Super Mega Monkey Ultra Extreme III Alright!!!!
When you're really good, they call you HIPer HIPo.
I am back and i've got a big backlog to get through, so usual caveats apply...
Avengers vs. X-Men #6 - The cover and title page still say "Round 6", implying that this is still a fight book, but in fact we've completely lost the original plot and we're now doing a "power corrupts" thing instead. Which is fine, although i suggest that the title of this event should have been Phoenix: Good or Bad? instead of Avengers vs. X-Men. Even when the fight starts up again next issue, it's not really the Avengers vs. the X-Men anymore; it's Avengers vs. the Phoenix Force. Again, not what i was expecting, and i was defending the thinness of the plot for the first several issues on the grounds that this was just a Big Dumb Fight book, but fine. However, even looking at it from that perspective, there is no development of the "power corrupts" theme. We've got the Avengers just taking it for granted that the X-Men are going to get corrupted, and it makes them look like jerks. Taking the time, either here or in the tie-ins (preferably here), to show the X-Men starting off doing good but eventually doing questionable things, and having that happen before the Avengers start building their new anti-Phoenix weapons, would have made this story a lot more believable. But the worst thing about this issue in particular is how dry it is. I think it's because Hickman is scripting. I couldn't get into his FF book for the same reason. No one has any personality. Even when significant things seem to be happening (like Thor punching a 12 year old boy in the gut) my initial reaction is "who cares?". They should really have Bendis scripting the whole thing. I'm sticking with this event and hoping it'll read better all at once, but right now i don't know what they're thinking.
There's also the chronology of this issue to consider. It opens with "Ten days later". That's how it starts. Then "Two days later". Then just "Later". Then "Three days later". Finally, we get "Now". Uh, when?
New Avengers #27 - Speaking of the chronology, i guess everything we've been reading in this book about K'un Lun takes place after AvX 6. It's really weird how Marvel just dumps out a bunch of books and expects you to piece it all together like it's a jigsaw puzzle. It's fine for those of us who have websites devoted to this sort of thing, although even i find it frustrating, but i can't imagine what someone coming in from the Avengers movie thinks of it. Anyway, you can give me Bendis/Deodato Spider-Man any day, in any context, and i'll enjoy it, so we're good here.
Avengers Academy #32 - Godammit, White Queen, i just bought all those Sentinel comics now that Gage has made me enjoy the characters so much, and now you're gonna go and kill the Sentinel before i even have a chance to read them? Jerk. This was great, as always. I love Gage's X-23. I love Gage's everybody, really.
X-Men Legacy #269 - Except his X-Men. It's odd how i love his Academy but i'm not getting into his Legacy. Granted it's some AvX stuff that, per the plot of AvX #6, requires Magik to already be so corrupt that she's throwing prisoners into a demonic Limbo pit, and that's not Gage's fault. But i see what he's trying to do here with the Rogue/Ms. Marvel connection, and it's just not working because he's writing Rogue to be so punch-happy that the characters can't have a decent conversation.
Daredevil #14 - Cool scenario to put DD in, and a great ending. Fun comic. And i like that Dr. Doom isn't actually in it, since i don't imagine him to be quite so petty but it's fine coming from his Secretary of Treasury or whatever.
Dark Avengers #176 - Heh. That didn't take long. Hope readers coming in for the actual Dark Avengers don't mind the bait and switch. In any event, *i* enjoyed this. And all signs are point to me having to go back and pick up where i left off on the Millar/Hitch FF.
Winter Soldier #7 - I am over the gorilla thing, and Guice is off art, so i'm enjoying this more. And considering this is all the Brubaker i'm going to be allowed, i guess i'll stick with this title. Can't say i really care about the plot or anything, but this is fine.
X-Factor #238-239 - ... (i really just have nothing to say about these. I don't recommend them to anyone, but they're fine.)
Avengers vs. X-Men #7 - I need to start by saying the White Queen's costume is just offensively ridiculous. Thank you. Ok, so it's not even the Avengers vs. the Phoenix Force. It's Scarlet Witch vs. the Phoenix Force. I kinda thought the point of Children's Crusade was to bring the Scarlet Witch back down to her regular power levels, but maybe she was left with a special Phoenix zapper or something? I don't know, people. I hate to be so negative all the time, but this series just doesn't seem to be very good.
Spider-Men #2 - If friend Bob, who is keeping up with the Ultimate universe, understood this correctly, and if i understood Bob correctly, then the big revelation for this issue is that Ultimate Mysterio is actually a projection of the "real" Mysterio. Which, if accurate, is an interesting and seemingly permanent connection to make between the main and Ultimate universes, which really makes the Ultimate line a pocket-verse like any old alternate future or whatever; something that Marvel used to swear would never happen but i'm totally fine with. As for the part of this issue that wasn't over my head: plot's a bit thin (actually two issues in and i'm not sure we've done more than establish a setting) but i like Bendis' Spidey-dialogue.
New Mutants #44 - I'm building up to a whole post about this but for now: every time i see the Defenders show up somewhere in a book that i like, such as here or Red Hulk, i think to myself, "Hrmm, i should be reading the Defenders". Then i remember that it's by Fraction, and every time i read anything by Fraction, i'm disappointed. So i guess i should just enjoy the guest appearances. And this was fun, even if their only purpose was to vaguely deliver a plot for the Mutants to handle. I'm hoping this is tying in with Astonishing X-Men, since both are hinging on Karma' possession powers, but it doesn't seem like it, which is really bad coordination.
Astonishing X-Men #51 - I love how the Karma plot is literally just on hold so that Northstar and Kyle can have their wedding, but clearly most people buying this issue aren't going to care about all that, so it's to be expected. And thankfully this wedding doesn't get interrupted by a super-villain attack and just gets to be an actual wedding, and decently written. I want to quibble a bit with who's not comfortable with a gay wedding (Alien bird lady has a problem with it? Really? And Puck?), but i guess someone had to be. I'm really not sure where we are with Aurora's multiple-personality disorder anymore, but her Jean-Marie persona's strict Catholic upbringing might have made for a more interesting conflict. I did like my alternate cover with all the super-hero wedding photos, but it was funny as i went through the pictures and went "dead", "dead", "divorced", "divorced and dead", etc..
Hulk #54-55 - These issues are a lot of fun and that's even before you get to the talking monkeys.
Journey Into Mystery #640 - i've been enjoying these issues so much i got all the back issues and i've now read them all and i can say that this is an A+ comic book. Really great stuff. As for the current plotline, i appreciate working in the stuff from Cornell's Captain Britain series.
By fnord12 | July 15, 2012, 9:52 PM | Comics
AvsX #6: i don't really have much feeling invested in this crossover event. i was annoyed when it was announced because it meant putting the plotlines in every other book on hold yet again when they had just finished doing the Fear Itself crossover. i want to read comics about various different groups of people having their own storylines. i don't want to read crossover after crossover. so, the fact that a) it's a disaster for anyone who cares about reading things in the order the events take place, b) it doesn't seem to have a clear direction, and (MOST DISTRESSING), c) relies entirely on characters behaving completely unlike themselves hasn't upset me to the degree it has upset others.
not that i'm not upset, mind you. if you want to completely change how a character behaves, you need to work up to it and give a reason for that character's evolution. you can either choose characters and write a story that makes sense for those characters or you come up with a story that requires your characters to act a certain way and choose the right ones that fit that mold. you don't choose characters and shoehorn them into your story. that is bad writing. that is being disrespectful to a universe of established characters. thor would NEVER hit a child and for damn sure Cap wouldn't be ok with it. nor would any of the other Avengers. so, i have to ask - WTF?
NA: this is the best thing that's come of the whole Avengers vs X-Men thing. it's stupid that they published it concurrently with other tie-ins even though the events taking place in this title have yet to happen in those tie-ins. but that's the new Marvel for you. worrying about continuity and coherent storytelling shouldn't get in the way of bad storytelling. but, anyway, my point is here is the one shining light in this crossover mess. i love this book right at this moment cause i love Spider-Man when he's written well. more of this, please.
AA: X-23's still running around campus in her bra. we're going on month 3 or 4 with this. she should not take her fashion queues from Tigra. fnord12 and i were discussing my feelings on this title and why it annoys me. we've determined that what he loves is what i hate. i hate that they're just sitting around discussing their feelings every issue. it's Sweet Valley High with super powers. shut up and hit something, already! whining teenagers. gah!
XML: more out of character behavior so we can justify people just punching each other for no reason. now, i know this might sound contradictory based on my complaint of Avengers Academy, but why is Rogue just punching Ms. Marvel and refusing to hear her out? look, i want more action and less talk about how people feel, but it has to be action that makes sense. and, as fnord12 mentioned to me last night, it was Rogue who got Ms. Marvel's memories. Ms. Marvel shouldn't "know" Rogue better than anyone else. it's the other way around.
DD: oh here we go. can't have a DD book that doesn't end in tears, no we can't. i knew this new, non-miserable Daredevil was just a ruse to get me reading it again. on the other hand, that Finance Minister's outfit is hysterical.
DA: Man-Thing talks!!!!! and he talks to Troll!!!! Squeee!!! as for the rest of it - meh.
WS: art is definitely better. you can follow the story. fnord12 says Guice used to be Epting's inker, so he learned how to draw during his stint as an inker, but he didn't pick up on the storytelling aspect of it. too bad. he does good work when you can figure out what the hell he's trying to show you.
XF: unlike fnord12, i find this book to be at least on par with Dark Avengers or Daredevil in terms of my enjoyment. the characters are running off in different directions, so there's no one single plotline, but at least people are doing things while talking about their feelings. and Peter David's writing isn't bad. the dialogue is entertaining and each character has their own personality. wow. what a concept. that said, this particular storyline focusing on the Banshee wasn't super thrilling, but it seems to be a smaller part of a bigger plot since that red-skinned, ram-horned chick is in it. i think that eventually, all the seemingly unconnected plots the various characters are currently following will be pulled together in an overarching plot.
AvX #7: White Queen's costume didn't seem all that much more ridiculous than other costumes she's sported. at least things all seemed to adhere to the majority of the rules of physics, unlike Quitely's White Queen costume. (hated Quitely) i do think that it's weird she'd choose something that covered so much of her torso only to have shoestrings covering her bum.
SM: i don't think "projection" is the correct term for the Mysterio-bot. when i hear projection, i think a mental/spiritual manifestation of yourself, like what Dr. Strange does (or Prof. X when he yells at you to get to his office in 10 seconds). i would call this a remote controlled robot, where the controller is the helmet, which makes more sense if Mysterio's skillset is technological rather than mystical. i haven't felt the plot is any thinner than usual. i would blame the "thinness" on comics being written for trades, and therefore, very little occurs in each individual issue. if Marvel wants to write for trades, they shouldn't worry so much about month-to-month sales of single issues. if they want successful single issues, they should write for the single issue format. i think successful trade sales would just naturally be a fallout of successful single issues. can't reverse that equation, though. and i repeat: i love well-written Spider-Man dialogue.
NM: other than Iron Fist crouching down to hide from the downstairs neighbor, i didn't care for the appearance of the Defenders just so they could issue a totally uninformative warning. "we traced something to you. fix it." how about some clue as to what the hell you're talking about, how i should go about discovering it, and how i should fix things. or better yet. you're here. unlike us, you have the ability to sense the problem. what should we do?
JiM: i also enjoy young Loki. Gillen good.
The Epting/Guice pairing seems to be shorter than i thought and probably doesn't account for the "pretty pictures, bad storytelling" attribute, although i agree with that assessment.
If you're ok with the White Queen's Phoenix-Thong i guess i have to re-evaluate my opinions on what's acceptable female super-hero garb.