Remember how last week there were deaths in three of the books I read? HAHA, WELL TOO BAD ME, WE AIN'T DONE YET! Everyone is dying now!
Swamp Thing #18
As you may know, this was Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette's final issue on Swamp Thing, and while 18 straight issues of ROT ROT ROT, may have dragged on for a few people, there was no denying this was a beautiful conclusion to Snyder and Paquette's run. Above all else, this issue was sad. Alec and Abby were the DC Universe's odd couple, but I loved the dynamic between those two... but then they both die, and because full on avatars of their element, thus never being able to be together again. That sucks. I don't know what Soule is planning for the title, but I certainly hope that Abby isn't gone for the time being. I don't need her back by the next issue, but I'd be interested in seeing her pop back up down the line. Just a great character.
Animal Man #18
Hey Damian! You got a dead friend now! I made references to DC killing off another kid this week, and the answer was Cliff Baker. Compared to the Swamp Thing finale, I just found this one to be generally depressing in a bad way. The death of Cliff really doesn't sit well with me, and I can't say I'm looking forward to depressed Animal Man coming up. "But FHIZ, isn't that hypocritical since you don't feel the same way with Damian," well, let me explain my thoughts on that. Damian isn't your average kid. He's a cape, he's a trained assassin, he had a chance, blah blah. Cliff on the other hand was nothing more than a civilian. No powers, no nothing, just normal. His death echoes that of Lian Harper, which is only worse due to her being that much younger. It comes off as an unnecessary ploy for cheap drama, because there are far better dramatic plot points than killing kids. For instance, Buddy's wife seemed to have really been pushed to the edge. I'd much rather read into their strained relationship/marriage without the raincloud of a dead son. That's just me.
Green Arrow #18
While Animal Man left me a little bummed, Green Arrow continues to impress. Lemire and Sorrentino continue to rebuild this book from the gutter it was left in, and it was a filthy, filthy gutter. Lemire is hitting all the right notes, by coming in hot, shaking everything up, and instantly putting Ollie up against a wall, with a nice amount of dramatic mystery to the whole thing. Komodo is expanded upon a bit, we meet his creepy kid, and Ollie gets a character like Diggle from the show... except sort of chubby and nerdy. On the art side of things, it is still a trip to see Sorrentino on something like this book, but I'm loving every page of it. I'm also glad that the kept the color highlights with black and white in with Marcelo Maiolo coming on to color. Great book, exact sales numbers haven't been released yet, but I hope this book got lifted out of the sub 20k sales it was sitting at, it deserves it.
The Phantom Stranger #6
Speaking of titles that have gotten better, this book has definitely been on an up swing. This was an interesting set up with the Stranger playing a round of poker with three sons of Trigon. On paper, it seems simple, but this issue just had a lot of style going for it, and Belial's (if that's how you spell it?) threat at the end is one of those things you know will come back to haunt the Stranger at some point. Gene Ha's art was also perfect for this book. Oh, and the ending definitely spoils the fold out cover for next month (It'll be the Question).
Earth 2 #10
So, James Robinson turned in another good issue of Earth 2, bringing us to a setting outside of the norm for the series so far, but the real story? Nicola Scott... HOLY CRAP, she turned in some insane pages for this issue. I can't imagine how long it must have taken to draw those scenes within the tower of fate. It looked as if MC Escher snorted a bunch of coke, then designed the interior. Scott definitely outdid herself with just the backgrounds in this issue. But on the story side, this Fate stuff is pretty cool, and getting me interested in a character I had no previous interest in. There was also a nice scene between Alan, and his former boyfriend's father, who wasn't all too approving of having a gay son, but it turns out different than one may expect. Another great issue from the Earth 2 team, that's for sure.
So, this may be Kenneth Rocafort's last issue? He better be attached to one of the books that have yet to be announced, because I need my Rocafort fix. Anyways, this was the first issue of this crossover where I kind of felt lost after not reading Superboy or Supergirl. But, not too lost. The Oracle guy kind of fell flat, was expecting a bit more, and where H'el ends up is pretty damn interesting. I'm actually surprised in how much I'm enjoying Lobdell's story here. I'm in no way shape or form a Lobdell hater, but I'm not crazy about him either, yet he's certainly won me over on Superman.
Green Lantern #18
So Baz whipping out his handgun and just straight up shooting Sinestro may have been my favorite moment of the week, one of those laugh out loud moments, even though someone just got shot. Anyways... two more issues of "First Lantern" in here, and wouldn't you know, no First Lantern in here. Whatever, it was an interesting issue, really building up to Johns' exit, and you can tell things will get a tad bit crazy at the end... with Jordan planning to commit suicide and all. Szymon Kudranski drew this issue, and if there was one artist who I'd never think to draw this series, it'd be him. But the setting of the "dead world" or whatever you'd like to call it fit Kudranski perfectly. I'd like to see a comic by him that's not completely drowned in shadows though.
Bedlam continues to be an interesting little psychologic crime series with great art... which I just found out is coming to an end with Riley Rossmo leaving, but Chris Burnham assures me Ryan Browne, who will be taking over, will be great. Anyways, I like the fact that we see that even though "rehabilitated" Madder Red isn't as innocent as he'd like to portray, I expect next issue should illuminate that fact a bit more.
So Sara finally remembers hope, annnnnd... I thought it fell a bit flat in a way. I was really expecting Sara to join up with Tom Judge and go all ape shit on Jackie, but that's not really what happened. She did go ape shit, but it ended up with Jackie sort of "breaking" Sara, by revealing she killed Hope... which I forgot. The end of the Artifacts event was a bit ambiguous, so I guess that's why I forgot. (Meaning, it wasn't exactly clear what happened when everything went white.) What I will say is that Sara's new found memories and where it leaves the character mentally will be interesting in the long run. I hope that at some point in the future Sara can actually come across Hope again. That has to happen, right?
And I'm lost. I enjoyed these last three single issues with origins of some of the more obscure characters in this roster, but now that we're getting back to the main plot, I'm back to not knowing what the fuck is going on. That's not to say Hickman is bad or anything, he's just dense as fuck, and completely unaccessible to new readers like myself. All I'd like is a little exposition, but nothing in this title is connecting for me, and it feels like I'm reading a textbook at times. I think it's unfortunate, Avengers is obviously Marvel's flagship franchise, and having the book be so new reader unfriendly, thus in a way alienating, is definitely a misstep in my opinion. Again, I'm not speaking on the actual quality of the title, it certainly has its fans, but I'm willing to bet none of them were generally unfamiliar with the franchise to begin with.
Cable and X-Force #5
Let's get back to the fun titles I really enjoy! This book has it all... motorcycles! sex! robot vs. giant scorpion fights, I don't fucking know! But it's awesome! This book is just fun, every single issue. This was a sort of "lay low" issue, where Domino and Colossus... well, Domino hits that, because she was clearly the provoker in that case. Meanwhile Cable has a crazy future seizure, or whatever (and it seems based off of some Uncanny Avengers dialogue, his visions my be pretty important), and then for some reason I still can't really understand, yet don't care, Forge builds a robot, Nemisis grows a giant scorpion, and they fight while others take bets... all while being in Mexico. Yeah! This book is kind of crazy, but I kind of love every bit of it. Crazy, right? Not really! Because I like entertaining shit like this!
All New X-Men #8
So, Angel sort of freaks out (rightfully so), Kitty and Iceman make fun of Beast and Captain America, in a very amusing manor, and Jean runs shit... why would Jean have 60s hair though? I found that kind of weird. Yeah, in our world, that's where this cast has been pulled from, but that would mean that the present day cast would be reaching AARP benefits pretty soon in their time. I think I just generally find the past X-Men's looks to be generally distracting. I mean, it's the point, but it's just throwing me off a bit. Anyways, not a whole lot really happened in this issue, just those three interesting points I mentioned above. Still a good issue though.