The only real update I have on Nanowrimo this week is that I reached 100,000 words on Monday. I’m still not sure how I’ve written that many words of fiction since the beginning of November. Thankfully I always take a break from novel writing on Wednesdays, my brain could use it. With that said, it’s time to talk about this week’s comics.
– edit: On a side note, I’m choosing to ignore Brian Wood’s harassment scandal as there are conflicting statements on either side. Until anyone knows for sure what happened I’ll give Wood the benefit of the doubt.
I picked up the Superior Spider-Man annual, Avengers Ai 6, X-Men 7, Uncanny X-Men 14, Fantastic Four 14, Indestructible Hulk 15, Cable and X-Force 16, X-Men Legacy 20, Animal Man 25 and Red Sonja 5. Here are my first impressions. I’ll add links to any full reviews as they’re posted, but as with the rest of the month, there will probably be only one.
Superior Spider-Man Annual was good, and is written by Dan Slott’s frequent collaborator Christos Gage. It does a great job at introducing the Superior Spider-Man to potential new readers while fitting right into his current position in the city. It explores Peter Octavius’s relationship with Aunt May in ways that Dan Slott hasn’t done too much of. It also has a great fight with a kind of scary villain, yet shows how scary Spider-Ock can be as well. Definitely worth reading, whether you’re enjoying Slott’s run or want to check it out but don’t know where to start.
Avengers AI 6 was fun, but more dramatic than most issues so far. There’s some good drama between Vision and Hank Pym, and some good action between Vision and Dimitrios. In general, this feels kind of like a Vision highlight issue.
Uncanny X-Men 14 was also good. The bulk of this issue focuses on one of Cyclops’s newer X-men characters. The whole issue has him being trained to use his powers more effectively. It’s a fun issue with some great Emma Frost moments. It also wisely reduces the amount of Battle of the Atom aftermath material, leaving that for other titles.
Fantastic Four 14 was good. There’s not much to say about this one without spoiling the plot, but this late in the series and with so much going on in the story, it’s not the easiest issue for new readers. If you’ve enjoyed Matt Fraction’s run so far though, you’ll like this one too. The story is really picking up, and the action and drama is nearing its climax.
Indestructible Hulk 15 was a little confusing for my tired brain, but it was very enjoyable. The whole time travelling insanity of the “Agent of Time” storyline goes into overdrive with “Hulk Squared”, a time-traveling prison break and Bruce Banner’s origin story. Maybe if I re-read this after Nanowrimo is over, I’ll understand it better. For any Hulk fans out there, you should be reading this series.
Cable and X-Force 16 was good. The whole comic is just full of superhero action. Colossus and Domino fight a Sentinel. Cable and Hope fight a bunch of mutant-hating cyborgs, with some impressive power displays. Dr. Nemesis and Forge working together to fight a mischievous power figure. It’s X-Force insanity at its best.
X-Men Legacy 20 was very interesting. It’s hard to talk about why this comic is so good without spoiling it. As usual with this series there’s a major plot twist at the end. This time there’s a bit of roll reversal, making the surprise that much better. For those who have been reading this series from the start, the cliffhanger is exciting too.
Animal Man 25 was good. It’s a relief to learn that Buddy Baker’s family isn’t being taken out of the picture (the reason I fell behind was because it looked as if they were taking them out). Beyond that, there’s some delightfully weird action, good art and some good moments between Animal Man and his wife.
Red Sonja 5 was very good. After recovering from the plague, the title character sets up a duel with her former co-gladiator warrior, Annisia. As with the first four issues, what makes Sonja so compelling is her iron will and unstoppable determination, yet she still has a soft spot for those who help her. I’m now hooked on Gail Simone’s take on the character, and I don’t usually like barbarian stories that much. If you do, you should at least give this a shot.
Superior Spider-Man Annual was good. Brutal stuff. I miss having Gage on a monthly series. He did a very good job here.
Avengers AI remains awesome fun. “Destroy this kitten.” “I am not compatible with embracing.” Who would think a book about AIs would be hilarious? Also Valerio Schiti! Yay! I love Schiti. The guy’s fantastic.
X-Men was just so good. So so good. Monet! And she snarked at Jubilee! And Karima’s still around. And Lady Deathstrike’s back as a sexy Latina. And Typhoid Mary’s going to be working with her. And Bling! seems to have a crush on Jubilee. Just so great. I loved this.
UXM was awesome. Loved it. Benjamin gets some great focus. His power went from neat to awesome. Him being gay is pretty cool. Lots of awesome on display here.
Fantastic Four was good. Very exciting. A great story’s being weaved here.
Hulk was cool. A big, crazy finale to a big, crazy arc.
Cable and X-Force was cool. Lots of fun, as usual. Needs more Boom Boom.
XML was also cool. Spurrier’s doing really neat stuff with David.