Thursday, June 11, 2009

Comics Roundup for 6/10/09

Here's what I bought and what I thought of it. If you're a comics reader and haven't gotten around to some of these, you might want to be aware that there will be some mild spoilers.

The Amazing Spider-Man #597 - This story continues the "American Son" arc, which is all leading up to something big with the 600th issue. I'm still enjoying it, and the artist Marco Chechetto, while new to me, is doing a nice job. I won't go into all of the various subplots, but the main story, with Spider-Man infiltrating the base of The Avengers (who are for the most part all supervillains in disguise) is pretty fun. Looks like Spidey has been killed in the last page, but I've been around the block enough times to know that he'll be back in the next issue. Still, it'll be curious to see how he gets out of this one.

Action Comics #878 - The "World Without a Superman" story continues with this series focusing on Nightwing and Flamebird, a couple of Kryptonians who are fighting against all the sleeper agents from New Krypton. (I won't go into the complex history of who those two characters are.) While I don't find this storyline as compelling as the whole Mon-El storyline in Superman, it's definitely holding my interest enough for me to keep getting it. There were some nice character moments between Lois (Lane, that is) and Nightwing in this issue.

Fantastic Four #567 - I really need to go back and reread this entire run by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch. It got off to a bumpy start, but I kept up with it since these two guys have produced some of my favorite comics in the past few years. The last few issues have been a lot of fun, and this particular arc with Dr. Doom is really good. It amazes me that writers can still come up with some original stories with that villain, and it reminds me of how lame the makers of the Fantastic Four movie must be to screw up such a great villain.

Trojan War #2 - Marvel has been adapting some classic works of literature into comics form lately (hardly a new idea, but it's nice to see it coming back). I really enjoyed their version of The Odyssey and only slightly got into their version of The Iliad. Then again, that holds true for the originals, so I suppose that figures. This series tells all the bits and pieces of the saga of the Trojan War that are not part of either of Homer's epics. I didn't get into this issue as much as the last one, but I'll stick with it for the final three issues, as it's one more thing to add to my knowledge of Greek Mythology.

Batman #687 - I might have skipped this one if it wasn't for Judd Winick returning as the writer of this series. (Yeah, he's one of those guys from the San Francisco season of The Real World, but that's got nothing to do with me wanting to buy it.) I know that he has his detractors, but I really liked his "Red Hood" storyline, and I also enjoyed the issues of Green Arrow of his that I read. He doesn't disappoint with this one, as there are some nice moments of Dick Grayson adjusting to his role as the new Batman. Personally, I think that the character moments in this book will probably top Grant Morrison's in Batman and Robin, whereas that series will be better for all of the wild ideas that Morrison brings to his superhero stories.

X-Men Forever #1 - Here's the thing: I love The X-Men. I love the concept, and I love the characters. That said, I don't really have a very big collection of X-Men comics. I was a big fan as a teenager, but I quit reading them with any regularity during the 90s, as the storylines became so convoluted and there were far too many different titles with which to keep up. If I look back on it, my lack of interest started up around the time that Chris Claremont left the books.

Well, this is the series for me then. Basically the concept of the series is this - What if Chris Claremont never left? For those of you who don't know, he's the guy who wrote more issues of the series than probably anybody else (and he even has a cameo appearance in the third film). When I was a teenager, I thought that he was the greatest writer alive. Now that I know a thing or two, I'm not quite that impressed, but I still think that he does some good stuff.

Obviously, Claremont is writing this series, but instead of going with the current continuity, he's picking up where he left off more than a decade ago. Oddly enough, this issue is probably the most accessible of most X-Men comics out there right now. I definitely liked it, and I'll pick up the next issue. Still, this is one of those series that runs $3.99 (instead of $2.99) a pop, so if I'm not LOVING it by the third issue, I'm going to have to drop it.

Thor: Tales of Asgard #2 - This five-issue series reprints some classic Stan Lee/Jack Kirby stories where they gave their own spin on the Norse myths. I haven't finished the first one yet, but I liked what I did read, and flipping through this one, I'm impressed enough to keep getting it. The one thing that really stands out is the fact that the recolored the stories with the modern coloring techniques. While this wouldn't automatically be a good thing, they're doing a nice job of it. Besides, I might photocopy another story and use it in my Norse Mythology unit like I did last time with the "Balder the Brave" storyline.

No comments: