Saturday, June 6, 2009

Comics Roundup for 6/3/09

I've decided that it'll make more sense for me to write about which comics I bought this week AFTER I've read them. I finished this particular stack a couple of days ago, but I didn't get around to writing a new entry until today. So here goes:

The Amazing Spider-Man #596 - This one comes out three times a week, and I'm hoping that I can find enough different things to say about it with each issue. This one continues the story from last time, where Spider-Man has decided to focus his efforts on taking down Norman (Green Goblin) Osborn, who's currently the most powerful man in the country. Like I said last time, this is fun stuff, and Joe Kelly, who's writing this particular arc, really seems to have the characters down. I'm enjoying the subplots of Aunt May being engaged to J. Jonah Jameson's dad, and Harry Osborn joining up with his father while seemingly trying to sabotage it all behind Norman's back. Good stuff.

Batman and Robin #1 - No, this has nothing to do with one of the worst movies ever made. Here's the deal, Bruce Wayne is supposedly dead as far as the world is concerned (we readers know that he's not - he's just trapped in the distant past). For the time being, somebody needs to take up the mantle of The Batman in Gotham City, and that has fallen upon Dick Grayson, formerly known as Nightwing and before that, the first Robin.

I've seen this story before with Dick-as-Batman, but I think that they're going to stretch this one out a bit more. Also, the dynamic is different for a couple of reasons. One, Dick is under the impression that this is a permanent change instead of just a temporary fill-in like last time. Two, his Robin is Damien Wayne, son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul (which makes him the grandson of villain Ra's al Ghul). Damien was raised by his grandfather's people, and he has a real sense of entitlement. He's also a little badass. The relationship between these two is off to an interesting start, and I look forward to more.

Also, Grant Morrison seems to be doing what he does best - throwing as many cool ideas against the wall as he can. When he's at his worst, his stories are far too convoluted. This one is pretty straight-forward but not dumbed down, so I hope that it stays this way. I always liked the "student is now the teacher" story archetype, and I don't think that this will disappoint.

Dark Avengers #5 - Remember how I said that Norman Osborn was the most powerful man in America? Well, he's also the most ubiquitious character in Marvel comics right now. This series is definitely his "home" though because it's about the team of Avengers that he leads as the Iron Patriot (think a cross between Iron Man and Captain America). These are the "legitimate", government-sponsored team, despite the fact that its Spider-Man is really Venom and its Hawkeye is really Bullseye (along with a couple other villains masquerading as heroes). This series has been a good example of the best kind of villain in fiction - the one who honestly believes that he's the good guy.

This was a pretty engaging issue, as it deals with The Sentry and his place on the team. The Sentry was on Iron Man's team and actually is a decent guy. He's probably the most powerful superhero on the planet, but his mind is too messed up for him to really be very effective. Osborn got him to join his team by promising to help him, so this issue was dealing with that. Shoot, even if the story wasn't interesting, I think I'd keep getting it for Mike Deodato's art.

Superman: World of New Krypton #4 - Honestly, this one was pretty disappointing. I was looking forward to it because in this one, Green Lantern comes to New Krypton (which orbits the opposite side of the sun as The Earth) where Superman has been currently residing. The whole thing was kind of blah, but I'll still pick up the next issue. As I said last time, the Superman books have been really interesting lately (and last week's issue of Superman was easily the best of the bunch) and the first three issues of this twelve-issue series have been pretty good, so I'm confident that it'll turn around.

Astro City - The Dark Age, Book Three #2 - Damn, what a title. Okay, I haven't read this one yet. This storyline has been so slow in coming out that I've had to reread all of the issues leading up to this one (I'm almost done) and then I'll get to it. I'm sure that when the whole thing is done, I'll read it all yet again. Expect my comments on this particular story in about five years.

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