Let's get right to the good stuff.
Blue Beetle #27
According to DiDio, Rogers has a “real job” so he’ll be unavailable for awhile, but he’d love to give him work again in the future. So that's good news.
Pfeifer is officially listed as “guest” writer; so I guess Sturges really is taking this over. Like so many others, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. I expect that to be when Sturges gets involved. I’ll give him a shot, but he doesn’t inspire confidence.
Pfeifer on the other hand, has a real shot when/if Sturges falls down. The trick to writing this title isn’t writing Jaime. Jaime’s cool and all, but he’s not the hardest character to wrap your brain around.
What makes his book awesome and him even better, is his supporting cast.
Pfeifer showed he understands the supporting cast aspect all too well.
“What’s your gamer tag? j@ck@$$ n00b!1!1?”
If Sturges fails to write a good Brenda, Paco or Mama Reyes, he’s done before he started.
Green Lantern #31
I’m still a little confused why this isn’t Green Lantern: Year One. It’s pretty great and all, but this time could be better served doing something other than retelling Hal’s origin for the fiftieth time in four years.
Now with added Red Lanterns!
Legion of Superheroes #42
Jim Shooter is not off Legion. Repeat, Shooter is not off the Legion. That is direct from DiDio. Who contends Shooter was never not on the Legion.
Take it up with him, Rumor Mill, I’m just the messenger.
Teen Titans #59
It’s such a shame Legion comes out at the same time as Teen Titans every month. It really doesn’t pay to compare the two, but it’s almost impossible not to.
This month the Legion has more action and teenaged goodness on any page than the entire issue of Titans: new costumes all around; Jo Nah kisses Imra; Lyle mends fences with his dad; everyone uses their powers in cool new ways; and Jo Nah is arrested.
Titans? I don’t know. I mean, crap, the issue was okay.
I wonder if Clock King indicating he had a whole plan to take them down one by one, but had to fast forward was meta-commentary. B/c I gotta tell you: that would’ve been intolerable.
The heroic half of the team showed up, and that’s cool and all, but there’s still not a real element of team showing here. Not even between Tim and Cass, and that’s where you need it.
Getting back to my pitch: if that’s the whole point of this arc, okay. But McKeever needs to hurry up so we see some progress here.
Still, this issue did cooler stuff than we've seen in awhile, and I feel better about sticking out the story arc. Although I admit, I was kind of hoping this was the end.
Wow, this is not what I thought it was. And I’m not sure I know what I thought it was.
It’s, um, yeah, it’s okay. It’s weird. But okay.
I don’t know that I’d recommend it…? I think I’d suggest waiting for it to come out in trade and let the reviews pour in. Then make your decision. I would have if I knew it was more of a real-worldy bio-pic than a story set in the Marvel U of 1985.
Especially considering I remember laughing at Secret Wars in 1985, not lauding it like Millar makes it sound.
Wolverine First Class #3
Wait, are we calling back that Wolverine started off as a mutated wolverine? Am I the only one getting that?
I hear this issue threw a bunch of people off and I don’t disagree. Even having it as a two-parter is a break in step. But it was still adorable and continues to star funny Wolverine:
“Seriously, I haven’t been a genetically advanced wolverine, since, I fought the Hulk. I’m more of a genetically backward person.”
Turning Kitty into a Furry wasn’t cool, though. I’d probably rather you just, I dunno, kill her with a giant space bullet or something….
Did it just get chilly in here?
Young Avengers: Stature #1
I’m just glad the Young Avengers continue to get play. Not all of these one-shots have been great, but they’re all fairly good. Plus, this mends the fence between the team and Ms. Lang.
There’s a feel good ending that’s slightly inappropriate.
“As strong as a bull with a punctured lung and spleen, maybe.”
Alright, Cass’s step-dad has been literally crushed. He’s in bad shape, might not live, if he does, might not walk.
A little later we’re told “He’s gonna make it.” Shortly thereafter we get this scene.
"My better family."
I’m pretty sure her step-father is still in pretty serious condition. “He’s gonna make it” doesn’t mean you’re all going fishing anytime soon.
While we’re on the subject; trying to act as a family doesn’t mean inviting your four illegal super friends along.
Marty's Pick of the Week Runner-Up
Giant Size Astonishing X-Men #1
This would probably be my Pick of the Week, if I hadn’t called this entire issue start to finish, like, four months ago.
But I’ve said it before: just b/c you know where it's going, doesn’t mean it can’t be awesome when it gets there. Never has that been truer than here.
First, I want to take a second to compliment Whedon on the creation of SWORD and Agent Brand. Both are just the right amount of ridiculous and awesome to work. And both have bought their inclusion in the Marvel U proper with Bendis’s Secret Invasion endorsement. I’m interested to see what kind of trouble they can get into later.
Until then, let’s hear it for Ms. Brand:
“My birth name was Burnflesh, but Brand looked less ethnic.”
It was nice of the Marvel U to drop in and throw around some guest-spot action. Whedon used Spider-man precisely how he is meant to be: The audience’s “in”.
You gotta love that Pete’s neuroses snap him out of the delusion each hero has that they've saved the day.
“That sound a little retarded to you now that you say it out loud?”
Piotr Rasputin gets to do more than be a largely ineffectual whiner, which is a rare treat. I love that his last, best plan was to revert to human. “Apparently only my crazy metal skin can touch the thing that blows up your planet, da? How you say? fuck you, tovarich.” Good one Pete.
If this issue makes you more sad than glad, than please allow me to give you the pep talk. Here’s the deal fellow fanboys: Whedon just did us a favor.
Kitty wasn’t being used before this. Certainly not well.
I read Mekanix, I read Kitty Pryde: Agent of SHIELD, I read about her dating someone criminally twice her age. It all hovered between varying levels of suck. She had a few good stories in X-Men Unlimited, but a little too little a little too late.
Kitty Pryde has been sitting around waiting to suck ever since all respectability left the X-Men (roughly 1991… or whenever Gambit showed up).
What’s more, she’s not dead.
That couldn’t have been any more plain. The difference is, if someone wants Kitty Pryde back, they have to put some effort into it. I see no reason why she can’t be riding hog with the Starjammers; hijacked by Skrulls, Kree or Rocket Racoon; or teleported back to earth by her time and space mastering best friend.
Meanwhile she still gets to be the hero of the whole story and look really awesome doing it.
“Ferris Bueller, you're my hero.”
My only disappointments were:
First, how Logan reacted. I know Joss has written Logan as a thug this whole time, but I think it was almost irresponsible not to give him a little more to say RE: the death of his first teenage sidekick.
Second, was the lack of Lockheed. These are very fanboy pet peeves, but considering Whedon himself is a fanboy, I didn’t consider them unreasonable expectations.
Otherwise spot on. It’s been a helluva run, Joss. What took you so long?
Marty's Pick of the Week
Final Crisis #1
According to Grant Morrison, we’ve only ever seen projections of the New Gods. He asserts-- moving forward--anytime you see Kirby Dot (see also: Crackle, Kirby) word balloons, it demarcates the actual God.
Internets meet Metron. Metron, Internets.
“Are you looking at my junk?”
Yeah, looks a lot like the same pipe-hittin’, space cripple we’ve always known.
If Morrison is telling us the New Gods are as they’ve always been and just pretending to be Black, that’s fine. I knew a couple kids in High School who did the same thing. But it does muddy the Death of the New Gods waters even more.
According to DiDio, DotNG was a chance to parade out Kirby’s children one last time. Which is totally cool. I still wouldn’t have recommended shoehorning the final bits into Countdown, but the actual parading is fine. I just think you could’ve done more with all of them (and less with some of Starlin’s pets for that matter). Like, the Forever People who pretty much show up dead.
But this review is for Final Crisis, not my ongoing problems understanding the DoftNG.
Final Crisis surprisingly did have some connection to Countdown. I had heard all of that was a wash, but Morrison does bother to bring in the Monitors, specifically, Nix Uotan. Not nearly enough to justify that crap I bought, but it at least made the barest reference.
Otherwise, I think I’m always surprised whenever Morrison just puts out a decent funny-book. While artistic in its own right (there’s a pretty awesome through-line about fire), it wasn’t trying too hard to “blow my mind” or show the obvious influence of a handful of mescaline. It was just a decent story about stuff going wrong in the DCU.
I think a lot of people—myself included—expected this to open with a homerun. Instead it opens with a solid base hit. And that’s better. So many of these events burn brightly and fizzle.
I expect Morrison to load the bases first, and then start hitting people home for the big Grand Slam at the end.
That’s the hope at least. If he pulls this off… well, it’s a little early for that.
So far, the prognosis is awesome.
So that’s my comics story and I’m sticking to it.
Sorry it was late.