Secret Weapons

Secret Weapons #2

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Finally getting back to this series.

So it’s interesting because I knew nothing about it. I never read Harbinger in the 90’s, so this world is totally new to me. But that seems fine. This feels like it works well on its own anyway.

We’re introduced to another Psiot – this time a guy who can turn himself to stone, however can’t move when he does. So he basically becomes a statue. That’s of course not ideal, but probably still better a power than a guy who can materialize things uncontrollably or a girl who can talk to birds.

Our team is still being hunted. But they’re forming their own little family. The writing is (of course) solid, and I really dig the art. This is still good stuff.

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Aliens · Batman · TPB

Batman/Aliens

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Aright so this trade paperback was a mixed bag for me.

First up is the three-issue mini-series of Batman/Aliens. This was pretty decent. It involves Batman going off to investigate a missing person and getting involved with some mercs out in the jungle. And wouldn’t you know it? Xenomorphs show up! It was kind of weird for me to have Batman in this setting, but the story was alright. I especially liked a nightmare sequence where Bruce saw his parents killed by aliens. And the art was really nice.

Then there was a Batman/Aliens II mini-series and it started off good. It takes place in Gotham, and that’s awesome. Like the idea of Xenomorphs running around Gotham? The art was also really cool in this one. But as it went on it got a bit sillier. A trip to Arkham Asylum could’ve been great but turned really dumb when the plot turned to Gotham villains’ DNA being used to create hybrid Xenomorphs. Picture a Two-Face or Joker Xenomorph… yup, stupid.

Then there was a Superman And Batman Vs. Aliens and Predator which I didn’t care for much. It was mostly about Supes and Bats trying to SAVE a lost tribe of Predators (so why is it just singular “Predator” in the title?). The art was so lifeless and the dialogue super stiff. Not into this one.

Finally was a WildCATs/Aliens one-shot which kind of felt out of place here. And the story really bored me. So basically it was just the first half of this book that I liked, but even then it was just so-so with mostly just the art that kept me into it at all.

#1 · Champions

Champions #1

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Alright, so I actually got this issue as a freebie months ago and just threw it in a pile of unread comics. I don’t know. I wasn’t really all that interested. I looked at the cover and it just seemed like it was supposed to be a book about some old favorite heroes… but in new younger Millennial form. So I didn’t think much of it.

But now I’m trying to get in the habit of doing the Throwback Thursday thing with comics and trying to actually hit up my box of unread random backlogged issues once a week. While I was thumbing through, glancing at covers I noticed something that hadn’t stood out before: Viv.

See, I’ve been reading The Vision and absolutely adoring it lately and so now Viv caught my eye on that cover so I figured I’d give it a shot. And O… M… G. I can’t believe I’ve never been convinced to read Champions earlier than this. This first issue was amazing. I loved everything about it. I mean, even the pacing was insane with Ms. Marvel quitting The Avengers and then going on to recruit Nova and Miles and then them helping the “totally awesome” Hulk and then recruiting Viv and then – AND THEN – the issue gets totally dark with them rescuing girls who are part of human trafficking… just holy shit.

Really, this issue was incredible. Mark Waid’s writing here was top-top notch. The art was lovely. I’m just really upset I didn’t get to this series sooner. Well, now that stupid Secret Empire is over I’m planning to re-start The Avengers series, and apparently it’ll be overlapping with the Champions series as well. So I guess now’s as good a time to start as any.

The Vision

The Vision: Director’s Cut #2

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Wow this book is amazing. It had been on my want-to-read list since rather early in its run, and I just kept figuring I’d buy the trade paperbacks. I’m so glad that these director’s cuts came out to push me to start picking them up. This second issue actually contains the third and fourth issues of the original run.

This story just keeps getting deeper and darker. As Vision and his wife struggle to keep their marriage working while dealing with the demanding job that he keeps or the stress of their daughter’s injury, it really starts to hit you just how masterfully King was able to pen a story about human emotion while using synthesoids as the subject.

There’s also a lot of tones of fear and xenophobia and hate. Like any great story, it’s not just one story. There’s many strings to pull. It feels like one of those stories that you can go back to and find little stories within the bigger story. And they all feel so sad.

By the end of the fourth issue we’re left with more bloodshed; more misery. This is a fascinating story with excellent writing and pacing, and stunning artwork.

X-Men

Astonishing X-Men #2

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I’m pretty mixed on this one. But man, look at that cover art! Ooh.

The story’s rather confusing to follow. You’ve got Logan, Jean, Gambit, Beast and Fantomex in in a dream controlled by the Shadow King who’s playing a game with Professor X. It’s at times amusing – like as they’re watching a movie or play about the history of the X-Men. But other times it’s just baffling, such as in a two-page spread where I found it impossible to even figure out the flow of the dialogue.

The art’s a mixed bag, too. The X-Men themselves are drawn beautifully, but the parts with Shadow King just looked overly detailed to me in an unappealing way.

I don’t quite know if I’ll stick with this series for the long haul yet. I might give it one more issue, though.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #73

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I skipped #72 because I was so sick of the Toad story that was happening in the main book and the Universe spinoff. But #73 starts a new story – “The Trial Of Krang,” which was actually preceded in the Free Comic Book Day issue this year.

It’s not exactly what I want from the series – which would be a lot more street level. But this is way way better than what was going on recently. And at least here we’ve got some familiar faces like Krang, the Neutrinos and Leatherhead. So that’s cool.

Oh, I want to point out that the art in this issue was great. Corey Smith is killing it here. The writing was a bit overly verbose, but that’s not really unusual for the series.

I’ll continue reading (again), though I can’t see myself dipping into the Dimension X mini-series, nor going back to the Universe book for extended storylines here necessarily.

#1 · Marvel Legacy · One-Shot

Marvel Legacy #1

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I’m a sucker for new #1’s and new events and all that. But I also try not to expect too much, as generally these events will leave me disappointed. But this Marvel Legacy one-shot actually really surprised me.

Marvel’s doing their usual reboot thing, but this time feels I don’t know… different. It’s more back to basics than usual.

This was a nice lengthy story which felt hokey at first – starting a million years ago, ugh. But then it really picked up and tied together stories from The Avengers, X-Men, the Fantastic Four for crying out loud as well as others. It feels like instead of just a total hard reset, Marvel is taking all the loose ends from the Civil War II era comics and are finding a way to get them back to a time before all that stuff. A time that many fans miss.

 

Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #10

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Slightly mixed on this issue. I’m not really loving the art the way I have in past issues of this series. Though the coloring was quite nice. I especially liked the contrast of cold sickly sterile colors in the Osborn office versus the bright coloring of the Parker house for example.

This one revolved a lot around young Normie Osborn, which is y’know. Okay. But there’s something I’m not crazy about here with so much emphasis on Annie-Mae being this great superhero. Like, twice they had her save Spider-Man in one issue. He’s Spider-Man and she’s a kid. You’d think it would still be him showing her the ropes more. I don’t know.

The inclusion of the Lizard and a brief mention of the Fantastic Four was promising though. And now this hints at our young Osborn finally taking on the role of Green Goblin which could be cool… except he’s also a little kid. I’m just nervous that this series which has previously shown a great family dynamic is now heading a little too childlike for my taste.

#1 · Runaways

Runaways #1

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I was pretty excited about this first issue, but I finished it not feeling all that impressed. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just because the whole issue was one single scene. Nico is trying to revive an injured Gert. It just felt like the whole issue was just showing how Nico’s powers worked. It was just kind of… I don’t know. It didn’t do a lot for me.

So I’m not really sure if I’ll stick with it or not. I’ve still got so many others comics to catch up on as it is, I’ll probably throw this series on the backburner at least for now.

Hawkeye

Hawkeye #9

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It’s been a while, but I’m finally playing catch-up on my comics. Starting with Hawkeye #9, a series that I’ve been a big fan of. This issue felt a bit like a transitional one. There was  a fight club scene that was cool but mostly it just kind of… was there. It felt like it was wrapping up some loose ends from last issue but nothing was a huge revelation or anything.

As usual the writing was punchy though. And the art was on point. This book in general is always solid. So I’m not even putting anything down. But I’m not quite as engrossed with the story at the moment as I have been in the past.