Weekly Pull #7

Hopefully the rapidity of this week’s posting makes up for the tardiness (and paltriness) of the last one. If not, oh well… the weather is glorious and a long week(end) of stress ended last night for me, so I’m happy to have the chance to relax a bit today. This week saw the continuation of Gothtopia in Birds of Prey #28, the return of Kaine and Aracely in New Warriors #1, and the continuation of three other favorites of mine in Morning Glories #37, Uncanny X-Men #17, & X-Men #11. Oh… and of course Deadpool: The Gauntlet #7.

X-Men #11

After a bit of a slump, Wood’s X-Men is finally hitting its sweet spot. All the little pieces which have been scattered throughout the past year’s worth of issues are falling rapidly into place, and the sheer ambition of the arc is intimidating. If you’ll recall, my entry into comics was via X-Force, a major part of which was the battle with Selene in Necrosha. The idea of her being back is frightening enough as it is, and the fact that she’s not even the trump card of Arkea’s deck is crazy. Kris Anka is quickly becoming one of my favorite artists at Marvel and his work here really brings things to life; especially the sequence of Selene’s return.

A shocking turn of events leads into a second story featuring art by Clay Mann and the continuation of the brief snapshot we saw last issue of Jubilee, Pixie, and a group of young X-Men taking on sentinels. It’s quite clear that Wood was serious about developing their story, and despite it only being a few pages long this “Meanwhile” portion of the issue got a lot of balls rolling. Can’t wait to see where they end up.
5/5 [Loved It]

Uncanny X-Men #17

I loved quite a bit of this issue. Bachalo’s art has seriously won me over and it is firing on all pistons this week as he delivers an exotic world filled with extremely dangerous creatures. Some of these kids are characters I firmly believe will thrive if Marvel allows them to live through the next decade — a rare premise, given the way the company has behaved lately, but stifled potential doesn’t erase the potential’s existence. 

This is a major turning point issue for this group of students and for the way Scott is running things. Though peppered with some good laughs, the overall feel is decidedly grim, and it’s that darkness — particularly the mystery surrounding what happened to a clothes-shredded Eva — that left a less enjoyable taste in my mouth by the time I reached the final page. I’m very interested to see how things play out, and I hope what happened today gets explored later on. That it does get addressed — and depending on what really did happen — will determine how much longer I keep reading. But for now, discomfort aside, I can’t deny this was a very strong issue.
4/5 [Liked It]

Birds of Prey #28

Gothtopia has been an enjoyable diversion from typical Gotham tales, and I imagine the creators have had fun twisting their books into this hellish utopia, if only briefly. It’s probably safe to say that a few of the versions of these characters are more enjoyable than the “real” ones. At least in my opinion

This is the best sort of crossover issue: it works from my standpoint, as a non-reader of Birds of Prey, by fitting into the crossover’s main plot, but not to the exclusion of developing major elements of the series’ story. It’s worth reading for either the Gothtopia angle or the BoP angle, and that’s refreshing. Throw in some strikingly nice art, and this stands out as a highlight of the event for me.
4/5 [Liked It]

Morning Glories #37

I have a problem with this series which I tend to gloss over, but may as well acknowledge here: I have a lot of trouble differentiating between some of the characters due to the way Eisma draws them. I have to rely on contextual cues to figure out whether, for example, I’m looking at Zoe, Irina, or Akiko, and for a book this cerebral the extra effort just to follow something as basic as who’s who is probably not very helpful.

In any case, this issue’s all about Akiko, a Truant we haven’t seen a lot of before (or maybe we have and I just thought it was someone else, haha), in a coma. Of course this is a series in which being physically unconscious tends to be the most liberating situation one can be in, and that stays true here, as Akiko’s — consciousness? mind? who knows — fleets across past, present, and future to give insight into who she is and where the world may be going. Intermingled with the horror and the heartbreak we do get some fantastic moments for her to shine as one of the most endearing characters in the cast, trying desperately to “help everyone” even though she can’t.

I’ll be honest: talking about this book in a non-abstract way is very difficult. I’m flirting with the idea of not bothering in the future — perhaps just tossing a grade up for subsequent issues marking my appreciation of them. If you’re not reading Morning Glories, absolutely nothing I could say about it would make sense to you. If you are reading, a brief recap won’t be useful. But then…you probably should be reading 🙂
4/5 [Liked It]

Deadpool: The Gauntlet #7

Each week it occurs to me just how well-chosen the name of this series was, as just when you think Deadpool’s about to catch a breather a still-more ridiculous challenge is thrown in his path. Thus far he has been ambushed by ninjas, chased by a minotaur, attacked by Blade, captured by Hydra, and this issue he finds himself captured again, by A.I.M. It’s been a blast to read and I’m guessing it’s been even more of a blast to make.

A brief heart-to-heart with Hydra Bob allows Wade to shed some light on the way this journey is affecting him, as Bob brings his attention to the fact that perhaps this is no longer simply a job in Deadpool’s head. Then M.O.D.O.K. interrupts, and…

…why aren’t you reading this, again?
5/5 [Loved It]

New Warriors #1

This was probably the book in the “All-New Marvel NOW!” lineup that had me most excited. Seeing Kaine and Aracely make it out of the pages of the canceled Scarlet Spider and into a brand new team would have been enough, but the notion of reading a Chris Yost book again is what really drove it home for me. Marcus To’s fantastic art is just icing on the cake.

So the book is out, and I’m pretty excited for it. There’s a lot going on here, and our “team” is currently quite spread out around the globe, a point accentuated by the issue’s frequent bouncing between locales à la Speedball. In signature Yost style, peppiness and warmth alternate with some pretty grim pages, and it’s clear that even the unbridled optimism of Sun Girl will be put to the test as the Evolutionaries set about purifying Earth.

As thrilled as I am about the book, I didn’t quite get the “incredible first issue that will hurl this title off shelves like hotcakes” kind of vibe from it that I was hoping for (and that a couple other books this year have exuded). But with so many threads to weave together, this has a lot of potential to become something awesome as a team begins to emerge. Here’s hoping!
4/5 [Liked It]