[Review] Comics Released 3/21/12

Welcome to another weekly roundup. There was a surprising amount of releases this week and it took me a while to pick out the top few. Unfortunately no contribution from Josh Whitehurst this week so instead we, along with Twinfinite’s own Christopher Hadlock, recorded a Comicscast last week so be on the lookout for it. Anyway, on to the picks!

List of releases for 3/21:

Batman #7
Batman Beyond Unlimited #2
Birds Of Prey #7
Blue Beetle #7
Captain Atom #7
Catwoman #7
Fables #115
Green Lantern Corps #7
Justice League #7
Legion Of Super-Heroes #7
Nightwing #7
Red Hood And The Outlaws #7
Supergirl #7
Wonder Woman #7

Amazing Spider-Man #682
Avengers X-Sanction #4
Deadpool #52
Fear Itself The Fearless #11
Generation Hope #17
Invincible Iron Man #514
New Mutants #39
Thunderbolts #171
Uncanny X-Men #9
Wolverine #303
X-Factor #233


Amazing Spider-Man #682

Doctor Octopus is dying. Even though he is considered a “super villain”, he really isn’t super. He has an above average intellect and robot arms fused to his body, but other than that he’s a normal person. The superheroes that always stop him however, usually have augmented strength to some extent and usually hit Ock in the head when stopping his latest plot. This constant head trauma has ravaged his body and now he wants to go out with a bang.

For the past few months Ock has moved around in the shadows of different Marvel books, planning something large as a final “farewell” before he dies. This book is the opening moves of his final game. Hopefully, this story arc does justice to the life of one of Spider-man’s most recognizeable enemies. When he’s dead and gone, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Marvel, DON’T bring him back in some convoluted way a few months later.


Avengers X-Sanction #4

Cable is trying to save Hope by killing the Avengers before the techo-organic virus in his body kills him. While he was thought dead at the end of Second Coming, in actuality he was sent into the far future where he discovers that the world was burned to ash because his daughter, Hope, would die from something the Avengers would do. In the past few issues, he has already incapacitated Captain America, the Falcon, Iron Man, and the Red Hulk. His friend and mentor, Blaquesmith, knows that Cable will die without someone to stop him, so he calls Cyclops’ team for help.

This issue is the first major step towards Avengers vs X-Men. Hope is shown displaying the powers of the Phoenix Force to cure Cable, who promises Cyclops that he will be ready whenever he is needed, “Sometime soon…in the future…” Thankfully, AvX is starting next week. I can’t handle the excitement anymore.


Batman #7

I covered Batman #6 a month ago and I loved it. No matter how badly and brutally Batman was beaten in that issue, you always had a part of you that said “Batman can take anybody!” and you never questioned it. This issue makes you question your faith in Batman while also making him question himself. Batman is one of the most self-confident characters in any story-telling medium, but this issue reduces him to a beaten man. His armor of self-confidence slips for a second and he shows fear and paranoia. It’s not easy to look at and afterwards, you are forced to take everything he says with a grain of salt.

As hard as this issue was to read, I felt a strange sense of understanding afterwards. Batman looked into the abyss and when it looked back he was shaken. He is the Dark Knight but there are forces out in Gotham that are older and darker. The Court of Owls is a formidable opponent in Batman’s struggle for control of Gotham. He has to strain every fiber of his being just to defeat Talon, an agent of the court, but how will he fare against a small army of them? The crossover event, Night of the Owls, starts soon and this has to be one of the questions that will be answered.


Fables #115

I don’t know if I’ve expressed how much I love this series. It takes every childhood story you might have heard and brings it to life in the modern world. Snow White and the Big Bad Wolf, now called Bigby Wolf, are married and have seven kids, Cinderella is a spy for “Fabletown”, Pinocchio is a horny old drunk stuck in a child’s body, and Geppetto is the dictatorial emperor of all the Fableworlds, exiling all Fables not willing to bow to his rule to our mundane, or “Mundy” world. This issue deals with one of Snow and bigby’s children, Therese, disappearing. In fact, she has been mentally coerced to become the new Queen of Toyland, which is also known as Madland and Discardia, which is populated by raggedy toys and is a barren muddy wasteland.

The art has always been great for the series. The sides of each page have little panels with art relevant to what is going on in the story. There aren’t any action scenes like in other panels, so the artists have the freedom to put more detail into each panel. Therese is greeted by Mr. Ives, a half rotted giant teddy bear and a contingent of broken toys. I kid you not, this bear seems to be rotting apart as you look at the page. This is a great series that can’t be given the respect it deserves in such a small blurb but everyone please go out and give this series a try. You won’t regret it.


Invincible Iron Man #514


Tony Stark has been under attack from what seemed like multiple fronts for the past few issues. Only at the beginning of this issue does he realize that all his enemies, like Living Laser and Ezekiel Stane, and all the people who are working to make his life hell and steal his company, like Justine Hammer and General Babbage, have been working together and for the Mandarin, the oldest and most dangerous of Iron Man’s villains. Once he understands the chess game going on around him , he goes on the offensive. He pulls off the second greatest prank I have ever heard of. I don’t want to ruin it but I will say that it made me bark out a quick laugh.

Now that the chess game between Tony and the Mandarin has started in earnest, readers can sit back and watch the fireworks. Stark is forced to wear a governor to prevent him from piloting the Iron Man armor while drunk or in a compromised state of mind, but the person on the other end is Justine Hammer who wants him crushed. Iron Man is already playing at a disadvantage but one of the smartest men in the world doesn’t need that much time to catch up once he knows the rules.

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