There haven’t been any “Comics Picks of the Week” articles for a while, and the major reason for that is because I’ve just been too caught up with other stuff and I just can’t be… well bothered. It just takes too much out of my time to keep these titles going, especially when Wednesdays also see me trying to get through two TV shows and doing reviews for them. Though, that situation has kind of abated now.
Anyway, this week’s surprise hits were Batman: Arkham Knight #2 and Gotham Central Book 1 from DC. It was a relatively small week for me since I didn’t read all that many new titles and most of those were middling. Ongoing greats were Django/Zorro #4, John Carter: Warlord of Mars #4, Fantastic Four #643 , Inhuman #12, Aquaman #39 , Catwoman #39 , and He-Man: The Eternity War #3 among others .
Marvel’s Avengers & X-Men: AXIS event has been a right headache for me. The whole “hero morality-inversion” really messed things up for a lot of characters, and none more so than Queen Medusa of New Attilan, the leader of the Inhumans and NuHumans. She became war-like and aggressive, deliberately courting disaster from the world powers while her people suffered and it was the only thing in Charles Soule’s recent issues that I didn’t like, the rest of the story and the art being pretty high on my list.
Last week’s Inhuman #11 brings an end to the whole inversion thing and it feels like such a letdown since for Medusa things are over in a snap and she’s back to her old self. Which just makes the whole inversion thing for her seem really contrived and pointless in the end. Thankfully, the arc with Reader and Xiaoyi was given the focus this time and ended up being really well done. And of course, Ryan Stegman and Richard Isanove’s art continued being great, so that was something to look forward as well.
The last week of 2014 and I hit my Magic 40 number. That pleases me immensely. I was hoping I’d be able to make it to this number, and I did, especially with 2 graphic novels in the mix a well!
For this final week of 2014, the surprise hits were: Jungle Book: Fall Of The Wild #1 from Zenescope and Transformers: Drift: Empire of Stone #2 from IDW Publishing. The disappointing comics of the week were Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy #7 from Marvel and Secret Origins #8 from DC. The regular greats like Aquaman, Catwoman, Sensation Comics, Secret Avengers, Godzilla: Cataclysm and others struck once again in the final tally.
The graphic novels for this week were Sunstone by Stjepan Sejic and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Volume 3 by Dan Abnett, Pop Mhan, Mark Roberts, Deron Bennett and Stjepan Sejic.
The recent Avengers & X-Men: AXIS event has ended up changing things for a lot of heroes and villains alike. Their personalities have essentially been inverted in that the heroes have gotten megalomaniacal and ruthless while the villains have become more aware of the wrongs they’ve done and of their social responsibilities even. Where that comes into play for Inhuman is that Queen Medusa has been affected as well, and she comes back to New Attilan with plans for invading Manhattan and showing the world leaders that the Inhumans are their superiors in every way and are not to be trifled with. Not a good thing for anybody who is going to be involved.
Inhuman #10, which came out in the previous week, saw some major things happening. For one, Medusa took her… grievances to the United Nations in a public show of force and tangled with Spider-Man there. It was a pretty fantastic showdown by all accounts, and made me realize that if Charles Soule gets to writing a Spidey comic, I’d definitely be first in line to get the thing. And then there’s the separate narrative with Reader and Xiaoyi in Italy where the former discovers how he has been played by the people at Ennilux and decides to be the hero for real after all.
A third straight week this time without me hitting my magic 40 number, which I really regret since a ton of comics have been coming out these last two weeks, but no matter.
Anyway, My top picks for the surprise hits of the week would be Battlestar Galactica: The Death of Apollo #1 from Dynamite Entertainment, Dredd Uprise #1 from 200AD, and Swamp Thing #35-37 from DC Comics. The most disappointing comics of this week were Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #1 and Hulk #9 from Marvel Comics. Comics which continued on with a good run yet again were Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone #3 , Aliens: Fire and Stone #3, Grimm Fairy Tales: Realm War #5 , Death of Wolverine: The Weapon X Program #3, Inhuman #9, Gotham Academy #3 and Vampirella v2 #7 among others.
No graphic novels this past week unfortunately.
The recent issues of Inhuman have focused on exploring the fate of the Inhumans’ missing King, Black Bolt, and his brother Maximus. This has been one of the biggest mysteries of the Marvel universe in the wake of last year’s Infinity event and the last two issues have done much to enlighten readers about where these two have been and what indeed they have been up to in that time. But, we have also seen how Medusa continues to shepherd her people through the changes besetting them at present, and how they can all move forward from their experiences.
In this week’s Inhuman #9 however, we see some interesting, and not so good, things happening. For one, the series is now caught up in the Avengers & X-Men: AXIS event, an even that I’ve given up on after reading 2 issues since it seems far too continuity-ridden and also quite confusing. Nevertheless, the Inhumans’ queen Medusa was a part of this event and after a particular moment, she has come out with a very different mindset that seems alien to her previous attitude towards everything. The issue is interesting enough, but it lacked the punch of previous issues, though Ryan Stegman’s art is still good, for the most part.
No “Magic 40” this week since I wasn’t able to get around to a lot of the comics I wanted to get through this week, largely because I am traveling and in India for a cousin’s marriage. These things always take up a lot of time. I haven’t even had a chance to work on my NaNo novel these past two days!
Anyway, My top picks for the surprise hits of the week would be Batman ’66: The Lost Episode #1 and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Volume 2 from DC Comics. The most disappointing comics of this week were Amazing Spider-Man #10 and Spider-Woman #1 from Marvel Comics. Other than that, the regularly great titles like Black Widow, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 , Future’s End, Predator: Fire and Stone and Witchblade all proved to be immensely fun.
The graphic novels for this week were Aphrodite IX v2 Volume 2 by Matt Hawkins, Stjepan Sejic and Troy Peteri, and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Volume 2 by Dan Abnett, Rafael Kayanan, Kathryn Layno, Deron Bennett, Yildiray Cinar, Randy Mayor, Michael S. O’Hare, Frazer Irving, Pop Mhan, Tom Derenick, Tony Avina, Ken Lashley and Ryan Sook.
Last week I started off a new feature on the blog, Fast-Shot Comics Reviews, in which I will be reviewing some of my comics read from that week that I wasn’t able to get to in terms of reviews. And these can be comics I liked or comics I hated or anywhere in between really. Last week I did six comics, all of them among my top picks for the week, and it was a pretty fun experience, trying to reduce my usual 700+ words reviews into something like half that number. Quite challenging too since I usually write so much more.
The picks for this week are: Grimm Fairy Tales #104, Grimm Fairy Tales 2014 Holiday Edition, Death of Wolverine: The Weapon X Program #2, Inhuman #8, Storm #5, and Wonder Woman #36. The picks are a bit heavy on the Big Two this week, owing to how much I read from them, and also since most of my reading was confined to them only this week. An interesting bunch certainly and there are quite a few really good books in here, though not all are what I’d call “Pick of the Week” material, even though they skirt the line.
Marvel’s Inhuman has a title that comes with a lot of baggage. Initially it was to be a part of a new mini-event resulting from the end of last year’s Infinity. But the creative differences between writer Matt Fraction and Marvel Editorial meant that Inhumanity didn’t really go anywhere and when Inhuman finally was released as an ongoing with writer Charles Soule at the helm, there were several delays that soured my experience. It didn’t help that the first arc involving Lash was really awkward at times, both art and story, though there was indeed some promise and only recently has the title really improved.
With the end of the arc involving the Inhuman villain Lash, we launched into a new arc involving an old foe of Black Bolt and Medusa, the Unspoken. Things have been pretty damn intense for a while, but everything has centered around Medusa rebuilding what her people have lost. New Attilan is now home to the surviving Inhumans as well as the NuHumans who have come about thanks to Black Bolt releasing the Terrigen Mists on the world. Charles Soule’s writing has gotten steadily better, and even the art has been an upshot of late since Ryan Stegman stepped in for Joe Madureira. But the burning question remains: what happened to Black Bolt?