New Comic Book Day falls on a very auspicious date this week. Namely, the birthday of the incomparably beautiful and wise mother of this humble blogger. And while festivities have been pushed back to this upcoming weekend, I would like to take this opportunity to wish her a truly spectacular day and express a mere sliver of my infinite love and appreciation and respect and awe. You'll never find a better woman than her, of that you can be sure.
As for the comics lucky enough to be released on such a memorable occasion, I must first admit that Marvel is the only company receiving my funds this week, and Pick of the Week was a tough choice, until I eliminated all AvX related titles, not necessarily due to performance or saturation levels, but just to make things a bit easier for me. And even IF Daredevil #13 isn't my most anticipated or inevitably enjoyable book this week, it's definitely the greatest color. And Waid will doubtless please again.
Read on for the full pull. And Happy Birthday Momma.
Avengers #26: AvX tie-in. Setting: Space. Conflict: Probably that whole thing where Noh-Varr and Ms. Marvel join up with a recently resurrected Captain Marvel to do something/fulfill something with the Phoenix and turn on their teammates. It's doubtful Thor reacts well to such developments. I'm not super clear on whether the P force is still in space beating them up, or waking Mar-Vell, or is already planetside coursing through Hope's veins like a thousand exploding red bulls. But it's some good clean fun. Hopefully.
Avengers Academy #30: The Avengers kiddies and the X-kiddies are mingling on campus, but tensions are high and fighting will erupt soon (or it already has I forget.) Mostly we have Sebastian Shaw taking matters into his own, mind-wiped, well-intentioned hands to try and break out his fellow mutants and oppose the tyrannical and boring oppression of Avengers faculty. I mean, the staff includes Hank Pym, Hawkeye and Tigra. Who wouldn't rebel?
Avengers Vs. X-Men #4: The Avengers and the X-Men have split up into squads around the globe. Their goal: get Hope first. The actual action: fighting the crap out of each other. We got heroes in Tabula Rasa, Savage Land, Wakanda, some other places I'm sure, and of course in space. This issue is written by Hickman. I gotta say I think I'd prefer if each of these "famed" writers would take an entire act upon their shoulders and switch off every mini-arc instead of every issue. The story has yet to feel cohesive despite the editors' attempts.
AvX Vs. #2: The comic that focuses on the fights in this war, featuring two headline matches. This time around its Spidey vs. Colossus (which I guess they may let Colossus win just for sake of balance?) and Captain America vs. Gambit. Its impossible to even consider Gambit could win that one, but at least he'll get a chance to vent his ire about the lack of southerners on the Avengers roster (hey Remy, ever heard of Monica Rambeau aka Captain Marvel aka Photon? Cause she's from your home town and actually managed a successful small business and supported the economy of NOLA while you...stole a bunch of shit and then did odd jobs for Sinister. But I'll forgive you if you come out of the closet in your upcoming "sexy" solo title by James Asmus.)
Daredevil #13: "Megacrime and punishment" The title is enough to make this POTW, but the expected conflict solidifies the decision. After stretching out this storyline for a few months - Matt in possession of a super hardrive with information to cripple every major criminal terrorist super organization in the world, held back only by mutually assured destruction from one of the other syndicates - the fecal matter finally meets the fan and Matt must fight for his life. And finally, finally, we will apparently be starting to see Matt's happy-go-lucky mask fall away. Why did he keep the mega drive to himself? How has he washed away the painful guilt of his recent past? How stable is Matt Murdock? Buy it and find out.
Fantastic Four #605.1: I think I said I'd stop reading this title months ago. But it's hard for me to resist a 'secret history' origin retcon story, despite my dislike for so many of them post-reading. Still, as unremarkable as I've found Hickman, he's hit a tone closer to what I enjoy in a Fantastic Four comic, and he's almost always given some of Marvel's best artists. Also, does anyone remember that old Fantastic Four vs. X-Men limited series? Where the FF was splitting apart since they found an old journal of Reeds saying he knew what would happen when they got hit by solar flares and exposed his friends to it anyway, to change their lives on purpose? Interesting time for a past revelation, with the worlds super teams fighting each other.
New Mutants #42: Exiled Part 3 or whatever. In which Asgardians are still brainwashed, memory-less San Fran hippie socialist normal people. Cause nothing could make flarking THOR unattractive EXCEPT the thought of him composting and voting for Nancy Pelosi. Still it's kinda funny, when they don't bog you down in Nordic legend for 4 merciless pages, and young Loki is sorta cute, and Magma dating Mephisto bears more storytelling. Still, I wish I was buying this New Mutants #42:
Uncanny X-Men #12: Hopefully the AvX Battles raging around the world don't just focus on the X-tinction Team that escaped from Utopia, cause that would be some unfortunate Avengers to X-Men ratios, and more to the point a neglect of so many great characters. Still, I expect Uncanny will focus on their marquis team, or at least a division of them, sent back to Tabula Rasa the site of a recent adventure. Their alien/evolution (sorry Gillen, haven't you heard evolution's been disproved yet again? Perhaps they don't report it in England) friend will get to see them fighting yet again, as Namor and the Thing have some characteristically sparse conversation with lots of historical baggage. I kinda want to see Storm beat some Avengers up, but perhaps she's in Wakanda taking down dear hubbie (we never DID get to see that match-up, just some leading dialogue.)
X-Factor #236: While every other comic on this list attempts to dazzle and draw you in with their brand-new, over the top, exciting plot and characters and art, or with their modern sensibilities and mastery of the comic form, Peter David brings us a comic that looks so much like it's from his run on this title in the '90s that I forgot I wasn't wearing ripped jeans and a patagonia fleece and thinking about last night's brand new Buffy episode. I mean just look at that cover. David never does the obvious story, sticking with his set-up of completely obscure cases and how random ties to X-Factor tend to show up in every investigation. While I'd be interested to see them looking for Hope, or talking with teh Avengers, or debating to stay out of that war, this comic just doesn't exist in the same world. Same universe sure, but not the same world. And if it means getting some closure/new insight into Shatterstar and Longshot and their complicated mysterious histories? I wouldn't have it any other way.
Enjoy the comics! Happy Birthday Mazer!