Weekly Comic Round Up! – September 12

I have to apologize up front, I’ve been slacking quite a bit on keeping up on this.  Life gets in the way from time to time.  But, now we are back, and it’s time to talk about our favorite books that hit the stands this week.

Avengers Vs. Xmen #11 & Uncanny X-men #18

You really can’t talk about either of these books without bringing up the other.  First, AvX #11 is easily the best book from AvX so far.  By a lot.  The Mutant Poop hits the Avengers Fan, and all hell has broken loose.

But, it’s not just the action, which is impressive, or the big thing that happens at the end.  It’s just a great book.  The writing, the art, the layouts, everything just feels better than any AvX book by far.  Where was this when we were slogging through some of those lesser books in the beginning?

What really pushes these two over the edge is how the X-men book plays into the AvX book, showing this other side of what is going on.  Finally the Uncanny X-men book is taking place at the same time as the AvX book.  In fact it is happening simultaneously, and what we get is a book that is from Phoenix Scott and Phoenix Emma’s point of view.  Showing how far above the rest of Humanity and Mutant kind they are.  It has echoes of a character like Dr. Manhattan (well, maybe the movie version).

Lastly this book ends with a couple of pretty big events, and at least one of them was spoiled by nearly every major news outlet.  Of course, anyone who knows anything about comics knows that this will only stick for about a year or so.  But, it is still pretty dramatic to see the confrontation.

I’m excited to see how they wrap up this story in three weeks.

Batman #0

The other big thing in comics these days is the “probably 1 year too late, explanation of the reboot” 0 issues.  The New 52 is going to 0, a year after it began.  I really think that this is where they should have started, or found a better way in each book to go back and explain these kind of pseudo-origin stories.

Of course, calling these an origin story, is not correct.  These books are more like Act 2 or Act 3 of the origin story movie.  We aren’t going so far as to explain where the character’s got their powers or why they do what they do, but rather we see their first attempts at costumed crime fighting.

This Batman issue is all about Bruce Wayne’s first attempts at battling the crime of Gotham.  This is before he decided to don the cape and cowl and is still deep in the crime underworld.  It’s Batman Begins if Liam Neeson didn’t try to recruit Bruce Wayne into the League of Shadows crossed with Point Blank, and Bruce Wayne is the Keanu Reeves character (minus the F. B. I. Agent! part)

It’s a good story with some good promise, but what’s really weird is that next months Batman #13 is not going to follow up on it, instead we have a Joker storyline and the continuation of this #0 issue story will be sometime in 2013.  It doesn’t make much sense.

To add to this book, we not only get a great story about Bruce Wayne undercover, but we also get a nice look at some of the Bat-Family members seeing the Bat Signal for the first time.  It’s a very nice short story.

Avenging Spider-Man #12

The only thing that could make this great Spider-Man book better is Deadpool.  Not only is this book which is normally pretty meta and self-aware, but add in the utlimate meta and self-aware character Deadpool and it pushes this book to new levels of wonderfulness.

This is my first real encounter with Deadpool, and I understand what it is that everyone loves about him.  He is just a great, fun, character.

I’m not sure I really understood what this book was all about, but I had a great time reading it.  It’s Inception with someone who never really escaped the horrors of High School.  All of Peter Parker’s issues are put on display and are openly mocked by Deadpool.

Batgirl #0

Continuing DC’s 0 Issues is Batgirl.  I’m relatively new to Batgirl.  I picked up Batgirl starting with last month’s issue and I’ve been enjoying it.

This issue pretty much covers Barbara Gordon’s backstory.  It’s a well written, well drawn exciting version of her Wikipedia page.

That sounds bad, but it is enjoyable, but comparing this to Snyder’s Batman book, it’s a wholly different animal.  Of course, the one big thing to be taken from this book is what most people were worried about and complaining about last year when the New 52 was announced.  The last panel of the book is proof that the Killing Joke is still in continuity.

I have to admit that I wish more time was spent on this part of the story, and her transition from Batgirl to Oracle and back to Batgirl.  Of course, this may already be covered in the first 11 issues of the book.  So my complaints here may be completely baseless, but with the 0 issue I would’ve liked a bit more of that.  I guess a character like this requires a 0.5 issue as well to cover that other half of her story.

Manhattan Projects #6

I love this book.  It’s terrific.  This issue really accentuates one of my favorite parts of the book, the way that we are shown the echoes of life.  This book surrounds a scientist forced to work for the Nazi’s and is “freed” by the Soviets.

While we have spent the majority of our time following the American scientists, we are now introduced to the Soviet side, and Soviet Russia looks very different in this alternate world.

Really and truly I can just copy and paste my talk about this book for every month.  It is the same twisted Dr. Strangelove science fiction alternate history sense of humour.  A twisted look at reality, and some things where truth maybe stranger than fiction.  The book is just fantastic.

My only real complaint is I’m not quite sure what it is building to.  Is this something that will be wrapping up in 6 issues or is this going to be an ongoing title for a while just exploring the madness of this Cold War world?  But that’s the only thing I can find to complain about in this.

Orchid #9

This is the issue where the story begins to build towards it’s endgame.  Implied subtext gets pushed to the forefront, and we find out the secrets behind General China’s mask.

Class warfare becomes actual warfare, and Orchid finds her true strength.  She is no longer the weak prostitute, she is the leader of an army and the catalyst for a revolution.  In this issue a fight becomes a war, and the oppressed take the fight to the oppressors.

Tom Morello’s world feels both fantastical and somewhat plausible here.  This is his tale of ecological damage and class exploitation and warfare taken to an extreme level.

Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith: Spiral #2

John Jackson Miller’s unique take on the Star Wars Expanded Universe has made it’s jump to the comic format.  Miller continues writing the story of the Lost Tribe of the Sith, marooned on a backwater planet for thousands of years.

This book surrounds the discovery of another group marooned on the planet, The Doomed.  They have a very unique take on the Force, both Dark side and Light side, Jedi and Sith.

Fans of the book should definitely be reading this comic, it continues the story forward and takes it all in a new direction.

I really like reading this kind of Star Wars story, where it is removed from the main continuity so you really have no idea who is going to live or die and the story can truly go in any direction.

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