Ultimate Spider-Man; Miles Morales

A while back as part of a Divided We Fall review I ranted over Miles Morales version of Spider-Man; more or less I called him a black clone of Peter Parker.  After hearing a friend state they’ve only heard awesome things about him and that she was enjoying the comic, and my local shop stating they actually gained (and had no one drop) buyers when Miles took over, well I decided to give him more thorough look.  Beware of Ultimate Spider-Man spoilers…

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Love and Marriage, Astonishing X-Men Edition

Astonishing X-Men #51 (cover from Hero Complex)

Perhaps the best article I’ve read on the issue of Northstar’s impending nuptials belongs to Andrew Wheeler over at Comics Alliance.  Though he is himself a gay man who hopes to get married some day, he makes a number of solid points against the upcoming marriage – most notably, that comic book writers treat weddings as ‘endings’ – a view he himself shares, saying that “marriage shifts a character’s status quo in a way that is fundamentally reductive.”

While I personally disagree with that assessment, what I can’t deny is that comic book writers do not – and they’re the ones who will be in charge of charting the paths of Kyle and Jean-Paul after the wedding, not me.  Love and marriage have a pretty horrible history in comic book land, all things considered.

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Avengers vs. X-Men: so far part 3

I was starting to plan an update every other week for AvX stuff, but the Gambit vs. Captain America fight was too good to leave for a week before it got a review!  Plus, it did help my pull list had a rather large stack this week.
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Regenesis Review: Wolverine and the X-Men #1

Wolverine and the X-Men #1

One of my favorite things about Grant Morrison’s classic run on New X-Men was this: he turned an oversized team of superheroes with pretensions of being something more into the cultural force fans had always pretended they were.  People have always talked about the X-Men as being synonymous with various minority groups in the past, but few ever made that connection as concrete as Morrison did, creating mutant musicians, fashion designers, literature and propaganda.  When Bendis decimated the mutants in January of 2006, he also decimated what made the mutants unique.  But over the last 5 years, a large group of gifted creators have been pushing the various X-teams in different directions, and we’ve finally come full-circle: Jason Aaron’s Wolverine and the X-Men #1 seems absolutely steeped in the idea of ‘mutant culture’ – and it’s fantastic.

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Review: Mystic #4

Mystic #4, cover by Amanda Conner & Paul Mounts

It’s no secret that, for the last couple months, DC has owned the comics narrative.  If you were talking mainstream, monthly comic books, you were talking about the New 52 – and with good reason!  But if there’s something I regret about how focused I was on DC’s new offerings (and there’s very little I regret about it), it’s this: books like Marvel’s recently concluded Mystic fell slightly by the wayside.  And believe me when I say, G. Willow Wilson’s take on Mystic is one of the strongest mini-series’ released this year.

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Review: The Punisher #1

Let it never be said that Marvel doesn’t know how to launch a book.  Following hot on the heels of Bendis’ dark, well-received Moon Knight and Waid’s lighter, pitch-perfect Daredevil comes the third in a series of heavily hyped relaunches: Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto, working together on The Punisher.  Three high profile books, three high profile creative teams, and three high profile success stories so far.  The Punisher isn’t the strongest of the books, but Rucka and Checchetto’s innovative take on the character is just as daring and fascinating as either of the other two.

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Review: Criminal: Last of the Innocent #2

Part of the genius of Criminal that I’ve always underplayed in my reviews is the art of longtime Brubaker collaborator Sean Phillips.  The two work together flawlessly, and there’s a reason most of Brubaker’s best work was done with Phillips, but for the most part I’ve always given the lion’s share of the credit to Brubaker.  I can’t do that in Criminal: The Last of the Innocent.

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