The Weekly Comic book Roundup (05/09/12)
THE BEST OF MARVEL
The Amazing Spider-Man #693 (writer: Dan Slott; artist: Humberto Ramos)
Apparently the fine people at Marvel have something BIG planned for when Spidey hits the 700 mark, and it’s building up in epic fashion with Spidey being forced to act as mentor to the troubled teen superhero Alpha. Alpha is arrogant, impulsive… oh, and has the potential to be near-omnipotent. It seems like a standard plot at first: Spidey encounters an obnoxious teenager, but relates to them, manages to get them to step up and take responsibility, and moulds the kid into a paragon of superhumanity. But a dark line from Peter Parker on the final page casts that into doubt- there’s a good chance that Alpha could be a strong ally to Spidey in the future, but an equally good chance that he could end up being the big baddie of issue 700.
Age of Apocalypse #7 (writer: David Lapham; artist: Renato Arlem)
Set in the Age of Apocalypse universe -you know, the one where Apocalypse rules everything- this is a gritty, almost noir tale of a group of rebels called the X-Terminated. And to think I thought they were running out of words they could prefix with the letter X to make clever group names! Being an alternate reality, some villains have become heroes, some heroes villains, and some beloved dead characters are alive now (well hey there Jean Grey, it’s been a while). Also, surprisingly for an X-book, the main cast is comprised entirely of humans and depowered mutants. Well worth a read for a more dystopian, grown-up take on the X-Men franchise; if you liked Uncanny X-Force, you’ll love this.
Hawkeye #2 (writer: Matt Fraction; artist: David Aja)
This is the second issue of Hawkeye’s very own series, and it just keeps getting better and better. Hawkeye has even has his very own sidekick, Kate Bishop (you know, that other Hawkeye) It’s nice to see a bit more of Clint’s actual personality, as in recent ensemble comics he’s seemed to exist just as an extra uniform to fill out the team. This comic seems to be going for an adventure-of-the-week theme, rather than an overarching plot, which I like as the plots are just the right level of mental: in the first issue he adopted the bad guys’ dog; in this issue he and Kate take down a dodgy circus. It’s smart, it’s funny, what’s not to love?
The Punisher #15 (writer: Greg Rucka; artist: Marco Checchetto)
Well. The Punisher seems to have pissed off the wrong people (although, that said, does he ever piss off the right people?) and a whole lot of people end up dead. Including some cops. That’s pretty much all I can say, plot-wise, as it’s all just a long fight sequence with guns, smoke grenades, regular grenades and a buxom redhead; but the art is unflinching and the action is merciless. I never really read Punisher before, now I’ve been converted.
DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY ON
The Mighty Thor #19 (writers: Matt Fraction and Kieron Gillen; artist: Alan Davis)
The second part of the ‘Everything Burns’ arc mostly concerns itself with diplomacy missions and political intrigue, like that session of an RPG that you yawn your way through, scrounging role-playing XP until it’s time to hit something again. It’s not badly-written, and it’s presumably essential to the story, but I found myself starting to skip the odd page here and there. If you’re already getting The Mighty Thor it’s a decent read, but if you want to get started I wouldn’t recommend this as a jumping-on point.
Deadpool fires a flamethrower out of his butt in Deadpool #60!
Ever wondered what ‘X-Men: First Class’ would be like if Wolverine was in charge? Check out The First X-Men #2!
Venom vs. demons in Venom #24!