Last month both Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel closed out on their first major arcs, establishing a great story and direction for both titles. Amazingly, both titles have found strong readership with their respective reboots, and of the two Ms. Marvel has been the most successful with the debut of teenager Kamala Khan, daughter of Pakistani immigrants. In spirit, both titles are strongly linked and I think it is great that they were both relaunched at the same time (roughly) and that the quality on both titles, especially Ms. Marvel, has been so high. That is extremely gratifying.
This week, in Captain Marvel #7 we see the beginning of a new arc as writer Kelly Sue DeConnick brings back Rocket of the Guardians of the Galaxy for some madcap adventures with Carol, Tic and the former’s cat Chewie. The cat is quite the star of this new arc it seems, and I had fun reading the new issue, though I thought that it was a bit too gratuitously silly and funny. The art however, with new artist Marcio Takara, was as good as it was with David Lopez in the last issues, so that helped balance things out. With Ms. Marvel #8, we see a new arc once again as the Inhuman Queen Medusa sends her trusted companion Lockjaw to keep an eye out for Kamala, following Wolverine’s tip to Captain Marvel about the young hero. It is a damn good new story arc here and Adrian Alphona is back again, so the art too is awesome.
Last week Charles Soule and Steve McNiven debuted their first issue of Death of Wolverine, and it was a pretty great issue. The word is out in the supervillain-verse that Wolverine is vulnerable like never before, having lost his crucial healing factor, and someone out there has declared open hunting season on him. Charles Soule’s first issue on the series told a really fast-paced tale that also featured some great character moments and Steve McNiven’s art was close to being perfect as well. I didn’t care about the entire mini-event before, but now I most certainly do.
Unlike the last issue, there is a lot that happens in Death of Wolverine #2. Previously, he learned that Viper had put a hit out on him, and so he decided to go to Madripoor to deal with her. Of course, he can’t exactly get a direct audience with her, so he guiles his way into her base, and that’s like one of the best parts of the entire issue! Charles has greatly improved on his writing with this issue and shows that he really gets Wolverine, which was very gratifying, not to mention that all aspects of the artwork were also much better this time, with a really great opening splash page.
Sometime ago, Wolverine ended up losing his healing factor. That was most certainly not good news. Not for Logan. Not for his closest friends, or the other friends and allies. Not for the world. For a good while now, the character has endured without his greatest ability, and various comics have pointed this out. Most recently, it was Ms. Marvel’s Kamala Khan who remarked on it when she teamed up with the most famous X-man ever to fight a humanoid cockatiel and its super-grown alligators in Jersey’s sewers. And when I heard that this week was going to start the much anticipated Death of Wolverine arc, I got excited.
Having just read the first issue, I’ll say that though not a lot happens here, Charles Soule still sets up an interesting tale of how Wolverine is dealing with this affliction and what some of his friends and enemies think as well. This is a mostly character-driven piece and has some typical Soule-weird moments, but in the end, I think I like where this is going. If there’s a brawler out there, it is Wolverine, always getting into the thick of it, and that’s the kind of character that Soule focuses on here. The art by Steve McNiven and Co. is also pretty much perfect here, complimenting the story very well.
Getting back into the groove of comics reading I might be, but I’m still struggling with getting around to graphic novels/trade paperback collections, and that’s something I really regret. Every month that pile gets higher and higher with no end in sight and it kind of depresses me. But there’s so much new material to read too!
Anyway, the surprise hits of this week were Cartoon Network: Super Secret Crisis War! #3 from IDW Publishing, Sundowners #1 from Dark Horse Comics, Wayward #1 from Image Comics and Star Spangled War Stories Featuring G.I.Zombie from DC Comics. The surprise flops of the week would be Smallville: Continuity #1 from DC and Star Trek: City On The Edge Of Forever #3 from IDW. After having read some of the previous issues in both, I was really surprised by how boring these were, and of course, Savage Hulk #3 was abysmal, but that was to be expected anyway. The others, well they were all a mix of good and bad, as usual.
Marvel’s Original Sin event is coming to a close imminently, with the final issue of the main event series landing tomorrow I believe. Or next week at the latest. This has been a most fun event, especially once you delve into many of the tie-ins and the crossovers that have resulted, such as the story arcs in Amazing Spider-Man and Daredevil, among others. Part of this event was the launch of the Thor & Loki: The Tenth Realm mini-series which saw Thor learn about his long-lost and believed-dead sister and then set out on a quest to bring her back. The first issue back in early July was a promising read, and I expected that to continue, for the title to get better.
Being on a holiday, I wasn’t able to review the previous two issues of the mini-series, but with the 4th issue landing this past week, I thought it was a good time to get down to it. What Jason Aaron and Al Ewing started in the first issue continued on in the second through fourth issues, with each providing a new and unexpected turn of events the likes of which I just couldn’t imagine. Whether it is Thor and Loki breaking down Odin’s realm-locks to the Tenth Realm, or Loki turning on Thor to side with the Angels of Heven, or Thor’s sister Angela beating him down or even more, this story has been one of the best “short” stories from Marvel I’ve read in a while. The artists also turned in a great effort, though I got confused between all the different pencillers put on the project.
After a very, very short arc set in space and featuring some truly madcap adventures, Silver Surfer and Dawn Greenwood returned to Earth so that Dawn could come back and Norrin could have a bit of a breather as well. But things turned out to be rather weird when strange things began happening at Dawn’s home, the Greenwood Inn, and when Dr. Strange and Hulk showed up as well. Dan Slott and Mike Allred have been afire with this new series kept getting better and better, and at such a young stage too. In many ways, I think this is exactly the kind of Silver Surfer comic I’ve been wanting forever, though I could do with something a bit more serious as well.
The best way to describe this series and even this issue is that it is all light-hearted fun at its core. Dan Slott weaves in a lot of fun jokes throughout the issue and he keeps things easy and chill despite the momentous events happening. We finally get to see just what it is that is going wrong at the Greenwood Inn and beyond, and see a fun team-up between Silver Surfer, Dawn, Dr. Strange and Hulk. The particular twist here was a good one, and with respect to the art, Mike and Laura Allred have delivered some of their best work with this issue.
Thankfully, I’m finally settling back into the groove with comics reading and, most importantly, comics reviewing, as I managed to review a fair bit of titles this week and even caught up with reviewing some previous titles that I’ve unfortunately had to neglect for one reason or another.
The surprise hits of this week were Cartoon Network: Super Secret Crisis War: Billy and Mandy #1 from IDW Publishing, Wolverine Annual #1 from Marvel Comics and Vampirella #3 from Marvel Comics. The surprise flop of the week would be Batman: Eternal #20 from DC where the title seems headed downwards just when it was getting once again, and The Wicked + The Divine #3 from Image where the title took a nosedive this week after a second issue that was really good. No graphic novels again sadly, though I hope to correct that that this week. I hope..
Being on holiday the last week of July and the first week of August meant that I missed out on quite a few comics and that even the next week after that was mostly trying to stay ahead of all the great comics coming out, which didn’t work out as well as I wanted it to since I missed some pretty big comics, such as last week’s Captain Marvel #6. With Captain Marvel being one of my favourite new books from Marvel, that had to be corrected soon as I realized my oversight and since Ms. Marvel #7 came out this week, I thought it would be fun to do a joint review for these two titles, which are linked together in far too many ways to count.
Captain Marvel #6 brings to a successful close the first arc of Kelly Sue DeConnick’s rebooted Captain Marvel. Last we were with Carol Danvers, she had decided to take on Json’s invasion fleet single-handed. She proved her heroism in that moment, and Kelly Sue set the stage for a really emotional and heroic ending. This time, we see how all of that plays out and how Carol does end up beating J’son at his own game. And the artwork is pretty good too, in keeping with the rest of the series.
Ms. Marvel #7 on the other hand is all about continuing the team-up of Kamala Khan and Wolverine as the two of them taken on The Inventor and his crazy meta-alligators. Wolverine was the first special guest-star on the series in the previous issue, in the flesh that is, and the pairing was a great idea because as Wilson said in an interview, Wolverine struggles without his healing factor while Kamala has it. In this issue, we see their pairing come to an end for the moment, though there are more avenues open now, with a great ending and the artwork by Jacob Wyatt and Ian Herring is even more gorgeous than before, though the final three pages are not so good.
In an effort to catch up, this is my second “Comics Picks For…” post today, and largely because I just want to keep track of my reading really. It is a real effort otherwise as my reading list is seriously outdated. Plus, I like to promote good properly and this is a great vehicle for that other than reviews. In this week, I didn’t really download any new comics so the list of comics read and the top picks are just what I read in that week, instead of including the new week’s releases as well.
The surprise hits of this week were Armor Hunters: Bloodshot #1 from Valiant Comics, The Wicked + The Divine #2 from Image COmics and Cartoon Network: Super Secret Crisis War: Johnny Bravo #1 from IDW Publishing. No surprise flops this week, just comics that didn’t work for me, like Star Wars: Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir #3. The other comics were all decent at the least and I even managed to read a trade collection this week, beginning the start of my big “Witchblade read” from Ron Marz’s epic run on the title.