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comics read, 1/8/13

I just caught up on reading stuff from the last three weeks or so.

First, above the cut: I subscribed to Loki: Agent of Asgard almost solely because of how impressed I've been with Al Ewing's work on Mighty Avengers. Frankly, Mighty Avengers seems to have most everything against it: it's got Greg Land on art and a relative unknown writing, its first three issues were tied up in a crossover that no one I know paid any attention to, and I, personally, have very little interest in the Avengers side of the Marvel universe. And yet Ewing keeps me consistently entertained while introducing and juggling a cast of characters I have almost no familiarity in. Even the Infinity tie-in arc felt self-contained enough to be comprehensible.

(Not that this is so much down to Ewing, but I also, it must be said, enjoy the fact of characters of color not only being the majority, but also walking on and off panel in cameos, completely unremarked upon. It's easy for me to forget how many such Marvel characters there are, because so often there's only one or two of them to a team.)

I totally understand if you just can't take the Land art on this book, but at the very least EVERYONE should pick up the three issues Valerio Schiti is arting, starting in February. And also everyone who's even marginally interested in the Loki comic should give it a closer look, because I expect Ewing to do good things on it.

Now, onto vaguely spoilery things.

Mighty Avengers #4 - Ewing, Land
So this is the issue with the "reveal" about who's under the Spider Hero mask. All I can say is, I'm glad that info leaked six weeks ago, because if it were left to the comic, I'd be none the wiser. To be fair, basically all I know about Blade is that he's half-vampire and played by Wesley Snipes. So.

As mentioned, I continue to enjoy the humor and character dynamics in this. There's a scene in which Sam Falcon (I think that's the name?) protests that he is not just Captain America's sidekick; this includes the line, My name is not 'And the Falcon.' Which amused me. I'm interested in this plot involving vampires (?) hiding out on the wreck of Attilan, as I am also amused by the running joke of why Attilan is still sitting in the Hudson, which turns out to be a plot point. And I adored that the Blue Marvel was in Germany with Hauptmann Deutschland, "Captain America of Germany," and they were speaking in German (some of which I understood!), and they were fighting wasp men, "One of dozens of world-threatening problems you will never hear about."

I just. I like all of it. I can't wait to finish getting the team together and start solidifying character dynamics and exploring individual character arcs.

FF #15 - Fraction/Allred, Allred
I missed a few issues of this in the trade-to-subscription transition, so I have only half an idea what's been happening in these last few issues, even though I read them. It's cute, though? And if you're going to write a comic involving a battle with like 25 different named characters, this is a pretty fun way to do it. (As opposed to, say, Battle of the Atom.) Next issue is last, I guess, woe.

X-Men #9 - Wood, Dodson
Dodson irritated me somewhat less this issue, possibly because there was more setup and so I was paying attention to plot and not to how I can't tell any of his dark-haired women apart. Although, seriously. I did not know I was looking at Psylocke until someone called her by name. This is even worse given that almost every single dark haired woman is of a different ethnicity! Psylocke looks Japanese; Monet is Muslim-American (and so I've been assuming she's of Arab extract? But that's always been ambiguous to me); Karima is Indian; Ana Cortes, whom our antagonist is wearing, is Latina. AND CAN I TELL THEM APART? NO. NO I CANNOT.

Jubilee gets a pass, but that's only because her haircut differentiates her.

Anyway. Like I said, I actually liked this issue better than #8! I'm interested in the Enchantress; I'd heard the name, but hadn't realized she was Scandinavian, which she must be since she's blond and Thor banished her to Norway. In general the plot seems to be gaining momentum, which I appreciate.

I am gearing up to be super ticked with Bling and her storyline; at this point it looks like she is playing on her sexual orientation to gain sympathy points in order to further some kind of scheme, and there is really nothing about that that makes me happy.

Uncanny X-Force #15 - Humphries, Briones/Talajic
Gosh, this book got dumb, didn't it? This issue was supposed to be the climax to a plot that got introduced fifteen issues ago, but it was instead a resounding anticlimax. We found a loophole to close off the revenants and kill Cassandra at the same time without even hurting Ginny the psychic girl, yay us! This involved basically no interesting character developments, yay again! Oh, except Bishop discovered a memory Storm had taken from him without his permission, which would be meaningful if the loss had appeared to affect him in any way whatsoever in the ten or so issues since she did it.

Humphries had a great cast, and he started out with good ideas, but his dialogue is the most wooden imaginable, even his big emotion scenes are more form than substance, his execution of those good ideas turned out to be just bad, mostly, and after the good ideas followed bad ones. SIGH.

Rocket Girl #3 - Montclare, Reeder
I still have a lot of goodwill for this book, and this issue at least addressed some key questions I had about what happened at the end of the last book. Pace is starting to grate on me, though. I think it's high time we started giving our secondary characters - by whom I mean basically anyway besides Dayoung - some personality. There's this bit where Dayoung expresses her feelings about the four Quantum scientists she's met, and it was bizarre to hear her single one out for particular feelings when I can't tell them apart at all except visually.

I'm on the fence about this "Cant trust anyone over thirty" line. On the surface it nicely justifies the teen police force while also being an amusing cultural callback, but I'm not sure how long it can keep convincing me of its ability to propel the development of and then sustain such a key institution as a police force. (To be fair, it needn't have sustained it very long; I like Dayoung comes from our present or nearabouts, so the teen police force can't be more than 30 years old or so, and easily much less.)

That said, the attractive art and the band of intrepid teenagers working together to stamp out political corruption is likely to keep me going for a good long while yet.

Pretty Deadly #3 - DeConnick, Rios
FINALLY, we have DEVELOPMENTS. I'm going to lay them out here, for fear I'll forget them later:
* The man who locked his wife in the tower so that she eventually bore Death's daughter and then died - that's Fox, the blind man.
* Sissy the vulture girl is a monster "born of a thousand violent deaths" that Death sent Fox to kill (to ensure Fox's own safety from Deathface Ginny), but whom Fox has raised instead
* the (unnamed?) black lady is the woman whose tears precipitated the rising the monster that became Sissy. Maybe? If so, she's been part of all this for a while now.
* Death has a rabbit's skull for a head, suggestively reminiscent of 'Bunny'
* Deathface Ginny's only motivation, apparently, is to get revenge on her mother's murderer, Fox.
* Redheaded John may be a more ambiguous character than we first thought, although if he gave Sissy the "binder" (piece of paper) on purpose, to help her, then it's not clear why Fox burned it before she could read it. Assuming I've understood all that correctly.

The other big question is: who's Alice the bounty hunter? Why's she after us? Possibly a reread of the first two issues would answer that. Really, I should reread them regardless, now that I finally KNOW THINGS.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 8th, 2014 07:06 pm (UTC)
How many issues of FF did you skip? I can definitely see #15 being a confusing place to jump back in.

Monet's mom is Algerian and Muslim. I'm not sure about her dad. Terry Dodson definitely draws a lot of characters with very similar faces--I remember reading some Spider-Man comics a while ago and being vaguely annoyed by how much Felicia and MJ looked alike.

The pacing of Rocket Girl is hard for me, too. It's cute, but it's really really slow.

Ahh, it sounds like a lot happened in Pretty Deadly! I gave it a miss last month, because it's been confusing and I was getting kind of awkwarded out seeing John and his ladyfriend hanging out naked all the time.
Jan. 8th, 2014 09:11 pm (UTC)
I came back in with #13 of FF, so mostly I'm confused about these new characters: Adolph Impossible, the gal in yellow who's helping Doom, the guy who's trying to convince Doom to become the Annihilating Conqueror, the tiny tiger. But don't feel like you need to explain them; I'll read them as they come up on MU. :)

I will be very glad when we get to the Kris Anka issues of X-Men.

Yes, after two issues of set pieces that were basically meaningless due to lack of context, we have Stuff Happening in PD! John is still lounging with his ladyfriend in his altogether, but events suggest he will be wearing pants next issue. :)
Jan. 8th, 2014 09:33 pm (UTC)
the gal in yellow who's helping Doom, the guy who's trying to convince Doom to become the Annihilating Conqueror
Haha, I've read all the relevant issues and that stuff still confuses me. The tiger's just from a Pym Dust incident, though. (And it's super cute, I love it.)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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