#1 · Ms. Marvel

Ms. Marvel #12

381359_20161027144034_large

I’ve heard great things about this new Ms. Marvel series, so I thought that I’d try to jump in at #12 as it was also the first in a new story line: “The Road To War.” Basically, Kamala decides to leave Jersey due to things going on in the Civil War II book(s) and so she heads to Pakistan to stay with her grandmother and take a vacation. While she’s there she kind of learns that she can’t really take a vacation from being Ms. Marvel and ultimately realizes it’s time to face who she is and go back home.

It’s not a bad story, but it’s definitely a transitional one. One that I’d surely have appreciated far more if I’d read the preceding eleven issues. So that’s my fault. I’m not a huge fan of the art style though. It reminds me of something for kids or something. I don’t know. I might check out more issues of this series, but I’m not in a rush.

One-Shot · Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Deviations

358788_20160330074058_large

Deviations was a five-week event for IDW earlier in 2016 where various comics released one-shots that told What If stories outside of the main series. In the Turtles’ issue we have a grim reality. First of all, Shredder has killed Casey Jones. And second, the Turtles have been brainwashed and are now members of The Foot. Their mission: to kill Splinter.

What immediately struck me was just how overly violent this one was. Not that I’m against that. And really, as a fan of the Turtles going back to the early Mirage issues, I have always preferred a darker tone for them anyway. But damn, it’s brutal to see Splinter being so beat up.

The real What If here is simply what would happen if the Turtles weren’t there to protect the city. I won’t ruin anything, but the ending is a surprise but also isn’t. For a one-shot, I thought it was pretty decent. Though I must admit I didn’t love the art. A little too busy for my taste.

#1 · Supergirl

Supergirl: Being Super #1

387364_20161228100941_large

Oh damn, I thought this was pretty great! Like maybe even better than the main Supergirl series. Alright, no. That’s a lie. These are two totally different books. This is more like a prequel. She isn’t really Supergirl here yet. She’s a high school student. This is like Mean Girls with superhero stuff – which is cool with me.

DC gave us a nice 48-page format issue for this debut, which looks gorgeous. Really, I love when they do this. And with this series being only four issues, I’m hoping the remaining three follow suite.

The writing is solid. Mariko Tamaki is also writing the new Hulk which I’ve just recently raved about as well. Kara feels like a relate-able high school student here. And there’s some great introductions to her friends and family as well as her school and home life.

And that art! Joelle Jones’ art absolutely POPS off the pages. It is so colorful and soothing. I’m really impressed with this series so far. I have a feeling others will bemoan its ‘slowness’ but I prefer this kind of slow-burn if we have the room to get comfy with the characters and the world. This is good stuff.

#1 · Revolution

Revolution #1

377210_20160921085325_large

I’m reading this because I don’t know why. I have paid no attention to GI Joe or Transformers since I was like ten. I’ve not seen those Michael Bay movies or anything. But for some stupid reason I wanted to read this first issue. I guess because I think it’s so surreal.

Basically IDW has created a Hasbro-verse where all of their toys play together. It’s interesting in the sense that maybe when you were a kid you mixed and matched your toys regardless of franchise? I think I was more boring than that personally. GI Joes fought GI Joes. Turtles were strictly for other Turtles.

But ugh, I do kind of love when franchises are overlapped and retrofitted. Y’know how Alien and Predator used to be separate things but now those two universes are one? I love that.

This first issue was actually not that bad. It set up an intro; it gave us a conflict; there was even the death of a major character which we’ve learned all big crossovers should have. Right? I don’t know. My mind isn’t blown or anything, but I’ll probably check out the next issue. Why not? It’s a short series if I’m just sticking to the main story.

Justice League · Suicide Squad

Justice League Vs. Suicide Squad #2

387325_20161228063034_large

Ugh. Honestly, this isn’t great. And in fact for the first half of the issue I felt fine with that. I felt like I’d just stop reading after this issue. It was easy to dismiss this as I don’t know… just going through the motions?

And it kind of sort of is. It’s a pretty pointless story so far. Just an excuse to cram as many personalities into one book and move some units. Yeah? But the second half picked up enough that now I’m actually curious enough to read the next one. Dammit. I was actually kind of relieved to have one less series to follow. Oh well.

The one-on-one fights were brief but amusing. But it was when Superman’s power gets sucked out of him that it started to get interesting. And in the final pages we see that the Justice League is now locked up by Waller. So it seems the title is irrelevant. I’m feeling like this will be Justice League/Suicide Squad Vs. Those Other Guys. We’ll see.

Iron Man

Infamous Iron Man #3

infim2016003_dc11_lr_1-932x1414

Infamous Iron Man continues its strong run out of the gate with issue #3. With this issue we’re finally given some more background on just what’s going on with old Vik. It seems as though all the power in the world that he had obtained from being evil never satisfied him, and so it was with that in mind that he had his revelation to try being good. And as awful a reason as that is – his logic is sound when he says that he’d be the best man to talk down evildoers: he knows them better than any hero would.

This is really turning into a cool series. Issue #3 is certainly more dialogue heavy (or rather, monologue heavy) than the first two were but the consecutive pages of two-page spreads is gorgeous stuff. This comic has a lot of style.

Hulk

Hulk #1

hulk_1_cover

Wow. Wow. It is not often that a first issue can punch you in the gut quite like this one did. I picked up issue #1 of Hulk totally out of curiosity. I mean, I have always thought that She-Hulk was pretty cool. I remember her stint in the Fantastic Four being especially great. But this… I wasn’t expecting this.

Now I should note that I haven’t read Civil War II yet (though I did pick up the first issue… I should get to reading that already). But having said that, I have been reading plenty of new Marvel comics that have filled in a lot of the events. Recent issues of Mockingbird and Infamous Iron Man have both told me things that happened in Civil War II.

So here we are. The Bruce Banner Hulk is dead. Jennifer has just awoken from a coma. She is the only Hulk left. And she needs to get on with her life. This whole first issue deals with Jennifer trying to go back to work; trying to feel normal in a world that has been turned upside-down. This is a brilliant way to tell the story. Jennifer – THE HULK – feels so human. This is a tragic story. One that feels so emotionally engaging that I want to slow-clap.

Great superhero comics can tell a lot about human nature while using these extraordinary characters to paint the picture. And this is something deep. A story about mourning; about pain. I’m highly impressed.

X-Men

X-Men ’92 #10

x-men-e2809992-10-1-600x910

It’s over. Reading issue #10 of X-Men ’92 was totally bittersweet. It was a nice long issue. One that tied up a lot of loose ends, and had a crazy epic ending. While I had been feeling before like maybe this series was cut down too soon, I now wonder if it wasn’t written this way from the start. They couldn’t have possibly planned to continue it from here, could they?

If I’m being honest, I far preferred the story in the first five issues than in the “Lilapalooza” story in the second half. Mostly because it’s been a bit of a mess that felt sort of aimless. And maybe that’s why it had to come to an end. Maybe there was just a feeling of not being sure where to take the story next.

But the bummer is that the final issue brought a lot of charm. And a lot of heart. Most anything I could say about the plot would spoil things. If you haven’t been reading this comic all along, I’m not going to suggest you have to read the final five issues. But if you have been following along, then you should be pretty pleased with the finale.

 

Batman

Batman #2

368861_20160706055120_large

A friend of mine has been urging me to read the new Batman series for a while now. I had read issue #1 over a month ago – and enjoyed it – but I was having trouble finding a copy of #2 on any shelves until this week.

I enjoyed this one less. I don’t care for these characters “Gotham” and “Gotham Girl.” I don’t know. It sounds so… generic? Hopefully it’s smarter than I realize. But I mean, really? The dude is named Gotham?

At least there’s the interesting moody Batman stuff going on. Bruce is getting depressed. It’s actually pretty humanizing when he tells Alfred that someday he’ll day and Robin will take over but then Robin will die. There’s definitely an air of existential crisis going on. So that’s something.