Marvel creators and editors everywhere have been unable to focus on their work. Fans unable to decide which books to drop or pick up. All await my now overdue judgement on the books below. Wait no longer! Except for the books that i didn't get to yet. You'll have to wait longer for those.
Daredevil #31 - In addition to writing really great Daredevil stories, it seems like Mark Waid is mining Daredevil's back issues in a way i really like. Last issue referenced the alien story from Daredevil #28. This issue used Jester in a very specific way, recalling his broadcast manipulations from Daredevil #135-137. And it's probably been going on longer than that; Daredevil is a series where i still have some gaps in my collection. But i recently realized that Waid's separation of duties between Foggy and Matt at the law office, which i wondered about in my review of Waid's issue #12, comes from Daredevil #226. The point is, we're getting great stories, nicely written, entertaining, well paced (not drawn out and decompressed over 6 issue arcs) and modern feeling, and in addition to that there's great utilization of and respect for past stories. I want to ask why all comics can't be like this (it's not just because Waid and Samnee are a great creative team) but instead i'll just focus on enjoying this book.
Secret Avengers #9 - I've been iffy about this series but i liked this issue, and i've realized it's because with these issues we're challenging the premise. I really hated the set-up, the idea that Black Widow and the others would submit to this mind-wiping scheme, and with this issue the series is shifting into Daisy Johnson fighting against that scheme herself. I'll have to re-read the series to date but i still think i've got a problem with how blase that concept was accepted by the other characters; if we had a sense all along that there was something wrong with it, i might have been more on board from the start. Still, here's hoping things are turning around. No real action this issue so Butch Guice's style wasn't a hindrance, either.
Captain Marvel #16 - On the one hand i feel kind of left out by not reading Infinity, although i'm pretty confident i don't like Hickman and i'm better off not reading it. This issue gives me enough of a glimpse of what's going on, and to DeConnick and Van Meter's credit, the story feels "important"; it doesn't feel like one of eight million tie-ins even though that's really what it is. There are a lot of characters to process, many of whom are new to me or new versions, but again i don't feel too lost. Shang-Chi's costume is pretty bad, but i guess that's neither here nor there.
Uncanny X-Force #11 - I don't know, i was pretty intrigued when the Demon Bear first reared its head in this series, but i don't know if this Revenant idea really contributes anything. I'm not yet seeing how it adds anything to the New Mutants story. Some of the insights of the dopplegangers were kind of cool, but i don't think Sam Humphries gets Puck at all, so his doppleganger was equally disappointing even if he was a funny Bro Dude in his own right. There does seem to be some cohesion of the plotline occurring finally, so i guess we'll stick with it for a while longer.
Iron Man #16 - The ending still leaves me with hope that the retcon about Stark's parents and birth is not real. Beyond that, it's a nice Gillen-written story with Pagulayan still on art, so i'll take it.
Wolverine #9 - A decent use of Batroc that made him competent and dangerous while still reveling in his silliness. I liked this issue and am looking forward to an Alan Davis-drawn Wolverine/Sabertooth confrontation.
Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #3 - This slipped past my gatekeeper; it's an Infinity tie-in not by the regular creative team, so we should have skipped it. And it's really bad. One thing i say a lot, and various people get mad at me about it, partially because i have trouble articulating it, is that modern comics are a lot better written and are more... sophisticated... than comics from past eras. The plots are more sensical, there's more time devoted to characterization and people reacting to things and having good conversations with each other, and the scripts are more natural (i'm not focusing on the art for now; i did like Del Mundo's impressionistic stylized art for what it's worth). The tradeoff is that the pacing can get glacial and the writers often choose to discard whatever they don't like or haven't researched from past issues (except, as noted above, for Mark Waid and some others). This comic, however, the dialogue was just atrociously wooden and bad. I had been away from my current comics for a while, and when i read this i had forgotten about the whole "Doc Ock in Spidey's body" thing. So when i read the first page, with Spider-Man telling Luke Cage "It's about time you had a career", i was like, der! "Hero for hire?" He's pretty much the only super-hero who's always had a career. But then i remembered he was really Doc Ock; maybe Octavius doesn't know that about Cage? But if it's Ock, why is he being written as his old quippy self? Even Monica Rambeau (whose name is "Spectrum" now, i guess?) complains about his snark. I haven't been following the main book - maybe he's becoming more Peter Parker-ish - but so far in this book and its predecessor, Spider-Man was much more Doc Ockish, and i really loved the tone that Christopher Yost set on this title, and it's all missing here. Top that off with a really generic new character and a story that only gives lip service to being part of the Infinity crossover and this just wasn't a fun issue. I should note that the only thing i've previously read by Robert Rodi was Identity Disc, and that was a fun little story, so i am extra disappointed about this.
Young Avengers #10 - This, on the other hand, was amazingly awesomely written. Some really nice twists, great dialogue, lots of cool weirdness. And McKelvie continues to innovate artwise in each issue. Really loving this book.
FF #12 - Someone finally acknowledged the Green/Purple connection. With this issue, Matt Fraction is transitioning out and Lee Allred is scripting, but i didn't detect much of a change. Still a weird, quirky book, which i am reveling in.
Indestructible Hulk #13 - This continues to be great but not as great as Waid's Daredevil, for whatever reason. Still great. I think maybe the problem here is the time-travel plot and the fact that after the continuity-destroying threat we were told about a couple of issues back, we're down to a standard time-travel romp. Enjoyed the little Maestro cameo, and the twist ending (with there now being two Banner minds on this journey).
Superior Foes of Spider-Man #1-4 - I originally passed on this for two reasons: 1) I hate that every thing that happens now (Superior Spider-Man, in this case) has to have eighteen spin-off books so i wanted to vote with my dollars and skip this and 2) It's written by Nick Spencer, who i haven't been loving on Secret Avengers. But i kept hearing good things about this series, that it was a quirky character driven book on the edges of the Marvel universe of interest to people that like the less core books like Avengers and are instead reading stuff like Young Avengers and FF. And that sounds like me! Luckily we were able to get all of the issues out so far; otherwise i would have skipped it. But this is a good book. Ocean's Eleven-ish, or, come to think of it, like Identity Disc. But definitely a fun heist-ish villain book. And pretty good at sticking to past continuity, so here's another example of comics as i like them. Wanyas was asking me if Shocker really is a schlubby loser as portrayed here, and i just so happened to read Web of Spider-Man #10 (timeline review coming soon!) right before i read this series, which worked out perfectly because in that issue he really is set up as a schlubby loser with pretensions of grandeur that are shattered by the end of the issue. And the main character here is Boomerang, and the story is building fairly well off of what was done with him in Thunderbolts recently. Which, again, i appreciate. Compare to, for example, Punisher in the (other) Thunderbolts series which just completely ignored his recent battle with the Avengers in his own series. As is always the case, it probably helps that i got to read four issues straight through instead of one a month, but i do think this is going to continue to be a good read.
By fnord12 | October 21, 2013, 9:53 PM | Comics
oy, i can't take much more of this Black Widow punching her own foot Dr. Pepper ad. it's in the back of every issue this month.
Re: Superior Foes
i'm only on page 6 or something so i don't have an opinion yet on the whole thing.
but what is up with this prison visit scene and the magic cordless handsets they're using to talk to each other thru the glass? unless prisons have really upgraded (and tv and movies haven't caught up), i was under the impression that they're not even really phones. just handsets that are connected so you can hear each other. and i can't imagine them shelling out for multiple handsets per window.
wikipedia tells me Steve Lieber was born in 1967, so no excuses for not ever having seen a real phone while growing up or something.