My comic reviews are later than normal because I spent much of the morning and afternoon seeing an old friend. It’s easier at this time of year when a lot of people are off of work. In return, I’ve written more comic reviews than normal on a fairly heavy week. I’ve added links to those reviews below, and here are my impressions on the rest of the comics I picked up. Those include Captain America: Steve Rogers 8, Black Widow 9, The Mighty Thor 14, Spider-Woman 14, Star Wars 26, Batgirl 6 and Monstress 9. That’s 11 comics on the last Wednesday of the year. That’s very unusual.
Captain America: Steve Rogers 8 is good. It takes place after Civil War II, but mostly ignores what happened. In a strange way it perfectly sums up how important the event really was. The present storyline shows Captain America’s continued shadow work. It seems like his plan is starting to fall into place. Meanwhile, the flashbacks to Steve’s altered past continue to reveal interesting plot details. At this point the series will be hard to follow if you haven’t been reading it from the start, but it’s very compelling if you’re interested in Captain America secretly working for Hydra.
Black Widow 9 is great. It’s mostly a 3-way fight between three former products of the Red Room and its related programs. There’s Black Widow, another former assassin who blames Natasha for her mother’s death, and Winter Soldier. The fight is intense, mostly told through the art. If an espionage series taking place in the Marvel Universe sounds intriguing, check this series out.
The Mighty Thor 14 is epic. This story arc officially kicked off the War of the Realms that’s been building up for a while in writer Jason Aaron’s run. The action feels big, the story is epic, and there’s some good character drama thrown in with both Loki and the Light Elf Queen.
Spider-Woman 14 is great. Porcupine apparently died in the previous issue, and this is a very dramatic follow up as Jessica is investigating Rogers’ death. The writing in this comic is very good, and the art perfectly capture’s Jessica’s emotional state. The ending suggests there’s more going on, but it’s too early to get one’s hopes up. This is a great series as a whole, and an interesting look at what life is like for a single mother superhero.
Star Wars 26 is great. It kicks off a new story arc focusing on Yoda, taking place sometime before The Phantom Menace. There’s a great moment where he defeats an entire room of pirates using nothing but the force. It really feels like that’s how his fight with Count Dooku in Attack of the Clones should have gone, and makes me hope that someday we’ll see a pure force battle between two old masters. In any case, this is an easy recommendation for Yoda fans.
Batgirl 6 is just fun. It’s a one-off issue taking place on a plane, where Batgirl and Poison Ivy need to work together to take down an ancient plant that’s tearing the plane apart. That pretty much sums this issue up. The Batgirl series seems to be getting better with each issue, and I recommend it to anyone interested in a more lighthearted Batman franchise book.
Monstress 9 is good. At this point I don’t even know how to describe the plot. It takes place in a rich universe based on Chinese mythology, about a girl with a monster living inside her. The monster tends to cause problems wherever they go, but there’s something worse going on in the world that they might need to work together to solve. If that sounds interesting, check it out.
Captain Steverica is good, still. Nice to finally see the new Quasar actually get to appear. They made such a big deal of her in Pleasant Hill, and then . . . nothing.
Black Widow remains excellent. The Nat/Bucky stuff here is really sad, and Samnee continues to do great action sets.
Thor is good. Lots of fun. Loki is pretty clearly playing some kind of con on Malekith, which is cool.
Spider-Woman is really good. Really strong work. Great depiction of her grief and anger, and I liked Carol showing up just to be there for her.
Ghost Rider was well-written, but has far too little of the protagonist.
CWII is OK. I don’t think it’s as bad as a lot have said, but it’s also not great.
Hulk was excellent. Just fantastic work.