Today I got a chance to do something I’ve not done since I was 18 years old. I’m 44 years old now. I got a chance to visit the store I grew up collecting comic books from. Rick’s One Stop Comics in Oak Park, Illinois has been in business for a long time and has a very impressive number of comic books in their store. If you live in their area, I’d encourage you to visit his store.
Most of the time I collect from Reader Copies in Anderson, Indiana. It’s a smaller shop but I am always impressed with Rembert’s(the owner) knowledge of comic books. He is very familiar with the comic business and has even hosted Comic conventions in the past. I have spent countless hours, and dollars, at his store and he has helped me restore my love of comics. We don’t always agree on what we like, and dislike, but we have spirited conversations and I have found a new love for the Medium.
This week was a slower week for Marvel, but not that much slower. So let’s get started.
1. The first Comic Book I read this week was Amazing X-men #013. As I was reading this book, I was struck by the emotion behind the story. James Tynion IV did a great job at capturing the raw emotion of feeling alienated because of how you look. I think I can identify most because I’ve been judged for having a physical disability. On top of worrying about looks, the main character of the story, Chelsea, is worried about meeting someone for a blind date.
When Nightcrawler notices that one of the students is missing, he asks another of the students for help in finding her. They find their friend being attacked psychically and bombarded by her fears. In order to keep some of the comic worth reading I won’t reveal the ending of the comic book.
Jorge Jimenez did a pretty good job with the art, but for all the panels that were great, there were also panels that could have been better. All in all, I thought this was a fantastic comic book. Grade: A
2. Death of Wolverine The Logan Legacy #005 was a brutally violent comic book that makes you want to know more as your reading it. As many readers may know, Wolverine had a son named Daken. He looks almost identical to Wolverine but has an evil heart. When we meet him, he has come to recover the body of his father. As we continue to read the book, we see the death ritual that Daken goes through to preserve his father.
There is a second story within a story in this book and it’s where the violence starts. In the second plotline, we see a Hydra agent being interrogated about an illegal auction for body parts that belonged to Wolverine. Daken gets involved. Very involved. The brutality of the book is its fun. To go explain it would take away the fun of reading it.
The art is what makes the book even more brutal. The artwork for the steps of the ritual is very cool. Grade: A.
3. Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #002 has two stories in it (maybe three) and only one of them was pretty great. The middle story has a number of the Mighty Avengers chasing after some villains on roller skates that have different powers. They would yell out their names as they moved. The story itself was corny enough to be very enjoyable. It really felt I was reading a comic book that I read growing up. A lot of fun to read and very humorous
A second story has Luke Cage selling The Mighty Avengers to Cortex Corporation. Cortex is a very bad villainous company. If you read this story within the framework of the AXIS storyline, it makes sense because the villains on Genosha( the island where red Onslaught took some of the Avengers and X-men hostage. It’s also where villains are now the heroes and the heroes that were on Genosha are doing bad things.
While I had no real problem with the story, it seems like Marvel is trying to make the inversion a little too cheeky for my taste. I liked this comic, but I didn’t love it. Grade: B.
4. Deathlok #002 was a very cool comic book. For those of you unfamiliar with the story, there have been different versions of the Antihero. This incarnation of the hero was created in the Original Sin comic book event. I have to confess. In order to do this review, I had to do some research. Henry Hayes worked with Doctors Without Borders. While overseas, he had to have his leg amputated. He was fitted with a steel prosthetic from Biotek and they also put him under mind control.
While being manipulated, Henry is forced to go on missions where he is doing nefarious jobs for a mysterious benefactor (he’s hidden in shadows). He wakes up the next morning without any memory of what he did. There is a second story where S.H.I.E.L.D. is searching for the man who killed one of their agents. Of course, it’s Deathlok.
There is also a third story where Henry Hayes is trying to be a single father to his teenage daughter and failing.
I love the writing in this book. It feels like Secret Avengers felt before they destroyed it with corny attempts at humor. It is full of intrigue and is very intelligent. There is also a great plot twist with some very good art at the end of this book. Grade: A.
5. One of the biggest problems that the Spider-Verse comic book event is that it’s not terrifying. During the events preceding the event there was one comic book that was done in the style of the horror comics of yesteryear. If the entire series was done in the same vein, this would be a killer series. Instead, there are tenuous connections between the prologue and main story.
One stylistic choice that I’m not sure I understand is that each time Daemos or the other villains in this story start to drain the essences of the Spider Totems, they spare us the gore of it. By doing that, they create a villain that seems flaccid in its power.
That being said, Peter David is a pretty masterful storyteller and does a pretty decent job with the hand that has been dealt to him. Spider-man 2099 #006 was a decent comic book but not as engaging as I had hoped.
I have another confession. I don’t know much about this comic book. What I do know is that Miguel O’Hara was sent back into the past to the year 2014. How is related to this storyline? When Daemos was killed in the one of the last comics, his body was stolen by Miguel and others and taken to Alchemax 2099 to be studied. Daemos resurrected in a new body and followed them.
There is a lot of action in this book but it still feels very static for most of the book. The art looks good, but for whatever reason, Will Sliney( who is most of the time one of my favorite artists) has trouble creating motion in this issue. This issue didn’t quite catch the emotional tone I had hoped. Grade: B-
6. Scarlet Spiders #001 might be one of the first Spider-Verse titles I actually really enjoyed. Jessica Drew, a clone of Peter Parker, and two other clones find the Inheritors’ home to find a factory where additional clones are being created. They also find a familiar face they thought would be a friend. Something in the book needs to stay a secret, so that’s all I’ll reveal.
The best thing about this comic book is the artwork. There is a panel near the beginning of the book when the clones arrive in the Inheritor’s world that is pretty stunning. There are also others throughout the book that are very nice to look at. With solid writing and solid art, this comic book deserves a grade of A.