Well, at the time of putting this post together, I don't happen to be in the best of moods, so I'm just going to copy/paste everything into this thing and be on my way, see you next week!
Secret Six #1
So, Gail Simone! I ended up really just not liking her Batgirl run, and had felt that her writing had just shifted towards appeasing her die-hard fans who find her impervious to criticism. Ultimately, I found her New 52 work entirely predictable and boring, amongst other thing. So, naturally, being a fan of Secret Six of old, I was a little worried going in with this new volume. So what’d I think? Well, to avoid any sense of suspense, I’ll say straight up that I enjoyed it. It was a good start, but not without its faults. I think the initial set up was a bit lacking, as there was zero context of what was actually going on, but while I feel like there wasn’t enough info, it was also just the first issue, which can be hard to do given only 20 pages. What was there, was the character work, or at least the foundation to build off of. A claustrophobic Catman is clearly the star, and locking him in the room with the rest of the freaks definitely started to ignite the twisted interactions between the cast that I would expect. Art was a bit of a mixed bag as well. I like Ken Lashley’s work, but he adapted a different style from his covers, with less defined line work. There’s a lot of washes, tones, varying strokes, and while ultimately I think the book looks good, some pages can look cluttered. Lashley does have a good sense of energy in motion, demonstrated well in the bar scene, so that’s something to look forward to. I had a much bigger problem with the book’s visuals towards the later pages, where a second inker comes into play, and I’ve got to say those pages look really rough. The second to last page in particular just looks bad. But, after writing this, I happen to find out the guy didn’t have much time and was working of lose layouts, so fuck, I feel bad now? I just hope the visuals get ironed out, because the lack of seeing books sort of just patch together issues like this month after month is a big pet peeve of mine.
Swamp Thing #37
So that thing that was teased at the end of the last issue happened this issue! …That’s Lady Weeds becoming the new Avatar of The Metal, or The Rithim, whatever it’s called now. Man, talk about a brutal, gory scene. I know DC tends to not pay attention and adjust their Age Ratings from issue to issue, but this issue definitely earned that T+ for all the full-on eye gauging and impaling that took place during that transformation… then there was the whole decomposing corpse thing at the end… Happy Holidays! You can tell Soule is amping up for his finale on the book, with all the kingdoms coming to power, taking side, so on and so on… It’s gonna suck to see him leave, because I feel like it’s safe to admit that I’ve enjoyed this run more than Snyder, minus the lack of Abby throughout (which just got fixed.) Speaking of missing Avatars, how has the Red not come into play in this story yet?
I’ve been hesitant on Axis, and thus this book’s tie-in, and I’m still on the edge with everything involved. Still am, so I mean… I don’t know what to say. If anything, this issue seemed to set some stuff up when they went into Wade’s mind, and apparently there’s a missing memory… But that means there’s apparently another missing memory AGAIN. Seems like a rehash of what has already come before, but who knows, maybe it’s a swerve. Then there’s the marital problems between Wade and his demon wife, and since this is mainstream comics, let’s just get the divorce papers filed now, we all know how this works!
Three issues in, and this is still a cool story, with some great art, but I’m starting to get confused. So we got Mickey, who was apparently supposed to be some hero of destiny, but accepted the evil guy he was supposed to defeat as his lord and savior or some shit, and is now back in his world, hunting down “evil” people. So, alright… But what I don’t get is when he’s telling this story to his family, why is he painting Lore, the real evil guy, who is possessing him or something, as an evil guy? What do they know? Why not just be like “Lore’s great! He’s a super rad dude, and I’m hunting bad guys for him.” Then the family could have had the reveal eventually that goes “NO WE’RE THE GOOD GUYS, MICKEY IS BAD OOOOOH NOOOOO.” I don’t know, I feel like that could have worked, but with how the twist was handled in the first issue, I guess it works fine either way… Still don’t know why Mickey has to pretend so hard though, his family doesn’t know the difference regardless.
These last two issues have really had the series start to click with me, and I feel as if Greg Tocchini has really nailed it in those issues as well. What’s different? Well, I think the big picture sort of got set aside for the moment, and these last two issues really focused in on a much more personal conflict with Stel and Marik making their way into the pirate (I guess that’s the best word for them) compound, and everything just going to shit from there. I was a bit surprised to have a four month time gap with this issue, but I guess it’s one of those stories where you can have these large passages of time without really skipping a beat. All that said, despite the personal story (and a very Rick Remender ending) I am still a little concerned about the bigger story at hand, as the whole premise seems a bit lofty. Maybe it’ll be one of those books where that big goal is always there, but that’s not the point of the individual stories themselves. If the book continues on the path it’s been on these last few issues, where the big picture may not be the point, then I’d probably be pretty happy with it.
So, this was actually a pretty good issue, but something distracted me throughout. Apparently there’s something going on with some guy in this town and bees that may have to do with all the murders and what not… Then I got to thinking, and once I was thinking, I remembered that lovely remake of the Wicker Man starring Nicolas Cage… YouTube “Best Scenes From The Wicker Man.” You’re welcome. Also, I’ve read/watched enough of these stories to know once a crazy judgmental priest shows up, he’s probably been killing some people.
This entire arc was spent with me wondering who they could kill off. “They can’t kill Olive, that’d seem to mean after Toni… Mike is shown in the issue #60 flash forward, so John? Hmm… HMM.” Then you read this issue, and while many people are maimed, no one seems to be flat out dead… THEN THE LAST FUCKING TWO PAGES HAPPEN AND WHAT THE FUCK!?! Talk about just a shocker… the last character you’d expect to die due to the fucked up attempt to get The Collector, and bam, there you go. God damn. Genuinely one of those issues where I did not expect that ending. God damn it Layamn! God damn it!!!