ComiX Weekly: 5/9/12 David Brooke May 9, 2012 Comic Books, Reviews Here at AiPT, we like to call ourselves the Professors of Taste. It’s a super team similar to the Avengers and we pride ourselves on mastering the dark arts of nerdom. In order to master these arts we must immerse ourselves in everything nerd related, and that includes comics. ComiX Weekly is our study and observation of the week in comics, Watcher style, but instead of staying mum like old baby face, we tell you which books are worthy of a ten dollar budget. It’s our way to lift our skirts and let you see what we like. Hopefully you like what you see. Avengers Assemble #3 (Marvel) Need an Avengers fix after seeing the new film? Whether you’re a new reader or a die hard comic nerd you’ve come to the right place. I assume Marvel had this in mind, because the villains are new to everyone, the line up consists of the team from the film and the book is all action with fun character tinges thrown in for good measure. The Avengers vs. Zodiac themed villains. Writer Brian Michael Bendis keeps things light in the script department which is a good thing, especially for him. Even though this is the Marvel 616 Avengers, many of the elements that separate the movie from the comics is instilled here. For instance, Tony Stark is a bit punchy, Thor says words like “verily” and the Hulk is a grunting monster. Much like the movie, teamwork is in focus in this issue. Mark Bagley, one of my favorite artists growing up, is on pencils. Nobody can draw muscle-clad heroes as well Bagley. While detailed, his art keeps a comic book feel that isn’t overly realistic. It fits most books well, especially Spider-Man, and here it’s a real treat. Sad Iron Man is very sad. To keep things fresh and original, the villains’ personalities are very unique. This ragtag group of villains are all normal people, probably in their 20s, who have grown up watching the Avengers kick butt. Throughout the issue they make comments as to how amazing it is they are actually fighting the Avengers. It’s a neat way to show they are newbies, but also add some levity to the situation. You should hear him in the shower. I won’t spoil the ending, because in a way it spoils the credits sequence in the film, but lets just say the surprising reveal the villain behind it all makes this book a perfect sequel to the movie. Now with more Black Widow butt! If you need a fix for more Avengers after the film, the final page will definitely get you riled up. This issue was perfectly paced, a lot of fun, and was surprisingly enjoyable. Typically in books like this the action takes the forefront, but here it’s balanced nicely. Budget: $10.00-$3.99 = $6.01 Avenging Spider-Man #7 (Marvel) Care to roll your eyes? Care to get a smirk plastered on your face out of the sheer stupidity of things? Well step right up for Avenging Spider-Man #7. Written and drawn by the Immonen team of Kathryn and Stuart you’ll be promised two things: Great comic book art and good dialogue. One thing Avenging Spider-Man delivers is the silly/funny. After the quips and setting are established (Egyptian exhibit at a museum), you’ll start to realize this is a done-in-one issue that’s all about the schlock. That’s funny. I asked myself the same question about this book. If you’re looking for a quick laugh this is a good place to look this week. The story leaves much to be desired though. The resolution is downright bonkers, but that’s the point I imagine. She-Hulk and Spider-Man go on an insane adventure, so it must need an insane conclusion. New York attacked by cats…and the Cats broadway play has been shut down for years! Some luck. I enjoyed the book, but at the end of the day $3.99 is a lot to pay for such a silly yarn. Budget: $6.01-0.00 = $6.01 Fourteen comics this week were either close to the mark or downright failures. Either way they can’t justifiably fit into a 10 dollar budget. Hank Pym wasn’t in the Avengers movie and he’s going to have a say on these issues. Lets hope they don’t drive him to suicide. Deadpool #54 offers some interesting surprises now that Deadpool can die. I won’t spoil them, but this issue is a baby step as far as story goes. With very few laughs and a short dramatic moment I can’t say it’s worth a purchase this week. There is a major character change though, and it carries over to Uncanny X-Force, so if you want to know why this happened, pick up the issue. I’ve been on the fence about this series from the start, and Hell Yeah #3 gives me some hope it’s not a total loss. Things are starting to make sense when it comes to the time stream, and the stakes are finally laid out and understood. The art is kicking it up a notch as well. If not for all the excellent books this week I might recommend since there’s enough to sink your teeth into. Walking Dead #97 is an okay jumping-on point for new readers as many of the major conflicts are recapped and a new threat is revealed. I imagine this is a set up to issue #100. Since this book is written more for the trade though, I just can’t recommend it as a single issue buy. Not enough is revealed to make it worth your while, and most readers should be able to wait for the trade to get more story for less coinage. Thief of Thieves #4 is another cinematic and enjoyable read in this series. I can’t wait to see what they do with the TV show. Alas, the book is taking its time, and considering this issue consists of one conversation and one flashback, it’s not worth a single issue purchase. The reveal isn’t all that revelatory considering how obvious it was. ;”> Captain America & Hawkeye #630 takes your stereotypical “scientist who tries to bring back the dead but they become zombies” story, but uses Stegron as the scientist and the zombies are some kind of shapeshifting dinosaurs. Oh and they are similar to symbiotes in that they can take over a human body. Uhhh…okay? The fighting and art are exceptional here, but the plot and villain are pretty weak. A revelation we’ve been waiting for occurs in Skullkickers #14 and it’s a fun one to read. This book also gives the reader a nice melding of Western and Fantasy. Sadly it’s very short, and a booster story is used to pad out the pages a bit. If you’re a die-hard this is a must buy, but for the casual reader a pass. Journey into Mystery #637 is part two of the five part Exiled event. This issue is a breather issue, letting the characters figure out what is going on and where they’ll need to be going. Frankly, there isn’t a lot here besides an interesting reveal on what has happened to anyone from Asgard that was on Earth last issue. I’ll continue to check this series out since the characters are clearly fleshed out and fun. Just not enough here for a buy. Want something a little bit different from the usual fare, but still want some badass and exciting moments? Night of 1,000 Wolves #1 might be the right book for you. There is enough axe-on-wolf and wolf-on-human violence to get your blood pumping. Set in the Dark Ages, the story is sound and can only get better with more backstory. The watercolors by Dave Watcher are also gorgeous. Cyclops tries to use his words on Wolverine over in Wolverine and the X-Men #10 instead of optic blasts. The book takes place 3 hours after Cap says “take the beach” in Avengers vs. X-Men #1. After lots of talking, a foreboding reveal of Kid Apocalypse, and the fact that Gambit doesn’t like the Avengers because they don’t have “one southerner” member, you get a whole lot of meh. You might ask yourself, “Why is Punisher chainsawing a soldier in Punisher #10? The answer is, “I have no clue.” Once you get past the strange cover, the story is an okay done-in-one issue, with Punisher versus the Black Talon. That’s the racist voodoo villain that we showcased over in our Best Avengers Covers article. Nothing new is done here and the flashback told by a guy in an interrogation is getting a little old. Scarlet Spider is chasing down leads as to the whereabouts of a nuclear bomb in Houston. Two major events happen in Scarlet Spider #5 and neither of them have to do with the bomb. One, Iron Man is made aware of Scarlet Spider’s whereabouts. Two, Scarlet Spider can talk to spiders. There’s some good ultra violence and badassery we’ve come to expect from this book, but the story leaves a lot to be desired. Mike Deodato makes New Avengers #26 purchasable on his pencils alone. This continues the secret history of the Iron Fist from last issue. Some nice fighting moments occur, but aside from that the story is just okay. I do have high hopes for what this will mean in the main AvX storyline. It could mean cool and interesting things. Basically though, the book shows Fongji learn how to become Iron Fist, Leondardo Da Vinci build a giant telescope and…yeah that’s it. I guess Da Vinci is officially part of the Marvel history now. It was an element in Shield, but is he going to be in every backstory book now? Sigh. After taking a break, I’ve dove back into Demon Knights #9 and I don’t like what I see. Flashbacks are okay, but this has got to be the third flashback in this short eight issue series. From what I’ve learned in screenwriting, typically flashbacks are lazy storytelling, and this story is a bit lazy all around. My biggest gripe is the pacing. One issue might have a ton of action, but in another the characters are just talk talk talking about how they’re going somewhere. Just go already! The Court of Owls is after 40 or so important people. The one highlight in Batman and Robin #9 is the backstory of one of the intended targets. I guess these guys go back as far as George Washington. Come to think of it, is this the first real life person to enter a DC Comic in the New 52? A lot of this issue is Robin ordering a small platoon around. It’s sort of silly, and actually might work as a cartoon, but as a single issue? Meh. Come now Hank, these issues aren’t that bad. Wolverine #306 (Marvel) Wolverine is up against Dr. Rot and things aren’t smelling too good in the land of reanimation. I’m surprised how graphic this book is considering it’s only May. If this book came out in October I’d bet hand grenades against handbags this book would fly off the rack. Ew. I repeat: Ew. What this book delivers in a very high quality is the gore. Good god, I haven’t seen Wolverine take so much damage in a long time. He gets his face blasted, his side chopped with a freaking chainsaw and stabbed repeatedly. The villains are a bunch of mind controlled hicks. So they have it coming. Cue Terminator music. Much of this book involves an investigation team looking for the whereabouts of Wolverine. This involves way too many pages of cops asking people from the Jean Gray School for Higher Learning where he is. We get it already, they are looking for a murderer and they think it’s Wolverine. Wolverine judges cosplay contests in the Marvel U. Speechless. It does paint an interesting picture of Wolverine though. How can this guy run a school and at the same time be chopping people’s heads off? I suppose when this happens to you, you should be justified. Last issue was quite good and I was on the verge of recommending it for the $10.00 budget. This issue, though, doesn’t have a lot to chew on, aside from the ultraviolence. Budget: $6.01-0.00 = $6.01 Higher Earth #1 (Boom! Studios) Watch out Saga: there’s a new science fiction comic starring a man and a woman hitting the shelves and it might give you a run for its money. Okay, so it’s only the first issue and it’s already pretty clear a robust world isn’t necessarily in the cards, but the plot and ideas are sound. Writer Sam Humphries has clearly had his eyes open when it comes to alternate Earths. This story is about an Earth hopping, muscle clad hero who has finally found a girl that has some sort of significance. It’ll remind you of Cable, but just go with it. Cyborg bears. Watch out Stephen Colbert! There’s a hell of a lot of punching and yelling in this issue. Is that such a good thing when it comes to a first issue? Humphries does a nice job setting up the personalities of the two protagonists and the Earth hopping aspect is clear. The bad guys? Not so much. Did I mention the book is 99 cents? Comics today sure love the dismemberment. By book’s end one thing is very clear. This book has a great setup and a lot of potential. It has a plot you can wrap your head around and play with in the imagination. Also it’s 99 freaking cents. A good bargain. Budget: $6.01-$.99 = $5.02 Batman #9 (DC) This issue consists of a fight with some nice surprises, new information promising some kind of resolution with the Court of Owls and an interesting booster story about Alfred’s dad. The issue is just okay though. You can read my full review of the book here. They’re asking $3.99 for 30 pages, 10 of which are the booster. Not a bad deal considering you get 10 pages for one more dollar. Unfortunately for it though, there is one more book that has a lot more value. Budget: $5.02-0.00 = $5.02 Uncanny X-Force #25 (Marvel) Lets break this puppy down. Readers get 39 pages total, two booster stories equalling 19 pages and a regular 20 page story for $4.99. At Marvel prices of $3.99 an issue that’s an extra one dollar for 19 pages broken down into two stories. Not a bad deal. One story is Wolverine-centric, the other Deadpool-centric. Let’s start with the main dish. Assassin shopping. Nice. First off, this is a great jumping-on point for non-Uncanny X-Force readers. Writer Rick Remender lays out the status of each character and their befuddled angst. We also get an interesting take on digital Assassin shopping, complete with Omega Red DNA! Since it is a good jumping-on point not a lot progresses in the story. The villains are explained and the team is disassembled. Deadpool sure has an awesome title for a movie he’s working on though: This joke has a nice payoff later too. The real meat of this tale won’t really kick off until next issue. That said, the psyches of all the characters is very clearly done, and writer Rick Remender should be commended. It’s a tough balancing act with these team books, and he’s consistently done a good job keeping things clear and in order. The Omega Clan. Giving the crazy eyes since…today. The Wolverine booster is your typical “Wolverine trying to find his chi, gets the buddhists killed, oh hell, forget it, he’s monster” story. The art is nice though. SKRSH!: No vowels since ’92. The final booster story, a Deadpool-centric tale, is actually quite good. The bad guy convinces Deadpool he’s fat, fat on feelings, so he chains him down to a chair and force feeds him for four months. Of course, he allows it, all because it’s part of the hit anyway…I think. Hilarious. I could have done without all the fart jokes though. Watching Deadpool root for himself when he can barely move is a sight to see. For five bucks you get quite a lot in this package, and the Uncanny X-Force part is a decent issue to boot. Budget: $5.02-4.99 = $.03 Three issues purchased and one of them was $4.99! That smells like success to me. ComiX Weekly will be on hiatus next week, but meet us back here May 23rd for another round of weekly comic goodness. Pingback: Is It Good? Batman #9 Review | Adventures in Poor Taste kyle shipcott You persuaded me to buy Uncanny X-force and I really enjoyed it even without having read anything else. I think I will look into the trades, thanks :). Dave Glad you liked it! I’ve liked everything Remender has done except the otherworld storyline. That one is a tad convoluted. Happy reading!