It seems that in the last while, the third Wednesday of the month is the big week for me. Most of the comics I picked up were good, some were even great, and some … I’ll get into that. Also because I’m heavily editing my novel this month, my brain is kind of fried after reading 12 comics (one of them double-sized). I might only get one full review in today but I’ll try for two.
The Marvel comics I picked up this week include Hulk 1, X-Force 3, Ms. Marvel 3, Amazing X-Men 6, X-Men 13, Uncanny X-Men 20, Thor: God of Thunder 21 and Superior Spider-Man 31 (last issue). The other comics I picked up are Batman 30, Supergirl 30, The Star Wars 7 and Witchblade 174. Here are my first impressions; links to full reviews will be added as they’re posted.
Hulk 1 was good. There’s a strong sense of mystery surrounding the people that shot Bruce Banner in the back of the head, which happened in the final issue of Indestructible Hulk. There’s also a bit of action involving a panicking hulk, because being merely angry isn’t dangerous enough. The final page might anger some people, but it’s also kind of hilarious. It’s a very well written comic, but I’d recommend that Hulk fans read it before they buy it.
X-Force 3 was good. It expands a lot on the ongoing story, while focusing on Psylocke’s mental state. The dialogue is consistently entertaining and the action is good. There’s not too much to say beyond that. Anyone interested in a black-ops mutant team should enjoy this.
X-Men 13 was good. After a bit of a messy Sisterhood story arc, this one feels a lot more focused. The first half is mostly downtime for the all-female X-men team, while the second half kicks off a new storyline that involves Jubilee’s kid. It gets pretty intense. As with the previous storyline, there’s also a shorter story involving the X-kids, and this one’s kind of fun. Hopefully this means the title is back on track.
Uncanny X-Men 20 was very good. There’s a lot of plot development going on as Cyclops’s team starts investigating SHIELD’s sentinels, with some great humour to spice it up. Throw in a Mystique scene (that thankfully doesn’t involve Azazel; please tell me Brian Michael Bendis won’t use Azazel) and a somewhat hostile visit to the Jean Grey School and you have the best X-Men comic of the week.
Thor: God of Thunder 21 was interesting. King Thor continues to battle Galactus thousands of years from now, while modern Thor struggles with the environment destroying corporation, Roxxon. His plans are thwarted in a way I wasn’t expecting. As much as I’m enjoying this series though, this will probably be my last storyline as I have to lighten up my heavy weeks. Thor fans should be reading this title.
Superior Spider-Man 31 was, pardon the pun, amazing. Peter Parker shows why he deserves to be Spider-Man as he fights the Goblins, alongside Spider-Man 2099. The first half is one epic action scene where he works to fix Spider-Ock’s shortcomings. That’s not to say Spider-Ock had no part to play in the solution. The second half is all about Peter apologizing for all the harm Octavious did to his relationships, some of which may be irreparable. A lot of changes came with this issue that will obviously affect Amazing Spider-Man. The only big problem is that a lot of people took Peter’s mind-swap explanation too easily, even those who already knew about it. This is a must have for Spider-Man fans.
Batman 30 was ok. Again, I keep going back and forth on how I feel about Year Zero. While the Riddler story is kind of awesome, this is supposed to take place 6 years or so before the current DC timeline yet Gotham City is utterly ruined in this issue. It’s a bit hard to believe that Gotham City could be repaired in six years, let alone the early New 52 comics that took place 5 years before most current titles. My suspension of disbelief can only go so far, and the plot is starting to feel a bit too similar to The Dark Knight Rises (you’ll see if you read it). If you’ve been enjoying Year Zero, this is probably still worth it.
Supergirl 30 was good. Unlike Tony Bedard’s first few issues, this does a much better job at explaining what Supergirl is angry about. It also meshes well with what the recent Red Lantern books have been doing with her. It’s worth checking out for regular readers of either Red Lanterns or Supergirl.
The Star Wars 7 was decent. As with the rest of this mini-series, it’s based on the original draft of George Lucas’s Star Wars. This issue is a mix how Episode 4 and 6 ended, with wookies taking the ewoks’ places as they prepare to attack the Death Star. It’s worth reading for any serious Star Wars fan, but not really for anyone else.
Witchblade 174 was good. The bulk of the issue is Sara Pezzini fighting the Angelus, only to find out who its new host is. It’s a bit of a shocker that will make this title more interesting down the road. No idea what I’m talking about? “The Witching Hour” recap pages in the last four issues explain most of what new readers need to know. It’s a delightfully weird series about artifacts of power and their long-suffering wielders.