So my couple of days away from home were good. It was a nice refreshing time in the country with my extended family. I’m sticking with not writing any full reviews this week as I could use a bit of a break, not to mention I’m nearing the end of the novel I’m currently working on. Things should be back to normal next week though.
Anyway, here are my first impressions for all of yesterday’s comics that I picked up. Marvel’s include X-Men 4, Indestructible Hulk 12, Cable and X-Force 13, X-Men Legacy 15, Superior Spider-Man 16, Avengers Assemble 18 and X-Factor 261. I also picked up Superman Unchained 3, Supergirl 23 and Aphrodite IX 4. Just a heads up though, I enjoyed pretty much all of these – it’s been a good comic week.
X-Men 4 was simply great. It’s divided in half by Jubilee visiting the places of her childhood with Wolverine and her new baby. These scenes are very touching, and showcase how much Jubilee has grown since her earlier appearances while still retaining her enthusiastic nature. It also explores the father/daughter relationship she has with Wolverine. The other half is about the rest of the all-female X-Men team doing some straight superhero work. It’s entertaining, it has some creative uses of Psylocke’s powers and the interactions are very well written. The best part is, you don’t have to be a regular reader of the X-Men, or even have read the first three issues to perfectly understand everything going on here. Xmenxpert said in his summary of X-Men 3 that you’re wrong for not reading this book. That statement applies perfectly to this issue.
Indestructible Hulk 12 was very entertaining. It continues in the aftermath of Age of Ultron, in which time is broken. The result: the Hulk punching dinosaurs and futuristic villains in the Wild West. Writer Mark Waid doesn’t waste any opportunities here. Also, nice cameo from Two Gun Kid (I remember him from Dan Slott’s She Hulk run.)
Cable and X-Force 13 was also great. Cullen Bunn guest writes this issue as he did the last. This issue has a lot of story revelations regarding Cable’s premonitions. There’s also more arguing between Forge and Dr. Nemesis – they’re so entertaining together. Not much else to say about this one. If you’re interested in an outlaw team of mutants who are willing to do the dirty work to save the world, this series is for you.
X-Men Legacy 15 was great. It’s by far the most normal book in this series so far as it dives into the relationship between Legion and his mother. There’s some great character work for both of them. While some may not like what ends up happening, the dramatic ending is handled very well. This is easily the weirdest of the X-Men books right now, but in the best way possible.
Superior Spider-Man 16 was fun. It takes off directly after the last issue, where the hobgoblin’s identity was made public. This issue focuses more on him than anyone else, but it’s a good exploration of the villain’s mindset as his world crumbles apart. That said, my initial enthusiasm for this series is starting to wear out. Spider-Man’s army kind of came out of nowhere a couple issues back, but I am interested in seeing where Carlie Cooper and Wraith’s investigation goes.
Avengers Assemble 18 was good. I’m ignoring Infinity save for the tie-ins in titles I’m already reading, yet this book explained what’s going on perfectly. Even with all the insanity of the war, this comic remains focused on Spider-Woman. Also, Spider-Woman has an encounter toward the end of the comic that is bound to have a strong impression on her. This comic has what I’ve felt Hickman’s Avengers books have been missing all along – character development. As always, Kelly Sue DeConnick writes some of the best dialogue in the industry. If you’re reading Infinity, you should be reading this. If you’re not, but you’re reading Assembled, you’ll likely enjoy this comic as well.
X-Factor 261 was good. This issue’s all about Monet and Darwin, and while I’ve never been a huge fan of either character on their own, this was a touching comic. If you’re a fan of either character this is a must read.
Superman Unchained 3, while probably my least favourite comic this week, was still good. The story with the military’s own superman is kind of intriguing, even if it raises many questions about the first 5 or so years of Superman’s superhero career. Scott Snyder is great at writing Batman, but I have yet to be convinced he is the right writer for Superman. He’s certainly better than Scott Lobdell though, and at least this series has yet to mention the Superman/Wonder Woman relationship (it’s the relationship that bothers me, not Wonder Woman herself). I refuse to read any book that delves into that.
Supergirl 23 was kind of crazy. The first half had her facing off against constructs based off of her bad memories, and that was very entertaining. I’m not quite sure how I feel about the ending, but it’s certainly a fascinating development. Probably my main complaint is that, because of this silly villain month in September, we have to wait two months before we find out what happens. This is quite the cliffhanger to wait two months for. Even with the ending, this still remains the best Superman book on the market in my opinion.
Aphrodite IX 4 was just as great as the first three issues. It’s hard to describe everything that’s happening in this issue without a long-winded review, so let’s just say that the story remains very compelling, Aphrodite’s character development remains strong and the cliffhanger challenges Supergirl 23 for the best cliffhanger this week. Honestly though, the whole concept for this book is amazing – a cyborg race is at war with a genetically enhanced race. If you’re into Science Fiction, you should check this series out.