This Week’s Comics

It’s all-Marvel (and mostly kvetching) this week at your number one site for Golden Age Aquaman history. Here’s what I’m looking at this week.

  • DEADPOOL #1000 – If anyone deserves to mock the recent spate anniversary issues, I suppose it deserves to be Deadpool, who has turned into the Marvel U’s answer to Ambush Bug. Still, in light of Marvel’s creative accounting when it comes to tallying up issue numbers, they’re shining The Harsh Spotlight of Truth (TM) on themselves more than the industry.
  • GORILLA MAN #2 (OF 3) – I’ll take a new tack this time around. Rather than talking about the genius of Jeff Parker, I’ll talk about the genius of Ken Hale, the Gorilla Man. It would be all-too-easy to turn him into a despondent, woe-is-me reluctant hero, a la Ben Grimm. Instead, we get a funny, action-seeking hero who has embraced the reality of his situation and seeks to make the best of it. Parker’s look at the origin of Hale shows us that his life was never easy, but he has the strength of character to best of his situation. Also, the art is PURTY.
  • MARVELMAN FAMILYS FINEST #2 (OF 6) – When the first issue came out I was very excited to get the chance to read some classic Marvelman, but when I actually picked it up (just before setting it right back down) on the stands I was disappointed. For $4 Marvel reprints these stories in black and white on the cheapest newsprint I’ve seen in a comic in a long time. A cynical man would say Marvel figured anyone who actually cared to pick this up would do so regardless of cost or production values, so I should probably just be relieved they didn’t throw in 3 pages of text by Bendis and charge $5.
  • SHIELD #3 – Fortunately, Marvel saves some face with the new SHIELD book. I’m not entirely sure what the point is, but the ride so far has been worth it.

While I’m on the topic of Jonathan Hickman books, I’ve been filling in the gaps of his Fantastic Four run. I was particularly impressed with his first arc, “Solve Everything,” featuring the ultimate team-up of the Reed Richards’ of the multiverse, but every issue seems to top the one before it. It’s fun, adventurous, and scientific; pretty much everything an FF book should be. Last week’s issue kicks off what looks to be a pretty massive time travel arc, and the only quibble I can find is that it’s occasionally hard to tell the bearded characters apart. Don’t forget to stick around for the letter page, featuring Franklin and Val.

Well, that’s it for me. What are YOU looking at?

This Week’s Mysterious Comics

It’s a week of trials this time around.  Or at least trial and error.

  • BATMAN AND ROBIN #13 – B&R has been consistently great, but with the current Return of Bruce Wayne tie-in happening right now, it’s by far the best Batman book I’ve read in some time.  I’m putting this right up there with Morrison’s All-Star Superman.  Except with, you know…Batman.
  • BRIGADE #1 – I honestly can’t believe we’re getting another 90’s Liefeld throwback.  I always thought Brigade was one of the worst of The Rob’s paramilitary superhero comics, but I may still be tempted to pick this up if Liefeld’s doing the art with the painted-style coloring that showed up as a preview in Image United.
  • HIT-MONKEY #1 (OF 3) – I like the concept, but the cynic in me thinks this is just a cash-grab using Julie Schwartz’s theory that comics always sold better with a gorilla on the cover.  Still, for 3 bucks I may bite and give it a try.
  • MARVELMAN FAMILYS FINEST #1 (OF 6) – I’m a huge Miracleman fan, and I’m pretty excited that Marvel may finally reprint (or dare I hope?) finish Neil Gaiman’s run.  Still, I’ve never had the opportunity to read any of the original Marvelman material, and I’m looking forward to the chance.  If nothing else, it should be fairly insane.
  • SHADOWLAND #1 (OF 5) and THANOS IMPERATIVE #1 (OF 6) and X-MEN #1 – Regardless of what publishers may think, there is such a thing as “event fatigue,” and I have it.  I just lack the interest or motivation to keep up with whatever terrible line-wide crossover is supposed to the the big, new, status-quo shattering event.  Of course, Marvel kicks off three new events this week (granted, Thanos Imperative is a reprint).  Sorry, Marvel. No.  You JUST got the 616 universe back into a recognizable shape.  Let’s keep it that way for a while, shall we?

Last month Matt swore he was done with Green Lantern, but I’m hoping he makes an exception for last week’s issue.  Featuring Lobo — the 90’s most inexplicable fad — hunting down Atrocitus, this issue was
all action, something we don’t really see enough of in Geoff Johns’ comics.  While I’d hate to see him regain his Deadpool-like status he had 15 years ago, I really enjoyed this issue and felt like Lobo was making the meta-commentary I have been for the past year.  The conclusion wasn’t especially original, but I liked it, and it set the groundwork for a story that could prove to be really interesting if he decides to follow it.  We also finally got the origin story of Dex-Starr, the Red Lantern cat, and it read a little too much like “Dream of a Thousand Cats” but I liked it.  This was a solid, fun chunk of storytelling, and I wish more of Blackest Night And Its Infinite Crossovers had been this well done.

That’s it for me.  What are YOU looking at?  And don’t forget, new comics come out on Thursday this week.