This Week’s Comics

Man, the Christmas holiday must have destroyed my brain’s ability to determine what day of the week it is, because we’re at New Comic Day and I think it’s Monday. So with a week so light I thought Diamond’s web site loaded incorrectly, here’s a look at this week’s new and noteworthy titles.

  • AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700Behind this cover is a graphic designer who had to read a LOT of bad Venom comics. I have OCD price points, it’s one of my least endearing qualities, and yet $8 for over 100 pages of material is an terrific deal. Factor in that this is a huge anniversary issue and the “last” issue of Amazing, I’m definitely on-board here.
  • AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #15.1 – The “missing link” between Amazing and Superior, for three bucks on a light week I’ll definitely pick this up.

And aside from some Justice League, that’s just about all that’s even coming out this week, so I’ll just take the opportunity to wish everyone happy holidays and good reading.

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Game Tape

This was a pretty good week. At least for me, issues ran from pretty good to not too shabby. So let’s see what we see.

Months and months ago, I dropped Green Lantern because I didn’t want to read a story pretending not to be Dragonball Z or The Thirteen Ghosts of Scooby Doo (ie a story where the characters are on an search for x, y, and z mcguffins over an indefinite period of time). Johns was shoe-horning a hamfisted plot over his  search for the dragonba…er…ghos…er avatars of the lantern power. This said, it may be a surprise that I really enjoy Paul Cornell’s Action Comics. Lex is essentially collecting Dragon Balls, but that’s all he’s doing, and he’s doing it shamelessly. Of course Cornell’s/ Luthor’s shamelessness is infinitely more fun to read about. Specific to this issue, Larfleeze shows up with one of the spheres and words are bandied regarding the nature of desire, power, and want. If you’re a fan of avarice and the color orange, the last two Larfleeze pages are worth the price of admission. We also get a clue as to who might be partially responsible for this business.

This week also saw a return of something that has not been true in almost a decade: I walked out of the shop with three X-books. In quick order, here are a few thoughts on each.

1. Age of X continues in X-Men Legacy  #245 this week. I’m still enjoying this look at dystopia. The X-writers have gone out of their way to create relationships and back stories for characters that we haven’t seen before. Rogue serves a unique and chilling purpose in Age of X that makes sense for her power set. It’s also fun to see Cannonball busting Cyclops’s chops like a drill sergeant to a buck private. The use of Wolverine in this issue and the previous installment of this crossover are also intriguing and well done. Finally, we get glimpses that suggest that readers should not be pulling for Magneto to win the day. Poor Kitty Pride.

2. X-Men #8 continues the teams trip back to New York. I was interested in seeing how the X-Men and Spidey might face Lizard. Now, not so much. It reads similarly to Gischler’s first arc. Find vampire and replace with lizard man. Find San Francisco and replace with New York. Find Cyclops and replace with Storm. Done. There is a mystery as to who is behind all of this reptili-mania (hint: it’s not Connors). If you haven’t picked up the book, go back and read the vampire arc. It’s better and surprisingly more novel even though it’s lacking cannons that shoot vampires from the moon.

3. Astonishing X-Men is back, and Daniel Way (of Wolverine, et al. fame) is at the helm. Like X-Men, this issue involves lizards. It also involves, a certain island, Mentallo and Japan. I don’t want to say much more, but I feel confident that Jesse will be picking up to book based on certain words in the previous two sentences…oh, there’s also a death in family, but it’s more of a plot point to get the mutants to Japan.

Which brings us to the “final” issue of Fantastic Four. Pardon me if I sound incredulous; twelve issues before a big 600th anniversary and they’re canceling the title? Right. That aside, the issue is enjoyable. It’s not really a memorial for Johnny; rather it shows how each member of the family deals with his death. Valeria’s reaction is chilling, while read has an  impotent moment with Anihilus. My favorite moment was watching Ben handle the loss. Hulk and Thor are there with shoulders to cry on in a way that made me a little teary. At the same time, Hickman (as always) is building a foundation. The back up story with Franklin and Spider-Man was decent too in spite of the annoying “Hey there little guy” voice that Peter uses when talking to Franklin. I hate that voice.

Finally, there’s Nick Spencer’s Iron-Man 2.0. It was okay. Yeah.

So all in all it was a good week to read comics. Hope you enjoyed your stack as much as I enjoyed mine.


Aunt May — Secrets!!!

I can tie a knot in a cherry stem with my tongue. And 85 years of circus performing has left me QUITE limber.

Secrets!

Other super-villains I almost married: Norman Osborn, J. Jonah Jameson, Mac Gargan, Eddie Brock, and The Kangaroo.

Secrets!

I made one ill-fated attempt at villainy in the 1970's, but getting defeated by Hostess fruit pies got my head straight.

Secrets!

Yes, my becoming the heard of Galactus is canon. Golden Oldie will ride again!

Secrets!

After Peter moved out I found some of his old textbooks, and they had CENTERFOLDS of the periodic table in them! Shocking!

Secrets!!!

Selections from the J. Mysteryman Catalog

Second Sight


“WHY IS THERE NEVER A PHOTOGRAPHER AROUND WHEN YOU NEED ONE!!! THEY’RE ALWAYS HERE BEGGING FOR HANDOUTS BUT NEVER TO BE SEEN WHEN THERE’S A JOB TO DO!”

“Easy, JJJ,” I said.  “I’m here for you.  And I’ve got my Nikon D3X with me.  With 24.5 megapixels,  exceptional noise control, and Nikon’s EXPEED image-processing system, it’ll get whatever pictures you need, better than you could hope for.”

“SHUT IT, PARKER!  THE RHINO’S IN MIDTOWN MAKING A WRECK OF THE PLACE AND I NEED THAT NEAR INSTANTANEOUS SHUTTER RELEASE TIME LAG OF APPROXIMATELY 0.04 SECONDS AND  51-POINT AUTOFOCUS SYSTEM TO GET DOWN THERE AND GET PICTURES!”

I swung by Midtown and there was my odd-toed ungulate.  I got in close and started snapping pics when he saw me.

“Parker!,”  Rhino yelled.  “If you’re here then that spider-creep can’t be far away.  If you take one more picture, even the durable, lightweight magnesium-alloy construction and comprehensive weather
sealing won’t stop me from tearing that camera into a million pieces.

The camera cost $7400, but I took the picture anyway.*

Camera only available in black.  Strap available in any color, sold separately.

* Apologies to Frank Miller