No “Magic 40” in the first week of the new year, but the second week definitely sees me hit that landmark number, and with graphic novels mixed in to boot!
This week’s surprise hits were Angry Birds/Transformers #2 from IDW Publishing, Ares & Aphrodite #1 from Oni Press, Operation: S.I.N. #1 and Wolverines #1 from Marvel. The disappointments of the week were Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #2 and Ant-Man #1 from Marvel and Future’s End #36 from DC. Ongoing greats like Swamp Thing #38 and Detective Comics #38 from DC, Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier #3 from Marvel, and John Carter: Warlord of Mars #3 from Dynamite to name a few were just as I expected them to be: superb.
As mentioned above, the graphic novels for the week were Legends of Red Sonja Volume 1 from Dynamite and Quest: Age of Darkness Volume 1 from Zenescope. The former was a fun book where Gail Simone brought together several different female prose writers, paired them with different artists, and wrote a grand, sweeping Red Sonja story. The latter was part of the publisher’s Age of Darkness event and was more a prequel story.
Following on the heels of the landmark Death of Wolverine mini-series, Marvel Comics and writer Charles Soule dived straight into its major spin-off, The Weapon X Program, which takes a look at what happens with Abraham Cornelius’ various experiments at Paradise facility in the wake of Wolverine’s death. Released out in the wilds without any explanation or context, the five experimental survivors of Paradise have to discover their real identities and what was done to them. There’s also some internal dissension between all of them, and that’s what really kicks things up a notch here.
In The Weapon X Program #4 and #5 some really major things happen. First of all, we learn just who is talking to Sharp in his mind and it is a major surprise. At least, it was for me. And then, we learn more and more about what was done to these characters, and why exactly they are important to the people who funded Abraham Cornelius for his latest project, the objective of which was to create something much, much deadlier than Logan himself. With a really great story and some pretty decent art, I think this series definitely ends on a fine note.
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.
Marvel’s Death of Wolverine: Weapon X Program series has been kicking along just fine since it debuted almost a month ago. Being a mini-series that explores the aftermath of Death of Wolverine that saw the titular character die after facing one of his worst enemies, his creator in fact, there have been some pretty big revelations so far, not the least of which is that at least one of the people on the “team” is an unrepentant serial killer and that another is perhaps hosting a slice of Wolverine’s consciousness in himself, creating some really tense moments.
This week’s Weapon X Program #3 continues the tale of the ad-hoc group as it tries to locate Victor Creed aka Sabretooth, another one of Logan’s greatest enemies, in an effort to get some answers as to what the hell happened to them all in the Weapon X Facility and why it happened. Charles Soule continues to keep some mysteries about the group close to his chest, while also introducing some new ones and the art by Salvador Larroca continues to be pretty damn good with some great action this time around.
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 has launched a ton of new titles following Death of Wolverine #4, which saw the death of Logan aka Wolverine, one of the most famous of all the X-Men and certainly a major pop culture icon. Some titles like Logan’s Legacy have pretty much been just beating around the bush and telling stories that seem rather boring and inane while some like this week’s Life After Logan are pretty damn good and have gotten me to really invest in the fallout from Wolverine’s death. Given the effect he’s had on the Marvel universe however, it stands to reason that there would be more about him, a hell of a lot more.
Weapon X Program #1 picks up right after the end of Death of Wolverine #4 and we get to see what happened to all the test subjects that Abraham Cornelius was using in that issue to create more versions of Wolverine, albeit with some changes. Charles Soule, the man behind Death of Wolverine is the one who helms this new mini-series and he does a pretty god of of carrying things along. It shows the immediate aftermath of Wolverine’s death and carries on in a really great way. And Salvador Larroca’s art is visually impressive as well, different from Scott McNiven’s but just as good.