Saturday, May 24, 2014

Stack Rundown, 05/24/2014

Saga came back! Then promptly punched me in the gut. Then I was "well, let's see what Invincible is up to?" Then that book crossed some fucking lines and made me pretty uncomfortable for the second month in a row. It was a cheery week for comics. Also, Forever Evil?

Forever Evil #7

What’s there really left to say about this book? What pretty much everyone expected to happen happened. Dick Grayson didn’t die, Lex Luthor saves the day, and surprise, it was the Anti-Monitor! A problem I have with the whole thing is how derivative it seems from other Crisis setup stories. I thought this was the NEW 52? This is just the “Sort of different but same basic story 52.” Kind of weak. All the interesting stuff from this comes in the form of Lex Luthor, who is clearly Johns’ new pet character, but we’ll discuss that in a bit. Two final things… Them not addressing where Vibe or Element Woman went, especially since they just didn’t appear out of Firestorm just seems like someone forgot to draw them and they came up with some lazy excuse (especially when Element Woman is probably in the new Doom Patrol). And I thought Batman was the only person who was supposed to know that Dick would be alive? By my count, the whole fucking Justice League knows, as does Lex Luthor and Catwoman. Whoops? So is Batman just being a super dick and not telling the Bat family?

Justice League #30

Oh yeah, in Forever Evil, Lex figures out Bruce is Batman! You know that whole thing with “hey wait a minute, wouldn’t someone connect the dots between Nightwing, Batman, Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne?” Well, surprise… Lex did. I actually find this pretty interesting going forward, because Lex’s views on Batman seem to be pretty complicated. Obviously, I feel like he’ll use it to blackmail himself onto the League, but you sort of get the idea that there’s some respect for Bruce there. I’m curious to see how it all plays out, even though there’s some clear favoritism for Luthor going on, and you know everything is going to be heavily weighted towards his end for awhile. I’m also curious to see how Jessica Cruz, the Doom Patrol, a Aquaman crossover and the impending threat of the Anti-Monitor is handled… yeah, a lot on this book’s plate.

Wonder Woman #31

Olympians sure are dropping like flies, aren’t they? Apollo, Hades, Hermes, one right after the other it seems. Clearly, we’re getting towards the end of this run, we all know that, and as this series has always been, it remains to be of a high quality. I’ve got to say, the god gore has been ramped the fuck up these past couple of issues, like Old Testament Greek Gods sort of stuff. I know that doesn’t make sense, but like the christian bible, there’s all the nice stuff in Greek myth that’s appropriate for Disney movies and what not, then there’s the fucked up OLD shit… like Cronos being fed his son, and having the chewed up bits be taken out of the hole in his empty stomach, only to be fed directly back to him… Brian Azzarello, ladies and gentlemen! Pretty brutal stuff, but definitely fitting for what we’ve seen from The First Born so far.

Futures End #3

I’ll tell you what, the art on this series is really starting to bum me out. It’s just very subpar and unremarkable (once again, excluding Zircher). I mean, these past two issues just look sort of dated, if you know what I mean. Just not a very flashy book, if I’m being honest. Other than that, I’m also starting to lose interest already, especially as it’s becoming more clear that the series really is just a catch all for characters who had their books cancelled. I’m ready to start getting to the meat, tell me why this series should exist and why it should matter in the long run, other than just hinting at there being a war and Earth 2 heroes coming to the regular earth. Here’s it’s just Frankenstein is in Canada, still bitching about SHADE, one half of Firestorm is being a dick, Grifter? Tim Drake faked his death. Woohoo… I just feel like this series should have started on a bigger hook than Green Arrow being killed under very vague and vanilla circumstances, because so far, it’s just “Green Arrow died… yep.”

American Vampire: Second Cycle #3

This book has really been spectacular from #1, hasn’t missed a beat with the hiatus, though I think the hiatus may have hurt it in terms of recognition, especially since there was a pretty large creator owned surge while it was away, but oh well. Point is, for American Vampire fans, this book has been delivering since page one. The threat level is already so high for this book, you’d almost believe that we’re super close to the end, especially when the major bad guy is basically the fucking devil. Sort of hard to figure out where the book will go from here with such a large threat, but then again, there’s also Dracula’s corpse somewhere out in this world, so I guess that’s going to have to come back and bite someone in the ass at one point… GET IT!? Bite!? …because vampires. Shut up.

Original Sin #2

Did I miss something with The Thing between last issue and this one? Seems like I did… Anyways, I don’t have much of an opinion on this issue in particular, but I am very curious to see what comes next now that the secrets of the Marvel U have been “unleashed.” I want to see how people actually learn of them too, but yeah, I’m curious to see what comes of this issue, but don’t really have much to say about what actually happened. Kind of weird to see Emma Frost and Magik just helping out. I think Emma isn’t exactly with SHIELD/Avengers, but Magik sure was… and isn’t she wanted “terrorist” in connect with Cyclops? Meanwhile she’s just hanging out, casually helping everyone teleport civilians to safety. I don’t know, not a big deal really, just one of those dumb discrepancies. 

Uncanny X-Men #21

This book has picked up quite a bit with this SHIELD arc. What once was a very drawn out string of one and done issues that didn’t seem to go anywhere (for now), things have been happening rather quickly these past couple of issues. You’ve got Mystique trying to make her move against Cyclops, whoever that guy is who hijacked Shield, and apparently knows Beast, Magneto has woken up Dazzler, something’s wrong with Cyclops and Magik… Lots of stuff is happening! And it’s really enjoyable so far. This book has been so decompressed, so the constant movement and progression is really all that was needed for me to get back into it. If I could change one thing about this, I wish characters like Emma were directly involved, rather than just having a scene of her going “I’m worried.” But who knows, maybe she’ll get something to do next issue. But so far, so good on this SHIELD arc, that’s for sure.

Wolverine and the X-Men #4

I think I’m out on this book. Gave it a fair shot, but it hasn’t really grabbed me. Reading through these four issues, I just feel like there’s something missing or if it’s not that, then it’s that the story just feels sort of loose. It’s hard to describe how I really feel, but the bottom line is I just don’t feel like continuing to read the title. All the Pheonix stuff just isn’t grabbing me. Maybe it’s that I just sort of don’t care about the young X kids, none of them really interest me past being either supporting or background characters… Then there’s the whole consistency issues with Fantomex, that’s a big “wtf is going on here?” Sort of like Lobo in DC, just no one wants to address the discrepancies. Also, got that feeling that placing long term stock in this book is a bad idea, with Wolverine dying and what not.

Thor: God of Thunder #22

So, if you’ve read my thoughts on this arc so far, you know that I enjoy this story a whole lot, but don’t really get what the point of the future story with Galactus is, because nothing really seems to tie back to what’s happening with the Roxxon corp in the present day… Well, I still don’t, but based on those last couple of pages with King Thor going to get the God Butcher’s weapon… which is awesome! Don’t know what this has to do with Roxxon and Thor’s new SHIELD girlfriend (not really though), but fuck it, I liked the God Butcher arc, so I’m down with this King Thor and Galactus story now! I also liked seeing one of Thor’s granddaughters with Jarnbjorn, which basically just had me going “Uncanny Avengers!” when I saw her wielding it… because… yeah… that axe sort of set it all off. Great book!

Invincible #111

Hey, remember when I said that things were going to get way worse after Mark’s rape last issue? Yeeeeeeeah, they did, and in my opinion, what happens in this issue made me way more uncomfortable than last. After reading this one, I really started to question if Kirkman was starting to pass the line into poor taste… but clearly, there is no line for him. So, I’ll stop being vague and rip the bandaid right off, Atom Eve, who is very far into her pregnancy, gets fucking mutilated. Leg ripped right off. It’s fucking horrifying. And I get that this is what Invincible does, I’ve read every single issue, but this might be the worst thing it’s ever done. I’m just sitting here going “do we REALLY need to get the 8 or 9 month pregnant woman involved in this gore fetish?” I mean, at this point, things are only a few steps removed from Crossed when you think about it. In the end… Eve will probably survive (fucking knock on wood) but ALSO, let’s not forget that one, she fell directly on her stomach, and two, she used her powers, so if the baby survives, which is not guaranteed, chances are, there’s going to be some serious fucking damage/drama with that. Invincible is still an enthralling read, but it’s definitely crossed a line with me, and for a book that’s always had a bunch of drama in the main and subplots, things are happening so quickly, I just hope it doesn’t get completely saturated with extra drama just because.

Saga #19

SAAAAAAGAAAAAAA IS BACK AND IT’S SOOOO-OOH FUCK! That last page. I was so excited to have Saga come back into my life, then Hazel just drops a fucking bomb on me, and my heart sinks. Just dammit, god dammit. Of course things weren’t going to be perfect from here on out, but did we really have to go down that route!? Saga is back! I don’t want to be sad! I want to be happy! SHIT! I only care this much because the book is that good and… FUUUUUUCK. Knowing what’s on the horizon after that last page, I’m just going to have this impending sense of doom as I start to notice things slowly fall apart. But who knows, maybe things will turn out okay and this is a fake out? Yes, I’ll just keep telling myself that while I cry myself to sleep every night.

Zero #8

This book is still pretty weird. While I enjoy it, there are still just so many gaps and missing information as to what’s happening within The Agency, it’s just sort of hard to follow sometimes. Take for instance the end of last issue, Zero kills his handler, and in this issue, he deals with the assassination attempt set up by his handler to take out the Agency director (who he was having an affair with). I get all that, but the “why” of it is where I’m coming up with blanks. I decided to go back through the supplementary material in the back of some issues, usually in the form of post mission interrogations, and see if they filled in some gaps… I had little luck with that, but I still have lots of questions. Apparently there’s a mole in the Agency? Maybe Roman was that guy? Edward killed him because…. Yeah, I don’t know. Despite the lack of information on some of these plots, I’m not getting frustrated in the way I would with other books that are very low on answers. True, I keep asking questions, but I feel that little by little, the answers are coming, and I have faith that I’ll learn more soon… unlike titles such as Sex, which just seem preoccupied with being as vague as possible without accomplishing anything.

Velvet #5

Well, it certainly took it’s time, but you can’t argue with the end results of this book… It just looks so damn good! Both Epting and Brietweiser do phenomenal work on this title. So we get a whole bunch of backstory for Velvet this issue, split between her time in training and when she was married to a fellow agent. Of course, things go wrong, because of you know, the need for drama and what not, and here we are, what Velvet thought was pretty deep already goes WAY deeper. I had a little trouble with this issue thought, mainly with the flashbacks concerning her and the husband. Ultimately, I understand that they both thought the other was a double agent (despite neither of them being one) so that’s where shit goes bad, but I’m completely confused to why they both thought that. Velvet obviously sees Mockingbird with some Professor, but I have no idea who that guy is and why Velvet would think her husband was a double agent because of it. Typing it out now, maybe that guy was a known enemy, so seeing her husband hand something off to him could make her think he was a double agent? But that doesn’t explain why he thought she was when they came to confrontation, and that confrontation comes real quick. There’s also a scene where Velvet makes a call to a hospital to check on her husband, and I was just rather unclear where that scene actually took place. I don’t know, maybe these answers will come later, maybe I could figure it out if I actually had someone to discuss this with, but nevertheless, very good issue, still beautiful as ever. Hopefully the book can come out a bit more regularly in the next arc.


  1. If you're referring to the guy with the hooded man, that's not the thing, that's the main antagonist of Morrison's Marvel Boy run.

  2. Re: Forever Evil / Justice League: You're spot-on about how derivative everything in the "New" 52 has felt. I understand the need to retain elements of what made the DCU the DCU, but just shuffling characters and identities around a little then retelling the same basic story is a bit unoriginal. I've always appreciated Johns' devotion to DC's history, but it's become a bit too, uh, literal? Also, Lex Luthor being the only one to put the Grayson + Batman = Bruce Wayne puzzle together is one of those "because comics!" moments. Just go with it. And yes, it seems Batman is going to be a dick and keep Dick's non-death a secret! But that's why we love Batman. He's a paranoid jerk sometimes!

    Re: Saga: I love the first page. I feel like BKV and Staples are just straight trolling now. "Oh, you didn't like the issue where Prince Robot had some explicit thoughts? Well, here's a full-page spread (pun intended) for you! Enjoy!"