Alright, so I’ve managed to recover what I wrote yesterday. These are my more complete first impressions for yesterday’s comic releases.
Also, today I finally got around to reading the Hobbit graphic novel. It’s basically JRR Tolkein’s Hobbit, but turned into a graphic novel. The images are very well painted, and it basically turns the environmental descriptions and actions into sequential art. All the rest of the text is intact. If you’re into the Lord of the Rings universe, this is well worth looking into.
Thanos Rising 2 was alright. While I enjoyed the first one, it felt a bit too similar to Star Wars: The Phantom Menace in the wrong way. This one wasn’t as good. It almost felt as though there was a set of scenes missing. The last issue ended with Thanos killing a bunch of lizards in revenge of his childhood friends, while this issue starts with him coldly dissecting hundreds of animals, some of them live, and he quickly escalates to murder. Not that Thanos Rising 2 is bad, but it feels like it’s moving too quickly for its own good, especially compared to the slower TR1. The last page is fairly twisted though. I can see why some people may enjoy this, but I can also see why others wouldn’t. I’d recommend you only pick it up if you’re very interested in reading of Thanos’s origin story.
Age of Ultron 7 was good. It’s not nearly as good as the last issue, but it does a decent job at exploring the possible consequences of killing Henry Pym in the last issue. The world has become a superhero run police state in the aftermath of the Kree/Skrull war, in which Henry Pym’s indirect creation ,Vision, helped fight against. There isn’t as much character development as there was in the last issue, although there’s still some decent drama between Wolverine and Invisible Woman. It’ll be interesting to see where this goes, but an alternate reality this late into the event feels a bit weird. If you’ve been enjoying Age of Ultron so far though, this is still worth reading.
Indestructible Hulk 7 was great. It starts by pulling a rather hilarious fast one (in the last issue, the Hulk seemingly picked up Thor’s hammer on the last page), and from there the Hulk teams up with Classic Thor against frost Giants. There’s a good amount of development for Bruce Banner’s science team. One even has a significant reveal at the end of the issue. There’s really not much else to say about this one. This series continues to be very entertaining, and it’s fairly unique for a Hulk book.
Superior Spider-Man 9 was good, but if you’re hoping for the return of Peter Parker, this issue will not be very encouraging to you. Peter Parker and Doctor Octopus confront each other inside their shared mind, and it’s a great exploration of their rivalry and how they see both each other and themselves. It’s not yet clear exactly what this issue’s ending means, but it will likely be harder for the Superior Spider-Man to pass himself off as Peter Parker in the near future. Definitely worth picking up if you’ve been enjoying Superior Spider-Man so far.
X-Men Legaxy 10 was weird, but good. It continues the general story that’s been going on for the last few issues, but still stands on its own very well. Legion has a rather fascinating talk with the writer of the book that inspired the X-Men’s potential threat from the last issue. Of course, there’s still the usual weirdness involving Legion’s internal struggles and his odd relationship with Blindfold. I can’t say much without spoiling the fun, but this is an easy recommendation for anyone who’s been enjoying Legacy so far, or anyone who is interested in what is easily the weirdest X-Men title right now.
All-New X-Men 11 was great. The first few pages were kind of spoiled by the last few issues of Uncanny X-Men, but they’re still very well written. Jean Grey has a lot of character development in this issue, as do Angel and Kitty Pryde. Throw in some more Brotherhood shenanigans and you have a great X-Men book. Bendis’s grasp of Wolverine seems to be improving as ANXM progresses as well. My only concern is the last page, where the All New X-Men are confronted by a team that Wolverine is on … and Wolverine is with the X-Men here. This might be explained in the next issue, but for now it feels a bit off. Still, X-Men fans should be reading this series; it’s been great so far. I’m starting to consider dropping Wolverine and the X-Men, because lately it’s been more mediocre than anything else.
Red She Hulk 65 was alright – I didn’t like it as much as I have most of this series so far. Red She Hulk’s fight in this issue just felt weird. Jennifer Walters’ scenes were good though. Betty Ross’s scenes just felt like they were stalling the story. Still, this is at least worth reading if you’ve been enjoying this series so far. It feels like a classic Hulk story, just that this hulk is smart while transformed and is making herself an enemy of pretty much every Superhero in the Marvel Universe.
X-Factor 255 was amazing. There is so much action, drama and plot development packed into this one issue, and yet it’s still easy to follow. It’s a testament to Peter David’s writing talent and his love for the industry. The Hell on Earth War may now have a winner, and now he’s/she’s aiming to rule both the underworld and the world of the living. Easily the best comic I’ve read this week.
Animal Man 20 was decent, but it’s not really about Animal Man. It’s about another superhero who attempted to sell himself to fame. He ended up fighting someone he couldn’t, and lost everything. There are no real surprises in this issue, and Buddy Baker doesn’t really show up until the last few pages. The character here is interesting, as is his home life, but if you’re only interested in Animal Man, this issue is skippable.
The comic shop was also giving out free copies of Cyber Force 1-4, and I hadn’t read them until today. They were alright – the series certainly has an interesting premise. Not sure if I’ll stick with it though – I have to make some cutbacks soon.