Since I’m going out of town next week, this is the last Game Tape of 2010. What a year it’s been too!
So what was out this week? Lots of good stuff from Marvel and an early Christmas surprise.
With the exception of Dr. Doom showing up to do something nefarious, Hickman throws almost everything imaginable at the Fantastic Four in issue 586. Sue doesn’t see the big picture. Namor’s actions are rationalized, Johnny and Ben face a negative situation, and Reed has a date with a hungry man. Someone dies next issue, and Hickman has been clever enough not to give it away. With the team split three ways, things look rough and feel as though stakes are high for everyone. Thank you again, Mr. Hickman, for the consistently outstanding work you’re doing on this book.
It’s also worth mentioning that the art team of Epting and Magyar keeps the pace. It’s reminiscent of Hitch and Neary or Butch Guice, but it maintains a distinct style. Gone is the freakishly muscular Reed too. All around this is a solid and well crafted title and this team deserves some critical recognition.
Despite the fact that Wonder Man was acting weird and erratic, and neither Tony Stark nor Thor seemed to care enough to ask why or investigate, Avengers #7 was the most enjoyable of this series. I know this was out last week or the week before, but I just picked it up. The Hood takes up the rest of this issue collecting the Infinity Gems. That alone is enough to keep me in for another arc. One minor complaint would be that the half of the team that isn’t Wolverine, Iron-Man, Thor, or No-Varr all have the same Spider-manesque voice. Nothing but snappy patter from Spidey, Bucky-Cap, Spider Woman, and Hawkeye. Sloppy.
Secret Avengers 8 continues to be solid, but not so impressive. I may drop this one monthly and get trades instead. It boils down to a pacing issue for me. Not enough seems to happen in an issue.
X-Men #6 was an outstanding coda to the vampire arc. I’m looking forward to next issue since it looks like no more vampires for a while…I say for a while because some threads are left loose. I’m still really digging Gischler’s Cyclops. It’s not many who can or should stare down Dracula himself, but it works. Cyclops hasn’t been this much fun to read in…ever. Thank you Mr. Gischler.
By the by, is there still an Astonishing? I don’t remember it being canned, but I can’t remember the last issue either.
The real treat this week was seeing that there’s another Gumby book out. I didn’t know this was coming out. What a great surprise! This is a four part mini-called Gumby’s Gang. The kick off books stars Pokey. It’s fun and everything you’d expect from a Gumby book. The only down side is that since it’s not written by Bob Burden, it lacks a little in the ape-shit insane department. It’s still pretty messed up crazy, but it’s not near the same level as a Golem-ized Gumby or the ghost of Johnny Cash. Still and all, it’s a nice round out to a week of winners.