Wow, this was supposed to be a light week for me.
Funny how it gets away from you, right?
It’s a fine line between training and abuse. At least that’s what they told social services.
Batman and Robin #11 - The game is afoot as the Return of Bruce Wayne storyarc begins here, even though it actually began last month in issue #10, but, hey, the cover insists that it starts here.
Morrison begins to lay the ground work for the story arc, and as I said four weeks ago, I love how Wayne Manor is getting a backstory and becoming a character of its own. Usually the Manor is just the building on top of the Bat Cave but now it’s becoming the home for the Wayne dynasty, and holds all of the line’s secret history.
And that’s awesome.
The best part of Morrison’s run on Batman and even over in the continuity-free All Star Superman, is that his stories feel like they take place in a modern era that came out of the Silver Age. Which is to say, most creators act like every character was created two years ago, so the stories all have a really contemporary, really familiar feel, but Morrison’s stories feel like the they take place in a world with some history, and that history is fucking insane. All the crazy shit they thought up in the Silver Age happened, and now this is the world that is the older version of that.
It lends the stories a real sense of wonder, magic, and sheer wonderful strangeness that I wish more writers would take up in their stories.
This guy is going to have a bad couple of issues coming up.
The Boys #41- So Hughie is dispatched to cover an analogue for the Legion of Superheroes led by a bitter and cynical version of Metamorpho, a shit job forced on Hughie because Butcher doesn’t trust him.
Ennis continues to be rough on superheroes, but he finally introduces us to a group of heroes who purely want to do good so of course they’re inept and in a few cases, borderline retarded.
I love the actual Boys, the characters are rich and interesting, but man, they need mroe complicated villains. Herr Starr from Preacher eventually became a a dickless cyclopean sodomy enthusiast, but there was a journey to him becoming a monster, here everyone sucks
Looks like Thanksgiving at my house! *rimshot*
Chew #1 - Vertigo is doing a hell of a thing where all their first issues are only a buck and their first trades are ten, so if there’s a title out there that sounds even remotely interesting, you can check it out without breaking the bank.
Tragically all of my favorite series don’t really get good until the second trade, but hey, what are you going to do (buy whatever I tell you to buy, goddamn it)?
Anyway, I grabbed this on Joey’s recommendation and walked away really pleased.
This one is about a world where poultry is outlawed due to the bird flu so the police are dealing with black market chicken places. Seriously.
Our hero is Tony Chu, and he’s Asian. I bring this up because I cannot remember the last time an Asian guy was the lead character in anything. He doesn’t do anything particularly Asian, but as a creative type on both sides of the stage/camera/fourth wall there’s not a lot of opportunities for Asian males, so this is kind of a big deal for me.
So our Asian hero, Tony Chu, is supposed to bust a black market chicken cafe, and eats some of the food that a cook accidentally bled into during preparation.
Tony has a strange ability that whenever he eats any food, he knows it’s entire history, where it was grown, when it was picked, pesticides, how the animal died, etc, except for beets, AKA Nature’s Candy.
Since he consumed the blood, he knows everything about the cook, especially the parts about him being a serial killer that targets young women. Chu pursues him due to the memories being incomplete, but when the serial killer commits suicide, Chu is forced to eat the corpse. While he does close the book on 13 murders across several states, his fellow officers did find him eating a body, so he’s thrown off the force, but gets scooped up by the FDA to work their weirder cases and thus ends issue #1.
It’s weird and kooky with a truly original premise and I’m going to check out the rest of the series.
Why does everyone act like Finch is a good artist? All his characters look the same. The art inside is much better.
Invincible Returns #1: This is a one-shot that actually advances the story, so I’m not sure why it’s not part of the regular numbering, but this serves as a breather before the big war that’s coming, and even has an awkward catching up thing in the back to bring you up to speed on major events.
The series is one of my favorites as it never allows itself to reset the status quo so it’s constantly moving forward. Our hero, has had a rough couple of adventures that involved him using lethal force a few times. He vows to never become the guy who decides who lives and who dies and recants his ‘Murder Super Villains’ policy.
Then he’s told he’s about to go to war against a race of beings with power levels on par with Superman to defend Earth, so I think he’s going to be killing people again.
Granted it’s at issue 70, but it’s on its own. There’s no decades of continuity like with the X-Men or other established titles, and you don’t have to buy other comics to get the whole story. If you like superheroes, but don’t want to jump into the deep end with Marvel or DC, this is the book for you. Finish those first two trades and I guarantee you’ll be hooked.
The head, damn it! The head!
Marvel Zombies 5 #1- Ironically, this is the series that will not die. The first one was neat, then the second was boring, the one shots and crossovers were bullshit, the third was really good, four sucked, and now the fifth brings back the writer of 3, Fred Van Lente.
While different, the first two tried way too hard to be gritty and grim whereas Van Lente finds the lighter side in zombie infestations, and a great hero for the series in the Machine Man whose metal body and disdain for flesh and blood makes him the perfect agent for operating on entire worlds filled with zombies. This one has him traveling through Marvel’s many alternate dimensions collecting zombie samples to defend our reality from every type of ghoul that might present itself and save Morbius.
While Van Lente doesn’t quite make Machine Man’s dialogue sing like Warren Ellis, the character work is solid and is a nice read. Kano’s art does rustic old west and disgusting zombie really well, and I love that the next issue is only two weeks away instead of a month so that the series won’t drag on and on into the year.
Fun, but not essential.
When does Deadpool get shurikens with his logo on them?
Vengeance of the Moon Knight #7- Moon Knight is an interesting character. He was a mercenary left for dead, picked by the Egyptian god Khonshu to be his agent on Earth. Moon Knight used to have powers that depended on the moon, then he didn’t have the moon stuff, blah, blah, blah.
The best version of him basically had him being insane and in possession of multiple personalities, some that had no knowledge/access to Moon Knight.
I’m going to stop, because he’s a great character that a lot of people have fucked up with a really confusing history.
A couple years ago he had a series where he went full-on bug nuts and was killing people, cutting faces off, etc, and it sucked because the Punisher already exists and it played too much on the crazy thing in a really boring way.
This new series however, has him trying to be a better man while his god talks to him. Given that that is the Marvel U, and Thor is just walking around it’s possible that it really is his god, but given his history of mental illness it could be in his head. Regardless the god wants lives, taken by his agent to build his strength, and MK refuses to kill, even disavowing his old identity to truly become a new man.
This new version is a lot more interesting to read as MK wrestles with his baser instincts and in this issue finds him face to face with someone in a similar line of work, Deadpool, a guy who made the insane gun for hire thing work for him.
It’s an interesting comparison and I really like how it’s wrapping up in two issues instead of dragging out for four or five due to the trades.
Buy this right now.
SHIELD #1 - Fucking Hickman. Jesus, how else are other people supposed to get into writing with him raising the bar so damn high?
Basically the spy agency SHIELD is just an extension of a secret organization that defends humanity from every single threat ever, starting with the Brood landing in Egypt 2,500 years before the birth of Christ. Ever since then great men have risen up to defend our world from Celestials in China during the Middle Ages or Galactus in the Renaissance.
It is ambitious and extraordinary.
I’m not sure if this a ‘What If’ or if we’re actually seeing the secret history of the Marvel Universe, but you need to be reading this book if you have any interest in Marvel Comics at all.
Vader, you’re one of the all time great villains. Your legacy deserves better.
Star Wars Purge: This is supposed to be about Vader hunting down rogue surviving Jedi. And it is, but just one Jedi and it’s really boring. I have, how you say, the buyer’s remorse?
Hold on let me look this up…yup, this is metal.
Wolverine: Weapon X #12- The Future Dies Today arc continues where we find out that this story will be Terminator in the Marvel U. Deathloks have gone back in time to murder resistance members fighting them in the future run by the evil Roxxon Corporation. Roxxon is the same company trying to mass-produce Wolverines in the first story arc.
This is a series that finally gets Wolverine. He’s a soldier and a killer trying to be something better, but instead of letting him be morose and mopey, they just unleash him on bad guys, and handle the introspective stuff in between adventures.
This is the only X-title I’m reading, probably because it’s the only one that’s fun, and where stuff happens rather than treading boring water like the editorially driven other ones.
Aaaaaand we’re done.