Thursday, June 13, 2013

Wednesdaybusiness 6/12/13

Speeding to catch up on almost a month's worth of comics after a hectic move to a new apartment. These reviews may be a bit brusque!


Astonishing X-Men #63 by Marjorie Liu and Gabriel Hernandez Walta

You know what? I'm just going to come right out and say it: This comic is fucking stupid.

So apparently Iceman was severely messed up by the events of X-Termination, though I only know that through the synopsis on Marvel's website. He's so far been dealing with this by... harassing all of his ex-girlfriends. Now he's gone all Omega-Level Mutant and frozen all of America. The fact that all of the USA is frozen is not mentioned in any other Marvel comic, FYI, and Iceman seems to be fine in all the other X-Comics he's in. While he's busy freezing the entire country and turning himself into a giant ice-monster, he's also rounding up all his exes for... reasons. This doesn't entirely make sense, because some of his exes are quite powerful in their own right. Shadowcat has seen her share of battle, and Polaris is Magneto's friggin' daughter.

I've noticed a trend of internalized sexism in Majorie Liu's comics. As a straight cisgendered dude, I don't necessarily like to even bring something like this up - because I know I probably shouldn't be opining on how a woman chooses to write women - but this story is really wigging me out. Last issue's scene where Iceman took over Mystique's bathwater and started feeling her up has not been addressed as any sort of assault or violation; In fact, she actually seemed more worried about him than anything. In this issue, he's literally freezing his ex-girlfriends in blocks of ice, and they're still all "OH POOR BOBBY!"

My good friend Jellybean "Don't You Die on Me!" Bonanza referred to this issue as He's Just Not That Into You Even Though You Could Combine Forces And Kill Him. I think that's pretty spot-on.

Nice Guy Iceman is sick of being put in the Friend-Zone, is what I'm saying.

Maybe worry more about the army of ice-monsters and less about the immature idiot you all dumped years ago.


Avengers Assemble #16 by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Matteo Buffagni

In part two of The Enemy Within, Captain Marvel has bucked the usual trends and tropes, and actually gone with the most rational course of action right away: Calling up all of her teammates in the Avengers the instant things seem to be starting to go wrong. I can't even describe how happy this makes me. I really hate it when something horrible is going down in the middle of New York City and I'm left saying "Where are all the eighty-kajillion other superheroes in NYC? Why is it just [blank] handling this alone?!"

So S.W.O.R.D. reports a Brood invasion in the center of NYC, yet they didn't detect their ship approaching. The Avengers - especially Thor, Wolverine, and Hulk - make short work of the aliens, like you'd hope and expect. Captain Marvel is starting to realize that she's been passing through a Greatest Hits of her superhero career, and that her unseen enemy Yon-Rogg is to blame.

Yon-Rogg, meanwhile, is trying to contact his fellow Kree on the planet Hala to report in, and offers to conquer the Earth for them. They basically tell him to go screw, he has a hissy fit, absorbs the last shard of the Psyche-Magnetron into himself, and vows to conquer the Earth for himself.

I love DeConnick's writing (I know I say that all the damned time but it's true), and I'm glad they're giving her a sort of Event book, even if it's taking place over the course of two comics she was already writing. I'm quite interested to see where this thing goes, as the stakes are already pretty high and we're only on part two of five.

This comic is so self-aware that it runs the risk of coming to life.

Avenging Spider-Man #22 by Christopher Yost and David Lopez

Octo-Spidey and The Punisher both end up fighting Hobgoblin. The Punisher uses the opportunity to find out if Spider-Man really has begun killing his enemies, and finds out that the answer is YUP. He confronts Spider-Man about it, they get in a brief scuffle, Spidey webs him to a wall.

The books ends with the revelation that Octo-Spidey's been keeping all his enemies and/or former comrades (depending on how you look at it) in tubes deep in some bunker somewhere. I hope we learn more about that, but I believe this is the last issue of this comic, which is restarting as Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #1 next issue.

I don't mean to undersell this issue, as it was a great read. There just isn't a whole lot to summarize about it. And sometimes a simple, solid story is a good thing.

22,173 is a lot of entries. Where does Frank keep all these hundreds of journals?

Batman #21 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo

The full title of this comic is Batman: Zero Year: Secret City: Part One. Clearly, the Nü52 is living up to its promise that it will simplify things. LOL LOL LOL.

I guess this is supposed to be the Nü52 version of Batman: Year One. Except that where Year One was gritty and direct, Zero Year is zany and baffling. I may just be stupid, but I seriously could follow this thing. All I really know is that young Bruce Wayne was whiny and wore a lot of rubber Mission Impossible masks, and that we're getting A Portrait of the Riddler as a Young Man.

I think this is just a case of me being too firmly grounded in my Post-Crisis upbringing. I know who my Batman is and where he came from, and this is not my Batman.


Guardians of the Galaxy #4 by Brian Michael Bendis, Steve McNiven, and Sara Pichelli

This comic took a little while to grow on me, especially with the sort of emo rejiggering of Star-Lord's backstory, but I'm finally starting to feel like it's slowly approaching the level of awesomeness that Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning were able to squeeze out of these characters a few years back. It isn't quite there yet, but it's certainly picking up. I think that Bendis is finally starting to get better at writing ensemble casts. I don't know if he took some writing lessons or what (and I'm not saying that to make fun of him; there's nothing wrong with making efforts to improve your art), but it's a noticeable change from the clusterfuck Avengers books he was writing a few years ago, and I'm genuinely impressed.

Minor gripe: The planet is called Spartax. The people and things on the planet are referred to as Spartoi. Bendis still isn't very good at research.

He IS Groot, you know.

Savage Wolverine #6 by Zeb Wells and Joe Madureira

So we're starting a new era of Savage Wolverine, where it will be a place writers and artists can tell whatever stories about Wolverine they want, without being bogged down by the constraints of continuity. I think that's a pretty rad idea.

However, this issue makes a point of mentioning that this takes place before Doc Ock took over Spider-Man's brain, which is a moot point both due to the non-canon nature of the series, and the fact that Spidey's only in it for a couple pages.

This issue is about Elektra recruiting Wolverine to fight some ninjas and do some killin'. The Hand, Kingpin, and Lady Bullseye are all involved. I'm excited about this one. I love Daredevil stuff, and chucking Wolverine in there instead could make for a really fun story.

It's tellin' you to stop sniffing women you don't know very well.

Superman Unchained #1 by Scott Snyder and Jim Lee

Andy Khouri of ComicsAlliance already had a really fun article about this comic on the internet before I even got the chance to read the thing, so you might as well just go check that out.

The one thing I'll say about this book is that I'm really glad to see Nü52 Superman actually behaving in a noble and heroic way, instead of being the smarmy asshole Geoff Johns has been writing him as in the various Justice League books. This actually feels like a proper Superman story, and that's great.

Though Jim Lee has a tendency to make Superman look really scary a lot of the time.

Uncanny X-Force #6 by Sam Humphries, Adrian Alphona, and Dexter Soy

We're finally starting to see some Spiral in this book, which frankly is the first thing that's caught my interest about it. Also, the Fantomex Triplets are back. Also also, Bishop seems to be going back to normal. This comic has been slow going so far, but it seems to be picking up. I'm glad to see it.

The Mojoverse: Not a great place to grow up!

Wolverine and the X-Men #31 by Jason Aaron and Nick Bradshaw

I'm starting to find out that I don't know many people who are following this book. You really should be. It's great.

The new Hellfire Club has gathered dozens of X-Villains to be teachers at their new school full of newly-discovered mutants and defectors from the Jean Grey School. Quentin Quire, aka Kid Omega, has attempted to infiltrate the school. He's failed. Things are getting interesting.

I really love Quentin Quire. I am totally willing to read a story that is all about him.

I love the idea of a supervillain school.

Wolverine #4 by Paul Cornell and Alan Davis

This book is crazily weird, made by two of the best people in the comics world, and I love it. That is all.

Seriously, Wolverine, stop sniffing people.

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