the Negative Zone (which feels just like the good old days) in a weird bid to get his semi-evil son to love him. Blastaar is along for... reasons?
What I enjoy most about this comic is that despite being sort of hyperkinetic and goofy, it's still full of real character development. This issue is mostly one giant fight-scene, and yet Fraction managed to work is some pretty heavy moments for Ant-Man, who is still struggling with the death of his daughter while currently trying to protect a school full of small - albeit mostly superpowered - children. He made some real progress as a character in this issue, and there are also some hints towards a budding romance between him and Ms. Thing.
Basically, this comic is well-written, well-drawn, populated with some of my favorite characters old and new, and is continuing the years-long Future Foundation concept without feeling stale. Go on... get it.
|In-context, this was pretty powerful. Out-of-context, it's pretty funny. Works either way.|
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #2 by Keith Giffen and Pop Mhan
Hordak and his troops are continuing their invasion of Eternia. King Randor has rallied his forces at Castle Greyskull to plan for war. If none of that makes sense to you, you probably didn't grow up in the 1980s and this comic isn't for you at all.
However, if you DID grow up in the 1980s, this book has some pretty funny jokes about Mekaneck.
I don't know if that's an endorsement or not. I know my entire job here is to provide an Opinion, but I don't quite know how to feel about this comic yet. It's about He-Man, and it's written by Keith Giffen, yet a lot of it is deadly serious. That's... confusing to me.
|Don't never fuck with Battle Cat tho.|
Iron Man #10 by Kieron Gillen and Dale Eaglesham
Death's Head has wandered out of this comic, so now I have to take my fanboy glasses off and actually look at the story, and frankly I don't really like where it's going.
So apparently Howard and Maria Stark were having difficulty conceiving a child. Howard went to every other super-scientist in the world, every sorcerer, every time-traveler, even the High Evolutionary, to try and fix his wife's hostile womb. Eventually his search led him to a Las Vegas casino run by alien mobsters, who were holding captive Rigellian Recorder #451, and broke the robot free with a crack team including Jimmy Woo, Dum Dum Dugan, and Thunderbolt Ross. I guess next issue we're going to see how 451 helped them conceive a super-brilliant child?
The story was pretty fun, but I don't particularly like the idea that Tony Stark is only smart because he was manipulated in utero by alien robots. It sort of takes away the whole self-made-man thing that is the whole point of his character.
I dunno'. Guess I'll wait and see.
|That's about where I'm at.|
Nova #4 by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness
What started out as a really promising comic has now started to bore me. I'm not a fan of Loeb or McGuinness in general, so it's not really surprising, but at the beginning I thought they had a really interesting character that they could spend some time developing. Instead they just chucked him into a Sky Anus and started having him fight the Chitauri, who are an alien race that has literally never been seen in the Marvel Universe Proper before, yet isn't getting any backstory at all. It's like they expect all the people in the comic to have seen the Avengers movie.
So the new Nova does some fighting with a ripoff of Battle Beast from Invincible, who I guess used to be a Nova too, but one of the secret Novas we just found out about in this book, not the other Novas that we're familiar with. And he hates this Nova's dad, who was also a Nova, but quit being a Nova, so this Nova stole that Nova's Nova Helmet the end. To be continued.
Oh, also the Chitauri have an Ultimate Nullifier. Yeah.
|Kids in comics that mispronounce things make me want to smash my face with a brick.|
Supergirl #20 by Michael Allen Nelson and Mahmud Asrar
This cover, man. This cover. I laughed so hard. WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE! And then their giant breasts are just all mashed together. Comics, man. Comics are so stupid sometimes, you guys, and you just have to laugh.
The interior art of this comic is actually pretty solid, so I don't know why the cover art is so terribawesome, but it's DC so who the heck can tell?
In this issue, Power Girl and Supergirl go to Supergirl's mini Fortress of Solitude (called "Sanctuary") to get their bearings after some cross-dimensional adventures, but the security system can't handle the fact that they have identical DNA, decides that one or both of them must be an evil clone, and tries to kill them, eventually turning into a giant slaughterbot that is now pursuing them.
It's a really fun issue, both well-written and well-drawn, but to be totally honest, I only picked it up because of the ROFLcopter cover. I hope the people who'd like this comic aren't being put off by that, because this is easily one of the most fun DC books I've found so far.
|I can always be won over by a giant robot fight.|
Seriously, though, you guys, let's all just look at that cover again and have a laugh.
Though part of me can't help but think that there are folks out there enjoying this cover for less smarmy and more icky reasons, and that makes me very sad indeed.