The best thing about The Siege is that it ended what was for me a very frustrating era. The Avengers have long been my favorite Marvel franchise. And after years of languishing, the Avengers were finally in the forefront of the Marvel Universe. Unfortunately, most of the stories that put them there just didn’t appeal to me very much.
Boring introduction! I read 21 comics in September, and these were the best.
5. Green Lantern #46
Hey, Green Lantern is great again! We know Mahnke’s art is going to blow our minds, but Johns pulled his weight too, delivering the gore he’s so fond of. There was a lot of progression here, featuring a fight that’s been brewing for a long time. Sinestro and Mongul’s conclusion is not only drawn well, Johns gives each baddie a fun monologue, dripping with a bit of truth. Indeed, for a brief time, Johns made me believe that Mongul could actually win. Loud, bloody, and just the kind of cosmic fun that Johns wants you to have.
4. Wolverine: Old Man Logan Giant Size
It all ends. It was the worth the wait, but for Millar’s part of it, this issue played out exactly how you’d expect, which would’ve been a dull experience, except for the reason we’re all here: Steve McNiven. Just about every panel in here is iconic, ready to be framed on your wall. No matter what silly cliché Millar wrote, McNiven made it sing. However, the writing’s not all bad. This issue pays great tribute to Wolverine’s character as a whole, blending his Western and Eastern ways together. So, even on that corny, Lone Wolf & Cub-inspired last page, I smiled.
3. Detective Comics #857
Another conclusion, what can I say? Those are usually great issues. Alright, Rucka’s opening Batwoman arc hasn’t had as much substance as I’d like, but something we can all agree on is the talent of Williams. We haven’t seen Kate’s origin yet, but she’s already a fully-developed character, mostly due to Williams himself. That continues here, of course, as Williams gets to render some dazzling stunts, with Kate jumping from plane to plane, kicking her way to Alice. Speaking of Alice, this issue delivers a twist with her that I didn’t see coming at all, and it was telegraphed, even on the cover. The twist works, not only to shock us, but as a brilliant window into Kate’s past.
2. Dark Reign: The List – X-Men
I read most of these specials, and this is probably the only one that’s actually a one-shot. Fraction doesn’t conform. This isn’t about political nonsense or the status quo. Fraction gives us the simple tale of revenge, and it works very well. A great deal of that credit goes to Alan Davis. He makes this absurd, spandex-clad medium lyrical. Consider the scene at the end, with Namor, Osborn, and the Sentry. In Davis’ hands, this simple scene becomes a grand confrontation between legends. Superman and Luthor could easily replace Namor and Osborn, and Sentry’s inclusion is the icing on the cake.
1. Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Exodus
I, like many of you, wasn’t very impressed with this crossover. Fraction’s characterizations were still superb, but the plot seemed to contain nothing but buildup. Well, that all culminated with Exodus, and what a culmination. The epic battle between teams is there, with almost every character utilized. Deals with the devil, an old New Avengers callback, and a new status quo makes this the most explosive comic of the month, and the best too.
10. Illustrated by Steve Epting
Ah! A man on fire is running at me!
9. Illustrated by Yanick Paquette
“My teeth are whiter!”
“No, my teeth are whiter!”
7. Illustrated by Mike Choi
This cover will stand out on the shelves. Why is X-23 in pieces?
6. Illustrated by Rafael Alberquerque
Mrs. Robinson, are you showing me your blue snatch?
5. Illustrated by Alan Davis
What is Reed Richards doing with the Infinity Gauntlet? And while Galactus is asleep? Eww…
4. Illustrated by Dave Johnson
Unique, striking, and well-drawn.
3. Illustrated by David Lafuente
So, this one time I got high while watching Spider-Man…
2. Illustrated by Skottie Young
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!
Skottie Young is a comedy genius.
1. Illustrated by Chris Bachalo
Poor Venom. It’s unique, funny, and wonderfully rendered. It reminds me of the end of “Grindhouse: Death Proof.” This is the end of the series. Will it end with Venom getting his ass thoroughly kicked? I kind of want to know. What a brilliant cover.
I ranked the DC covers last month. So, this was a nice change of pace. Who knows? I might even do the DC covers this month too.
That was my list. What’s yours?
Secret Invasion: Thor #3 (***)
Misfire is a good word to describe this series. It was aimed correctly and it appeared to have the necessary ingredients to fire well, but could not. Fraction is an extremely capable writer and he’s proved himself with Thor in his fantastic one-shots released this year. But he just doesn’t deliver here. The series tries to be unique or exciting but it always seems to fail. Braithwaite is very capable as well. I was just reminded of that when I reread Justice. Sadly, I believe his art was hindered by Brian Reber’s colors. The book looks very muddled and at times it’s difficult to tell what’s going on and it seems to be because of the colors. This series is not terrible, but it’s not worth your money.
Astonishing X-Men: Ghost Boxes #1 (***1/2)
I wonder if this mini was planned or if this was a last minute development to deal with Bianchi’s delays. Judging by the incredibly small page count of 16, I’d say the latter. The lack of pages is the biggest problem here. The bright side is that Ellis’ entire script along with all the naked (Or penciled, I just like saying naked) pages of this issue are included. I don’t think I’ve ever read an Ellis script and the naked art comes from Alan Davis and Adi Granov so that was a treat. But if you don’t care about that stuff, this issue is a bit of a hard sell. This comic is written well and it looks great, but I’m not sure how important it is (The 4 bucks bothers me too). But I don’t know this could be imperative information.
Boys #24 (***1/2)
Talk about great covers, this one is amazing! The pic doesn’t do it justice, but you can still see all the detail Robertson put into this. If you like Animal House (If you don’t, what’s wrong with you?), you’ll appreciate all the visual references. That’s pretty much all this issue was, comedy. The plot moved along a bit, but it was overshadowed by all the laughs. So, I’d say this was a pretty average Boys issue. That’s good, but not great. Still, the cover alone may be worth the price of admission. But if you don’t like that cover (Again, what’s wrong with you?), you can still enjoy the fart, masturbation and X-Men jokes.
Hulk #7 (****1/2)
We get two stories!
What Happens in Vegas: Art Adams! Multiple Wendigo! Joe Fixit! Moon Knight! Ms. Marvel (hubba-hubba)! Sentry!
Hell Hath No Fury…: Frank Cho! She-Hulk! Valkyrie! Thundra! Maria Hill! Rulk!
Jeph Loeb still continues to write for his artists. What can Art Adams draw well? Monsters! So we get multiple Wendigo and Joe Fixit (Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, and Sentry are a bonus)! What can Frank Cho draw well? Women! Particularly strong muscular women with tree trunk thighs and that’s exactly what we get. Oh, and of course there is a changing scene as well. So, this book looks amazing! It’s also funny and entertaining. That makes me happy.
Thor: The Truth of History (***)
There’s no school like the old school. This is written and drawn by Alan Davis. Davis has a very Silver Age style of both drawing and writing. If you’re looking for some classic Thor that’s new, this is it. Davis provides superb art and the story is fun enough. Oh, the Warriors Three are in here too. Something that did infuriate me is that in the description of this issue, Marvel promises that this will change things forever or some damn thing. Unless I missed something, I’m going to call BS on that. And that’s the main problem with this book, who cares? It doesn’t really matter and I’ll probably never read it again. It’s good, but at 4 bucks in this economy, you can probably pass.
|ACTION COMICS #870||JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #20|
|ANITA BLAKE, LAUGHING CORPSE #1||MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN #44|
|ASTONISHING X-MEN GHOST BOXES #1||MARVEL ZOMBIES 3 #1 (OF 4)|
|ASTOUNDING WOLF-MAN #11||MIGHTY AVENGERS #19|
|BACK TO BROOKLYN #2||NEW AVENGERS #46|
|BATMAN #681||PUNISHER #63|
|BOYS #23||PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL #24|
|CAPTAIN AMERICA #43||SECRET INVASION #7|
|CAPTAIN AMERICA WHITE #1||SECRET SIX #2|
|CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI13 #6||SI THOR #3 (OF 3)|
|CONAN THE CIMMERIAN #4||SI X-MEN #3(OF 4)|
|CROSSED #1||SUPERGIRL #34|
|DAREDEVIL #112||SUPERMAN #681|
|FC LEGION OF THREE WORLDS #3||SUPERMAN NEW KRYPTON SPECIAL #1|
|FC RAGE OF THE RED LANTERNS #1||SUPERMAN’S PAL JIMMY OLSEN #1|
|FC RESIST #1||THOR THE TRUTH OF HISTORY #1|
|FC SUBMIT #1||ULTIMATE CAPTAIN AMERICA ANNUAL #1|
|FC REVELATIONS #3||ULTIMATE HULK ANNUAL #1|
|FINAL CRISIS #5||ULTIMATE ORIGINS #5 (OF 5)|
|GREEN LANTERN #36||ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #127|
|HELLBOY: IN THE CHAPEL OF MOLOCH||ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #3|
|HULK #7||UNCANNY X-MEN #503|
|INVINCIBLE #57||WALKING DEAD #56|
|INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #6|
Ouch! My…wallet…hurts…so…much! And this is me trying to cut back! Why are comics so good?! Well let’s see, I cancelled a couple books and I’m reading others in trade. All of the universes are getting more exciting! The Ultimate U has Origins ending plus three annuals. DC has Final Crisis running strong plus a gang of tie-ins written by Johns, Rucka and of course Morrison. And Marvel has SI ending soon.
Because Billy had kind of an under the radar highlight that neither Desiato or I will read (Don’t worry Billy, if it’s good I’ll pick it up in trade), I’ll recommend this!
Script, Pencils and Cover by ALAN DAVIS
Legendary writer-artist Alan Davis (FANTASTIC FOUR: THE END) sends Thor on one of his most epic adventures in history! The God of Thunder and his fellow Asgardians visit Midgard’s ancient Egypt…and leave behind a startling legacy that will change our world forever in this one-shot!
48 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
Will a one-shot really change our world forever? I don’t know, but what I do know is that not many people will read this. Try to give it a shot though. It’s written and drawn by Alan Davis. He has certainly proved himself to be a fantastic writer and artist. Walt Simonson was doing the writing and art on his legendary run too you know.
• 1985 #2 (****): I’m really liking where this is headed. See, you can’t call me a Millar hater! Some of his stuff is utter garbage, and some of it, when he puts the research and thought in, turns out quite fantastic. Here’s hoping I’m right about this one.
• Conan the Cimmerian #0 (****): Bruce Castle’s review of this was spot on. It was a very, very, VERY good sword and sandal read. Unfortunately, I think I’m done with Conan for now… or, I may pick up the first issue when it ships! I just don’t know!
• Daredevil #108 (****): It just keeps getting better! Dear Greg Rucka, please never leave. No more brooding! No more Mila! No more Emo!
• Fantastic Four #558 (****1/2): This was really good. Really, really good. I can see clearly now what Millar is doing and I love it. The interweaving of the subplots over multiple 4-part story arcs is finally starting to pay off. I haven’t been this excited about reading Fantastic Four since JMS first took over the book. I know I was harsh on the first couple of these, but now that the engine is revving up toward max RPMs, I couldn’t be happier. I just hope he doesn’t blow his load too soon. But, I still think the Galactus suit was a lame idea. OH! Almost forgot, little Val is a genius!
• Ghost Rider # 24 (****): Love the new artist. Love the new direction. If this is what we can expect from the rest of Aaron’s Ghost Rider run, I think I can finally put myself safely in the “on board” column. It was touch and go there for a while with a couple of stinkers mixed in with the gooders, but this issue has restored my faith… for now! Ha-Hah, you just never know! Next month I could be bashing it again! Help, I’m in an abusive relationship and I can’t get out!*
• Iron Fist #16 (*****): Terrific series finale, bravo to all involved, especially Matt Fraction. I can’t wait for the “Heroes For Hire” relaunch this fall… wait, what? Not cancelled? New creative team? Get OUT of here!
• Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. #30 (****): Still not the Knaufs, but adequate. Actually, more than adequate. This Moore guys is doing a bang-up fill-in! Overkill Mind! Star Squad! Paladin messing up Iron Man’s fascist face! YES! YES! YES!
• The Punisher #58 (*****): Every month I get a little sad. New Punisher issue only serves to remind me of its imminent cancellation. Well, pretty much, right? I like the new guy, his Foolkiller was good, but no one’s ever going to top Garth Ennis. Oh, I should say something about this issue. It was really good, as usual. They always are. Sad face.
• Thunderbolts #121 (*****): OH GOOD GOD! This was epic. And now it’s over. Forever. I don’t care that this book shipped once a quarter, it was totally worth it. But, I don’t think Ellis is leaving because of lateness, I think he’s just done. Is that true? Does anybody know? I’m seriously asking a serious question here…
• X-Factor #32 (****1/2): In this issue, Madrox tells Cooper to get stuffed and finally takes responsibility as the father of Theressa’s baby… and just like that, *POOF*, X-Factor is a 4-5 Star book again. Why? Because we’re back to focusing on the drama, baby, and not the action. Yay! Thank you, Peter David. I don’t know what happened to you or why you had to phone the past 6 months in, but I’m glad you’re back. Now, if only I could say the same thing about She-Hulk. UGH!
• Young Avengers Presents: Hawkeye #6 (****): This was easily the best of the series. Fraction is just on fire this month (although his Punisher still sucks ass). I loved how much of a dick Clint is when he makes Kate cry. Ha-Ha! But then, it was just Clint teaching her a lesson all along! Oh snap! Shit, I wish Clint had his own team book or something. He works well as mentor/father figure… FUCK, why isn’t he leading the New Avengers? He’s got the attitude, the skill and the experience. Maybe that’s one of the changes Bendis has lined up for after Secret Invasion? I hope so. I’ve always loved me some Hawkeye. Oh, and when the hell is Young Avengers Volume 2 coming out? These characters are way cooler than the Titans and those shitters have two books, both equally shitty!
Hmm, got surly there at the end. Ah, well. Tomorrow, Planetary Series Review (honest) and on Wednesday, maybe a Spoiler Re view… if something cool comes out.
*That one was for VsRealms.