It’s Thursday night and we’ve got some quick drive-by comic book thoughts for you. That’s right it’s the Pure Mood Pull List!
As always, if you’re looking for the very best in Marvel reviews, head on over to http://www.marveldisassembled.com. I’m over there talking about WOLVERINE #4, WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN #31, THOR: GOD OF THUNDER #9 and ULTIMATE COMICS X-MEN #27. So check it out! As always, HUGE SPOILERS for all titles below.
I’m not the world’s biggest Scott Snyder fan, but I have to admit, this was a pretty strong Superman comic. The fold-out is certainly indulgent and superflous, but the characterization of the Man of Steel and especially of his supporting cast is handled very well. Luthor’s reading of the Iliad upside down as Superman questions him is the sort of cartoonish but honest moment that you can only get in superhero comic books, and Jimmy and Clark’s relationship is portrayed as the most believable in some time. And then there’s Lois Lane – Snyder is obviously having a blast writing her, and the ultra-modern urban woman of power is just as much fun to read. The last page reveal certainly piqued my interest, and I wonder how far Snyder will take the meta concept of a Superman that landed in the New 52 75 years ago. Not quite worth the five dollar price tag, though.
The lead story was little more than a taste of Snyder’s year-long origin story, and I don’t have much to say as a result. It was certainly intriguing, with a breathless opening action sequence and a brilliant character moment between Alfred and Bruce. I thought the back-up was fantastic, though – the set-up being Bruce Wayne learning his incredible driving skills, ending with him arresting the criminal who taught him, it actually had me laugh out loud.
The best issue of MANHATTAN PROJECTS to date, though I do say that every other issue. Not only a moving tale of friendship, an exploration of how far humanity is supposed to take itself. Are we destined to move farther and farther out in the universe, or is something stopping us from crossing a threshold our species isn’t prepared to cross?
Unlike most readers, I love Alpha as a character and a concept, but unfortunately this mini-series was largely forgettable. However, the final issue does provide a moment of interest – Alpha is told by a mob boss with a crushing grip on his town to give him a free pass, or he’ll kill everyone close to Andrew, and reveal the colossal mistake that almost had him kill a man. Andrew, without the experience to know what to do, agrees. That’s what I like about Alpha – the ‘Spider-man as everyman’ concept taken to the extreme, ultimate power given to a selfish and immature teenager. There’s some laughs to be had at Fialkov’s sharp script, particularly a fun cameo by the Superior Spider-man, but unfortunately most of the issue is devoted to Andrew’s lifeless relationships with his one-dimensional family and friends.
I really enjoyed the Wells/Mad opening arc of AVENGING SPIDER-MAN, and I’m glad to see their long teased follow-up finally see the light of day. Seemingly set before the events of SUPERIOR, Wolverine, Spidey and Elektra butt heads over an important but unnameable mission, and hilarity ensues. It’s fun to just let two creative talents let loose, and Wells is one of the funniest people in comics, with an equal ability for characterization. This one’s a blast, if unessential.
I enjoy VENOM more and more with each passing issue. I’m sad to see Shalvey not on board for art, and as much as I’ve never been a fan of Larraz’ work, he does a great job on this issue. His reveal of the Venommobile is hilarious! Flash’s struggle to find himself continues, and a moment teaching gym class in which he reminiscences on his days as a bully is particularly moving. Flash spends most of his time alone, and Bunn is trapped in a bit of a corner where has to rely maybe a little to heavily on inner monologue, but the inside of Flash’s mind is so complex and intriguing that it was welcome. VENOM is all about redemption, and meeting a crime boss called the Ogre King who appears to be in the child smuggling business, it’s interesting to see how Flash will handle the situation next issue.
It’s always a treat to get a Marcos Martin cover, isn’t it? UXF continues to slide down it’s weird and wacky ride, with this issue opening with Psylocke and Wolverine having a heart to heart in a flock of pyschic sheep constructs. Humphries has a real gift for characterization and dialogue – he understands these characters inside and out. Though I wish this issue didn’t have the team confined to a basement the entire twenty pages, the spotlight on Psylocke was expertley done, and Alphona’s artwork is as unique and out of this world as ever.
Well, that’s it for this week! If you’d like to talk about the Suicide Squad, Spidey and the Punisher, the new Ventriliquist, or any of the other delicious comics I didn’t have time to talk about, leave a comment below!