DC debuts New Squad! Marvel’s Wolverine almost dead! Week 7/9/2014 Comic Book Review
Both Marvel and DC released some good comic book issues this week. All of them had strong plotlines and good pacing. However, with Original Sins #3, I think Marvel is dragging out the story in a not so interesting tie-in series. Let’s start!
There are a lot of X-Men titles available these days. However, the Amazing X-Men series is one of my favorites from the bunch. It has a lot of action, and the story is entertaining as well. Currently the issue is going through the ‘World War Wendigo’ arc, and even though the team has superpowers I’m worried about their safety. The story seems to be something out of a supernatural horror film. Last month’s issue started the arc with a murder that triggered the Wendigo curse in Canada, and things are not going well for anybody. The best part of this month’s issue was the opening that told the story from the perspective of a little girl, Amber, surviving the Wendigo infection. She tried signaling the X-Jet to her location, but the jet crashed into her house. I feel worried about Amber and the issue better show her safe and sound before the arc ends. If there’s anyone out there who wants to make a horror story that has Hulk-power-level beasts infecting everyone in sight, then this issue is a good manual for them. The art, as usual, was amazing. One of the best things about Amazing X-Men has been the art. There are a lot of bright colors, and it has more of a cartoonish feel, compared to the current all-female X-Men series. The ending was the most surprising because Wolverine has lost his healing factor, and I can’t wait to see where the arc goes from here. As far as the team interaction goes, everyone seems to understand each other. Which I found a bit surprising, considering Colossus’s actions against the team during the Avengers vs. X-Men arc. How can the X-Men talk to him as if nothing happened? Yes, he didn’t have control because of the Phoenix Force, but I would’ve liked to see some conversation between him and the team about Professor X’s death and his returning to the X-Men. There doesn’t seem to be any tension between the teammates, and Storm is considered the leader (unlike in the current X-Men series, where she had to prove herself to the new team). The series is still using Firestar to relate to new readers. She hasn’t worked with the X-Men before, and her finding out how ‘weird’ they are really mirrors what new readers might think of the current series.
All New X-Men #29 Review
There is a lot of time-traveling shenanigans happening in this series. The issue still continued the battle between the X-Men (past and present) and the villains from the future, and showed the teenaged Jean Grey developing her powers. I enjoy the dynamics between the young Jean and Emma Frost. Emma can’t go all ‘evil’ on the young version of the woman she dislikes, and Jean can’t really fight back either. I would love to see the issue go in another direction that’s not connected to time travel. It’s a miracle how the timestream hasn’t been destroyed because of what the X-Men have been up to. The issue focused a bit more on the villains and how Professor X’s son was controlling their minds. Wolverine’s daughter, X-23, was amazing in this issue: she’s a feral being, and I love seeing her going all-out against her opponents. All in all, an entertaining issue that still left me wanting more regarding the story for future issues. Enough with the time travel already! (The cover art by Start Immonen, though impressive, didn’t really give a feel about what the story in the issue was going to be about. At first, I thought Angel had lost the use of his wings.)
Original Sins #3 Review
This tie-in to Marvel’s current mega-event ‘Original Sin’ shone the spotlight on the Inhumans this month and continued the Young Avengers story. I’m not interested in some of the secrets that Marvel has been trying to tell in this series. The first story in the issue was about the Inhumans getting into war with the Kree because of what Black Bolt did to the Kree’s spaceship. Well, I don’t blame him, considering that Kree scientists were doing illegal experiments on innocents. Even the Young Avengers mission, the second story in the issue, didn’t look interesting to me. The story might be trying to make the readers understand where The Hood is coming from, trying to wipe away the minds of the people who suddenly know about the secrets in the world. But I don’t feel it. I think Marvel just wanted to bring back the Young Avengers for another story. Is there anyone out there who thinks The Hood is a big threat? These kids have gone against the Kree army, and even Doom! But the current issue makes them deal with The Hood, and I can’t take it seriously enough. Even the whole team isn’t there. We just have Hulkling, Prodigy, and Marvel Boy. As always, the interaction between the teammates was awesome. I wish we get an issue where the whole team just hangs out with each other. The Hood definitely has something up his sleeve, and I know he’s going to try and betray the Young Avengers. If it wasn’t for the love I have for these teenagers I wouldn’t be reading this series.
With the Death of Wolverine almost upon us, this month’s issue showed Logan rebuilding some of his broken relationships and accepting that he needed help. For me, the best part of the issue was when Wolverine talked to Storm. I ship those characters, and I know that even though they aren’t in a ‘committed’ relationship, they have a strong bond with each other. I think the story wants readers to feel worried about Pinch, and how Wolverine has feelings for her. But it’s not easy to feel strongly about comic-book characters that came into existence just a few issues ago. She appears to be more of a plot device and a love interest for Wolverine to cause drama in Paul Cornell’s story. The rematch between Wolverine and Sabretooth is inevitable, and I hope the story shows that soon. The whole ‘dimension-altering’ device that Sabretooth has doesn’t come across as much of a threat, because I’m sure he won’t be able to use it once the heroes arrive. For the past two issues, we have been getting cover art showing Wolverine’s claw’s breaking off. Nothing against Steve McNiven, but I find myself wishing that Logan’s claws break sooner so we might get something amazing from the artist in the next few issues.
The series is still going strong even at issue #33, and that’s quite impressive considering it’s headlined by a female superhero. Batgirl’s solo series is one of the successes after DC’s The New 52. The pacing was good (Thank you, Gail Simone. Though I wish I enjoyed her other series The Movement, as much as I do this one), and we got the usual ‘hero vs. hero on their first meeting’ fight sequence. The three females (Batgirl, Black Canary, and Huntress) worked well together in order to capture one of the pawns in the story’s game, Michael Drucker, who can shoot acid from his hands. Batgirl isn’t familiar with the Huntress yet, and that’s why I’m looking forward to how they interact with each other. The action sequences looked amazing because of the art, and there was light humor thrown in. This issue had one of the best cover illustrations I’ve seen. I have to hand it to Alex Garner for creating a cover that seems to come alive. The way Batgirl’s hair is drawn looks like flames. I am a fan of strong female characters, and seeing Knightfall being a threat to Gotham feels great. Even though she’s a female, the story doesn’t make her look weaker than the male villains that threaten the city. The ending made me excited for next month’s issue, because it showed Batgirl calling her allies in order to help take down the antagonist. If you haven’t been keeping up with the series, this is a good place to jump in on Batgirl’s adventures, as well as read how the Huntress works with the Birds of Prey. Batgirl seems to be going through a creative change in issue 35. The new look does come across as a bit ‘childish’ and more fun. I will have to wait until the new issue comes out in October to see where the story goes; until then, I will enjoy the current dark but still humorous take on the series.
New Suicide Squad #1 Review
This week marked the debut of DC’s newest offering, the New Suicide Squad. It’s just like the previous Suicide Squad, but with a few new members joining the team. It’s fun to read about villains doing what they do best but also helping the good guys. Well, if you consider Amanda Waller as ‘good.’ The tension between the teammates is obvious from the get-go. I loved how Harley Quinn straight-up wanted to murder the girl parading around as ‘The Joker’s Daughter.’ The new guy in charge of the team, Mr. Sage, goes on about the dream team he wants to create. I couldn’t help but notice that he wasn’t taking these villains seriously. Yes, Harley wears clown make-up and isn’t right in the head, but that doesn’t mean that she’s not dangerous. Mr. Sage also went on about he wants The Joker on the team. That dude is in need of a serious reality check if he thinks he can control The Joker. The art was good, especially the panel showing Harley with a baseball bat and a grenade. Jeremy Roberts used a lot of bright colors in the issue, and it looks wonderful. The debut issue didn’t waste time and got right into the action. I haven’t had this much fun reading other team books like Justice League or Justice League of America. The characters don’t fall flat, and there’s always the feeling that they can end up betraying the people that control them. The whole thing just works!
Things don’t look good for John Constantine ever since Zatanna put a spell on him that makes him ‘care’ about other people. Though the art could’ve been better, the story was quite well paced. Most of the things in the story’s wooden cabin didn’t have much depth to them, and everything looked as it it existed on a single plane; I couldn’t make out a cupboard in the background in one of the panels until my second reading of the issue. I love how this series takes readers into a supernatural realm that’s hidden in the real world. It has a very ‘Supernatural’ TV series feel, and I look forward to what Constantine has in store for TV viewers this year. Even though the adventures are of a magical nature, what makes Constantine unique is his ability to handle situations using his wit. This issue was no different and showed John outsmarting two demiwolves and a weird-looking flying octopus creature. A character named Albrecht is introduced in this issue who happens to be a real werewolf with the ability to look into souls. The two have an interesting conversation about whether or not John should get rid of Zatanna’s spell on him. I liked how Constantine said he wanted to be who he was and didn’t want any spell manipulating his actions, even if it meant he would start being good towards other people. Having just reached issue #16, Constantine has a lot of potential, and I’m curious to see where the story leads the character.
What did you think of the comic books released this week? Have some suggestions regarding the ones I should check out? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below!
Farid has a Masters in Psychology and an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Arousing the Legacy, Missing in Somerville, The Game Master of Somerville, and The Escaped Murderer of Somerville. He gives us insight on comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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