The comics I bought this week include Secret Avengers 1, Uncanny X-Men 1, Fantastic Four 4, Avengers Arena 4, Cable and X-Force 4, Scarlet Spider 14, Wolverine and the X-Men 25, Batman 17 and Batgirl 17. These are my unscripted first impressions – I’ll add links to full reviews as I post them online.
For those who would rather read my impressions, here they are in short paragraphs.
Fantastic Four 4 was great. It does an excellent job at exploring the relationship between Reed and Sue Richards, and in some ways she is a stronger person than he is. The story in the issue isn’t quite as good (and it’s spoiled a bit too early), but it does help reinforce the character work in the comic. This is worth checking out for Fantastic Four fans.
Avengers Arena 4 was decent. As far as I can tell, nobody was killed in this issue although someone was seriously injured. It’s a great introduction to Chase and Nico of the Runaways (although since I know little about them, I can’t say whether they were in character or not), and it has the first real fight between the teenagers. I won’t bother recommending it though since most people have already made up their minds – it hasn’t angered me enough to drop it yet.
Cable and X-Force 4 was good. The bulk of the issue is the massacre that’s been teased since issue one, and now we know exactly why Cable’s X-Force team is wanted by the government. Lots of good action, a fair amount of character moments for each member of the team, and a brilliant final page. This is an easy recommendation for Cable fans, or anyone who is interested in a mutant outlaw book.
Scarlet Spider 14 was great. The entire issue is a mix of Aracely running away from the Mexican werewolves that were introduced last issue, while Kaine is fighting his inner demons after nearly being killed last issue. I’m not sure how I feel about what happens to him on the last page, but this was good enough that I’m willing to stick around and find out what happens next. This is a great series to try out whether you’re interested in Spider-Man’s extended spider family, or if you need a break from the main Spider-Man book after what Doctor Octopus has done.
Batgirl 17 was decent, but not quite as good as the series usually is. It takes place shortly after Batman 17, when Barbara Gordon is helping the police track down and arrest the Joker’s associates. Of course, then her criminal brother has to get in the way.