This Week’s Comics

A lot of potential LAST issues this week around.  Here are this week’s new and noteworthy titles.

  • DAREDEVIL #10.1 – I won’t repeat myself too much here, but more Waid DD is always a plus.
  • HELL YEAH #2 – I was planning on picking this up, but then I realized it’s probably a bad sign that I originally couldn’t remember a single thing about HY #1, other than thinking it was okay.
  • HULK #50 – So, I loathe the Red Hulk character and as much as I hate to say it, Jeff Parker’s losing some steam for me.  This may be a good jumping-off point for me, if it doesn’t capture my attention.
  • SUPREME #63 – This is the last of Alan Moore’s Supreme scripts, drawn by Erik Larsen.  I’m really psyched for it, and then Larsen kicks off his own run on the title.  I can’t see continuing after this issue, though.  Larsen talked to Bleeding Cool over the weekend about his plans going forward, and how Alan Moore’s Supreme was just a poorly-veiled Superman analogue, and how the original character was Superman as a dick.  All true statements, but Larsen plans on going back to the original asshole version, which I have less than zero interest in.  Sure, Liefeld’s crew did it first, but since then EVERYONE has done their Superman as an ass story, and I tend to hate each and everyone.  Dickishness just isn’t a character trait I find myself wanting to read about (see also: every Mark Millar book).  While I’m excited that we’ll finally get the complete Moore run, after that I’m out.
  • THUNDERBOLTS #172 – With T-bolts winding down, I’m waiting until the Dark Avengers relaunch to make the final verdict, but this is just coming out too frequently to really focus on the characters, it’s just trying to keep moving them forward.
  • VENOM #15

More than any of the other Extreme relaunch titles, Bloodstrike #26 feels more like a direct continuation than Glory or Prophet.  That may just be because I’m more familiar with Bloodstrike’s original series than the others, but part of it is the direct references to previously established team members and continuity.  It was a good effort by Tim Seeley and artist Franchesco Gaston, whose linework gave it a very animated feel, showcasing the black ops side of Youngblood, but it wasn’t really something that sparked my interest.  It feels like it would appeal to the 13-year olds much in the same way the original title did, and maybe that’s how it should be.

Frank Castle has always been reflective of the times he lives in, so it makes sense the story approaches do too.   As I’m getting up to speed on Greg Rucka’s Punisher run, it’s becoming somewhat apparent that the past decade for Frank Castle has mirrored Batman’s career. Under Garth Ennis, The Punisher took on the mob and organized crime. Matt Fraction and Rick Remender placed him squarely inside the Marvel Universe, squaring off against heroes and  supervillains alike, a character with a real place inside the 616.  With the new series Rucka decided to take the next step and made The Punisher a force of nature, rarely seen but largely felt, and while Frank does show up the real action seems to occur leading up to and in the aftermath of his appearances.  He’s playing up the urban myth aspect like Batman or Todd McFarlance tries to do with Spawn.  I really think that’s a smart move, as Frank Castle is of such a singular mind that he’s the least interesting thing in his own world.  Still, I’ve never been a huge fan of the character since I prefer my heroes to actually be, you know, heroic.  I love the angle, but once I find the issues on my pull list I think I’ll let Frank drop off my radar until his next reinvention.  Punisher, Inc?

Rick Remender’s walking a very thin line with his Venom ongoing.  He has to appeal to fans of the Venom character, the huge drooling hulk who only wants to eat brains, as well as people like me, who have tuned in more to see how Flash Thompson’s plays out.  But Remender’s a master writer who made a sewn-together Frank Castle Frankenstein story work, so he pulls it all together.  Flash is essentially playing Peter Parker, a government agent partnered with the alien symbiote  trying desperately not to let it take control of his body, while at the same time trying to prevent the job from taking over his life.  If you’ve read Spider-Man you’ve read Venom, but it really works with the dark twist.  And it works fine from the drooling monster angle, to be honest.  This is the most interesting I’ve ever found him as the lead in his own book.

That’s this week, then.  What looks good to you?

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