Eternals #1 (***1/2)
It should probably be noted that this is a two star book for anyone that either didn’t read or didn’t like Neil Gaiman and JRJR’s Eternals mini from two years back. For all intents and purposes, this is Eternals #8. It starts off right where Gaiman ended, and the exposition to bring you back up to speed is a little clunky. That didn’t so much bother me, because I had read the Eternals hardcover about five minutes prior to picking this issue up to read. We follow the same story set up before, with the two factions of Eternals racing to wake up as many of the sleeping eternals as possible to prepare for the coming battle with “the horde.” As someone who really enjoyed the Gaiman series, I was glad to see that this picked it right up. Not exactly sure on the timeline, considering the way some of the eternals are tied up with Incredible Hercules from issues 116 on, but it’s not so hazy as to be bothersome. The issue that comes up is the fact that it’s written in a somewhat pedestrian way. It’s not bad, but there’s nothing about it that sticks out. The Knaufs know where they need to go and they hit all the story beats necessary, but there’s nothing there that transcends the way Gaiman’s book did. It’s good for what it is, but it could (and should) be greater. Oh, and the art’s pretty cool (If you folks didn’t notice, I’m a bit of a writer guy)
Green Lantern Corps #25 (*****)
Awesome. I like that no matter what I feel about DC, I’ve got Green Lantern Corps (and once the Secret Origins arc ends, Green Lantern). I enjoy the internal logic of this book. It makes sense that Mongul would be a yellow lantern. And furthermore, it also makes sense that Mongul would realize that he could hijack the Black Mercy to further his own nefarious deeds. But what I didn’t expect was getting a larger background on the Black Mercy itself, given through telepathy by “Mother Mercy.” And it’s cool. It’s a different way to think of the Black Mercy as a plant that is determined to bring peace to the weak and diseased. It’s an interesting angle to take. I know a lot of people rightfully think of the main Green Lantern book as the, well, main Green Lantern book, but I think I prefer the cast of GLC. Sodam Yat has a lot of potential, and you’ve got the added flavor of the old stand bys that get more exposure than Hal’s book. This is great. Ringquest has been an awesome arc, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust? (****)
I am amazed by the quality of these Secret Invasion tie-ins. We’ve got five mini stories, only one of which seems pretty underwhelming, which may or may not be because I have not read the Agents of Atlas mini series. The Captain Marvel story forges a bridge between the Captain Marvel miniseries and Secret Invasion/Thunderbolts. Agent Brand lets us in on what’s been going on with SWORD since their ship blew up. Wonder Man and Beast continue to delve into the story potential of the Savage Land. Marvel Boy tries to form an alliance with the rest of the inhabitants of The Cube. And the Agents of Atlas…um…do stuff. So obviously, the Agents of Atlas story is completely out of left field. They haven’t been connected to anything involving the Skrulls thus far, and it all seems tacked on. The other stories are quite enjoyable, giving us a little taste of some of the other things that aren’t going on in the main Secret Invasion book. It’s good background, and while I know there are a lot of complaints about important story points taking place outside of the main 8 issue mini, but this is a crossover, and this is the nature of crossovers. I think if they had cut the Agents of Atlas story and maybe knocked this down to a $3 book, it may have been a four and a half star book, but it was worth my money either way.
Captain Britain and MI:13 #2 (****1/2)
HERE THERE BE SPOILERS FOR ISSUE ONE
And the awesomeness of Secret Invasion titles continues. I dig the hell out of the themes we get to see played out in this book. The inclusion of Avalon as a focal point through this fight to protect the power of the world’s magic from the invading Skrull armies opens up the door to allow Paul Cornell to flex some fascinating story muscles. This is not simply the story of some aliens invading a planet. Sure, that’s what they’re doing at the basest level, but it morphs into a story about the fight between technology and mysticism. Which can bring in all sorts of other questions of religion and spirituality and all kinds of other things. We get a taste of that here, and I love the sense of wonder that Leonard Kirk puts into the scenes that take place in Avalon. In other locations, the Black Knight consistently entertains, and I have NO CLUE what is going on with the woman from the first issue and her somewhat gruesome power. But by far the best part of this book is the moment at the beginning when going over the death of Captain Britain. That is a fantastic moment right there, and Kirk absolutely nails the facial expressions. This is wonderful comic work.