It’s Wednesday, and any major comic fan knows exactly what that means. But first, here’s a quick update on my fiction writing. I’ve picked an editor for my first book, and that process begins on June 30th. In the meantime, I’m currently writing the second draft of what will probably end up being book number 6. I’m about half-way through the draft already (I started on June 1st), and it’s already the longest story I’ve ever written. Combined with what I’ve edited and what I have yet to edit, the story has passed the 100,000 word barrier (the first draft is 83,846 words), and my previous longest story was 94,000 words (the second draft for the first book, and the current edit is shorter than that). That’s kind of exciting to me.
Now let’s talk about comics. This week, I picked up Nightcrawler 3, Captain Marvel 4, Hulk 4, She Hulk 5, Avengers Undercover 5, Wolverine 8, All New X-Men 28, The Blood Queen 1, Justice League United 2 and Batgirl 32. Here are my first impressions, and links to full reviews will be added as they’re posted.
Nightcrawler 3 was decent. I was lukewarm about issues 1 and 2, and this one is better. Trimega, the villain from the previous issues, feels more threatening now that there’s more than one of him, and several plot twists within make the story more interesting. Also, there seems to be a bit of hostility between the X-Men and Margali Szardos, the character the Trimega robots are after. It’s still not great and I’m not yet convinced to stick with it, but Chris Claremont’s Nightcrawler series is on the right track and it’s worth checking out if you enjoy the character.
Captain Marvel 4 was great. After the dark turn the last issue ended with, this issue has a more optimistic feel, yet is still mixed with the tragic fate that the alien refugees face. Kelly Sue DeConnick brings the right mix of a deep, compelling plot, action and fun to make this among the best comics I read this week.
Hulk 4 was fun. There’s not too much to say about this one without spoiling it, but it deals with a number of plot threads from both Indestructible Hulk and Adjectiveless Hulk, and it’s obvious that Mark Waid is working to finish his rather entertaining run. I’ve decided to stick with this title until Mark Waid’s leaves it, and any Hulk fans should check it out if they haven’t already.
Avengers Undercover 5 is decent. Long story short, the Arena survivors must decide whether they’re joining the villains or not. It remains a solid character-focused title, but beyond the characters making decisions and seeing some of what the villains are up to, not much happens in this comic. You’d kind of expect that they would have finished this portion of the story several issues ago, but that’s a minor complaint. Anyone who enjoyed Avengers Arena should be reading this.
Wolverine 8 was alright. Having only read Killable in Paul Cornell’s Wolverine run, a lot of the subplots left me really confused. The idea of Wolverine meeting Death on an island where death is forbidden is kind of intriguing, considering this is the first issue in the “3 months do die” storyline. I could see Wolverine fans enjoying this one.
Justice League United 2 (actually the third issue) was good, but confusing in my rushed read. I might update this first impressions paragraph later because this was the last comic I read in a 10-comic binge, so I missed half of the exposition dump. The rest of the comic has some great superhero action and a teaser promising an epic next issue. For now, this is worth recommending for anyone interested in checking out an alternate Justice League title.
Batgirl 32 was great. It kicks off a new storyline pitting Batgirl and a few allies against Knightfall, a vigilante extremist who tends to maim and/or kill anyone for even petty crimes. There’s a lot going on in this issue that references earlier stories in Gail Simone’s Batgirl run, yet it explains everything well enough for new readers to jump in. While Barbara Gordon regaining use of her legs has turned off a number of her fans, Gail Simone’s Batgirl has consistently been among the better New 52 titles.