Words

Comic Reviews for 12-28-11

Written on Thu, Dec 29, 2011 by Kyle posted by kyle

Reminder: The Unshaven grading system puts each book into one of 3 categories. ‘Buy It’, ‘Borrow It’ and ‘Pass It’.

Spoilers ahead

Secret Avengers #20

I don’t think anyone writes time travel quite like Warren Ellis. The setup to the issue definitely jumps around as it seems to beging with the entire team being killed except for Black Widow. Activating her ‘emergency hatch’ she is sent back in time about 40 years to find a way to save everyone that must be done without changing a single thing from the existing time line. From there we see her carefully (much to her annoyance) interact with a few forgotten figures of Marvel’s history (Dr Druid is a personal favorite) to secure the time machine and weapons she will need when she returns to the beginning.

The issue might take a couple of reads just to make sure everything is kept straight. The snappy dialogue and even small emotional moments of sorrow and satisfaction make it a definite necessity. Where else are you going to get lines like “Curse you for being so boring you can’t even make time travel sound interesting.”

Grade: Buy It

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Ultimates #5

It feels like Jonathan Hickman is rounding out the first story arc in this issue. With all the action in The City created by Reed Richards from the last few issues this one feels like it’s more about getting a sense for the new status quo. The City has taken over most of what was Germany, Tony Stark’s new group of friends nearly killed him and made a killing in the stock market after attempting to kill Tony. It looks like Hickman is moving all the threads he set in motion with the start he got in Ultimate Fallout.

What gives me the most hope here is the inclusion of the Falcon. There are a dozen heroes Fury has had under his command since the Ultimate universe that we haven’t seen nearly enough of (I’m looking at you Ultimate Captain Mar’Vel). I very much hope we get to see some heroes other than Captain America, Thor and Iron Man saving the day n the new world of the Ultimates.

Grade Borrow It

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Ultimate X-Men #5

It seems like the person who’s been most screwed by the Ultimate Universe is President Obama. Over a very short amount of time we’ve had all the super people problems over in the Ultimates and then we have what’s going on in Ultimate X-Men. It’s revealed to the world that American’s created Mutants, the mutants are rounded up and now a domestic terrorist (Stryker) is causing havoc in one of the largest cities in the country. On top of that he has people like Quick Silver dropping in the white house demanding meetings and offering solutions that are going to cause more harm than good.

The president’s problems are really background for the rest of the story going on but it just seems to be really piling up there. The real focus of this issue is the history of Stryker and those he’s manipulating. As is often the case, we learn at the end of the issue that the hate monger is what he’s been leading the charge against all along. Stryker is a mutant. A mutant that can control machines. A mutant who can control machines that the president has sent a legion of high toward sentinels towards. There is some mixed fighting in the issue that leads to Rogue betraying the rest of her mutant friends in hope that Stryker will absolve her of her sins (code for take her powers away), which is another trick he’s pulled I hope we will learn more about. For now we have another issue #5 that seems to set us up for a conclusion for a 6 issue arc/ trade.

Grade Borrow It

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Avengers: Children’s Crusade #8

There’s a lot of good and one particular bad that is kind of a pet peeve of mine with the second to last issue of Avengers: Children’s Crusade. One of my biggest pet peeves with comics is overly long delays between issues. This series was supposed to come out every other month and the last issue came out in September. Four months is a little long for me to remember details. That being said there is a lot that happens here leading to an end that makes me sad that there may be a similar wait for the final issue.

The fact that we see the current roster of X-Men and Avengers facing a Dr. Doom with Scarlet Witch’s powers is enough of a draw, but from the begging this series has featured Steve Rogers in the Captain America costume leading the Avengers. That seemed odd when this series started (before Fear Itself began) but set to the current time line it makes me wonder if this is going to significantly lead into the Avengers vs X-Men cross over for 2012. The best moment of the issue isn’t even a knock down fight with an over powered Doom. He just gets so over powered by Wanda powering more fuel into him he burns up, literally. By the end Doom (who’s first act as all powerful was to heal his face and declare himself new ruler of everything) is back to his charred and angsty self.

The real highlight of the issue comes from Wicken standing up to Cyclops for wanting to ‘take in and bring her to Justice.’ He points out that Scott made Magneto an X-Man, that he’s dating Emma Frost (both are former villains and mass murderers). He also goes the extra mile by pointing out just how many of the Avengers have been guilty of crimes or started out on the wrong side of the law and are now considered mainstays of the team. Then there is also the fact that the Avengers want Wanda taken in for killing three of their members who are currently alive and standing there when all of this is happening. It’s a good cathartic moment that really reminds you what extraordinary lives are being depicted here.

Grade: Buy It

 

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