Saturday, December 20, 2014

Stack Rundown, 12/20/2014

T'was the week before Christmas, and... Grant Morrison released two books to totally fuck your mind, broooooooo. That's how that one goes, right?

The Multiversity: Thunderworld #1

Hey look, it’s probably the last time Captain Marvel Shazam will ever be referred to as Captain Marvel again. Sorry for all those purists out there. So, what does Multiversity follow the mind-fuck of Pax Americana up with? A STORY FOR THE KIDS! Well, not really… although, I guess it could be something of the sort… I’m just being a sarcastic dick when I say it was for the kids. But basically, Morrison re-teams with Cameron Stewart to deliver what was probably one of the more light-hearted and fun oriented issue of Multiversity with Thunderworld, staring the Marvel family in an adventure that echoes a more wholesome take on super heroes, previlent many decades ago. This was definitely a nice change of pace, being a whole lot more straight forward (for Morrison’s work) than Pax Americana, but like Pax Americana, I’m starting to lose the connections between these recent issues and the story of Multiversity as a whole. These last two issues felt really stand-alone, even for issues that are considered readable as stand-alone stories. I feel like once everything comes back around in The Multiversity #2, I’m in for a big “OOOOOH” moment, but right now I’m just scratching my head.

Justice League #37

The timing for this arc (The Amazo Virus) and Endgame over in Batman seems to be pretty poorly timed due to pure coincidence… Then All-New Captain America’s got some potential contagion storyline and man… I guess this is what you get when Ebola is trendy with the kids. I have a hard time getting into the actual virus aspect of the storyline, because I feel like it’s just going to end and not matter, because the Darkseid war or whatever is going to happen and who cares about a virus? The big element of this story that seems like it’s going to mean something is whatever secret Lex is hiding, so I guess I’m interested in that? But I mean, ending an issue on “oh no I’m Batman and I’m infected” just left me going “Yeah, okay, uh-huh… you’ll get better.” 

All-New Captain America #2

While I’m still pretty lukewarm on Axis, this second issue of All-New Cap is exactly what I love about Rick Remender’s regular Marvel work, as it uses continuity to build a story that feels as if it could be an even in itself. Uncanny Avengers in it’s entirety was a better “event” feel book than Axis has been, hands down, and it seems like that’s what Remender is setting up here. Using the whole Inhuman bomb thing from… Infinity? It was Infinity, right? Well, yeah, okay, using THAT, we’ve got Hydra with an easy way to decimate the human population, which is a big threat by itself, but then we get the revelation that they’ve already infiltrated everyone from the Avengers to the X-Men. It’s issue #2, and the stakes already feel really high, and this is exactly what I needed after a first issue that left me feeling “It was good, but what’s the hook?” If this continues the feel of Uncanny Avengers being its own event, then consider me happy. Also, can we just start a hashtag for that type of ending? Like “Sorry Ian, you just got #Remender’d."

Avengers & X-Men: Axis #8

I don’t know what it is with this series, but the first 2/3s of it were just sort of a let down for me, everything felt like drawn out “what’s the point?” set up, nothing really happened other than everyone either turning into total assholes, or turning into somewhat good people… but now that everyone’s just punching each other, I’m just like “Yeah, this is okay.” Go figure… I’m an easy date. Ultimately I think the problem here is that most of the actual story of this event happened in the tie-ins, 90% of which I don’t read. There’s hardly been any genuine character moments within this series itself, in terms of the effects of the inversion, and that’s just sort of problematic, because we’re at the final issue coming next week, and while I’m enjoying people hitting each other, I’ve still got no fucking clue what the endgame to all of this is other than “I guess it sets up the new Uncanny Avengers book?” but outside of that, will this have any sort of lasting effect on the Marvel U other than Tony Stark still being an asshole?

Wytches #3

Hey, Wytches is still really good book that uses the anxieties Scott Snyder  has put into some of his Batman work in a much more personal way which comes off as more authentic when not wrapped in a bat-shaped bow. Surprise! This was that issue where the characters start to learn that there’s some crazy shit going on with the Wytches, plagues, some weird crippled lady and her evil boob… or something… Not making any of this up! Still creepy as shit, and remains one of my top of the pile reads each month. I am curious to see how this story is going to expand, both within the Rooks family and outside of it, as I seem to remember Snyder saying that future arcs of the series won’t necessarily focus on the first characters we meet, I guess similar to the way American Vampire functions. I’m curious to see if we’ve gotten any hints as to who or what else the book could focus on in the future, because right now it doesn’t seem like it, but I may just be looking a bit too far ahead in the future.

Zero #13

Yeah, I think I’m out on this book. While this issue did a tie-back all the way to the first issue of the series, I found myself feeling rather indifferent when I should be more invested. I don’t know, after another issue read in what was probably under three minutes, I’ve just lost all feelings of investment towards the series. This may be a book I come back to in order to read in collection (because hey, that’d take ten minutes) but as of now… yeah, I’m done. I will say there was some pretty spectacular violence in this issue, I’ll give it that much.

The Wicked + The Divine #6

Second arc time! And well, it’s the beginning of a new story, so I don’t know… don’t have a whole lot to say. I guess we’re going to be dealing with Laura finding some sort of internet fame with… youth culture… and pewdiepie? Fuck man, I don’t know. Hashtags? What this issue does is give us a deep throat type reveal that there’s something going on in the Pantheon of “gods” which means there’s something bigger to this book as a whole, which is what I was waiting for as I was sort of on the edge with the first few issues. Ever since this book has sort of moved past the set up, I’ve enjoyed it quite a bit more, as it’s just delivering a clear story with a clear point of interest. While I wouldn’t say this is my favorite Image book, it’s definitely enjoyable and I’m very curious to see where this second arc goes.

Annihilator #4

Multiversity is getting all the Morrison hype lately, but I can’t recommend this series enough, it’s just so weird and out there, anyone who likes Morrison’s work will enjoy this series as well… and the issues usually come out on the same day as Multiversity, so it’s like the greatest/worst thing to happen to your brain. This issue was a little more straight forward than the previous two, where we learn a lot about Ray and how he’s a pretty terrible pice of shit in more ways than one… okay, in more ways than let’s say, four. Though he’s a piece of shit, the eccentric way Morrison writes him (and Nomax) is really entertaining. I’m still a little “whuuuuu?” towards the “flashbacks” of sorts, or the story that Ray is writing for Nomax, but I figure it’s going to be one of those things where once everything is said and done, there’s going to be all sorts of thematic ties between the real world story and the “script.” …or who knows, it could be a total mindfuck and not make sense to a mortal like myself. MORRISON! 


  1. To be perfectly honest, I'm reading the tie-ins to Avengers & X-Men: Axis... they are not helping with making Axis easier to understand at all. They just open up more plotholes all over the place! Trust me, you are not missing much.

  2. Re: Multiversity, I too am torn trying to decide if the recent issues are just excuses for Morrison to tell a few one-off "elseworlds" stories or if they will actually tie back in by the end of the series. Either way, doesn't really matter to me, because hey, it's Morrison giving us his take on classic characters/eras.

    Re: Wytches, I feel the same in my level of excitement for the series. Crippled Bald Boob Lady really creeped the hell out of me, so congrats Scott Snyder!

    Re: AXIS, I feel bad for Remender. He's at his best when he's not handcuffed by editorial mandates or slavish adherence to ongoing canon. Much the saw way Aaron suffered in Original Sin. Candidly, it's why I think most Marvel events are meaningless and boring. Although, I'm hopeful Hickman's Secret Wars will be the exception, since he's basically the architect of the Marvel U right now. Anyway, bring on the new Uncanny Avengers, which I'm guessing has a chance to be Uncanny X-Force 2.0!

    1. Yeah, I'm 0 for 2 on Marvel events now. Starting to make me appreciate the pre-New 52 DC events, where some truly crazy shit happened, and actually had a lasting effect in a lot of cases. But then Forever Evil happened... and that was just kind of... bleeeeeeh

  3. Justice League was especially lame considering Batman succumbed to something like a disease in Batman & Robin this week.
    Wicked + Divine didn't exactly inspire confidence that this arc won't be more of the same pretentiousness.