Ciao amici! Marvel’s AvX storyline continues to put out interesting books. DC’s New 52 seems to have hit a creative plateau where the good books are great and the bad books are mind-numbingly boring. Hopefully the new #0 issues and the upcoming second year will refocus all the mediocre and just plain bad books or scrap them and bring in new ones. Speaking of DC, for those who haven’t seen The Dark Knight Rises, go watch it right now! We did a SpoilerCast on it which you should definitely listen to AFTER watching it.
Hit the jump for this week’s picks!
List of releases for 7/25:
All-Star Western #11
American Vampire #29
Batman The Dark Knight #11
Before Watchmen Comedian #2
Fury Of Firestorm The Nuclear Men #11
Green Lantern #11
Green Lantern New Guardians #11
I Vampire #11
Justice League Dark #11
MAD Presents Batman #1 (One Shot)
National Comics Eternity #1
New Deadwardians #5
Savage Hawkman #11
Superman Family Adventures #3
Teen Titans #11
Amazing Spider-Man #690
Astonishing X-Men #52
Captain America #15
Captain America And Iron Man #634
Dark Avengers #178
John Carter The Gods Of Mars #5
Marvel Universe Ultimate Spider-Man #4
Mighty Thor #17
Secret Avengers #29
Ultimate Comics The Ultimates #13
Uncanny X-Force #28
Winter Soldier #8
Wolverine And The X-Men #14
X-Men Legacy #270
X-Treme X-Men #1
Ever since the Red Hulk joined the Avengers, he has been used as a battering ram and not much else. This might have been fine if he was the old Hulk, but Rulk, as he is known to fans, is General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross and retains his brain and military training when he transforms. This makes him a different kind of threat; one that can beat you physically or mentally or both. The thing I enjoyed most about this issue was the emphasis on action and the lack of any serious talking. The art gets a chance to shine and the internal monologue of Rulk builds off it and gives us a good look into his mind. The action in this issue is pretty standard. People are punched, powers are used, and Rulk smashes.
Batman The Dark Knight #11
Since the DC reboot, one of the few Batman villains that has been missing is Scarecrow. In his first full appearance, he pulls out all the stops and David Finch’s art does an excellent job of setting the mood. Of all the Bat-books, this one seems to live in the Gotham closest to the one portrayed by Christopher Nolan. It has a dark and grimy quality that gets murky whenever Scarecrow’s toxin is used. One panel in particular stood out to me. Scarecrow attacks Batman and the art seems to mirror his psyche. Everything about him seems to have an ethereal, nightmarish look except his eyes, which are sharply drawn and grounded in reality.
Mass Effect: Homeworlds #3
I’ve always been a big fan of the squadmates in the Mass Effect series, and more specifically, Garrus Vakarian. There was just something about him that made you trust him and always want him watching your back. Throughout the series, you got to see him grow from a naive and fiery young C-Sec officer to an avenging angel in the darkness of Omega to a battle-tested turian general. This issue gives a more in-depth look at Garrus’ past, especially his time before C-Sec and during his time as Archangel on Omega. This entire mini-series has been filled with interesting looks into the pasts of your squadmembers from the game, and this issue was the best of the lot. Now to go back and play through the whole series all over again…
The Flash #11
A staple of comics has always been the seedy bar where villains go to lick their wounds and plot their next big crime. For the most part, the good guys stay away and the bad guys have a small place to unwind. What I enjoyed most about this issue was Barry Allen having to get a job at the oldest, dirtiest, most dangerous bar in the city and it just happening to be a rogue’s bar. He even makes friends with one of the Flash’s oldest enemies, Captain Cold. After all this I found it pretty amusing that Barry decides to keep the job. The last two issues have been slowly reintroducing the Rogues and it seems like this storyarc, as amusing as it has been, is building towards a round of fisticuffs.
The Might Thor #17
Thor and all of Asgard were destroyed in the Marvel universe in 2006 and only just reappeared a few years ago. The first aspect to reappear is Dr. Donald Blake, Thor’s human form. Since then the two have split and Blake wants more than anything to be a God again. He even goes as far as to make a pact with Amora the Enchantress, a villain of Asgard and long time enemy of Thor. When Thor learns of their arrangement he says the funniest line I’ve read in a long time, “I intend to smash your very face in…” Reading it still gives me the giggles. The rest of the issue is filled with Pepe Larraz’s gorgeous art, Matt Fraction’s clever writing, and Thor whipping his
hair hammer back and forth.
Wolverine and the X-Men #14
Kitty Pryde and Piotr Rasputin have been together for decades in the X-Men books. This all came to an end after the Schism storyline, when Shadowcat decided to go with Wolverine to reopen the Xavier Institute and Colossus chose to stay on Utopia with Cyclops. Now that Colossus is one of the Phoenix Five, he wants them to be reunited, at any cost. Here is where you start to see the cracks in the Pax Utopia the Five have created. Colossus, and by extension the other Phoenixes, are shown to relate less and less to the rest of humanity and start to consider themselves gods. There is even a defection back to the school from Utopia. It seems that the repercussions of this issue will be felt for a long time.