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ComiX Weekly: 6/20/12

Anyone else wondering why DC Comics hasn’t had a major summer event start yet? Marvel has been kicking it up a notch with their Avengers vs. X-Men ongoing series; I suppose DC is still riding the New 52 until they’ve run out of new “twists” for the characters? That said, this week I’ve reviewed 19 comics from DC, Marvel, Image and Antarctic Press. Which shall fit in our 10 dollar budget?

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Avengers vs. X-Men #6: Infinite

Mark Waid writes the second Infinite comic to come out of Marvel and I have to say he’s done a bang-up job. It balances the new techniques of adding motion, while at the same time extrapolates Scott Summers’ difficulty controlling his new powers.

The sensation of motion.

I was a fan of the first Infinite comic, although that didn’t have too much story going for it. Instead it played around with the ability to create motion in the tablet format. Here it’s used in a few different ways, for instance above showing Scott walk off. In another instance it focuses the image on a single panel, then opens up the entire box to show Scott. It’s a cool way to tell a story to say the least.

Whether it can sustain an entire issue is another matter. It also forces artists to fit into a storyboard style which might turn off some readers. One could imagine this type of comic hurting artists since you can tell a story with one background through several panels.

I enjoyed this issue immensely, but then again I’m a sucker for psychological dramas and we get that here as the story drills down into Scott’s inner self. It’s only two bucks, but there are so many good comics this week a 10 dollar budget can’t sustain it.

Budget: $10.00-$0.00 = $10.00

Saga #4 (Image)

Hark! Lo, this comic written on this day by Brian K Vaughn shall not recieve a perfect review! By the Gods, what has come of my mind?!

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any weirder.

Hyperbole aside, this is not a bad issue and quite frankly it’s an enjoyable one. But, there are just too many books that trounce this issue, largely because this issue is a whole lot of banter in a single setting. Please comment below if you disagree, but I found the issue just okay. It’s definitely a transition issue that has less of them doing things and more of the story changing gears.

Warning: Full frontal and sexual acts within.

The sex planet is an interesting one, although it serves as the “action” element to this book more than anything. The concept is okay, but would a planet really be devoted to just sex? I’d probably have to do some field research myself to find the answer… for science.

Males get burned by women in other galaxies too.

Marko finally wakes up and we get a quick answer to the cliffhanger from last issue. Once again Fiona Staples is killing it on facial expressions and aliens. I’m starting to think any fill in artist would look terrible in comparison.

When you can box ears this forcibly it should be called something else.

The Will’s storyline also takes an interesting turn. I love the weirdness of this book and this another good installment. Just not enough room for her this week.

Budget: $10.00 – $0.00 = $10.00

Avengers vs. X-Men #6 (Marvel)

Summer is all about the blockbuster and I think it’s fair to say Avengers vs. X-Men has finally delivered in that regard. It’s clear now where this story is going, the odds are only getting more daunting and the art has taken an exceptional turn for the better. We took an in-depth look at Avengers vs. X-Men #6, which you can read here.

Budget: $10.00 – $3.99 = $6.01

Thirteen comics this week were either close to the mark or downright failures. Either way they can’t justifiably fit into a 10 dollar budget. Kid Hades will see them out.

The big wedding issue is here with Astonishing X-Men #51 (Buy Now) and it actually does a great job showing different perspectives on gay marriage. Apparently Warbird doesn’t believe it’s right and Puck thinks it’s a tad weird. This issue is about the jitters one goes through before saying “I do.” I can safely say it’s done well, but it’s mostly soap opera antics and not a ton of thrills. Also, Karma took control of people’s minds and nearly got a few people killed and nobody stops her?

Daredevil pays a price in Daredevil Vol. 3 #14 (Buy Now) when Doctor Doom comes calling. The art is fantastic and the pacing is great, but the overall plot is a bit of a gimmick. Daredevil is slowly losing his ability to sense things. It ends on a disturbing note, but overall not one of the better issues this week.

Spider-Man recounts a teamup he had with Dr. Strange and Silver Sable in Avenging Spider-Man #8 (Buy Now) that is both cute and silly. He is asked to marry a princess before Dr. Doom weds her so that he won’t get the ability to sire a new sorcerer supreme. The issue gives the reader a clue Sable might still be alive after Amazing Spider-Man last week, but doesn’t really give any full answers. Also there’s a full-on battle in this issue while at the same time characters have sex. Awkward.

Adventure Time #5 is simply marvelous, although the laughs are a tad limited this go around. The backup story by Paul Pope is reminiscent of the Daffy Duck episode where he interacts with the artist. That suits this book perfectly. Overall I felt the main plot was convoluted a bit too much for a book that’s all about the lunacy. A definite read if you can get away with it in the shop.

The Phoenix backstory reaches its end over in New Avengers #27 (Buy Now) and it’s disappointing. Nothing is learned besides the fact that the Iron Fist dudes were right. Then we get a hell of a lot of words from Spider-Man about his “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility” montra. He’s been tasked to train Hope. I get that it’s a teaching moment, but it’s all things we’ve already known about forever. A weird speech in an Avengers book to say the least.

Yet another example of tie-in books being a waste of time over in Secret Avengers #28 (Buy Now). Ms. Marvel gets a taste of Binary, Captain Britain is strong enough to push the Phoenix backwards a few feet and Captain Marvel ends up becoming…either a new version of Ego or Swamp Thing. Either way, this issue has a lot of silly moments that appear outside canon.

Wolverine becomes a puppet once again in Wolverine #308 (Buy Now) and really nobody should care. The final two pages are interesting. One shows Wolverine seeing faces he can’t remember as if they were sketched out. Weird but neat. The other shows Dr. Rot being reborn from some kind of bathwater machine out in the swamp. Gross stuff, but cool nonetheless.

Things move along in Invincible Iron Man #519 (Buy Now) but once again this book suffers from the collection disease. Instead of a resoundingly good single issue we get another chapter in a good, longer story. The Mandarin aspects are interesting, especially considering he’s going to be in the next movie so this might tie in somewhat, but overall, meh.

Higher Earth #2 (Buy Now) needs to shake the Cable and Hope feel or it’s going to be dropped quick. The best part of this book, the concept of a multiverse-hopping hero is good, but this issue is all about the protagonist trying to find the girl he rescued last issue. This issue’s Earth is a disaster area and they appear to be jumping into Jurassic Park. The premise lends itself well to the comic book format, but this issue doesn’t progress the story enough.

Want to know what happened to the Thunderbolts? Check out Dark Avengers #176 (Buy Now). There’s some funny Man-Thing jive talk, an interesting twist on time travel and lots of banter. Sadly, much of it is useless banter. Also…I was hoping to read about the Dark Avengers. I suppose the tearing cover image is a dead giveaway that the Thunderbolts take this issue over.

Am I the only person exhausted with this Batwoman storyline? Batwoman #10 (Buy Now) feels like half a chapter in a series that has been half chapters since J.H. Williams left as artist a few issues back. Maybe it’s because she appears to be in the same room for something like three issues straight, but please, can we get some new stories on this?

Well now, this ain’t such a bad comic after a few duds. Wonder Woman #10 (Buy Now) has a nice character trait reveal (spoiler alert: Wonder Woman loves everyone) and a brief escape from the god of Hell. It’s a tad silly the reason why Wonder Woman says she won’t do it, I mean…shouldn’t she expect to be “bound” to Hell? It’s also a tad schmaltzy when characters go around saying, “you have to love yourself before you can be loved.” I get the message but delivered in this way it’s like a Saturday morning cartoon.

The last issue was great, but Winter Soldier #7 (Buy Now) was less revealing then I’d like. The action is good and there’s great art here, but it can’t make the budget.

Get out!

Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison #2 (Dark Horse)

If you’re a lover of science fiction artwork, particularly anything painted, you’re going to want to check this out. But what of the story?

Check out the moody smoke.

Well, it’s slightly interesting, at the least. This comic is more about action and you get that in droves. Plus it’s more Darth Vader waving around his lightsaber. That’s a win win right? Well, the story is about Palpatine being sick. Sounds like a filler story at best.

That’s a quiet lightsaber. Where’s the sound effects?!

This issue is a bit of a let down. The players are set up, characters stand around and say what they’ll do rather than just doing it and the action is reduced to two pages. I can’t stipulate enough though, just how beautiful these pages are. Augustin Alessio is doing an awesome job and considering a comic is typically done in a shorter amount of time then say a single painting this is impressive work.

Thems some moody panels.

I can’t say this is the best comic ever and at $3.99 it’s a pricey read, but I suppose that’s what you got to pay to get new Darth Vader stories.

Budget: $6.01- $0.00 = $6.01

Uncanny X-Men Vol.2 #14 (Marvel)

And now for something completely different. It has been over a year since we’ve learned Mr. Sinister has his own Sinister world. It might seem odd that we’re just now entering it and finding out its secrets, but its connection to Avengers vs. X-Men is delectable.

I love castles!

Dustin Weaver is on the art here and his art pushes the great writing into whole other realm. Colorist Jim Charalampidis should also share in the glory, because it gives Weaver’s pencils a feel I can only describe as a Victorian dream.

Is Sinister gay or simply asexual? I think the latter.

The story, about a writer Sinister who secretly wants to destroy Mr. Sinister is compelling, largely because it’s about the overarching ideas of why one must rebel. It’s made all the more fascinating when you take into account he’s a clone like everyone else. A slave created from nothing.

Poor braindead Gambit.

It isn’t until we learn of Sinister’s ultimate plan and his somehow knowing the Phoenix Five would be created that things get outside the singular story in the issue and become a part of the larger universe. That means a reader could come in not knowing a thing about Marvel comics and enjoy the book for the first 16 pages. That ain’t bad.

Sinister sure hates Moloids!

And that’s the rub. This column is all about the value in a single issue, since we’re picking the best reads of each week and when the majority of the book is enjoyable for its own sake it’s a winner everytime. It’s too bad this book is $3.99 because it’s a bit steep for only 20 pages, but with the art and story it’s well worth a purchase.

Budget: $6.01- $3.99 = $2.02

Before Watchmen: Comedian #1 (DC)

See The Comedian play tag football with the Kennedys.

See Jackie Kennedy flirt with The Comedian.

See The Comedian kiss the dead body of Maryln Monroe after zipping up his pants.

See The Comedian learn about the Kennedy’s assassination.

Why do we need these comics? I understand The Comedian had a relationship with real world people, but this issue is pretty insulting. The art is good and I understand the story might explain why he’s so bonkers…but why so many tasteless shots of real people? Over at Marvel they at least cast Obama’s face in shadow. Ugh.

Budget: $2.02- $0.00 = $2.02

Beowulf #1 (Antarctic Press)

The cover shows this comic listed at $3.50, but if you purchase it online it’s a sweet $1.99. Now, if I were a cool English teacher in the 9th grade, or whatever grade people read Beowulf, I might just let my students read this version. It’s the same story, only it’s in a super cool looking science fiction world with mech beasts and crazy architecture.

The orb is coming!

Drawn and written by David Hutchison, whose most notable work might be Sam and Twitch, there’s a clear sense that the man loves this classic tale. The style reminds me a little of The Metabarons or The Technopriests only with far less color and done in more atmospheric and moody tone.

Nice wheels dude. Is that a coffin?

Luckily I was a fan of the book, or I may not have even purchased the comic. It follows the original story more or less, but really why this work has lasted for so long is because of the fear a monster brings and the heroism of taking it on.

It’s sort of like an alien meets a dinasaur.

The last image in the book is, shall we say, childlike, but that’s okay because the pages before it sell an otherwise awesome version of the story.

Om nom nom nom.

On top of all that you get 40 flipping pages of comic book. That’s a deal if I ever saw one.

Budget: $4.02 – $1.99 = $.03

Three cents to spare and 3 excellent comics in our bag. Some heavy hitting books will hit the shelves next week that were delayed including Justice League, Batman Incorporated #2 and Mind MGMT #2.


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