By Erik Lewis, Lead BloggerSo, it's Tuesday evening, and new comics are released tomorrow. There's a lot I'm looking forward to, but that's not what we're here for. So, without anything further, lets talk about last week's comics! As always, I pick up my comics at Comics and Paperbacks Plus in Palmyra, PA. You can find them on Facebook here or here, or you can stop in if you find yourself in Central Pennsylvania. You can also follow me on Twitter, just to see what I think of my books as I read them! Here's what I got:
Thor: The Mighty Avenger #4
And here's what I thought:
Amazing Spider-Man #641
Amazing Spider-Man #642
Red Robin #16
Doctor Solar: Man of the Atom #2
Invincible Iron Man #30
Shadowland: Blood on the Streets #2
Green Lantern #57
Thanos Imperative #4
Batman Odyssey #3
B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth: New World #2
1 Month 2 Live #2
New Avengers #4
Green Lantern #57DC Comics, $2.99
Geoff Johns, Doug Mahnke, Christian Alamy, Eddie Berganza
I've really been enjoying Green Lantern lately, as it relates to Brightest Day. I'm very interested to see where the entity tracking is going, and I like some of the development that the characters are seeing, like Carol Ferris in this issue and Atrocitus in recent issues, for instance. On big problem I have, though, is that in this particular issue(and it was brought to my attention that this has been the case in several recent Green Lantern issues,) the cover doesn't accurately describe the action that takes place in the issue. I mean, I guess it at least loosely relates, but it would probably work better to attract readers if the cover went more closely with the content. As for the content, in this issue, Carol Ferris is tracking down the Predator, the entity of the Star Sapphires(power of love, if you don't remember). I don't know if I missed the issue or if it's before I started reading Green Lantern(I used to be strictly a Marvel zombie), but I'm not too familiar with the love entity, although it seems a little bit creepy to call him "Predator" and associate him with love. Sure enough, throughout he does nothing to disassociate himself with the "sexual predator" thing that pops into my head every time someone mentions him. The person Predator possesses is a lonely guy who's stalking a waitress at a casino in Vegas, and promptly upon taking possession, he does what any man knows is the proper way to win a woman's heart: destroy her workplace and threaten her lives and the lives of all those around him. How is he rewarded? He gets to make out with a scantily clad supermodel type with a magic ring. So, very grounded in reality, altogether. I may be being too critical, though. Overall, I'd say that the issue is very entertaining, although it feels like the Green Lantern stories have been moving kind of slowly lately, and I'd be more interested to see how they read once they're collected.
The Thanos ImperativeMarvel Comics, $3.99
Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Miguel Sepulveda, Jay David Ramos, Bill Rosemann
Thanos Imperative continues to be one of my favorite books. It was great to watch the team that Nova assembled in the last issue go to work, especially when the characters seemed to have the same reaction to some occurrences as I did. For example, the Silver Surfer made a joke about the Revengers(the cancer-verse equivalent of the Avengers), I was pleased to see Quasar was as impressed and amused by it as I was. Now, as you may recall, in the last issue Drax killed Thanos. That part of this issue deals with Drax dealing with that with Star Lord, until Thanos rematerializes, realizing that Death has locked him out of her realm. If you know Thanos, you know what that means to him. Distraught over that, he disintegrates Drax. Now I don't know about any of you, but I could read a comic where Drax and Thanos wail on each other every week, and I did, several times throughout the 90's and early 2000's. That's not a rip on this book, not in the least. This is a great comic, and you should be reading it. With the teaser on the last page, featuring what looks to be Cancer-Verse Wasp, War Machine, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, and Captain America, this title is really entering the home stretch and promising big action to come in the last two issues, I just hope it delivers. Honestly, I don't see how it can miss at this point, unless the last issue features a terrible ending and terrible art, but the chances of that are less than 3,720 to 1(the chances of successfully navigating an asteroid field, for those of you who don't speak Nerd.) Sepulveda's art continues to shine in the issue, making everything just pop, and in fact, if the writing were bad and the story were sub-par, his art would be the one redeeming quality.
Volstagg's Beard 4/5
Doctor Solar: Man of the Atom #2Dark Horse Comics, #3.50
Jim Shooter, Roger Robinson, Chris Warner
It seems like it's been longer than normal since this book came out last, but reading through it, it seems like it was worth the wait. I don't know if it's a different type of paper they use, but it seems to me that Doctor Solar(and other Dark Horse books, for that matter) have a different weight to them, they seem like they pack a denser story for us to read. I know I said that the first issue seemed like not a lot of content, but this issue more than made up for that with new content all the way to the letters page and not a single reprint in the book. It's a fantastic read, too, just for the way that Doctor Solar handles things, although I guess it could be said that he handles things very similarly to how any of us would handle things in those situations. I like the idea of the reluctant hero, and to me, Doctor Solar is the most reluctant hero of all, only taking on the responsibility because there is literally no one else who can or will, and because he realizes that all the problems that he's encountering are his responsibility as he had a hand in creating them. Also, I've never seen a hero decide to go back to their day job the way that he does. Theoretically, he doesn't need to eat, doesn't need to sleep, doesn't need anything that requires cash flow, yet he decides to go back to work at the place where the accident that gave him his powers occurred. It gives him something that you don't see in a lot of characters today, I guess. The character also has something very strange about him and the way his mind works. He doesn't see things the way a normal person might. He sees no problem with transporting himself through someone's cell phone. To him it's just the shortest form of travel, no matter how startled the person on the other end might be. It's an endearing quality, really. If this book continues to be this good, it's sure to remain on my pull list.
Ollie's Beard 3/5
Mark Waid, Peter Krause, Matt Gagnon
What I know about Irredeemable comes completely from their Free Comic Book Day issue, which, if I'm not mistaken, also contained the Incorruptible first issue. Both were extremely interesting premises to me, but somehow I didn't get around to putting this one on my list until now. Luckily, this issue had a recap box before the comic started that got me up to speed on everything I needed to know to read the issue. From what I know so far, The Plutonian is a Superman-like character(more an archetype of the super-powered alien visitor than a direct homage of the character) who went on a rampage across the globe, killing something like nine million people along the way, including almost all of his Justice League/Avengers-type team. In this issue, we get a lot from two former members of that team, one who seems to be kind of a dick, and the other who seems to have his heart in the right place(not to mention an awesome powerset.) I guess what I liked the best about this issue is the dynamic between the Plutonian and Samsara throughout the book, and the flashback stories that the Plutonian tells about his arch nemesis, Modeus, who is actually Samsara in disguise. It's a really interesting story that the Plutonian tells about how he figured out that Modeus' motivation, throughout all the years of their adversarial relationship, was a perverted obsession with the Plutonian. It's something that makes a certain kind of sense if you apply it to other super humans that you read about in this genre of comics, and I think that it's going to make the next issue very fun to read.
Ollie's Beard 3/5
Amazing Spider-Man #641Marvel Comics, $3.99
Joe Quesada, Paolo Rivera, Danny Miki, Richard Isanove, Stephen Wacker
One Moment in Time comes to an end here. It's been an interesting story and they've definitely done some inventive things with it. Now, I'm not entirely sure what the fan reaction has been, but, considering the events that have occurred since One More Day, I think it's a very fitting way to wrap up the loose threads from that. I have to say, I think this was handled better as a "missing chapter" kind of story than anything I've read recently has been, in that understanding One Moment in Time wasn't essential to understanding any of the recent Spider-man stories, it was just supplemental to the Brand New Day and One More Day stories. Now, with Peter and MJ dealt with, everything leads very nicely into the next story, Origin of Species, which was also out this week, for some reason. What I liked the most throughout the entire series was how epic everything felt. From the first issue right down to the cover design for this issue, you could tell they were trying to do something special. The way they interjected reprinted pages and panels from a comic that was out 30 years ago was a very inventive way to tell a story that was modifying that continuity. The entire thing felt very emotional, especially if you've ever been through anything like this before(minus the spider powers, super-powered bad guys, and assassination attempts, of course), and what it all boils down to is a story about Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. You could take away all of the out-of-this-world type stuff and it would still be a good story because of that foundation in the characters. And that's always been Spider-Man's strong point, his character basis. So bravo to Quesada for getting it.
Volstagg's Beard 4/5
Thor: The Mighty Avenger #4Marvel Comics, $2.99
Roger Langridge, Chris Samnee, Matt Wilson, Nathan Cosby
I talked, at length, about the recap pages that this book uses the last time I reviewed it, but I just want to say one more time that they are, by far, the most effective way to recap everything I might have forgotten since the last time I read the book that I've seen in a comic so far. That said, this book, in total, is one of my favorite books on the stands right now, and that's saying a lot. I've really learned not to judge a book by it's cover or rating in the past year, and I owe a lot of that to this book, Pet Avengers, and Thor and the Warriors Four. As you can see from the cover, the big selling point of this book is the inclusion of the Warriors Three, Asgardians Hogun, Fandral, and Volstagg(whose mighty beard is the #4 spot on my ranking system). They come to get Thor to relax for a little bit, and to gauge the progress he's made in the task that his father set out for him, but that he can't remember(I don't know if this was in the book already or not, but I'm willing to bet that Loki is behing the reason he can't remember what he's doing on Midgard). They have fun, and let us in on the fun too, and it's easily the best book I've read where the action isn't really the central focus of the story. I think my favorite part(aside from Samnee's gorgeous art) is the moment between Brian Braddock's friends where it's discussed that they know he's Captain Britain, they just pretend not to notice. I think if that stance regarding secret identities were adopted in more books, comics might be more fun. Now, with the Warriors Three already guest starring, I have to say that I wasn't expecting Captain Britain too, but it was a nice surprise. I really like it when a book like this, as an ongoing, can take a break from a main story and show a story like this one, and I like that this book kind of stays away from sweeping arcs, or at least has so far. Anyway, I should say that if you're not reading The Mighty Avenger, you're missing out, but you know that already, so go buy it if you haven't. Every issue, at least so far, is a great starting point for new readers.
Odin's Beard 5/5
Well, that's it for this week's Single Combat. Did I miss something great this week? Tell me in the comments, or find me on Twitter. I usually do good with responding. Until next week!