Jeff’s Reviews, Week of 6/3/2009
Potter’s Field HC: Thanks to the folks at BeaucoupKevin(dot)com, I received a signed copy of this in the mail last week. (Which was nice because, among other reasons, it seems that Amazon doesn’t get Boom Studios’ collected editions until weeks after comic shops.) One of the things that’s great about Mark Waid is that just when you think you’ve seen all his tricks, he comes up with something new. This is a great crime thriller in the Greg Rucka (who writes the introduction) and Ed Brubaker vein.
Dark Avengers 5: What’s so disturbing about Norman Osborn’s media interview here, as Moonstone says selling “the fact that he put together a team of psychotic criminals and murderers and calls them Avengers”, is that it would absolutely work. (“When I was at my worst, I used to pray to God he would let me have this second chance. And look. Look where He put me.”) Also some interesting subplots with Marvel Boy (who has been lied to) and Ares (whose son is over in Secret Warriors).
Amazing Spider-Man 596: Still great, but I was disappointed that Phil Jimenez did not draw this issue. Joe Kelly is exploring an interesting aspect of Peter Parker here – he accepts responsibility (or feels guilt) for so much that he can’t let other people in his life handle their own problems. Everyone he knows tells Peter to stay out of the relationship between Harry and Norman Osborn, but he can’t do it and I think that’s going to screw up whatever plan Harry has to take Norman down.
War of Kings 4: There’s a somewhat major death at the end of this, and that person dies in the arms of the defector from last issue which makes me wonder what that person is going to do next. (Is that vague enough?)
Warlord 3: I’m done. I was bored by this again, and again I don’t remember any of it. It’s possible it’s just me, because I’m not a huge sword-and-sorcery fan, but I don’t think so. (I’m not that interested in the Conan stuff either, but I can tell it’s good.)
Ultimate Spider-Man 133: Last issue of the series – it starts over with #1 after “Ultimatum”. There were a lot of negative reactions to this on the Internet – it’s a silent issue and it ends on a huge downer. I think they have a point, but I wasn’t as bothered by it because it’s not really the end of the series and, as I often say, Bendis has earned a lot of trust. (People were also bothered by the $3.99 price tag.) It’s hard to imagine how this book will be the same in the post-Ultimatum world but I have to think that Bendis would have quit if he didn’t think he could make it work. Props to Stuart Immonen for pulling off a completely silent issue, which is not easy.
Secret Six 10: A chilling ending that reminds us of who these people really are, even though we are sometimes sympathetic to them.
Final Crisis Aftermath: Run 2: I was as disgusted by the first half of this as I was by issue #1, but I was into it after General Immortus and his wacky villains showed up (“Why, I’m the Condiment King and I’m soy glad to meet you!”), so the jury is still out.
Ultimatum 4: The swath of destruction they’re cutting through the characters here makes me wonder if there will be some kind of reset at the end. The Nick Fury/Doom/Zarda scenes confused me because I couldn’t remember who’s supposed to be living in which universe at this point. Hopefully #5 will ship soon, so we can get on with whatever’s next.
Skaar 11: I guess the answer to my question about Planet Skaar Prologue is that there isn’t a Planet Skaar miniseries, it’s just happening in this book. So far so good, as we get to spend some time with Skaar’s alter ego and, as always, he surprises us with how ruthless he really is. Next: Hulk vs. Skaar!
Agents of Atlas 6: Ends kind of abruptly, but otherwise an interesting exploration of the Namor/Namora relationship and of what happened to the Atlanteans after “Secret Invasion”.
Black Panther 4: Storm fans will be interested in this and the next issue because there might be a significant change in her status. As far as T’Challa’s sister goes, it seems like we spent an issue and a half to get her back to the point she started at.
Mighty Avengers 25: I wonder if this was originally planned as a double-size issue, since it seems to stop in the middle of the story. There’s some really terrific Hank Pym vs. Reed Richards dialogue here, and they both have a point. (Reed: “And in the past, when you’ve been unstable, you’ve altered your own bio-chemisty, you’ve built killer robots.” Hank: “I’m not the one who handed the Skrulls everything they needed to infiltrate us. I’m not the one who built the clone-cyborg hybrid that murdered Bill Foster.”)
Strange Adventures 4: I really want to like this, but there’s no heart in it – it’s just a bunch of plot robots running around doing whatever the story requires. The backup story is a completely generic Lady Styx origin that should have either been left untold or been told by one of the 52 writers that created her.
Exiles 3: There’s an interesting not-yet-explained twist to the concept going on here, where the team seems to have actually made the world they visited worse before being shunted on to the next one. I’m not fully hooked yet, but Jeff Parker is another writer who has earned trust from me.
Jonah Hex 44: Part 1 of a six-part epic that looks like it probably will include a lot of the DC western characters (Bat Lash is in this issue.) I prefer the one-offs in this title, so I probably will wait for the trade to read the rest of this.
The Mighty 5: Getting creepier fast, as it seems that Alpha One’s mysterious behavior is getting close to being uncovered by his second-in-command. I’m not sure why co-creator Peter Snejbjerg didn’t do the art, but Chris Samnee was a good substitute.
Superman: World of New Krypton 4: I love the Gary Frank cover, but it’s misleading – the conflict here is between the Green Lanterns and the New Krypton military, but not between Hal Jordan and Kal-El. Kal averts more of Zod’s brutality, but it may cost him as it seems that the New Kryptonians equate insubordination with treason.
Captain Britain and MI13 Annual 1: I was never a Meggan fan, but Paul Cornell makes here interesting here, gives her a new code name, and integrates her into the story in the main title. The backup, about Brian’s feelings for Meggan, is OK but is hampered by a cricket game that confused me and art where I had trouble telling the (civilian dressed) characters apart.
New Avengers: The Reunion 4: The major revelations were all last issue – this issue is focused on wrapping up the plot and with finding a new way for Bobbi and Clint to relate to each other. I enjoyed it, and would buy an ongoing series.
New Mutants 2: A little confusing, with lots of characters jumping around to different bodies, and it’s a little unbelievable that the team just happened to stumble on to one of their enemies, but still good. How I judge this pretty much depends on how the story ends (next issue?)
Astro City: The Dark Age Book Three 2: Surprisingly, this was more about what was going on in Astro City in 1982 than about the two brothers but that stuff is always interesting too.