The second batch....
X-Men #10.NOW - Ghosts #1 my ass. This is the story that this entire series has been about, and it's a direct continuation of last issue. I can see with the fake #1 that Wood is making an effort to be more expository, and that's useful. Unfortunately there's some basic quality problems in this issue that may be offputting, starting with basic grammar. "I'm not use to going toe-to-toe with magic users"? (And that's from Monet and she's supposed to be perfect, right?) Then there's Storm saying "This display is courtesy of the Cerebro spikes that Psylocke stole from that freak show Xavier descendant." I can't even parse that sentence, let alone believe it came from Storm's mouth. Also some problems with word balloon direction...
...and a missing face (haven't seen one of those in a while!).
Not putting your best foot forward. If you can get past the production problems, this DOES seem like a decent jumping on point for someone interested in the book but missed the first few issues (or coming in off the crossover issues that i skipped). Not because it's the first part of a story but because the script actually bothers with making the book accessible. And frankly, that's useful to me, too, as someone that reads lots of comics and other stuff every month and can't remember every detail of every issue. Not to mention the fact that this book has all the kid X-Men that i don't know much about, so again the exposition was helpful. The fact that it requires a special issue with a made-up number to do this stuff is kind of sad; it used to be that this kind of thing was standard. I know it often went too far in the other direction, with every character shouting their names and powers every issue, but this issue finds a nice balance and there's no reason it couldn't always be like this. As for the actual story, it continues to be interesting and is building nicely. The sentinel battle and the planned new recruits for the Sisterhood are things to look forward to.
Black Widow #3 - One thing we were disappointed by in the Captain Ms. Marvel series was how she was first thrown into a time-travel story that mucked with her origin, then given a brain aneurysm, de-powered, etc.. Similarly with Sif and her berzerker thing. Why couldn't we just watch these super-heroines do their thing for a while before we get into deconstruction? So i have to admit, that's exactly what we have here with Black Widow. Just going on spy missions and kicking ass, with a little bit of character insight. That said, the stories still have to be interesting and i'm still on the fence about that. And maybe my complaints about decompression are being taken a little too literally; the stories don't have to be entirely one-and-done. I think with the introduction of Maria Hill and the Widow taking a SHIELD job, we might see a larger plot develop. So i'd say it's worth going a little further with this.
Iron Man #21 - This continues to be good with the Red Peril character having some nuance (and a terrible name; i still think she should have been a new Firebrand) and Gillen doing nice with the scripting and the new "Mandarins" and their funny rings.
Secret Avengers #15 - Very nice! Luke Ross really shines in this issue. Doing things Steranko-style seems to be the new trend again, but Ross does it well and it's of course fitting for this style. And a nice fakeout on killing Mockingbird. As i was reading it i was thinking what was the point of bringing back Bobbi in Secret Invasion just to kill her again, but (i assume at this point i'm not spoiling this for anyone except Min) killing off the extraneous Black Widow is a lot easier to take, and of course she can come back as a cyborg if we want to use her again. The inclusion of the fake Shang-Chi was a little weird and he was taken care of very easily, but whatever, still a fun little fight. See? I praised lots of stuff in this issue and didn't even mention that all i'm really excited about is MODOK joining SHIELD.
Ms. Marvel #1 - Wow, this was really great. I've read some complaints from potentially sympathetic readers saying that Kamala comes across as TOO stereotypically Muslim, with the bacon bit at the beginning and other things with her family, and i agree that it comes on a bit strong at first. But once she pivots to "why can't i be normal" you realize it's a classic Spider-Man type story. And i liked the art by Alphona. I liked him recently on the issues he did of Uncanny X-Force but a more quirky teen drama book like this is better for the original Runaways artist. So, here's hoping this keeps up. (Wanyas is right, though: i don't know what beach these kids are hanging out at in Jersey City).
Revolutionary War: Death's Head II - First of all, i've never liked Death's Head II, just on principle, because he isn't Death's Head I. But i did enjoy this. Because, hey, Death's Head I, yes? And holy cow, knock me over with a feather, he mentions rebuilding his body after his encounter with Iron Man! Yeah, this was fun. You can't go wrong when the villain busts out in a giant concussion cannon with a big drill bit on the front. And this series continues to do a good job of introducing these characters and their histories (if only through a standard "let me download your memories" plot device this time). And despite the unusual format - different writers, different characters, no sequential numbering - the story has been fairly cohesive. It's been a nice diversion.
Superior Foes of Spider-Man #8 - Poor Shocker. He used to have such a nice apartment. And now even the severed head of Silvermane is mocking him. Thanks, Obama! This continues to be just an awesome comic. And i've finally figured out that the one guy on this team that i haven't really gotten a handle on is actually Big Wheel.
By fnord12 | February 21, 2014, 2:20 PM | Comics
XM: it's bad enough Coipel isn't the artist and i'm dealing with internal ambiguity about reading a book by Brian Wood. but this soap opera dialogue between Sublime and Rachel is god awful.
Rachel's super bitchy to Sublime to overcompensate for the fact that she's got a thing for him and feels guilty about it. then we have:
Sublime: Don't use telepathy. I want to hear you...say the words!
(i will be performing dramatic readings of the X-Men from my couch weekday evenings for the next month. thank you.)
look, i don't expect Marvel authors to read romance novels (although, they really ought to start if they want to write relationship stories), but holy god, please stop taking cues from General Hospital. if i have to read anymore of this kind of stuff, i'm going to end up throwing the comic across the room (that's what we do when we read bad relationship dialogue).
Iron Man: my favorite thing about this series is the talking rings and the lack of Greg Land.
Ms. Marvel so i won't get too married to the art since i know Marvel will do a switch on me at some point. not sure why they picked Jersey City if they wanted to do a story about a Pakistani girl living in a culturally uniform environment. that's just weird.
Revolutionary War: Death's Head!!!!!