Game Tape

October finally ends so we have a fourth week of books. This is the week I look forward to the most each month. Fantastic Four, Secret Avengers, Action Comics, and a slew of other good books came out.

First, a trip in the Wayback machine to last week. Batman and Robin #15 was great. Here’s the start of the endgame. We learn some important things that start to put the pieces together, and see why Bruce is the master of the long con…wait…Bruce? DAAAAYUMN! There’s no one writing the Joker better this century than we see in the hands of Morrison. This Joker continues to be brilliant, boisterous, and a blackguard. The gallows humor is in full swing with everything he says and insinuates. I’m going to sorely miss the high quality of this title when Tomasi and co. take over. Not to knock Tomasi, because Green Lantern Corps was well written and interesting, it’s just that Morrison is an impossible act to follow.


Speaking of high quality and hard acts to follow: Fantastic Four #584 continued the tradition of excellence that Hickman is bringing. At its heart this issue is a buddy story. Ben and Johnny have a day on the town and a night to remember. Meanwhile, Reed investigates and hints at trouble ahead. Sue is off to do her diplomatic due while the young geniuses of America have a breakfast of champions. One of Hickman’s greatest strengths is that he takes conventional story beats and reimagines them into new and interesting ways. Who would have guess the current status of the Yancy Street Gang? Bravo, sir. Oh…and then there’s a confused and pissed off Galactus. That’s not going to be good for business.

G.I. JOE: COBRA ended the arc that gave us the new continuity’s take on Serpentor and Cobra-la: cult and cash-cow for the international terrorist organization. In spite of an ending that was a little telegraphed, this was a creepy and enjoyable arc. Costa and Gage also to a z-list JOE, Scoop, and… well he wasn’t improved, but he was given a unique and sympathetic voice. Of the JOE books, this is consistently good with short arcs and character driven stories. Mind you there’s usually less shooting, but it’s a fair trade for the quality we’re getting. I’ll take good cloak and dagger over gratuitous gun play any day.

Ummmm… I don’t know how I feel about Action Comics # 894. On the one hand, Cornell clearly understands Lex Luthor as a character. On the other hand, it was a meh philosophical debate about the afterlife and Luthor’s actions in the here and now. Dunno why Vertigo’s Death had to be his guide on this trip. Didn’t seem to fill much purpose. The Jimmy Olsen back up story was enjoyable. It’s doesn’t have a much of the small story attached to a greater whole feel that the first one did, but that’s a small complaint when it’s fun and quick to read.

Avengers #6 ended the first arc, and I still contend that it was at least two issues two long. The interaction with Ultron was interesting, but Kang/ Immortus’ rant at the end was a repeat of almost every speech/ threat given by Per Degaton and monomaniacal time travelers everywhere. I am officially done with this title.

Secret Avengers on the other hand continues to be a keeper. The mystery is still engaging and everyone has a unique voice and purpose on the team.

Whatever you end up buying, happy reading.