Jeff’s Comics Review, 7/1/09 releases, Conclusion
Exiles 4: Still good, though I hope the mystery of what’s behind the new setup won’t drag out too long. (Here it seems like Blink doesn’t quite know what’s going on either.) The cliffhanger ending is fun, but could easily be a fake-out.
The Mighty 6: As I mentioned before, this covers basically the same ground as Irredeemable except that here we’re watching the hero’s decline but in Irredeemable it has already happened. It’s also a little vaguer here what the “hero” is actually up to whereas in the other book he is definitely evil. I like this, but it does suffer a little by comparison to its “sister” book.
Irredeemable 4: Though this is similar to The Mighty, this book is better because Mark Waid is the better writer. This book works on a number of levels, where The Mighty is more of a thriller. There’s a nice moment of realization here when you see that the Plutonian’s wanton destruction is actually intended to make a point to one of his former allies. (A sick point, but a point nonetheless.) Next month, a collection of issues 1-4 is coming out for $9.99 and issue #5 will be only $0.99 so that will be a good time to catch up if you haven’t been reading this.
War of Kings 5: I had some doubt up until now whether Medusa was really carrying out Black Bolt’s wishes or her own agenda, but he takes some actions without her knowledge in this issue so he apparently has been running the show all along. I’m not completely convinced his actions here are in character, but it’s the most interesting the Inhumans have been in years so I’m not too concerned. And I don’t think I’m giving away an enormous surprise by saying that there’s a face-to-face confrontation between Vulcan and Black Bolt coming in the last issue.
Agents of Atlas 7: Great stuff as Namor and Jimmy Woo share the burdens of leadership, and Namor suffers a betrayal that I think foreshadows a similar one that’s coming for Woo (as shown in the backup story). Jeff Parker writes Namor as well as he’s been written in recent years, except maybe for Matt Fraction in The Order, so I hope we see more of him.
Secret Six 11: There’s a division happening in the group, as some of them think that their current employers are too crazy even for them and the rest of them think that one’s word must be kept no matter what. Gail Simone examines some really complex morality, with some surprising guest stars including the title character of another book she’s written.
Uncanny X-Men 513: More mayhem as Emma gets her “Dark” X-Men team from Osborn (and she makes one addition) and they have to arrest some young mutant demonstrators. This is a big improvement so far, but as with the X-Force/Cable crossover it all depends on how it ends. We know what Matt Fraction is capable of, so I’m optimistic.
Invincible Iron Man 15: Even though I’m happier with X-Men now, this is still much better work from Fraction. Tony’s deterioration is really tragic (“Who’s Happy?”), and I like the relationship between Maria Hill and the Black Widow.
Astro City: The Dark Age Book Three 3: The art here is some of Brent Anderson’s best, as the brothers’ story plays out against the story of the Silver Agent which Kurt Busiek has been building up to since the very earliest Astro City stories.
USA Comics 70th Anniversary Special: Unique among the anniversary specials so far, as it takes place entirely behind enemy lines. It features the Destroyer who I think always operated there, at least in Invaders. It’s not as deep as Secret Six, but there is some interesting moral relativism because the Destroyer has a German companion who’s not a Nazi but each of them has trouble figuring out why the other’s position is better than the Nazis.
Marvel Divas 1: I picked this up because I like all the characters in it (Hellcat, Black Cat, Firestar, Photon), but I can’t figure out who this book is aimed at. There was some negative publicity when the book was announced, which Marvel countered by saying the book wouldn’t be sexist at all but it features four female characters talking about men for 20 pages so I don’t know what else to call it. Fanboys certainly aren’t going to be interested in this, and I admit to not being an expert on what kind of entertainment women like but I sure hope it’s more sophisticated than this. Read Secret Six or Agents of Atlas instead, ladies.