My boss for this blog, Niles, is slightly behind because he is busy with other things but do not fret. He will get here eventually and make everything fine. If you need an immediate Niles fix (and who doesn't... (wait... what?)) he posted his weekly Socialfist article and it is a doozy on continuity and how all of you are sort of dickbutts.
In the meantime I've been busy reading. I got a 2 month subscription to Marvel Digital for $1 (find out how here) so I read Planet Hulk, World War Hulk, Incredible Hercules, Ares, Books of Doom and She Hulk, all which I would recommend but which I won't write up because I already write enough comic stuff and this is a big back issue backlog week.
Also some punks stole my chair where I normally write so they shall feel the wrath of doom.
Blast From The Past (Weekly) Review:
Batman Gates of Gotham #1
Gotham has a bunch of bridges called the Gates of Gotham that the head families of the city built including the Waynes, Cobblepots and a few others. The comic rotates between the history of these bridges and the fact that someone is blowing them up. It is a good set up but I will be keeping this on the rack for now.
Zatanna is facing off with a guy who is like Dr Destiny (the Justice League guy who stole Dream's ruby thing in Sandman). He uses it to control people making him another magic villain but establishing a villain team for Zatanna requires one. There is also some Spectre torture fun (and I'd honestly not mind a Spectre series). I will keep reading this off the racks for now.
Alpha Flight #0.1
GREKPAK! FREDVANLENTE! A one two punch of my favorite writing team in comics taking control of Canada's best (if only) superhero team and fighting against The Purple Woman. The issue is a good introduction to the upcoming Fear Itself tie-in and there are some pretty wonderful fighting scenes and all of the art is beautiful. Give this a try, it got me excited for some Fear Itself. (Also the book predicted the political future of Canada and that is scary.)
Added To Pull
Avenger's first Fear Itself tie-in begins with an interview that keeps on changing in meaning and that is pretty amazing. I am actually glad that I didn't get this book last week because they I'd have an even harder time figuring out what book I liked the best. The book does a good job dealing with interpersonal relationships and that when done well is one of the best things in comics.
Blast From The Past Favorite Comic!
Iron Man #504
I like Iron Man as a character and I love the films and every issue I've read has been really good. In this issue Tony is dealing with hiring a new assistant (a Proxy Pepper Potts) and then he gets called to Paris. It turns out the Grey Gargoyle has an evil god hammer. And his power of petrification is on full blast. Tony gets knocked out and wakes up to find the grey Gargoyle has left Paris in the dust. Literally giant dust piles of dead people. That scares me on so many levels. Seriously glad I didn't pick this up last week because there were so many good comics and I had a hard enough choice as it is. I am adding this to the list though.
Blast From The Past Best Comic!
Silver Surfer #4
The High Evolutionary stole the Power Cosmic from Norrin Rad, aka the Silver Surfer. The Silver Surfer got kidnapped and then the woman who Norrin falls in love with gets the Power Cosmic from the High Evolutionary. Norrin goes after her, gets the Power Cosmic back stopping them from transforming the moon. Then they have space sex.
Royal Roy #1
Royal Roy, former Boy-Prince of Cashelot finds his borders under attack from the neighboring country of Latervia and the forces of Doom! Roy must face the deaths of his family and the sudden thrusting of responsibility onto the former boy adventurer. Roy considers a variety of options including suicide, which is surprisingly dark for this all ages series but man, the series ends with Roy being pulled screaming by Doombots, arms bleeding and with an eye missing. I don't know, for an all ages book this is all horribly dark.
Off The Racks:
This week was not as strong as last week where I had to struggle to pick my favorites.
The Amazing Spider-Man #662
If you recall I found last week's Spider-man sort of lacking and I found the chemistry off a bit. Then we got Spider-man wrestling with a dinosaur and a really solid backup story with Magnetic Man getting a job from Peter Parker and everything was fine again. The Avengers Academy are under the thrall of Psycho Man and his iPad of doom and Spider-man reminds them they get to make the choice of who they are. This helps them snap back. The first back feature is a continued build up to Spider-Island which should be interesting and the second backup like I mentioned is about Magnetic Man getting a job from Peter Parker as an alternative to doing crime which is what Spidey is about. Helping people, not just fighting them.
Astonishing Spider-man and Wolverine #6
Oh man, the series finally ends. If you haven't been reading Spider-man and Wolverine have been waking up in different time zones and have been fighting each other. It turns out a gangster named Czar who is working for Mojo (as well as stealing goods for himself) has been sending the two heroes (who hate each other) for a new tv show. Last issue they found what was happening and laid the smack down. Then Wolverine became the Phoenix and the Internet never saw because this is out of continuity. Spider-man and Wolverine show up in the Old West with a newfound respect but no way to get back. Then the TVA (time police) send them back and everything seems to be lost from Spider-man's fiance's memories to the blood bond they pair made All in all this was a pretty great series and I really want to reread it.
Dungeons & Dragons #7
The Dungeons & Dragons comic has been a pretty solid series sol far with a good mixed of well defined characters and realistic adventures that you could actually run in 4th edition. I had a friend who actually found his DM (dungeon master) was actually running the adventures straight from the comic. The group last time got surrounded by elves in a castle and then in this issue they got surrounded by undead Drow and wound up in the Feywild. The issue perhaps runs too close in continuation and might benefit from a catch-up page but it was really good otherwise.
Deadpool is on a mission to kill himself, possibly to try and bone Death (but after Thanos has been all up in there I can't suggest it (side not, why is Death always a grey/white skinned chick wearing all black with a great figure - when I write death it'll be a large hippo with a mustache who speaks with a patois accent, just to mix stuff up). Deadpool decides that they only way to die is to fight the Hulk and so he sets off after Bruce Banner in Gamma World (established by Amadeus Cho) who doesn't want to kill Deadpool. This is after Deadpool fills the Hulk's mouth with explosives. Deadpool finally hits the trigger though when he sets off another nuke and next issue we might see the death of Deadpool? That said I am expecting to see Thanos, the guy who made Deadpool immortal-er showing up soon and that will be good comics. The writing was a bit dry for me on this one but it can't all be amazing.
When you have the Wizard saying "Let's cut all babies in half," you have good comics. When the rest of the issue is great, you have the pick of the week. The council to kill Reed Richards convenes and discovers that the evil Reeds (evil where they only care for science and not life) plan to build a massively destructive machine and that - is wonderful. Spider-man, Sue and Alex Power of the Power Pack fly to old Atlantis and face off against Mole Man and his evil Reed.
Best and Favorite Comic Of The Week (And I am cheating giving this a shared score)
Spider-girl finds herself fighting Raven (who have a team of American Ninjas with no vocal cords) with your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. The two find out that Raven plans to brainwash Spider-girl into becoming an agent for them. Then they fight a giant robot and it gets reprogrammed to thinking that it is a living game of Angry Birds. Comics Everyone!
Last time on Venom, Betty can't stand Flash Thompson, the legless veteran/wielder of the Venom symbiote for the old Red White and Blue. Things turned sour when Kraven the Hunter poisoned and left Flash knocked out long enough to begin losing contorl. Flash finally completes his mission of capturing some illegal vibranium (the metal that destroys metals) only for the rules to change - his enemies have his lady love Betty. As he makes a deal with the devil, not Mephisto but the criminals he has been fighting, Venom runs into your friendly neighborhood Spider-man who is looking to stop the symbiote once and for all. Oh, and the government with a watch on Venom with a kill switch is getting a tad trigger happy.
Xombi #2 and #3
Good job internet, you guilted me like some kind of super pope von groundersguilt. The Internet has been bemoaning the sales of this series and I will grant them clemency because I did enjoy Xombi #1, my store just stopped ordering it. Luckily I go to another store (better service, better subscription deal, etc) so I was able to get it.
Here is the thing. I get why people like Xombi and why they want it defended. It is a series that is different than the other series that are out there. This is a series where magic and religion are on equal footing and there are a lot of interesting ideas. On the other hand though, the comic is heady and I have an issue with that and I can understand why it can be scary to new readers. The comic takes place in a world where people aren't familiar with everything and everything is not as clear as it could be. Yes, there is the mystery of murkiness that is great. There are comics that I love that about like Hellboy/BPRD where things are unresolved or never explained. Here though it just never hits for me. It is a good series and yes it's death is something you can complain about in the market but it isn't one of the great books out there, at least not yet. I will mourn a little that it is already on the chopping block, that DC is publishing it instead of Vertigo and so on but it won't keep me up at night.
Score +1 and +1
Okay, I barely read DC books so this is pretty unfair number wise and I apologize for that. If you do read this, what DC books should I be reading?
DC - 3
Marvel - 14
IDW - 1
Noncom - -1
Stuff I Forgot To Buy (OH NO!):
Incredible Hulks #629
Onslaught Unleashed #4