This week marks the first week where I’m whittling down my responsibilities on my blog to cover mostly just Marvel books. The owner of the Comic shop I go to, (Rembert at Reader Copies in Anderson, IN), asked me why today. The best way for me to answer that question is to simply say that I have only been reading DC for two years. I’ve been reading Marvel, on and off, for thirty years. As a result I find myself much more comfortable writing about these books. I will still mention books that are outstanding but my interest has always been pretty well centered on Marvel. That being said: Let’s get started.
1. The first book I read this week was Original Sin #7 of 8. This Marvel event has been a mixture of great and, at times, very frustrating. As most of you already know, The Watcher has been shot with irradiated bullets and murdered. His eyes were dug out of his head. Because The Watcher is an alien who is trained to only observe humanity, he has seen all sort of secrets. One of the eyes acted as a truth bomb during a battle in New York City and most of the Super Heroes that were present are facing secrets they never knew.
In addition, we have learned that Nick Fury, the old, white guy one ( not the Samuel L Jackson one) has secretly hired the Avengers, and a few of The Guardians of the Galaxy, to discover who killed The Watcher knowing secretly that he’s behind The Watcher’s murder. This issue of the book shows us the confrontation between the Avengers at Nick Fury.
There are a lot of unanswered questions still left at the end of this book. I am having trouble deciphering if that is a good thing. While it’s good that there will be surprises left for the final issue, there might be too many of them. If I were to choose one weakness of the Marvel brand, I’d have to say they don’t always pace things correctly and, as a result, many final issues tend to be over packed with information.
I can say, confidently, that Mike Deodato did a great job with the art. I especially liked the pages where the art bled from one frame into the next with sections of white separating the frames. It did a great job of adding movement to static pictures. If I had one criticism of the book, though, it would be that in some of the frames the art is not distinct enough. In some of the battle scenes it is hard to distinguish who is talking without the dialogue giving us the necessary cues. All in all, this was a great book. The flaws are not plentiful. I’m giving this book a grade of B+
2. Avengers World is quickly becoming one of my favorite titles. However, this week my number one reason for loving this title, is not present, Marco Checchetto. I am used to opening up this book to artwork that is truly breathtaking. Although Marco is not drawing the issue, the artwork is not that bad.
Avengers World #011 only took on one of the three issues S.H.I.E.L.D. is currently trying to solve, A.I.M. Island and A.I.M’s penchant for using future technology. While I thought it was well written, the other dilemmas are more interesting. The writing tried to be trendy and cracked some jokes about Edward Snowden being President in the future. Unfortunately, I didn’t find it all that funny but we all have our opinions on Mr. Snowden. There are some interesting predicaments that S.H.I.E.L.D. has to undo.
The future Avengers in this issue could set up some pretty interesting scenarios when the current Avengers find out they are parents and who their spouses are going to be. I’m going to give this book a grade of B. It was good but it was not as good as the last issue.
3. Amazing Spider-man #005 Original Sin has a shocking ending (pun intended). At the end of the last issue we learned that another person was bit by an irradiated spider and was hidden in a bunker. Peter Parker finds her and now they can’t keep their hands off of each other. I have never studied spiders but I’m taking it that the authors want us to believe that this behavior is consistent with spiders. There is a lot in this issue to suggest that Peter Parker’s new friend could end up being a sort of Black Widow Spider. Of course, only the reader can see this happening.
During this issue we get more of Felisha Hardy and Electro and their continuation of their plan to humiliate Spider-man. And boy, do they!!! The Cliffhanger at the end of this issue is pretty spectacular (again with the puns).
My biggest gripe about this comic book has been that when the transition was made from Otto Octavius as Spider-man back to Peter Parker, the writing lost its edge. This issue the edge is back. The situation that Dan Slott put Peter in is enough to make us wonder how he’s going to get out of it.
I have only one gripe about this issue. There are moments where the art is too dramatic. It is hard to focus on what is going on because the electricity is drawn in so prominently that it takes away from the story. I am giving this book a grade of B. While I liked the writing in this issue, there were times where the art was distracting.
4. Fantastic Four #8 Original Sin was an excellent comic book that managed to skim the Original Sin story while hitting all the other important plot points. Every one of the team’s life is falling apart. Grimm learned that The Human Torch and Mister Fantastic messed up a chance to make him human and now he’s wanted for the murder of Puppet Master. Mister Fantastic and his wife have had their kids taken away and their building away. Their kids are being taken care of by the original Human Torch and they may not be able to see their parents again for a year.
Generally speaking, I’m not a huge fan of comic books that summarize other comic books but, in honesty, it didn’t bother me here. James Robinson has done a stellar job of capturing the emotions of each of the situations and he has created a team where we genuinely care about them. This run of the team is vastly superior to the previous run.
The art is very cool too. In all. This is an A+ book
5. All New X-men #30 is the first of four “X” titles I bought this week. This review has spoliers. This was a pretty different book than usual for this title. Most of the time when we learn about the characters in the book we learn about it in intense situations. This time we learn about two of the characters away from the team. X-23 and Angel seem to be developing a bond but neither of them seem to understand why. It was interesting to read these scenes because we get to see these mutants as real people instead of the heroes they are forced to be.
The situation between Emma Frost and Jean Gray is also intensifying and the scenes with them both fighting each other psychically is fun to watch because we get to see it through the eyes of the other students. We also learn about Kitty Pryde and Peter Quill.
The art in this book was well done. There are no incredibly spectacular panels but there is also no art that makes you wonder why they chose the artist, either. I’m giving this book a grade of A.
6. Amazing X-men #010 continues the ongoing story of Wolverine’s very action packed visit to Canada to visit his friends in Alpha Flight. Once he arrives he finds that one of his two friends seems to be on a solo mission and has been missing for too long. As a result, Logan is dragged into a situation where he has to search for his friend. As he is doing this he gets attacked by a Wendigo, and even though that is true, Wolverine runs her through with his claws. So now it seems like most of Canada is going to become Wendigos( Giant sized Yetis).
I’m not sure why but I’ve never been a big fan of Wendigos as villains. I think it’s because the folklore of yetis seems as hokey as the folklore of the Loch Ness Monster and Chupacabra. But just because I don’t like something doesn’t make the writing bad. The writing in this book is fine and the art is some of the better art in an X-men book. This story arc is a 5 part story and this issue is part 3. I will continue to read the next two issues because it will be over in 2 months but I wish it was shorter. Grade: B-
7. If you are a Marvel comic book reader, you probably have heard by now that Marvel is planning to kill Wolverine. If you aren’t aware then you will be by the time you read the bottom of the synopsis page of issue 011. But as you also know, very few comic book heroes actually ever stay dead. The only one I can recall is Uncle Ben in Spider Man (and maybe psi force). Marvel is planning an event called, appropriately, The Death of Wolverine. If I were to guess, he’ll stay dead for 6 months to a year and then reappear
As many of you may know, this comic book has been my favorite of the “X” books. It has been a refreshing change to read about a humbled version of the hero. Wolverine has been humbled because he has lost his healing factor. He is mortal. The last 11 issues have read like a spy novel with the tinge of supernatural elements found in most of the other Marvel books.
From what I’ve read, Wolverine has not sold well. I’m not sure why, but I think it’s probably because there are too many X-men books. There is only one more book left in this series. We will see how Sabretooth and Wolverine “throw it down” and how things will end for Wolverine. The art was great and the writing has lived up to the remainder of the series. This book deserves a grade of A.
8. I think I understood Nightcrawler #005 until the villains showed up near the end. As a result, I can’t give this book a higher grade. Overall, I really liked this book. Kurt is a very troubled Mutant. He died and he came back to life. As a result, his life is not the same and he’s trying to figure out where he belongs. His fellow X-men are helping him.
There is a lot to like about this issue. The writer does a great job showing us the mindset of someone who gave up eternity to be with his friends. The art was fun in this issue. Especially the Baseball game where Nightcrawler plays every position with his Bamf’s. I always look forward to each issue in this series. It always has a different perspective than other books.
Where I thought the book could have been better was in the transition between Nightcrawler and the villain’s story. It was too quick of a transition. I’m giving this issue a B.
9. Bruce Banner has been through a lot in his life. So has The Hulk. He’s been Gray. He’s been green. He’s even been a mob boss (see Joe Fixit). In Hulk 005 we get another iteration of the Hulk, a hulk that is smart and seems to have trapped Bruce Banner inside. He no longer wants to be called Hulk, either. He wants to be called Doctor Green.
The writing in this book was interesting. It was fun watching Dr. Banner’s lab assistants get used to his new body. Doctor Green is smart, maybe even smarter than Bruce Banner. He is also trying to cure people that were affected by Gamma radiation
I like this version of Hulk better than the previous run of the book. We get a proper mix of science stuff and raging hulk. My only beef with the book? We still have no answers on who shot Bruce Banner. Everything about this book was pretty good. I didn’t love the “end of the world” plot line but everything else was very well done. B+