Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Round 23: Comics For August 3, 2011 - 10th Issue Special

Guess who had to deal with Batman filming traffic to get these comics? Sort of me! But first, let's get to the comics!

Avengers Academy #17
The Academy is sent home after their first battle is over with more psychological battle scars than physical. Veil and Mettle end up going through some personal therapy to deal with killing people, despite being Nazis while Reptil, Finesse and Striker discuss death. Meanwhile Titania and The Absorbing Man (powered by Hammers!) escape from the Antarctic breaking through into the Academy, ready to give Pym payback - through his students.
Gage continues to write incredibly well thought out and fleshed out characters and the book does a really good job tying in the Fear Itself and the worries that the students have about becoming evil.
+2 - Best Comic

Daredevil #1
I've not read Daredevil before and then I heard a lot of good things about this new start and decided to give it a shot. Daredevil is this character with a large history that is really affecting his life in the series but in depth knowledge is not needed. Matt Murdoch isn't struggling as much as he is being bothered by the fact that most people "believe" they know he is Daredevil no matter how much he denies it and when this causes him to get kicked off a case no one else would take, he decides he needs to find out why no one else would take it. There is also a solid back up story about Murdoch and how he sees the world and both stories are beautifully illustrated. Try it out!

Dungeons and Dragons #9
The group makes a pact with the local elf lord to retrieve a powerful artifact so the elves can remove the threats to their kingdom and the party can go back to their world. This issue is Fomorians (not the ant guys), giant magical giants with a giant magical madness inducing eye. And a castle of driders (drow+spiders) and the fact that something killed all the spiders. Snappy dialogue made this a solidly fun issue.

Flashpoint #4
Oh Flashpoint, you like wantonly killing people with really muddled action and confusing character choices. Element Woman who is insane for reasons not explained joins the Flash, Batman and Cyborg as they try to recruit Shazam/Captain Marvel who is controlled by a team of kids. The issue is that the kids don't all want to go. Also Hal Jordan dies. When the team finally reaches the battle Reverse Flash seemingly knocks out or kills everyone and meeeeeeeh. It isn't bad or anything but it isn't fun either.

Herc #6
Last time Herc was turned into stone to be snuck in to fight Kyknos before he could resurrect Ares with help from Hectate. The problem is Kyknos was really angry that his father wouldn't be able to kill Herc so he distracts himself with some more chaos before Herc gets cured and lays the beatdown by transferring the powers of Kyknos' worshippers to his new teammates Basilisk, Man-Bull and Griffin. Then Herc wins the day and conquers all of the fears. Ever.

Hero Comics 2011
Got this out to support comic artists and for some of the big things - Gaiman reuniting with his Sandman team, a Chew mini comic and more.
the Gaiman piece was too text-y for me and I was expecting more of a classic comic so I will not lie and I will say I skipped to the piece after.
The Chew piece showed what happens when Tony Chu the cibopath (meaning he sees the life of what he eats) takes drugs and it is insane and fun and ends up explaining what happens if he vomits as well. DARE to resist drugs kids!
The third multi-page piece is sort of an illustrated conversation between Gaiman and the other creators which isn't bad if you enjoy reading conversations (though in this case I found it rather dull but that may be due more to me wanting to read more explosions.
The fourth Elephantman piece really didn't for much for me either since it didn't tell a story as much as do a memorial and for a comic that could be drawing in new readers like Chew did it wasn't the best thing in my opinion.
In between stories are page long strips by beneficiaries of the money from Hero Initiative and that support (and the Chew Comic) made buying this worthwhile!

Heroes For Hire #10
The Shroud and Elektra face the Purple Man's army of prisoners while Gargoyle and Paladin do damage control over on Yancy Street and Misty Knight sees the same damage on Earth. Eventually Shroud is able to black out the room long enough for him and Elektra to defeat the criminals... only for Purple Man to take control. Meanwhile the drug-changed chemist from the last issue has become able to turn into people's fears defeating Gargoyle and Paladin single-handedly. It's time for Misty Knight to hit the streets again!

Hulk #38
The Thing! The Red Hulk! M.O.D.O.K.! Zero/One and The Black Fog! 4 teams! Only one enemy. When M.O.D.O.K. stops Black Fog from killing the Hulk after the Thing (brought to you by FEAR!) M.O.D.O.K. and Zero/One meet up to discuss that if the Nazis win, they won't be able to rule the world with brain power so M.O.D.O.K. and Zero/One form an alliance to kill some Nazis while Hulk is smashed away. A lot of fun, eye pleasing, brain pleasing. Hell, it is like Jeff Parker is writing this comic specifically for me.

Moon Knight #4
Moon Knight improves slightly in this issue though it does have an incredibly clunky action scene. As Echo tries to find out who Moon Knight is/was/will be by contacting the New Avengers, she finds that nobody really knows. The two (Moon Knight and Echo) meet up as civilians only to be accosted and threatened by the Night Shift. The battle itself is really clunky with what seems like half of the panels of the panels missing and everything being really herky-jerky. The art is solid, it is just the battle is incomprehensible as far as the flow goes. It is getting better, just very slowly.

Superman #714
Last issue an unknown woman had kidnapped and threatened Lois. This issue after hiding Lois, he discovered the woman had been infected with Superman' doubts and fears as well as his powers. Superman, after realizing he was wrong about there not needing to be a Superman, destroyed the infection she'd had by showing her the hope he had and the belief in Truth, Justice and The American Way and in the end, her being saved by Superman led to her saving Superman in return. This is Superman at his best.
+2 - Favorite Comic

Thunderbolts #161
As the Thunderbolts deal with the fallout of a Juggernaut (enhanced with Hammer!) doing the equivalent of a nuclear blast, a new threat appears - Zemo (who got back stabbed way back in the prelude to the story). Zemo decides to launch an invasion of his own with a bio-bomb capable of creating an army in second. On advice from Fixer, the team returns to Chicago to meet the oncoming army - or will it be their doom?

Ultimate Fallout #2-4
My local comic book store was able to get me back issues 2 and 3 which I missed last week so this is my shout out - if you are in Pittsburgh PA, head over to Oakland and visit Phantom of the Attic - well stocked, friendly and knowledgeable.
The funeral begins with Captain America blaming himself for the death of Spider-man to Aunt May who takes it hard. As she tries to leave she is consoled by Jameson. Meanwhile Thor pauses to remember Spider-man is in Valhalla with the other heroes (and yet not Hank Pym...). Meanwhile Rogue struggles with fears of the end of the world as Mary Jane struggles with what the world did to Peter Parker.
Tony Stark meets after his brother's funeral (Tony Stark had a secret brother whaaaaaat?) with the richest people in the world who want to change it. Meanwhile Kitty is fed up with the funeral and the media circus and decides to leave to the new mutant safe place taking Iceman and Johnny Storm with her. Meanwhile in the SHIELD helicarrier, the Hulk is prepped to be controlled for mysterious reasons.
The new much hyped Spider-man deals with negative feedback over taking Spider-mans costume as he struggles to learn about his powers. Meanwhile Reed Richards, who was an evil dick, struggles to leave the Negative Zone, before starting an organization that looks very familiar to the Future Foundation. Meanwhile it is revealed that the truth is going to come out about how the United States invented mutants.
Overall there is some strong emotional stuff going on here but there is also some stuff that makes less sense if you haven't been following the Ultimate Universe as closely.That said though, I do look forward to this future.

Final Scores:
DC: +2
Marvel: +10
IDW: +2

Marvel really did a great job this week. I had about 3 other issues marked as possible +2s.

Next week:
Hellboy The Fury #3
Flashpoint: Frankenstein And The Creature Of The Unknown #3
Alpha Flight #3
Amazing Spider-Man #667
Deadpool #41
Fear Itself #5
Incredible Hulks #634
New Avengers #15
Spider-Island: Cloak and Dannger #1
Spider-Island: Deadly Foes #1
Ultimate Comics Fallout #5

Be there or be ... not there.

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