GOTHAM CITY SIRENS #1
GREEN LANTERN #42
JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #28
LAST DAYS OF ANIMAL MAN #2
DYNAMO 5 #22
THE PERHAPANAUTS #6
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #598
ASTONISHING X-MEN #30
AVENGERS INVADERS #12
DARK AVENGERS #6
GUARDIANS OF GALAXY #15
INCREDIBLE HERCULES #130
NEW AVENGERS #54
SECRET WARRIORS #5
UNCANNY X-MEN #512
WOLVERINE WEAPON X #3
X-MEN FOREVER #2
Before we get to this week’s comic books, I have to address my failings as of late. I have only done three reviews in the past two weeks. That is shameful and simply unacceptable. I like to lead by example, and I have certainly not done that with my boys here at The Revolution. I will admit to feeling burned out over the past two weeks. I do not know if it is just a general malaise that I have concerning the majority of what Marvel and DC have been doing as of late. Or, I may simply have writer’s fatigue.
Also, I have been watching Lost like a madman for the past two weeks. I try and watch three to four episodes a night. And that is time that I usually spend writing reviews. Maybe once I finish off the fifth season of Lost my output will go back to what it used to be. And, my last excuse is that I have been spending time concentrating on the design and implementation of the new website for The Revolution. There, I have apologized and given several lame excuses. I will endeavor not to suck so much in the upcoming weeks.
We have a total of 23 titles headed to the Bunker today. Talk about a monster sized week! Once again, my pull is heavier with Marvel titles. I am also dropping a couple of titles today. Detective Comics is getting the axe. The combination of Batwoman and Renee Montoya as the Question is as unpalatable an offering to me as a heaping helping of road kill for dinner. I honestly cannot think of a title that appeals to me less than what DC is offering up with this new direction on Detective Comics.
I am neutral on Greg Rucka’s writing. I would not avoid a title because Rucka is the writer. But, I would not specifically purchase a title because Rucka is the writer. Also, at no point has Batwoman even remotely interested in me. I largely dislike derivative characters in the first place. So, that effectively limits how much I will ever enjoy Batwoman’s character. And, at this point, Batwoman’s character seems to be defined by being a lipstick lesbian and that is about it. Sorry, but there just has to be more to her character than her sexuality. And Rucka cannot go the route of making Batwoman just a female version of Bruce Wayne.
And since I am a Vic Sage fan, there is simply no way that I will ever enjoy Renee Montoya as the Question. It is just not going to happen. And that is too bad, because I loved Montoya’s character back when she was a member of the Gotham Police Department. Montoya was great. But, the silly move to make Renee Montoya the new Question has totally soured me on her character. Way to go, DC! With one move you ruined two perfectly good characters in Vic and Renee. Therefore, I will be taking a sabbatical from Detective Comics until Bruce Wayne returns to reclaim his rightful title.
I am also dropping a Marvel title from my pull list. I already gave Wolverine: Origins the axe a few months ago. And this week I will be dropping Wolverine. Oh, I am sorry; the proper title is Dark Wolverine. Everything has to be “Dark” over at Marvel these days. I guess Marvel felt they needed a character as annoying and uninteresting as DC’s Damien Wayne. So, we get Daken.
At no point have I been even remotely interested in Daken’s character. I think I actually find Daken to be even more of a waste of panel space than Damien. At least when Morrison handles Damien’s character he is partially interesting for a panel or two. But, Daken? Not even for a second have I found any reason for this character to exist. And having to read a comic starring Daken? No thanks. A trip to the dentist for a root canal sounds more enticing than reading Dark Wolverine.
And the writers for Dark Wolverine do nothing for me. I will admit that I have never heard of Marjorie Lui before. So, I googled her. It appears that she writes fantasy/goth/adventure/romance type novels. Lui has also written the comic book NYX. I am sure that Lui is an incredibly talented writer. But, her choice of genre does not appeal to me. Lui’s co-writer is Daniel Way. Great. Way is the reason that I dropped both Ghost Rider and Wolverine: Origins. Evidently, Marvel is trying to get me to drop almost every Wolverine title just like DC is trying to get me to drop almost every Batman title.
All right, I am giving two Image titles a try this week. Kelson from Speed Force recommended that I give Dynamo 5 and The Perhapanauts a try. Ryan the Iowan over at Weekly Crisis heartily endorsed Kelson’s suggestion for me to try Dynamo 5; especially since I prefer super hero comic books to any other genre. I respect both Kelson and Ryan’s opinions so I am picking up Dynamo 5 #22 and The Perhapanauts #6. I am sure I will enjoy these new titles. And it helps in my effort to finally branch out from reading just Marvel and DC comics.
Which DC comic book am I most looking forward to reading? I am giving into peer pressure and will be picking up a copy of Gotham City Sirens #1. I have never liked Harley Quinn. (I know, I know. That is pure blasphemy in the world of comic books.) And I have never been interested in Poison Ivy’s character. And it has been a long time since I found Catwoman interesting. But, I am going to put all of that aside because I do enjoy Paul Dini’s work. And I love the preview artwork from Guillem March. So, I am going to give this title three issues to hook me and earn a spot on my permanent pull list.
I expect Justice Society of America #28 to be a solid read. Jerry Ordway is delivering a tightly crafted two issue story arc that concludes with this issue. Ordway whipped up a story in the last issue that moved with a nice pace, was fairly compressed, delivered nice character work and good dialogue. The story itself has a nice old school feel to it which works well with the Justice Society of America. As far as filler story arcs are concerned, this one is one of the better ones.
Green Lantern #42 is the DC comic book that I am most looking forward to reading. This issue is the conclusion of “Agent Orange” story arc. While I have found Green Lantern Corps to be a more exciting lead-in to Blackest Night; Green Lantern has still been a well crafted read. Johns has the hype machine cranked up on level 11 as we head toward Blackest Night next month. I would imagine that Johns is going to deliver a gripping ending to “Agent Orange.”
Which DC comic book am I least looking forward to reading? My enthusiasm for Last Days of Animal Man #2 is muted. I found the debut issue of this title to be rather disappointing. I love Buddy’s character, but Gerry Conway delivered a pedestrian read. I respect Conway’s accomplishments and he has had an impressive career. But, the story for this title felt a bit generic. The story is moving way too slowly and does not appear to have any real purpose. Hopefully, Conway can crank up the intensity and give this story a bit more direction with this issue.
The DC comic book that I am least looking forward to reading is Superman #689. This title continues to be a dull read. The current story arc lacks anything special that really hooks the reader. I feel like I am reading filler story arcs. I am surprised at how unimpressed I have been about Superman. Mon-El is a beloved Legionnaire that is dear to my heart. And I think the world of James Robinson and usually enjoy his work. Unfortunately, the execution of an interesting master plan for this title in the absence of Kal-El has been lacking.
Which Marvel comic book am I most looking forward to reading? I am confident that Amazing Spider-Man #598 is going to be another great read. I am thoroughly enjoying the “American Son” story arc. I loathed large portions of JMS’ run on Amazing Spider-Man and hated the Mephisto retcon. I was summarily unimpressed with “Brand New Day.” I was starting to get the feeling that I would never enjoy Amazing Spider-Man again.
Well, I was certainly wrong about that. The “American Son” story arc is exactly what this title needed. This is a well crafted story that effectively utilizes all of the smaller story arcs that we have gotten on this title since “Brand New Day.” This is a strongly plotted and paced story arc. This is a template that I wish more comic books would employ. There is no need for massive earth-shattering events. Just focus on solid smaller stories that lead to a well structured and cohesive monster story arc that only impacts the title at hand rather than trying to impact the entire universe.
I am looking forward to reading the finale in Avengers/Invaders #12. I expect Krueger to give us a good ending to this story. To be sure, Avengers/Invaders has had its share of defects. Most notably has been the pacing. This story simply did not need to be a twelve issue limited series. This story could have been told much more effectively and been more entertaining if it had been delivered in eight issues. There have been moments where it felt that Krueger was simply stalling in order to stretch the story across twelve issues. There just was not enough substance to this story to warrant twelve issues.
The poor pacing and amount of fluff that was been added into the various issues hurt what was a pretty cool story concept. I am a huge Golden Age fan and I have enjoyed getting to see the Invaders in action. I have also enjoyed the use of the various Golden Age Timely characters. In the end, the dialogue has been well written and Krueger has displayed a nice feel for the various characters. Looking back upon this entire story, I have the feeling that Avengers/Invaders will read better in trade format than it did in monthly format.
Daredevil #119 is the penultimate chapter of the “Return of the King” story arc. “Return of the King” is a fantastic story and worthy of the honor of closing out Brubaker’s run on this title. I have loved Brubaker’s run on this title and am sad to see him leave. I think that Daredevil is the perfect match for Brubaker’s talents.
I am unsure if I am going to keep Daredevil on my permanent pull list past issue #500. I loved Frank Miller’s run on Daredevil. I read those issues in trade format. I added Daredevil to my permanent pull list once Bendis took over the title. I usually enjoy Bendis’ work and decided to pick up Daredevil just because of Bendis. When Bendis left, I stayed with Daredevil because I am a huge fan of Brubaker.
However, with Brubaker’s departure, I think I am going to go ahead and give Daredevil the axe and cut it from my permanent pull list. The fact is that I only have been reading Daredevil because of the writers who were handling the title and not because of Daredevil’s character. Andy Diggle is slated to take over the reins of Daredevil. Andy Diggle is a competent writer, but I have never been particularly impressed with his work.
Guardians of Galaxy #15 is another War of Kings tie-in issue. And this issue should be a kick-ass action packed read. We get to see the Guardians knock heads with both the Inhumans and the Imperial Guard. There is no doubt in my mind that I am going to enjoy this issue.
Incredible Hercules #130 should be another quality read. This title is such a dependable title. Van Lente and Pak always crank out fun and entertaining reads on Incredible Hercules. This issue continues Hercules trip into the realm of Hades. I loved Van Lente and Pak’s take on the afterlife in the last issue. It was incredibly original, clever and fascinating. I am looking forward to seeing the rest of Hades and watching Hercules cross paths with his father, Zeus.
Nova #26 finally brings Nova into the War of Kings storyline with this War of Kings tie-in issue. It is good to have Rich back as Nova Prime. DnA have done a bit of a soft re-set with this title. And for that reason, now is the perfect time for new readers to hop aboard Nova and enjoy some of the cosmic goodness that DnA have been brewing on this title.
Wow, look at this! An issue of Thor. What kind of shipping schedule is this title on? We have only gotten fifteen issues in two years. The sporadic shipping schedule of this title has seriously impinged upon my enthusiasm for Thor. And it is too bad, because I think that JMS has done a nice job with the return of the Asgardians.
I am sure that Thor #602 will be a solid read. What I am looking forward to the most about this issue is Marko Djurdjevic‘s incredible artwork. Nobody draws Norse gods like Djurdjevic. If nothing else, I know that Thor #602 will be gorgeous looking.
I expect Wolverine: Weapon X #3 to provide the reader with some quality action and adventure. Jason Aaron has done a great job on this title. Aaron is treating the reader to a classic take on Logan’s character that is refreshingly free of Romulus, Lupines, Daken and mystical swords. Wolverine: Weapon X is the only Wolverine title that is worth purchasing at the moment.
The Marvel comic book that I am most looking forward to reading is Secret Warriors #5. I was unfamiliar with Jonathan Hickman’s work prior to reading Secret Warriors. Well, let me say that Hickman has blown me away. I am so impressed with Hickman’s writing. Marvel needs to give this guy more work. The next big writing star for Marvel is Jonathan Hickman. No doubt in my mind.
At any rate, Secret Warriors #5 is set to deliver the exciting conclusion to this opening story arc as we are going to finally see HAMMER, Hydra and the Howling Commandos knock heads. It should be fun to see Nick Fury back in action once again. I fully expect this issue to deliver some great action scenes. I strongly recommend giving Secret Warriors a try. This is one of Marvel’s better books. Secret Warriors should appeal to a wide range of readers since it is a neat blend of the super hero genre, the espionage genre and the military black ops genre.
Which Marvel comic book am I least looking forward to reading? I can barely muster much interest in Astonishing X-Men #30. This title has rapidly declined since Joss Whedon left. Part of the problem is that Ellis is beginning to repeat himself in the stories that he writes. Ellis keeps revisiting the same themes over and over. I feel like I keep reading a slightly different take on the same story. Ellis has done nothing to capture my interest with the current story.
Another problem with Astonishing X-Men is the poor shipping schedule. Ellis took over this title with Astonishing X-Men #25 back in July, 2008. In the span of one year, we have gotten just six issues. The dull story combined with the poor shipping schedule has sapped much of my interest in Astonishing X-Men. I think it is about time for Astonishing X-Men to get the axe from my permanent pull list.
I do not have high hopes for Dark Avengers #6. I enjoyed the first four issues of Dark Avengers. However, the last issue of Dark Avengers was truly awful. The plotting was shoddy, the pacing was incredibly slow and Bendis served up a heaping helping of rambling and pointless dialogue. I can only hope that Dark Avengers #5 was a mere hiccup and that Dark Avengers #6 will be a nice rebound issue. I would hate for Dark Avengers to go the same way as New Avengers.
I am sure that I will be completely bored with New Avengers #54. I could care less about the Hood. And I could care less about replacing Dr. Strange as the Sorcerer Supreme. I just want well crafted, nicely paced action and adventure stories that move with a purpose and star the greatest team in the 616 universe: the Avengers. And I would like to see the Avengers doing what they do best: saving the world from threats to great for any one super hero to handle. Unfortunately, I will probably get a meandering story full of pointless dialogue staring a roster of characters that are largely not worthy of being called Avengers.
I am not that excited to read Thunderbolts #133. This is another title that is close to getting dropped from my permanent pull list. Thunderbolts #133 is going to center on the Thunderbolts hunting down Songbird. To this point, the only aspect of Thunderbolts that I have really found that entertaining as been Ant-Man. I love Kirkman’s Ant-Man and he is the only thing keeping me getting this title.
Diggle has failed to give the Thunderbolts a real purpose and meaning in the current 616 Universe. The stories have been serviceable, but not good enough to warrant me plunking down $3.00 every month. Maybe Thunderbolts #133 will get me to change my mind. I will give Thunderbolts three more issues to prove that it is worthy of staying on my permanent pull list.
I am not expecting Uncanny X-Men #512 to be a particularly good read. This title remains a disappointment under Fraction’s direction. Last issue gave us a terribly anti-climactic and hurried ending to the Red Queen story arc. The dialogue continues to be poorly crafted. The character work is largely non-existent.
However, there is hope with this issue as we begin the “The Origins of Species” story arc with a little bit of time travelling. This story arc has the potential to be much more entertaining than the past one. Still, I am keeping my expectations incredibly low. I find that such an approach is the best way to deal with Uncanny X-Men.
The Marvel comic book that I am least looking forward to reading is X-Men Forever #2. The debut issue of this title was incredibly dull. Claremont presented the reader with a massive amount of exposition. It was mind numbing. I have a feeling that X-Men Forever is going to get cut from my permanent pull list in another couple of issues.