Aliens

Aliens: Defiance #9

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Shit just got real.

So some space pirates made the mistake of invading our little rogue ship. Guess what Zula’s plan is? She lets the baby Xenomorph loose while the tiny crew takes cover. Except that baby has grown. It’s now huge and ready to hunt. And we get pages of space pirates getting ripped to shreds.

Now that the pirates are taken care of, though… well now there’s a big Xeno on board the ship free to roam as it pleases. So it’s time to head back to Earth.

Good stuff!

Deadpool

Deadpool #29

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Tough to keep such great momentum up. Deadpool #29 closes out the “Til Death Do Us…” mini-series. And it was fine. But also a little bit of a weak ending. Basically Shiklah and Drac do get married, then their armies rise up against them, but then they just decide that they’re all set. They just get kind of bored, and want to retire from ruling so they just go on a honeymoon. And that’s kind of it.

Wade is bummed that Shiklah and he are really done. And again, I always enjoy seeing the human side of Deadpool. But I don’t know, this felt kind of a let down after the great writing we’d have leading up to it. Having said all that – I still suggest this mini-series in whole. It was a lot of fun and even if I have complaints about pacing here, the writing was still solid.

The Infinity Gauntlet · TPB

The Infinity Gauntlet

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Whoo. What to say? So I’m still working my way (slowly) through a big giant list of 90’s books that I’m considering a bit of a crash-course syllabus. I originally started reading comics in the late 80’s and early 90’s so a lot of this stuff is either revisiting stuff I was a fan of back then, or finally getting to read the stuff I wanted to at the time. As a kid it was harder to keep up with series, so I’d just get to read random issues whenever I had the chance.

I remember The Infinity Gauntlet stuff from back then. It felt like it was this huge deal – Thanos getting all crazy powerful. My friends and I used to play that TSR Marvel role playing game back in the day and would fight over who could be Thanos. I’m pretty sure we just made up our own rules now that I think about it.

Anyway I think I maybe overhyped this book in my mind. I was so excited to read it but ultimately it felt like a slog to get through. And as much as I can appreciate the comics of this era, this one really feels like it falls into that “Too Much” category of comics from the time that I just can’t get past. Too many characters trying to do too much stuff and with too much dialogue… it all just gets so messy and hard to follow. Hard to read, even! There’s just so much stuff on each page that it feels beyond cluttered.

I also hate the writing style… I’m not quite sure how to describe it but it’s like you have a narrator that’s trying to oh so poetically describe everything that’s going on. I’m a much bigger fan of show, don’t tell. But more importantly I’m a bigger fan of Keep It Simple Stupid. I don’t feel like it does a story any service to write it as if it were a Shakespearean sonnet. I really prefer writing that feels natural and less verbose. ‘Say what you mean’ and whatever other cliches you think I should use here.

Having said all this – I want to disclaim that I didn’t hate Infinity Gauntlet. There were some great PARTS. I liked the whole thing about Thanos suffering because now matter his power; no matter what he did, he could just not gain the affections of Lady Death. The motivation there feels almost human. Unrequited love led to a gigantic war. But mostly I felt like I could have read the first and last issues and been totally fine reading this story in Cliff’s Notes mode.

I also think Adam Warlock is kind of lame, though. And I’m now in no rush to read The Infinity War.

Batman

Batman #21

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Ever since DC Rebirth #1 hinted that the Watchmen would be part of the DC Universe proper, I’ve been very excited. I’m sure the idea turns off some fans – and I can understand that. But me? I’m all for seeing more Watchmen – especially mingling with other DC characters.

Batman #1 was THEE comic I had to pick up this week. It was the beginning of “The Button,” a story that would crossover Batman and The Flash with Watchmen. I couldn’t wait. And I was thrilled with the cool lenticular cover.

Anyway, on to the comic. It definitely has a Watchmen tone. That is dark. Gloomy. Serious. It begins with patients at Arkham watching a hockey game where a fight breaks loose. A woman in the asylum freaks out, exclaiming that this is the game where a player dies.

Meanwhile Batman is watching many things on many screens – though he always has, it feels like a deliberate Watchmen nod. Among those things is the same hockey game. Oh, remember that smiley face button he found back in DC Rebirth #1? Well, “Reverse Flash” comes out of it while Batman is waiting for the real Flash to show up.

We now watch a minute – a full minute with countdown to Flash’s arrival as Reverse Flash and Batman soak the pages in blood. It’s violent alright. And most of the issue is this big fight scene. Though I don’t want to make it sound boring. Some other things happen, but I don’t want to ruin everything.

One thing I really appreciated was the classic Watchmen style layout of the pages. You can see that the artist Jason Fabok really took care with this.

I’ll definitely be looking forward to where “The Button” goes next.

Batgirl

Batgirl #8

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So for Christmas my sister and brother-in-law got me a subscription to Batgirl. I didn’t receive the first issue in the mail until #8, which I’ve just read. Of course this means that I’m picking up in the middle of a story. Oh well.

Apparently Barbara is on a date with The Penguin’s son, Ethan. And he doesn’t know that she’s Batgirl… at least I don’t think he does. He runs a company that makes apps and other technology. One such app is called Walkhome and it calls someone to literally walk you home.

A side note, I appreciated the link to MIT’s’ App Inventor. I’d never heard of it, but it looks interesting.

Anyway, Batgirl spies Magpie as one such walker, and they get in a scuffle leading to bad press for Ethan’s company. And from the looks of things, he’s not too pleased with Batgirl.

We’ll see how it goes. So far it’s pretty light and fun.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #68

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Still loving this main TMNT series right now. Maybe more than I have in a while. This picks up where the last left off. The Dark Water agents have the Mutanimals prisoner after brainwashing Slash and having him brutally attack them. A couple of them do make a break for it – including Mondo Gecko and his slowly regenerating tail.

Meanwhile Hobs has come to the Turtles looking for help in rescuing the Mutanimals. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to the gang, Dark Water is moving in on them.

I love the Mutanimals inclusion here. And I love how the first four issues of TMNT Universe have now overlapped with what’s happening in the main series. It makes the Universe stuff now feel more like it’s serving the purpose of filling in backstory ahead of time.

Hulk

Hulk #4

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This one is still chugging along. And it’s still a slow burner. But I do like it. It’s interesting how little we see of Jen as the Hulk. She’s always suppressing. She’s lawyering, y’know? She’s trying to be in control. The hero – but not the superhero.

And the woman, Maise she’s protecting – through law – we see as a victim. But the story still isn’t clear. And now, with Maise backed into a corner, maybe she’s not what we thought at all these last few issues.

But I don’t know. Because it’s a slow burn. It’s taking a long time to tell us this story, but I do still like it.

Supergirl

Supergirl #7

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Whoo, this was a mixed bag. I’m glad to be through that first story arc in issues 1-6. But this… I am hoping was just a weird transitional moment. A one-and-done kind of thing. Cuz it was odd.

To be honest I found it rather tough to follow. At least, why it was written. Kara goes into Lar-On’s mind to try to understand him. So it was all strange nightmare imagery. I don’t know. Didn’t feel all that compelling.

In the final pages we see Supergirl back in National City – thank goodness. Maybe it’s because I like the TV show so much that I’d really like to just see more of her there. Meaning, I’d like the stories to feel a bit more grounded.

But the final page showing that Superman will be in the next issue is a tease in the right direction. Maybe.

Iron Man

Infamous Iron Man #5

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I’m warning you right now – even without straight up spoilers, things I say could be spoilers. So turn back if you don’t want em.

Okay then. Remember how I’ve been saying that Infamous Iron Man is closest thing that we have to a current Fantastic Four comic? Well, even more so now. Yes, we’ve spent issues with The Thing chasing Doom/Iron Man. But there’s even more to it now. And I’m happy about that.

The issue deals with Doom finding out his mother is still alive. All these years she’s been in hiding, ashamed of her son. This is definitely turning into a very dark and intriguing story. Totally recommended.

Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #6

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This series CONTINUES to be one of the absolute best that Marvel is putting out right now. Maybe that’s a big statement to make. But y’know, just an opinion. At least that’s how I feel after finishing an issue like this one, though.

Issue #6 starts a new story arc. And it’s a doozy. So Professor X invites the Parker-Watsons to come visit the school… because he thinks that Annie should attend. Maybe you don’t immediately get the implication here: this Spider-Man book is officially crossing over into the X-Men.

Even more awesome: It’s an alternate timeline X-Men. One where the Civil War never even happened. Indeed things are totally different here… as such, appearances from Wolverine, Jean Grey, Cyclops, Magneto and so on will feel like a great surprise.

I love where this is going, and hope the story sticks around for a while. It’s like, just when you thought you knew what to expect from an already original book; the writers throw this surprise turn of events at you. It’s totally different from issues 1-5 and yet feels totally genuine to the tone of the series.