Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to one and all. A lot of comic books were released this week. The reason? Next week is skip week! This only means that most comic book publishers will only release one or two books next week. Next week Marvel will be releasing Shield #1. I have not read enough about it to know if it will run side by side with the show but I have read that Skye (A.K.A Daisy, A.K.A Quake) may not be in the book because she becomes the head of a new Super Hero team. I will review the book next week. There are some spoilers in these reviews.
1. This week wasn’t a huge week for Marvel but it was big enough because it ended another event for them. There will be books that deal with the aftermath of the Marvel event but Axis #9 is slated to be the final of the AXIS comic books. This comic wasn’t quite the book I was hoping it would be. Marvel fell into the same trap it always seems to fall in to when releasing a Marvel comic book event. They paced it wrong. This was no different. For the first half of the event, Red Skull (Red Onslaught) was pretty much a key player in the entire event. When the inversion happened, he disappeared. Last week we learned that Captain America was harboring Red Skull because Cap understood that if any of the heroes/villains killed Red Skull, no one could be reverted back to their original state. That was a revelation that made sense, but nonetheless was still shocking.
My biggest problem with the writing was that it seemed too convenient. I had trouble believing it. The authors were asking us to believe that Red Skull was willing to reverse the inversion just because Captain America was nice to him. That was also my problem with most of the series. Over the years, I have come to expect that each of the heroes are pillars of strength. Both mentally and physically. I expected there to be some sort of resistance, but there wasn’t.
I also didn’t care for the dialogue. I thought the heroes were always trying to deliver monologues instead of trying to talk in regular every day conversations.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Not the entire series was a wash. I actually really enjoyed Axis: Carnage. Reading a serial killer try to be a good guy without changing his murderous ways was pretty hilarious. I also thought that Axis: Hobgoblin was pretty hilarious.
The art in this issue was pretty impressive but with too many artists, it wasn’t always consistent. All in all I’m giving this issue a grade of B- or C+.
2. Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #3 has the distinction of being one of a few (maybe a couple) titles where the main hero is acting evil instead of good at the beginning of a new ongoing series. It feels a bit odd to start a new series in the middle of a big event where the writing will not represent the character in a way that coincides with who he really is. It’s even stranger because Marvel just made Falcon the new Captain and we haven’t had too much time to get to know how he’s going to be different. Since this is an AXIS book and AXIS ends this week, we should get a chance to see how things will be different soon.
Most of this issue is focused on a fight between the Avengers. The strangest part of many of the tie-ins that are released is that they seem to happen before the title event books. So in other words, the tie-ins, while being tangential to the main book seem to be a week behind. That can be a little confusing. The biggest problem I have with this issue is that because it’s at the end of the AXIS series, it resolves itself too easily. I enjoy this comic but, to be honest, I don’t think this book is anywhere near as good as the other Mighty Avengers. I think it tries to be, but fails.
I didn’t think this was a bad comic, per se. But I didn’t find it compelling either. I’m giving this book a grade of a weak B. Everything about this comic was fine, but that really is it. Just fine
3. Loki Agent of Axis #009 gets my vote for one of the best covers I’ve seen since the Superior Spider-man issue where the name of the comic was written in his brain. The comic book cover looks, and reads, like comic books of yesteryear. The inside of the comic reads like it, at times too.
That actually works against the comic, in some ways. Throughout the Axis books there has been the undercurrent of characters having to prove themselves as heroes or villains. As a result, there have been a lot of monologues delivered. If the whole series was marketed as a throwback to the 50’s-60’s, it would have worked. There were moments in the book where the writing reflected the cover of the book and moments where
This story is unusual in that the events of this comic book take place immediately following the events of the last issue of Original Sin. The revelations in this book are mind blowing to say the least, and actually leave you scratching your head.
I really liked the art in this book. It reflected the cover art very well.
The ending of this book promises us a HUGE reveal for next month. Grade:B
4. Uncanny X-men #029 might be one of the best Marvel titles this week because it starts to answer a question that has been on my mind since All New X-men started A Vs. X ended: What if one of the X-men traveled to the past and warned Charles Xavier that Cyclops was going to kill him and that the mutant he had put psychic blocks on had returned and his powers were back?
There is a lot happening in this book. Both Magneto and Cyclops court Matthew Malloy and neither do a very convincing job. Beast makes a startling discovery that puts his fellow X-men in danger as a result of his actions. And S.H.I.E.L.D…. well let’s just say Maria Hill will be dealing with the repercussions of her actions for a while, unless…. Well that would be too much of a spoiler.
The opening of this comic book might be my favorite part of it. The conversation, and circumstances, Ilyana Rasputin finds herself in with Doctor Strange are very humorous.
The writing in this book is great. I have always thought that Brian Michael Bendis had a very strong grasp of the X-universe and it really shows here. Time travel issues have never been my favorite type of books because the stories end up being very convoluted but this issue presents readers with some very important possibilities for the X-men. Where I wasn’t hanging on every word of the other comics this week, I was with this book. The only gripe I have with this book is that the cover is misleading. There is no Will reading in this book. Grade: A
5. Magneto #013 was another great issue for the series and something I’ve not seen done before. This book examines the feelings of people who have become peripheral damage as a result of Magneto’s crusade. The writing in this book is phenomenal. It shows the scope of fanaticism and the pain of being an unwitting participant in a crusade that may, or may not, be yours.
This book focuses almost solely on Briar Raleigh, the mysterious benefactor who lost a leg as result of an attack by Magneto. There is no real indication as to why she is bankrolling him.
There is really not a lot more to say about this book. The writing is very solid and the art is also really good. I highly recommend this book. Grade: A.
6. The difficulty with She-Hulk as a comic book is that she, more often times than not, gets portrayed as comedic. One of the problems with portraying a hero in a comedic way is that you give permission to the readers to not take the comic book seriously. When that happens and the art does not portray the character as a strong female lead, readers lose interest. American Manga is not a good medium to portray a muscle bound woman.
She-Hulk #011 didn’t have the strength of writing that I’ve come to expect from Charles Soule. He is one of my favorite writers in comic books but this issue felt like he knew his run with the comic was coming to an end. Grade: B-
7. All New X-men Annual #001 was a joy to read from beginning to end. The story began in another annual and has only gotten better. Eva Bell is new student at the New Xavier School with the power of manipulating time by creating bubbles that freeze time. When she is put in pressurized situations she loses control of her power. That causes her to get displaced in time and trying to get back home to her time.
This book is just as unusual as the last chapter, but as intriguing to read. However, the real joy of this Annual is the art work. There are panels in this story that are pretty stunning to look at.
Brian Michael Bendis once again does an amazing job with the writing. His grasp of the characters and their emotions are once again spot on. I always look forward to his books and there have been very few bad ones.
8. The last book I read this week was Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy #007. Where I didn’t care for the writing in She-Hulk, I absolutely loved the writing in this series. Charles Soule did a great job combining the Legacy story line with the Weapon X story line. The main characters in the Weapon X program are holding Sabretooth, Daken, X-23, Lady Deathstrike, Mystique and Elixir hostage because they believed that they have the cure for their powers. The weapon X refugees don’t want to hurt their captives, they want help in finding an object that will help them be reverted to their normal selves.
There is a cliffhanger here that is supposed to be continued in Wolverines #1. This was an enjoyable story. Grade: B+