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 CABLE AND X-FORCE #10 and X-MEN LEGACY #12. So check it out! HUGE SPOILERS for all titles below.
WONDER WOMAN is probably my favourite superhero comic. Azzarello’s story is so brilliantly constructed, and even though some readers find his wordplay and irony laid on too thick, I find the affected dialogue and overt humour hilarious. The narrative construction is very conciously clever, and I do understand how that turns people off – currently, the First Born God bringing the end of the world and Zola’s last born God being the planet’s only hope. I find this sort of irony not only amusing but engrossing. Meanwhile, his characterization of a fratboy Orion is delightful, as is his exploration of the evil monster that lay beneath his surface heroism. Wonder Woman’s ‘Don’t call me BABY!’ was an absolute hoot, and Chiang’s artwork is lovely as ever. Superhero bliss!
I’m not sure why DC seems so intent on selling MAN’s Supergirl as some sort of bloodthirsty Wolverine-type. Most of the solicited covers for his run show a pretty frightening version of Kara! That had me worried, but luckily, we’re in good hands. Kara’s interaction with Siobhan is wonderful – she thinks the Girl of Steel’s fear is self-involved cowardice – and the sci-fi plot had me completely moved. Supergirl decides life on Earth isn’t working for her, disrespected by the public and treated like a child by her cousin. It’s an interesting twist on the pre-Crisis ‘Linda Lee’, a Supergirl that was unknown to the public for years but greeted with enthusiasm when she was allowed to maker herself known after her cousin Superman’s permission. The New 52 Supergirl shows us a pretty interesting example of how much the world has changed in a supposedly post-feminism landscape – now, Kara feels treated unfairly by those round her, and resents the authoritative stance of her older cousin. She feels much more like a contemporary woman – not just in Nelson’s superb dialogue skills, but in her frustration with the worlds inability to acknowledge her unique genius, and her complicated feelings towards an elder figure telling her what to do. Having left Earth and exploring space, she finds a planet with the technology that invents itself into anything – the inhabits of this world don’t ‘exist’ in the sense that we do, but are consciousnesses that can inhabit any culture their systems have figured out. It’s pretty interesting. After Supergirl saves their lives, they volunteer to adopt the language and culture of Krypton – Supergirl may have finally found herself a home. It’s a really interesting story development, even if we’re sure the inclusion of Cyborg Superman signifies something more sinister is at stake. The art isn’t of the skill level we’re used to seeing from Asrar, but the fill-in team does a solid job.
Sorry, WONDER WOMAN – I forgot that INVINCIBLE is actually my favourite superhero comic book! Honestly, 100+ issues in and still going strong, this series has undoubtedly had it’s lows, but I’m really into the current storyline. Angstrom Levy is always a delight, genuinely frightening but also shockingly hilarious. An opening scene of Viltrumite politics is fascinating, and the conditions of Eve’s pregnancy had me on edge the entire issue. Ottley’s art keeps on hitting new highs, Kirkman’s script is as strong as ever, I really love this comic!
I loved Waid’s pairing of Matt Murdock and Hank Pym in DAREDEVIL – it was a male relationship with mature complexity, one that hadn’t been explored in the Marvel Universe but one that worked. Unfortunately, I don’t quite buy Banner and Daredevil quite as easily. Yes, this is a great comic. Waid gives us yet another action packed and hilarious superhero comic book, and Matteo Scalera’s artwork is breathtaking. But what’re we really here to talk about? Bromance. Bromance, pure and fresh as a summer breeze. Everyone loves Tony and Bruce (another pairing I just don’t buy), but I think Waid struggles to come up with a convincing reason for a Hulk/Daredevil friendship. Because, get it, Daredevil’s a lawyer and he can calm the Hulk down with convincing arguments? Silly, I say! Honestly, INDESTRUCTIBE HULK is a ton of fun – Waid’s characterization of Banner is different but in a good way, and he obviously has his way with Daredevil, while Scalera draws a Hulk that really does work like a bomb, a Hulk with agility, causing massive destruction in a matter of seconds. Waid also adds a little touch that made me smile from ear to ear – Maria explains to the readers who Daredevil is and how his powers work in a non-expository manner, a moment that’s fun for longtime readers and informative for those new to the character. Bless that Waid guy.
I have to admit; I really liked AGE OF ULTRON. I think the criticism that it should have been able to do what it did in a much shorter time has merit, but is also sort of strange. I’ve seen many fans type the phrase ‘Well, really all it accomplished was merging the universes!” Sure, but all CIVIL WAR accomplished was killing Captain America, all SECRET INVASION accomplished was getting Norman Osborn into power. In on-going serialized fiction stories are illusions – as Stan Lee so famously said, Marvel’s job is to give readers the idea that change is happening while actually keeping the status quo firmly in place. So, yes, AGE OF ULTRON didn’t need to spend so much time in the AoU world, but Bendis was attempting to set a mood – we can judge how successfully he set that mood, but wishing he had created a completely different story seems off the mark to me. Anyhow, as if you hadn’t heard, this is essentially Marvel’s CRISIS. I’ve always appreciated that Marvel has avoided taking the mutliple timeline ideas too seriously (in the past, Marvel would continually poke fun at DC’s obsession with it’s own fabricated history), but I like the idea of the Ultimate Universe colliding with 616. The UU died in the eyes of the readers quite some time ago, and though combining things will create needless complication for new readers, I do appreciate the fact that characters like Miles won’t simply vanish. Anyhow, it’s interesting, to say the least – many fans have reacted with a big ‘so,what?’ but to me, this is big news. I’m not so sure I’ve even processed it, yet.
Hang on to your hats, folks, because it’s time to read…MY THOUGHTS ON SOMETHING SOMEBODY SAYS IN THE FANTASTIC FOUR LETTERS COLUMN! Reader Tony Ingram, who’s been reading Fantastic Four comics much longer than I’ve been alive, has a complaint regarding the way Marvel respects their own continuity. He cites Fraction’s retcon of how Reed and Sue met as a slight against the holy grail that is Bryne, but he forgets to mention that Bryne’s own story was a retcon. In fact, much of Bryne’s run was a retcon of established concepts set in place by Lee/Kirby – superhero comics are completely being reinvented, and if there was one story that needed to be retold, it was that of Reed Richards falling in love with a child. Anyhow, this story plays in the swamp of retcon as well, focusing on Ben’s recent reveal that he is responsible for the creation of Doom. Fraction explores the nature of evil, if one person could ever be responsible for it, with Reed apparently believing that evil is destined. This surprised me, and seemed out of character. However, I did like Reed’s admittance that he could have saved Doom’s life, and he has to accept his own responisbility in Doom’s birth. FANTASTIC FOUR continues to plod along, I guess – it’s fine? I wish it would tap into some of that DEFENDERS magic…
The Wolverine/Captain America story is pretty instantly forgettable, but the second story is a real treat. I have to be the world’s fourth largest Pixie fan, and she was great in this! Pixie and Quentin Quire are in a pranking contest, and end up in the Sanctum Santorum of Doctor Strange. Quire’s childish revolutionary tactics are picked apart in a really hilarious way by Pixie, while Pixie gets up to some trouble trying to find the most impressive piece of magic she can find, and then, Pixie does more things, and is in more panels, and also, Pixie! If they ever do a Dazzler/Pixie team-up, expect to read the most embarrassing fanboy review of all time. Oh, Eyeboy does some stuff.
Well, that’s it for this week! If you’d like to talk about more controversy in UNCANNY AVENGERS, the prequel to INFINITY, the Captain Marvel mini-event or any of the other delicious comics I didn’t have time to talk about, leave a comment below!