Comic Book Roundup (07/11/12)
Defenders #12 appears to be another final issue (dear Marvel, please develop a consistent system for marking final issues, rather than a fanfare for some and a dot-dot-dot-question-mark for others) which will either leave you nodding thoughtfully at the interesting ending, or setting all twelve back issues on fire while screaming “WELL THEN WHAT WAS THE POINT?!” The storytelling is quietly clever, and even though I’ve never really liked Defenders, the finale made me want to go back and re-read everything that’s gone before. Sadly, the delicate musings on the mutable nature of reality were issued in a font which looks like the bastard child of Helvetica and Comic Sans.
Daredevil’s been everywhere this week, Wolverine needs to watch out before double-D takes his position as ‘That Guy Who’s in Everything’. Ironically, he doesn’t show up in Daredevil: End of Days #2, mostly due to being dead, but Ben Ulrich is still diligently chasing down leads on DD’s mysterious last words. This puts him on the trail of Black Widow, who is, um, also dead. Way to go, Ulrich. He teams up with Domino in X-Men #38, which makes it seem like less of an X-Men comic, but awesome nonetheless. And an evil human-hunting DD pops up in Age of Apocalypse #9 -hardly surprising since everyone bar Jean Grey is a moral negative of their 616 counterpart. What is a little surprising, and incredibly sweet, is the budding romance between Jean and Sabertooth, and the reveal that Jean’s oft-mentioned ex husband is not Scott Summers.
Speaking of Scott Summers, AvX Consequences #5 brings the miniseries (and, dare I say, possibly the whole AvX saga?) to an end, and I strongly suggest that you buy this issue so that the next time somebody says Cyclops is a pussy you can show them what he does to the prison guard and laugh in their sorry little faces. Cyclops is shaping up to be a badass and charismatic villain, and I look forward to seeing him in action. Uncanny X-Force #33 gives us another sadistic turn from a familiar face with Age of Apocalypse Nightcrawler doing something quite… creative with his teleportation and a shark. Over in black sheep title X-Factor #246, the hectic ‘Five Days that Will Change X-Factor Forever’ arc is over, and this issue we get a light reprieve showing us a day in the life of Pip. It mostly involves picking up women and defending X-Factor without them even knowing. What a sweetheart!
Avenging Spider-Man #14 pits Spidey against dinosaurs. Spidey outright states that he’s never really understood the appeal of dinosaurs, and I agree. Sadly, this means I had about as much fun reading this issue as Spidey must have had being in it. There are some amusing lines, but not quite the kidney-popping hilarity we got from the last arc with Deadpool. Deadpool #1, by the way, gives us the best entrance in the history of comics. Elsewhere, Ant-Man and Wasp reunite in Avengers #33, Tony Stark has an identity crisis in Iron Man #1, and Jessica Jones carries the baby around in New Avengers #32.
And finally, a shout-out to one of the best comics of all time! Love is in the air in Avengers Academy #39– Striker goes to prom with a cute boy, Reptil and White Tiger compare amulets (stop sniggering, it’s exactly what it sounds like), Lightspeed goes walking on air with her girlfriend, Hazmat and Mettle get down to bow-chicka-wow-wow and Finesse and Quicksilver share a moment- not a totally inappropriate moment, because ew, but a sweet teacher/student gruff pep talk moment. Oh, and Veil returns to her normal life, in a normal school, being picked on by the normal kids- until she unleashes a little of what she learned at the Academy on the bullies.
So remember last week, when I declared John Constantine the king of team-ups? He’s done it again in Animal Man #14, joining forces forces with Animal Man (well, duh), Black Orchid, Beast Boy and Steel, and going on a journey across Rotworld to find Swamp Thing, currently hanging out with Deadman and Poison Ivy. Leave it to Constantine to get a party going, eh? Swamp Thing #14, on the other hand, meanders along with a bunch of flashbacks to stuff Abby Arcane did when she was younger- the reveal that she may not actually be dead after all is meant to come as a shock, but frankly after the third Abby-flashback it stops foreshadowing and starts just throwing Abby at your head, because bricks would be too subtle.
Before Watchmen: Moloch #1 is basically the exact plot of Penguin: Pain and Prejudice, but with more tits and mercifully condensed into two issues. If you haven’t read P: P&P, I beg you, go buy the graphic novel, you will be glad you did. If you just want the cliff notes, here goes: hideously disfigured child (for whom nobody ever thinks to suggest corrective surgery) is tormented by his shallow peers and throws himself into his hobby, turns to violent crime to avenge himself upon the world, uses his childhood hobby as the basis for a supervillain gimmick, and has many run-ins with the iconic hero of their respective stories. Of the two, Moloch comes off looking like a poor relation.
Green Lantern takes a tip from Princess Celestia and banishes the baddies to the moon in Earth 2 #6, Simon Baz faces the entire Justice League whilst the Guardians continue to be the biggest assholes in the universe in Green Lantern #14, and Green Arrow and Hawkman team up in Green Arrow #13. But far and away the best hero in this and any other world is renowned physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, whom DC consulted to find a possible real-life location for Superman’s home sun Rao, and who appears in a cameo in Action Comics #14. Bloody legend.
Still, the best comic this month has to be Worlds’ Finest #6, in which Huntress faces off against her alternate universe counterpart/half-brother Damien Wayne. Damien’s a smart boy, and Helena isn’t known for her subtlety, so it looks like the secret of Huntress’ past may be out! Eeep! Also, props must go to Power Girl, who keeps on fighting the good fight even though she can’t finish a single issue without her costume getting completely destroyed.
Oh, and if you were wondering what’s going on in G.I. Combat #6, apparently nazis, terrorists and hackers are bad. Thanks for that, guys!