It’s the fourth week of January, which has been a heavy month for me with comics. This week isn’t quite as heavy as January 7 or 21, but there are still a good number of comics to talk about today. 3 X-Men comics, 2 other Marvel comics, 2 DC comics and 2 other companies. Every comic I picked up is at least entertaining and there’s so much to talk about; I might have trouble deciding what to review out of them. So let’s get started.
The comics I picked up this week include Wolverines 4, Thor 4, Spider-Man 2099 8, Amazing X-Men 16, Uncanny X-Men 30, Bitch Planet 2, Gotham Academy 4, Death Vigil 6 and Batman 38. So Uncanny X-Men broke my pattern of Marvel comics whose numbers were a multiple of 4, and Batman 38 almost fallowed the 2-4-6-8 rule, except there’s a 3 in front of the 8. I like patterns, so I automatically hate both of them for breaking the patterns. I’m kidding. Anyway, here are my first impressions, and links to full reviews will be added when they’re posted.
Spider-Man 2099 is fun. This concludes Miguel’s tie-ins for Spider-Verse with a brief fight against Lady Spider’s steampunk villains while they prepare a giant robot to help in the main event. This hints at a story that could be further explored in Lady Spider’s universe, so we’ll have to see if it is continued before or during Secret Wars. Although I’ve enjoyed this series so far, this might be my last issue. I have to cut back somewhere, not because of budget constraints, but I’m starting to run out of room to store comics until I find a way to sell the ones I don’t want anymore. Even though this is a tie-in, it still works well on its own as a brief crossover between a futuristic Spider-Man and a steampunk world, and this is definitely worth checking out if that interests you.
Amazing X-Men 16 is intense in a good way. With so many super powered characters, mercenaries and other players involved, there’s no telling where the Juggernaut story arc will end up. That said, it’s fun, it’s hilarious in how the issue seems to be making fun of Iceman’s shortcomings and the action is still heating up. The whole point of this series is to have big, self-contained stories in the X-Universe, and you should pick this up if that or the Juggernaut interests you.
Uncanny X-Men 30 is great. Matthew Malloy’s story arc continues to grow more intense, while Eva’s trip to the past leads to a well-written conversation with Professor X. Since this probably won’t be reviewed by myself, I should mention that while I don’t usually enjoy Chris Bachalo’s art, he did add a nice touch that I enjoyed. The words “Thanos was right” are written on Quentin Quire’s shirtless chest, adding to his entire “he was right” shtick. Sure, this story arc is going on for a while, but it continues to be interesting so I’m not complaining. Of all the X-Men books right now this has the clearest direction and the story is epic. If you’re an X-men fan who hasn’t given Brian Michael Bendis’s series a chance yet, you should.
Bitch Planet 2 is brilliant. It’s not nearly as blatant with its allegories regarding sexism as the first issue, instead this entry focuses on building the plot. Kelly Sue DeConnick’s writing and Valentine De Landro’s art remain entertaining, especially in the scene where prisoners fight the guards in the background while the main character debates with others in the foreground. The blatant nature of this comic’s intentions won’t be for everyone, but you know a comic is impactful when people are permanently tattooing their wrists after one issue. This is basically a women in prison series that pays homage to exploitation films, yet tells a compelling story and never feels exploitive. Check it out if that interests you, but by all means keep this one away from the kids.
Death Vigil 6 is great. If the earlier issues of Death Vigil have a flaw, it’s that they sometimes feel like there’s little at stake. The Vigil usually had few problems taking on the Necromancers besides the first issue. Today’s entry is where everything seems to go wrong. There’s a betrayal in the Vigil, a death and a cliffhanger where a vital member of the team is in trouble. This is a delightfully weird series both written and drawn by Stjepan Sejic involving resurrections, monsters and magic, and fans of supernatural comics should read this.
Batman 38 is intense. The Joker’s plot of poisoning everyone in Gotham City with his special virus only gets worse in this issue. The mystery behind his true origin also grows deeper. For those who have been reading Scott Snyder’s entire New 52 Batman run, the ending cliffhanger is about as intense as it could be. Saying anything else about the plot would spoil this issue. If you’re a Batman fan who reads comics, this story arc might just be an absolute must.