You know the world has gone to hell when I have more Marvel books to talk about here this week, than DC. Tell me this a few months ago and I would have said that you're fucking crazy...
Justice League #16
So, I liked Jim Lee's work on the first year of the title, but holy shitballs is Ivan Reis going nuts with this one. This story continues to be pretty large scale, something the Graves arc lacked. Add the tease of finally expanding the League's roster, and you get the sense that the parts are finally coming together, and it'll be interested to see who or how this works out. One thing that does bother me is how easily Johns disregards some characters who I have to assume he believes wouldn't do much with Atlantis invading. Batman? Knock his ass out. Flash? Oh he's busy, as we see for the first time ever in the New 52, that a character being busy actually prevents them from showing up in another book. Hmm, ok. Doesn't change the fact that I'm still having a hell of a time with this crossover. PS, where did Mera go?
Green Lantern #16
Speaking of crossovers... does anyone really consider "Rise of the Third Army" actually a crossover? So far the Third Army hasn't really done shit... other than grow bigger, and now we're moving on to "Wrath of the First Lantern?" What the fuck about the Third Army!? I don't know, whatever. Regardless, Simon Baz begins to get more and more interesting, especially seeing how he was able to heal life with his ring, something no other Green Lantern has done before. Then we find out that dead Tomar Re has been guiding dead Hal and Sinestro through the afterlife, so on and so on. Still a really good book. Where else are we going to get an arabic guy/sentient squirrel team up?
Wonder Woman #16
Damn, the mythology Azzarello keeps layering on here is great, and on top of that, the character interactions between the large cast are genuinely enjoyable. What's really standing out for me in this book currently, most notably this issue, is the First Born. I haven't been actively searching the internet to look for theories of what his deal is, so he's still a giant question mark to me...and funny, after I wrote that last sentence, I just got side tracked and did just that, so now I'm even more interested in the story. So far, this has been a story that, while long form, really hasn't grown old, and is constantly refreshing itself with new plot lines, characters, and questions to be answered. As always, a great read.
Sword of Sorcery #4
I had mentioned last issue that I was interested to see Amethyst interact more with the real world, like she did in a brief JLD stint, but came away a bit disappointed by the story in this issue, which felt like inconsequential filler. The fact is, it probably is, and thus, I don't have a whole lot to say about it. Didn't enjoy the Stalker back up that much either.
So, Nick Spencer hates cats. The first three pages of this issue contain the main character killing something like 96 or 97 cats over a period of time, in very brutal, and creative ways. Just as I started reading this issue, my cat started being the general asshole that he is... baaaaaad timing. Anyways, has Spencer come out and said the Joker influenced Madder Red? Granted, Madder Red is more serial-killer-y, but the parallels are so obvious. Not a knock on it, because I freaking love it. This was that issue where the main character starts doing the Hannibal thing and giving his expert opinion on the minus-one-penis-angel-wannabe-killer, and man it was fun to read. So yeah, if you're looking for a book that pretty much stars the gay love child of Joker and Hannibal Lectre, this is it, and it's pretty great.
More grim Image titles! This was the start of a new arc (I guess? Basically the first issue of what will eventually be vol. 2 in trade) and some large things start to happen, mainly the public learns of all the dead coming back to life, politicians get involved, one of the revivers is apparently pretty evil, there's Em who is just being downright creepy now (I want her hoodie, though), that demon is still wondering around, and the reporter is still doing her thing. SO MANY SUBPLOTS. But, still a very enjoyable read.
Damn you Sara, what about Gleason!? Gaaaah. Screw Cain... scumbag. Whatever, anyways, I don't want to say this was wrapping up an arc, because a lot of things were left open to come back again. Anyways, if anything, it seems like next issue is where this will start to tie back into the larger Top Cow Universe with the Darkness, Hope, etc. so I'm very much looking forward to that. Given that the book is sort of at a crossroads at the moment, I figure I might as well say it now, I'm enjoying the title, just not as much as I have in the past (Marz's run). There's something that still feels like it is missing. I used to care so much about not only Sara, but all the supporting characters in the book, now its just back to Sara. I kind of just don't care about all the others. I'm hoping things change when it starts to tie into other stuff, but it's hard to say if it will at this point. Not like I'm close to dropping it or anything, I just wish I liked it more.
Young Avengers #1
I had no intention of picking up this title, but on Wednesday, I had heard a bunch of positive reactions, so I figured I'd give it a shot... didn't do a whole lot for me, to be honest. This isn't a comment on the quality, it's just the fact that I don't know, nor do I care about these characters coming in. Being a generally new Marvel reader, the books that have kept me around have either some characters who I'm interested in/want to know more about, or a good hook. So without either of those in this title, I can't give a real opinion on it past saying I basically don't care. But it has been getting a lot of good reception, so if you're into these characters, I'd imagine it would be enjoyable.
Uncanny X-Force #1
So, I read Remender's fantastic run on UXF in a pretty short period of time, and was excited to see where it went in the NOW! transition. I've got to say, I enjoyed the first issue. It's different, but I like Betsy enough to stick around, and found it comical just how small Puck actually is. But fuck all that noise, let's talk about that last page. Refresher course, Fantomex is a character that had three brains or something... I don't fucking know, Grant Morrison created him, so there you go. He got killed towards the end of Remender's run, but came back in the last issue after being cloned by his... I don't know what the fuck EVA is, okay? REGARDLESS, there was a mixup, and three clones came out, one with each brain. So you got Fantomex, Cluster the female version, and evil Fantomex who went off somewhere. But when it comes down to it, they're basically all the same person.
History lesson over, moving on... Early in this issue, there's some hints of things going sour between Betsey and Fantomex, and the second to last page we see Fantomex and Cluster doing a heist together or something. Knowing Fantomex is a bit narcissistic, I jokingly thought that Fantomex probably banged the female version of himself or something... Then I turn the page and sure enough, they're making with each other, and I begin to laugh my ass off. WHAT IS THAT?! How do you describe that? I mean, one can assume they've done more than kiss, which makes it that much weirder. Is it some screwed up version of masturbation? Incest? I don't know, but it's weird, and I love it in such a twisted, messed up sort of way. God, that was great.
Uncanny Avengers #3
Oh hey, this book came out... eventually. See you in June, when I talk about issue 4. I'm going to be honest... I know each artist is different, but I don't see why the art apparently takes so long on this title, when stuff like Batwoman comes out on time month to month. Anyways, I'm enjoying this, but not as much as I did UXF. I know they're two completely different books and concepts, but I think this title is just lacking that extra something that could make it really fantastic. For the issue itself, we get a lot of cool mind control hijinks, big action, and all that usual super hero fun. The dynamic between Cap and Havok is pretty good, and the prospect of Red Skull having Thor under his control for next issue is really interesting, so I'm willing to continue with the book, to see if it gains momentum once it begins to come out regularly, whenever that may be.
This book is soooooo dumb, but in a truly fantastic way. Any other character, and this would be just a terrible book, but with Deadpool, the fact that this more or less is just him running around, punching zombies, and spitting out one-liners, makes it truly enjoyable. Dressing up like Monroe to kill Kennedy again? Fine, do it. MMA style fight with Lincoln? Great. Now we're going into space next episode? Fucking whatever, I'll take it! I'm curious to see what happens in this title after the Presidents thing, because it'll be hard to live up the the stupidity on display here. Favorite bit of the issue? When Wade asks Lincoln if he ever went up to Canada and had a hairy baby with a local woman (Wolverine). SO DUMB, but man, I love it.
So ends the first arc of this title, and I'm still just sort of floating along, waiting for the "OOOH" moment I've been promised. Good title, but I've yet to realize the larger picture it seems. I get what is going on at the surface level, but the inner workings of what the real point is continue to elude me. Maybe it's just not there yet, who knows, but I'd like to get it soon. I also need to look into who some of these characters are, most notably the lady who sort of fixes everything in this issue, as I have no fucking clue who she is or what she did.