It’s another big week for comics today, at least for my pull list. Seriously, my January seems to alternate between huge weeks and easy weeks so far. Among my most anticipated comics were All New X-men 35, Amazing Spider-Man 13, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 42 and Black Widow 14 – in no particular order. I picked up all of those and enjoyed each of them.
On the writing front, I finished the 3rd draft of the first book I ever wrote for my series. The first draft I started the day after I came up with the idea for the series (at least in book form), and it was only about 42,000 words. The second draft was exactly 88,800 words, which I started just over a month after I finished writing the previous draft.
The new draft is 96,097 words long. Since my writing style has changed quite a bit since then, not to mention the mythos and continuity in the series (it’s book 5 in continuity, and books 2-4 didn’t even exist in my head when I did the second draft) it was a pretty heavy edit. I’m satisfied with how this draft turned out, even if I know there are things I’ll have to improve further on in the future. Also, I wrote a short story that’s basically Dracula and one of his granddaughters defending his castle from Nazis. That was fun.
Anyway, let’s talk about comics. In addition to those I’ve already mentioned, I picked up Wolverines 3, Scarlet Spiders 3, Rocket Raccoon 7, Legendary Star Lord 8, Magneto 14, Guardians of the Galaxy 23, Red Sonja 14 and Supergirl 38. Here are my first impressions, and links to full reviews will be added when they’re posted.
Scarlet Spiders 3 is good. Again with the first two issues, the narration gets a little wordy at times, but otherwise this is a satisfying conclusion to the Spider-Verse mini-arc involving spider clones shutting down the Inheritors’ cloning facility. It does a great job at exploring the differences between the clones and gives one of them a heroic end. This mini is a great tie-in for Spider-Verse, but if you pick up both this and Amazing Spider-Man 13, don’t make the same mistake I made and be sure to read this one first.
Rocket Raccoon 7 is great. This isn’t as fun or wacky as Scottie Young’s previous issues, instead taking on a bit of a more serious tone. After a short battle on a cold planet, Groot is somehow poisoned and will die unless Rocket fights his way to the queen monster’s chamber to get the antidote. There’s still the same kind of charming humour that makes this series so entertaining, but the more serious tone also works. If you enjoyed the Guardians of the Galaxy movie or you like Rocket Raccoon as a character, you’re making a mistake by not reading this series.
Legendary Star Lord 8 is good. After his ordeal by being kidnapped by his father, Star Lord and Kitty Pryde finally have a date in person. There’s also more build-up for the Black Vortex event as Quill’s father tries to gather allies. That’s really all you need to know, and this still remains a great series for Guardians of the Galaxy fans to get to know Star Lord as an individual.
Amazing Spider-Man 13 is great. As the penultimate issue of the core Spider-Verse arc, this is the one where everything really starts to go wrong, while at the same time the spiders finally figure out how to win. The Uncle Ben as Spider-Man stuff is very dramatically effective as well, and that’s not even the only dramatic moment in this issue. I’m pumped for Spider-Verse’s finale.
Black Widow 14 is intense. Natasha’s hunt for Chaos is in full swing, yet they’re ready for her. This is espionage at its best, with intelligent people on both sides and a shadow organization nobody seems to know much about. If you’re the least bit interested in a spy comic taking place in the Marvel Universe, check this series out if you haven’t yet.
Magneto 14 is good. The comic moves back and forth between Magneto fighting the shield team that’s been hunting him since issue one, and flashbacks to the Genosha massacre. The ending is quite surprising, and will probably leave you wondering what Magneto’s plan is.
Guardians of the Galaxy 23 is fascinating. The planet of the symbiosis story arc ends in a surprising way, revealing new mythology behind the venom symbiote. Before this arc I was considering dropping Bendis’s Guardians series, but this arc has convinced me to stick with it – at least a little longer. This issue in particular is at least worth reading for fans of Venom in general. That said, it’s possible not everyone will like the revelations within.
Supergirl 38 is good. The crucible students fight against a team of young superpowered individuals who were expelled by the intergalactic school. During the fight, Supergirl starts wondering what the Crucible’s motives really are, making for some interesting drama in addition to the great action. While this isn’t as good as the last issue, the new direction for Supergirl’s series remains fascinating and it’s worth picking up if you’re interested in giving Superman’s Kryptonian cousin a chance.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 42 is awesome. The Foot Clan and the Turtles team up against Krang in an issue that sets up an epic fight for TMNT 43, but even this issue feels epic. There’s some masterful plotting going on, some great moments between the turtles and you can almost physically feel the tension between the clan and the turtles when they prepare for the joint invasion. Ninja Turtles fans need to read this series, ‘nuff said.