Wednesday, March 14, 2012

This Week's Comics - 3/14/12

A pretty fun Pull List this week, matching the Spring weather almost perfectly. If you have noticed my recent blog absence then I'm sure you'll forgive me, on account of the lingering side-effects of reading Battle Royale. Naturally it makes perfect sense that all my time is therefore split between the requisite daily-grind-eek-out-a-living routine, and sitting on my rooftop in the full fresh season-change weather rereading Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin's exploits as fast as my eyes can travel.

There's nothing like Patrick O'Brien for a troubled soul. Though superheroes and magic and comic books can prove a decent distraction as well, which brings us to our Pick of the Week.

The Unwritten #35 brings us the conclusion to "Tommy Taylor and the War of Words" and while Mike Carey's consistent brilliance assures us a great story, I think that cover may be reason enough to win Pick of the Week. Read on for the rest.


Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #7:  I'm a little more excited for this month's Buffy than usual, on account of recently rereading season 8 and the most recent season 9 issues. My disappointment in the majority of season 8 was unfortunately confirmed, but it's still easier to swallow when you read 'em in one fell swoop. The tone of seaon 9, however, has been markedly different, still unique and definitely a comic, but more in line with the TV show than the past few years. Of course, the whole abortion storyline is problematic--not just morally, but one should always be afraid when writers turn to pregnancy plots, specifically Buffy/Angel writers--and potentially uncomfortable, but at least Buffy feels more human these days. I'm excited for whatever twist is bound to happen, that will make sure no one loses respect for Buffy while explaining/plotting away the whole unborn kid thing. Plus, lots of Spike, and that handy, life-saving SFPD Detective Dowling. Also Zompires. And that persistent inability to picture Xander and Dawn as a couple.


The Unwritten #35: While the DC folk should naturally be most uncommon proud that their very own Unwritten was awarded STB's Pick of the Week, it is nonetheless the only DC offering I intend to spend money on. Some mild temptations including Batgirl, Batwoman, Batman & Robin, etc. but I merely recalled the first couple months of the New 52 and all desire melted away. Instead we get Tommy Taylor! War of the Words finished! Tommy vs. the Cabal and Pullman! The solicit says there are consequences for every human alive, but more importantly it says someone close to Tommy pays the ultimate price. (PleasedontbeLizziepleasedon'tbeLizzie.)

Locke & Key: Clockworks #5 (?):  Not sure about this one. In the end I probably won't add it to my reasonably-sized stack. However I did finally get into this series after years of hearing about it (and the disappointed TV hopes) and found it very entertaining, at least at first. As far as horror/thriller comics go, it was fantastic. But later issues felt as if they were dragging, losing the primal, scary, terrible aspects it had at the get-go and losing momentum with flashbacks and magic and slightly infuriating subplots. Also, the androgynous aspects of Dodge rather detract from his malevolence. Still, I like the cover (she's pretty obsessed with those wings lately) and the solicit promises inevitable slaughter. And in Locke & Key, like a good Final Girl type slasher, slaughter = drama and courage and satisfying retaliation.


Avengers #24:  At long last, the end of the Norman Osborn arc. Hopefully. Though nearly all of the Avengers were captured, Daisy "Quake" Johnson, the 14yo super-shield Avenger superhero, rescued them, and as the new, and still disjointed team, expect a speedy resolution against Osborn himself, they discover he's more powered up than Rogue during Messiah Complex. Naturally there's also some relationship drama, probably with Hawkeye and Spider-Woman, and apparently we get a lead-in into Bendis' final few months as Avengers writer. The end of an era, to be sure.

Avengers Assemble #1 (?):  Speaking of the Bendis' era, as it draws to a close he premieres his third, count e'm, third Avengers comic.This one, however, while canon, isn't strictly...chronological. Or maybe it is, I dunno, but it's express purpose is to get some civilians into the specific Avengers line-up that will be shown in a couple months on the big-screen in Joss Whedon's Avengers. And being a in-any-way-related-to-the-movie-version comic, I have very little interest in buying it. IS Bendis, who has a limited time with these characters left, and who loves them like a good fanboy. Besides, I should make a concerted effort to develop some affection and interest for both Black Widow and the Hulk before the movie begins, instead of simply lamenting the lack of any good female Avengers in the film. This'll be an in-store decision.

Fantastic Four #604: Definitely the last Fantastic Four comic I'm buying for awhile, since it's finally the end of Hickman's three year story. Unless it truly ends in the next FF issue. Or if there's a lot of fallout. Goddamn it, I'm not even that big a fan of the first family, how did they rope me into this one? Either way, Hickman's tenure is winding to a close much like Bendis' and I am rather curious to see how he writes the X-Men and Avengers during his stint on AvX (hopefully better than he writes the Inhumans.)

Wolverine and the X-Men #7:  Kitty vs. the Brood/alienmonsters, both externally and internally. Literally. On the outside she has some help in the form of Broo, the pacificist mutant brood child from Astonishing that reminds me of classic Warlock, and apparently the Bamf! army.  Meanwhile Beast, Iceman and Rachel shrink down, again, and enter Kitty's body to fight off her microscopic brood infestation. Not sure where the students are at the moment (lockdown?) but I imagine they'll end up playing a part too. And Wolverine and Quentin Quire are still off-planet, gambling for money to keep the school open, and it's about time they get into a big rumble. This comic is fun, exciting, and while the art isn't my favorite, it is both unique among superhero books and entirely worth the cover price.

X-Men Legacy #263:  Rogue and Wolverine talked Exodus down after he attacked the school, intending to reunite the mutant race by beating up X-Men until he agreed with him (cause that has worked for him everytime he's tried it before, braintrust.)  Unfortunately, Rogue's words got under his invulnerable skin, but he took it to mean "Blame Cyclops, not us" and took off for the West coast. By the time they caught up, their worst fears were realized; instead of Scott showing up to protect his people, he sent the kids, the remnants of the New X-Men and Generation Hope, to fight off Exodus (an Omega-level mutant, mind you.) This issue sees the conclusion of the Exodus arc, the final battle in its entirety, and no doubt some disaster for mutants not old enough to vote yet.

All in all, a solid week; enjoyable, aesthetically pleasing, and relatively important plot-wise. Also, bonus points, not too expensive. I shall leave you with an image of an Avengers vs. X-Men poster, apparently on sale already. Talk about temptation. Enjoy.

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