11/14/07 – a present missed

November 14, 2007

So, to celebrate my birthday, they decided to ship The Black Dossier. Woot! Unfortunately, I hadn’t planned on it, and didn’t have the 30 large required for it. I did have about 20 medium sized ones to drop for this pile though:

Astonishing X-Men #23

These two things have been said before, but I have to say them again, although possibly slightly differently.

1) This series comes out too infrequently to matter. It’s supposed to be the flagship title, when instead it’s just a mostly ignored, possibly autistic, but incredibly sexy step-sister that you’re not afraid to sleep with because, really, who’s she going to tell? Plus, she looks like she knows what she’s doing…those lines, those curves, that girl has eXperience, if you know what I’m saying. Try her, you won’t regret it.

2) Due to its infrequence, the other titles all have to ignore its plot points, thus rendering it even less valuable. Valuable to who? Continuity whores like me. That’s right, whores have little use for sexy step-sisters, even though they might be briefly tempted to try the girl-on-girl lifestyle, they know that there will be no long term emotional value gained from said investment. That being said, the whore will still experiment, because damn is that autistic-sexy-step-sister fuckhot to turn a girl. She is.

Translation for those of you who got lost: This book is a great read. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t matter. The main plot point that could ostensibly come out of this (Cyke with his powers without a visor, which I’ve been waiting forever for) is already being ignored in the current Messiah CompleX line – so we know it somehow gets undone next issue. Or, even worse, just completely ignored.

Avengers, The Initiative #7

A title I never thought I’d like, and picked up on a whim based on how interesting the Civil War fallout plot points were, and how strong the current Avengers franchise is (nevermind the fact that this is not quite an Avengers book. OK, well maybe it is, like ForceWorks was…).

In case you hadn’t guessed, I like this title. I like it a lot. It’s very well written – Dan Slott is/was a great find for Marvel. He made She-Hulk interesting for deity’s sake! Not interesting enough for me to buy, but interesting enough to read when I was bored. His style reminds me a little bit of Peter David’s (maybe just because PD is following his run on She-Hulk so I’m subconsciously conflating them) and Fabien Nicieza’s. In the sense that they show you what continuity is for. They show you how strong and wonderful a story you can weave out of the plans and accidents that have been laid by a hundred writers before them. This is in contrast to someone like Grant Morrison or Warren Ellis, who show you how well the complete opposite can work.

This issue in particular was probably my least favorite – because I really don’t care about Spider-Man, and this is mostly a Spider-Man story – but still a very good read. It does show Justice letting loose with a bit of that New Warriors angst, as he and Cloud 9 go hunting after the mystery of the not-so-dead MVP. Slott is doing a great job of laying out plot threads and plucking just the right ones to pick back up on – I’m loving it! Gah, I can’t believe I just typed that. Fuck you McDonalds!

Avengers, New #36

Continuing the Hood arc, and weaving in and out of whatever SHOULD be happening in Mighty Avengers. A great read, would be about 3x better if Mighty was on schedule.

The scenes they show from the overlap definitely seem like they will suck a bit of the wind out of the sails of reading Mighty, but who knows, the x-over point is still 2 issues away. Hopefully they do some scheduling magic (dropping a Mighty arc, or even inserting a tangent arc in New – I have a feeling thats what the Luke/Jessica “breakup” issue is for) will fix this in time for the Secret Invasion stuff.

Not much else to say here, if you know and love Bendis, this is more of the same, and you’ll know and love it just like I do.

I do wish there had been more of a nod to Wolverine & Black Widow’s shared past though, even though they only had a few panels together.

Uncanny X-Men #492

The Xover is moving along.

Scott tells X to sod off. Fight scene with a few Acolytes, at least one of whom I don’t even recognize, and I remember when they were created. They must have just popped in for an issue or two somewhere…just my faulty memory I’m sure.

Layla & Madrox steal some scenes. Glad to see they’re good for that even in the hands of someone other than Peter David. Honestly, I’ve never liked Madrox much under any other writer at all, but with PD he’s a freakin’ diamond. And Layla, wow, I don’t think I’m alone when I say that I’m surprised what a wonderful character PD has made out of her.

Storm isn’t in this book. She does pop up in X-Factor 25 though. She’s with the team from this issue though, so she must have been hiding in the background. Or maybe she had to make a quick sack-stop with her hubby. Hmm, he’s probably got some tech that could help them out…nevermind, that would be too logical.

X-Factor #25

W00t! More Madrox and Layla. And some Richter too. There’s another character PD has impressed me with. I always like Richter, but never as a main character, he was just a good teammate and back ground scenery type. Then he lost his powers and I was like, well, shit, there goes that. But yeah, hearken ye, for PD has once again shone the light of Good Writing (TM), and revealed unto us poor blasphemers and urinators that powerless people are people too.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather he have his powers back, M-Day was stupid, but he’s still a good read lately. Rahne gets a brief bit of screen time, and I think I saw Siryn in a panel, but where are my Monet and Guido!? I really hope they don’t get lost in the coming reshuffle. Siryn I wouldn’t miss, Rahne either (we already know Rahne is going to be in the new X-Force at least, hopfully she won’t be pulling double duty Wolverine style), but I hope the rest stick around.

Oh, and the Xover plods on. Don’t get me wrong, I think this will be one of their better done crossovers, but hey, it is what it is. There’s a nice plot twist or two at the end that I’m very curious about. The cover is also very, very ugly. I guess that’s the point?

X-Men Die by the Sword #3

Interesting cover, considering Longshot isn’t even in this issue (I don’t even think he’s in the background). I really hate covers like that. Showing scenes that weren’t in the issue are fine, but characters? Comic draw-a puhleeze!

I think the scene is actually from the next issue. But I don’t really care.

OK, so yeah, good/decent stock Claremont stuff here. I love it when they let him just go man go, because otherwise these days (and maybe always?) he’s lukewarm at best. His original Uncanny run was so goddam good because He. Just. Went. It was him and him alone juggling all those plots, no one messing with his best laid plans of mice and all that (well, except for editorial, but what can you do? ;))

Lots of chaos in Roma-land, the Exiles somehow pull off what a HORDE of Captain Britains could not (although I *guess* Blink porting parts of his brain away *might* account for that). Interestingly, I have a critique I didn’t think I’d ever have of a Claremont book – it needed a little bit more explanation. WTFOMGBBQ you say? Well, I hope you didn’t say that out loud, because you’d be a freaking moron. But let’s just say you texted it to yourself inside your funky little head. In that case I’d say “Yeah, I was a little confused by the aforementioned fight scene against the semi-omnipotent enemy who can just change you into a monster on a whim during which the Exiles somehow beat him down (albeit probably only momentarily).” Yes, I would say it with the parenthesis. Trust me, I talk like that.

Knowing CC though, he will probably fill us in later, so I’m cool. All in all it’s been a nice light action romp involving two villains dredged WAY the hell up from the past. Looking forward to seeing how it falls out and what CC is going to do with Exiles that are now and truly “his”. The book concept is tailor made for him…it will most certainly be a different kind of book than before, hopefully just as good in a different way. Let’s hope they let him run for at least 30 issues unfettered (I’ve heard it will run 18 issues + 1 annual a year…so I’m pretty excited about the potential of him lasting at least 2 years as the writer).

Other stuff I didn’t buy but managed to read or want to say something about:

Illuminati #5

The elephant in the room is green, and wearing a red skintight. And then it’s dressed up in 5 other people’s clothes.

Sets the scene for the coming Secret Invasion. Since this is from last week, everyone probably knows the spoilers by now – omgBlackBoltisaSkrullDUH. Who else would it be? Namor probably, except for that very personal, set in current continuity, limited series he just had. So unless they’re going to pull one of the worst retcons ever (or maybe the Skrull really *thinks* it IS Namor?), Namor is safe. Bendis is trying to put the rumors out there than at least 1 more of the Ill-boys is a Skrull, but this could just be a smokescreen. If it is true, my money would be on Reed. Because he just shot future Namor in the head over in FF last week, and that’s not very fantastical. That and his “100 ideas” would be a great way to lay the groundwork for a Skrull invasion. I suppose the Doc is also a possibility, assuming a Skrull could someone pass for sorceror supreme, and still actually fulfill his duties (see the recent FF arc where he helped them “operate” on Eternity). So I’m going to say that’s probably a no. Iron Man is not a Skrull. And if they somehow work Skrull-age into Professor X, who just went through the M’Kraan crystal, I think my head will explode.

World War Hulk #5 was all sold out, or I would have picked one up as an impulse buy because dammit if I’m not interested in how it is. The Son of Hulk stuff looks kind of stupid though. “Skaar”? That’s the best name you can come up with? Yeck.

Nightwing #138 was also sold out. WTF? Nightwing? That’s what I said. I still wouldn’t pick it up though. Maybe people are hunting for early clues into the Batman death thing, or maybe it’s just that stupid Ra’s Al Ghul (sp?) resurrection bit running up the crossover sales bump.

Nova #8 was surprisingy interesting for a fairly standard (if there is such a thing) “city at the edge of the universe” type of thing. Pssst, there’s a restaurant just a little ways past that. If you happen to stop in, tell Doug thanks for all the fish.

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