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.
Hit the almost-magic number of 35 once again and though I have yet to repeat my personal best of 40, I think this was my best week regardless since I managed to read 31 singles and 4 graphic novels. That definitely counts as an achievement, yes?
My surprise hits for this week would be Tales of Honor #1 from Top Cow, Swamp Thing Annual #3 from DC, Inhuman #7, Death of Wolverine: Deadpool & Captain America #1 and Deathlok #1 all from Marvel. Those that count among this week’s top disappointments would be Conan the Avenger #7 from Dark Horse. Justice League United Annual #1 from DC. Others like Grimm Fairy Tales: Realm War #4 and Grimm Fairy Tales: Robyn Hood #3 from Zenescope, Wayward #3 from Image, The Flash Volume 2 from DC, and a bunch of others were as good as I expected them to be, probably better even.
The graphic novels for this week were Supergirl Volume 4 by Michael Alan Nelson and Diogenes Neves, The Flash Volume 2 by Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul, Krypton Returns by Various and Thanos: The Infinity Revelation by Jim Starlin.
With everything going on right now, I had doubts whether I’d be able to get through many comics this week but it seems that this was indeed the week where I surprised myself in a big way. Not only did I catch up on quite a few new titles, but I also managed to read two graphic novels this week, one of them at almost 300 pages no less!
The surprise hits of this week were Doctor Who: Eleventh Doctor #2 from Titan Comics, Judge Dredd: Anderson, Psi-Division #2 from IDW Publishing and Inhuman #5 from Marvel Comics. This week’s surprise flops were Caliban #6 from Avatar Press, Grim Tales of Terror #3 from Zenescope, and Superman Unchained #8 from DC Comics. Of the others, they were mostly great, and I loved that both G.I. Joe Volume 1 and Witchblade Volume 3 are among my absolute favourite graphic novel reads of the year!
This is the “Big” year for Spider-Man. In addition to Peter Parker coming back from the dead and sending Doc Ock to his just rewards, there’s an even going to happen soon in which all Spider-heroes from across time and space are going to unite against a common menace. We’ve already seen some inkling of this in Dan Slott’s The Amazing Spider-Man #1 earlier this year and with the launch of the new ongoing Spider-Man 2099, more is coming down the line. But before Spider-Verse kicks off for good, it seems that Marvel is getting things together with the launch of this week’s Edge of Spider-Verse #1.
This new mini-series seems intended to fill in some of the blanks for some of the alternate versions of Spider-Man that will be featured in Spider-Verse, such as the Gwen Stacy version of Spider-Woman or even this first issue’s hero, Spider-Man Noir. Set in an alternate reality New York of 1939, here we see Spider-Man go up against none other than Wilson Fisk the Kingpin and Mysterio. This is a very fast-paced story about friendship and betrayal, one that David Hine and Fabrice Sapolsky tell really well and that Richard Isanove draws really well, and he handles almost all the artwork himself!