The only new comic I bought this week was Amazing Spider-Man 700, and that’s also the only full review I’ll be writing this week (after eight reviews last week in addition to my Christmas posts and my retail job, I could use a bit of a break). Last week I said that I’d save a bunch of other comics for this week. Those include Wolverine and the X-Men 22, X-Factor 249, Uncanny X-Force 35, Gambit 7, Astonishing X-Men 57, Venom 28, Scarlet Spider 12.1 and Captain Marvel 8. This is what I thought of last week’s non-Marvel Now books.
Scarlet Spider 12.1 was also great. After a murder that feels all too familiar to Kaine, he goes on a rampage against the various gangs of Texas. Good action, good internal monologues and a great twist at the end. This is the perfect jumping on point for the Scarlet Spider, which has been a great Spider-Man franchise book so far.
Venom 28 was intense, but fun. Flash Thompson is in way over his head as he fights the U-Foes on his own. There isn’t much character depth and despite the U-Foes brutality killing civilians, this feels like a typical superhero comic. Katy Kiernan, a tabloid reporter that was recently introduced in Cullen Bunn’s Venom run, is kidnapped by the U-Foes and Venom will most likely have to rescue her. This storyline has potential and this issue is fun, but it’s nothing special. If you’ve been enjoying Bunn’s Venom run so far, this is worth checking out. I wouldn’t quite recommend it to new readers though.
Captain Marvel 8 was awesome. Carol Danvers teams up with Monica Rambeau against a giant killer robot for the entire issue. What more do you need? Lots of action and great humour mixed with good art. Whether you like Miss/Captain Marvel or are interested in learning more about individual Avenger members, this is an easy recommendation. Everything you need to know is on the recap page, although issue 7 shouldn’t be too hard to find and it’s also great.
Uncanny X-Force 35 was good, but disappointing. There wasn’t as much focus on the Final Execution aftermath as I was expecting. This issue does a good job at tying up loose ends, and there are a few surprises toward the end. The issue feels a bit dry though – I’m not sure what it is, but it’s kind of hard to care about what happens in this issue. This has been my favourite ongoing series for a while; it’s too bad that the final issue is this disappointing. If you’ve read the entire Uncanny X-Force run you should at least read this issue, but I find it hard to recommend buying it before you read it.
X-Factor 249 was awesome. The whole issue is build up for X-Factor’s Hell on Earth storyline, which begins next issue. There’s lots of great action mixed with Peter David’s usual comedic wit – this is probably my favourite comic issue of the month. Check it out if you like the X-Men franchise in general.
Astonishing X-Men 57 was good. After the mess that ended the previous storyline, this issue feels much more focused. Warbird stars in this issue that sets up what could be an intriguing mystery storyline. There’s a lot more character focus in than the last few issues, which also helps. Can’t say I’m a fan of the art though. If you’re curious about Warbird, this issue is worth checking out.
Gambit 7 was fun. It concludes Gambit’s struggle against both MI13 and the crime lord that kidnapped him. This storyline is kind of half-way between a bond movie and a heist story, but with superpowers. If that interests you and/or you like Gambit, this issue is worth picking up.
Wolverine and the X-Men 22 was ok. This is coming from someone who usually likes this series, but the circus storyline is getting old. It’s not as funny as this series usually is, and the action feels unfocused through most of the issue. It’s interesting seeing one of the hellfire kids working with one of the X-kids, but otherwise this issue isn’t worth reading.