I, Pietro Maximoff, have returned. Once again I find myself owing the odious Captain Elias a favor. The details of our debt are not to be divulged to his plebeian readers, save for the method of my repayment. That is, the reviewing of the silly "comic books", chronicling the adventures of my fellow super compatriots, which the Captain purchased yesterday with his limited funds. I believe he has a job of some kind to pay for such banal frivolities, but it's hardly worth mentioning.
The point is, I am here and he is not. I shall now take approximately 20 seconds to read his entire "Pull List" and write down my reactions. Whether you agree with my opinions, or are tempted to buy certain issues after hearing them, is no concern of mine. So long as you do not actively pursue the destruction of the mutant race, I could not care less.
Avengers #20: I found this comic rather slow and boring, though with some pleasing art and interestingly brief exchanges between certain characters. As a card-carrying member of the Avengers, I applaud Steve Rogers' inclusion of Storm on the team, but I am displeased with the ease in which she was defeated in battle. For that matter the entire team comes off as amateurish and reactionary. Which is quite possibly true, since I am not "in the mix" as it were. This belongs in a trade paperback as a small chapter, not a comic in its own right.
Daredevil #7: Despite my disgust with sentimentality in all its forms, particularly those around Christmas, this comic was touching. Matt Murdock is a respectable hero and lawyer, and to see him struggle against adversity is always fun, though unexpectedly there are no supervillains or crime bosses here. Instead, it is Daredevil and a group of troubled young children who must survive in the snowy wilds of upstate NY after a bus crash. With beautiful pencils, suspenseful drama, and plot developments that reveal the fortitude and courage of the young, this comic becomes a spectacular piece of art.
X-Factor #229: I was surprised to find myself in this issue, until it became clear that the bumbling Jamie Madrox had ended up in an alternate world. Aside from my and Banshee's presence, and the ludicrous idea that I would ever take orders from Wolverine, this was actually a very interesting chapter in the ongoing mysteries of X-Factor. It seems Jamie, who was recently murdered, is in fact connected to the timestream somehow, and upon death he is instantly transmitted to a point in time and reality (not always our own) when/where a duplicate of himself has died. The possibilities of this story are truly epic, and I look forward to hearing what happens, despite a change in focus starting with the next issue (when my former X-Factor teammates Havok and Polaris join in. They are insufferable.)
Wolverine & the X-Men #4: Quentin Quire saves the day, without telling anyone. This may show hope for the troubled young man, especially since he is not living on Utopia near my manipulative father. In the end, the new school survived its first day, and hopefully many more. I particularly like that Krakoa Jr. is now the front lawn of the grounds.
Uncanny X-Force #19: After the emotional brilliance that was the end of the Dark Angel Saga, this coda is methodical and unique. Most notably, Wolverine reveals the existence of X-Force to Kitty Pryde and Beast, his fellow academic architects, who take the young Genesis (Apocalypse Jr.) in their charge. This is far preferable to the long secret-keeping and eventual schism, pardon the term, that would occur upon revelation. Betsy's heartache is sad and hopefully short term, and the set-up for the next arc proved enticing. To see Mr. Remender write a story concerning the Omniverse and the Captain Britain Corps would be a dream come true to any fan of his. Which does not necessarily include me.
Generation Hope #14: I am not yet enamored of this "Hope", this messiah-child, and reading her bumbling escapades in Pakistan did not increase my opinion of her. Sebastian Shaw is a repugnant creature, even with his mind-wiped clean. The fact that he joins the X-Men on Utopia makes me even more worried about Utopia. It is fast becoming an island of villains.
Fantastic Four #601: After all the FF have gone through in recent months, it is heartwarming to see the return of their beloved Johnny Storm to the land of the living. Most rewarding is his new attitude; decisive, aggressive, confident and in charge, this is not the silly superficial Johnny Storm that once dated my ex-wife. I expect great things from him.
New Mutants #35: While the idea of a death metal rock band acting as some sort of mystical energy focal point for natural disasters is both ridiculous and an apt commentary on pop/culture, it is an adequate situation in which to watch Dani Moonstar's team work and interact with the returning Blink. In the end it felt like merely set-up for further issues, but a decent comic nonetheless.
Nightwing #4: The exploits of Dick Grayson in Miami were incidental and unoriginal. The issue's main focus is his interaction with women, which I find to be juvenile and unsatisfactory, though they both seem very beautiful. I much prefer Barbara Gordon in a wheelchair, horrid as that is to say.
Batman #4: Captain Elias tells me this Mr. Snyder is increasingly respected as a writer of comics, yet I could not find proof in this particular issue. It seemed juvenile and with an over-abundance of back story. This Court of Owls is less disturbing than they initially appeared. I am however interested in the potential for a feud forming between Batman and his trusted ally Commissioner Gordon. Some personal drama would help ground this far-reaching story of myths and legends coming to malevolent light.
Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes!: I am not usually a fan of Grant Morrison but I found this over-priced finale to be both lucid and gripping. The first chapter with Stephanie Brown, in what I am told was her final appearance as Batgirl, was particularly great. Her voice and character were completely accurate, when compared to her own series, and her infiltration and defeat of the evil girls school was exciting. She needed little help from Batman in the end. As for the big reveal at the end, it seems Leviathan is Talia al'Gul. Ruthless, beautiful, connected and with a major grudge, it seems Batman Inc. in 2012 may prove more readable than expected.
Fables #112: This story borrowed a theme from A Christmas Carol, which I hate, but it managed to be original. Rose Red is one of the better characters in the Fables cast, having been a point of interest since the first issue, and her new upcoming role as a paladin for Hope or some such nonsense is actually a rather good idea, setting up her future role in the story. The art is lovely and consistent, and the upcoming conflict with the formerly fat nurse in Castle Dark should be enjoyable to read...
...were I to continue reading these comics of my own volition. Which I will not. this was merely an honorable man repaying his debt to a less honorable man.
I am now done. If you see Captain Elias, tell him never to contact me again. And if you want to have a Merry Christmas, well, I suppose that is your right, though I have no interest to witness it. Goodbye.