Saga #1 — As an unashamed product of the prospector ’90s, if I see a number 1 issue, odds are that I will pick it up! Seriously, Image puts out a crap-ton of first issues and I had seen previews for this book, which looked interesting, so I went for it. It’s Brian K. Vaughan writing (and I’m recently coming off Y: The Last Man, so I’m high on Vaughan) with Fiona Staples art, who I’m completely unfamiliar with. Short version of the story? Alien Romeo and Juliet with new baby + Space-type fighting + the strangest/most interesting designed alien races I’ve seen + nudity + narration from grown-up baby. It’s nothing that’s completely foreign and a lot of this are riffs on things we’ve seen before, but it’s all done very well. Vaughan’s writing is realistic and, even when it gets a bit mushy at the end, it’s still “down to earth” (even in a completely crazy alien world story). The art by Staples is really beautiful. She (along with Vaughan, I’m sure) has brought this insane world to life in the faces of her characters, the designs of the aliens, the buildings, the ships — I could go on and on. It’s a great book.
Next Men #41 — Why is this book so confusing? I’m pretty much lost and totally need to reread most of this book. The art continues to be great Byrne stuff; he’s just calling back stuff from older issues that I don’t remember well enough to understand what’s going on now.
Powers #9 — I wanted to go back and look to see what I said about the previous issue of this series (which was my first ever), but, as typical, I was too lazy. I think that I liked it enough, but it’s wasn’t that amazing? Maybe? Anyway, for some reason I picked up this issue, and if I am correct about what I thought, it’s about the same. The story moves well and both the writing and art are solid, but I’m not totally interested. I bet that if I was emotionally invested in these characters from the previous series/issues, I’d be thrilled that it’s around and (maybe) being released on a semi-regular schedule, but I’m not.
Legion Lost #7 — Wow, what a nosedive. This issue was partially a PSA against texting while driving, littered with ridiculous “teen speak” [quote: “Two of my BFFs died that night.” Yuck.], and the other half a story about a vaguishly Arab street thief in NYC teaming up with Timber Wolf to steal drug money. It’s dumb, the writing is poor, the fake future cursing is overused; just a bad issue.
Marvel Ultimate Comics
Ultimate X-Men #9 — As if Ultimate Xorn/Zorn wasn’t enough, welcome Ultimate Stacy X! I’m sensing Ultimate Mammomax soon…
The Incredible Hulk #6 — This issue was the huge, climactic battle between Banner and the Hulk. Overall, pretty run-of-the-mill fight, interspersed with some backstory about Hulk and Doom and the completely “no duh” reveal that Amanda von Doom is of the same von Doom-age as Victor von Doom. I was pretty high on this book when it started, but my excitement is obviously languishing. The art by Portacio is not as polished as I like and, for some reason, a good number of the early pages in my issue had the color all washed out.
Fantastic Four #604 — Hickman has created such an epic story here, calling back items from the start of his run on Fantastic Four (and then FF). This issue is fantastic (pun somewhat intended) and the big splash reveal was really moving. The ending two pages, showing group shots just with text boxes, can often be really nauseatingly dramatic and saccharine and lovey-dovey, but Hickman and Epting (who pencils his final issue here) really create an emotional ending. I’m not sure that me being a parent makes this tug on my heartstrings more than someone without kids, but I loved it.
Daken: Dark Wolverine #22 — The penultimate issue of this title. The only thing that I’d enjoy more is the ultimate issue of this title. The art is weak, the storytelling is not interesting at all; there’s nothing to make me feel for the main character of this title. If I can find anything, I pity Daken. And I pity myself for continuing to spend money so I have a complete run of this stupid book.
X-23 #21 — And this is the final issue of this book. I don’t know if you remember the “”Nuff Said” Month from Marvel back in 2001 where all the issues released were without spoken dialogue, but this issue is smack out of there. No words, which is fine, if the story is still interesting. This was not. It’s a shame, because I was really liking what Marjorie Liu was doing was X-23 and I feel this ended on a real down note. If anything is good, we’ve got a clear, unobstructed view of Phil Noto’s art.
X-Men Legacy #263 — I’ve got to hand it to Christos Gage. All the things that I was concerned about going into this issue with the meeting of the New Blue and New Gold teams, plus the children fighting, were outright addressed by the characters in the book. It’s written honestly and it’s written well. Here’s the best quote of the book. Rogue is talking to Pixie, Dust, and Surge, trying to convince them to go back to Westchester.
Rogue: We ain’t a bunch’a hippie Pollyannas. We didn’t say there’d never come a time when kids would have to fight. But if you accept that’s your purpose in life — if you spend your childhood preparin’ for it — you lose something. You end up like —
Pixie: Like Magneto? Like Wolverine? Like you? We’re a bit okay with that.
Very well done. Bravo.