Comic Picks By The Glick
X-Factor vol. 12:  Scar Tissue

X-Factor vol. 12: Scar Tissue

February 13, 2012

If it hasn’t quite worked its way back to being “The X-book for people who don’t like ‘X-Men,’” this latest volume of “X-Factor” at least delivers a more consistent standard of quality than most other superhero books out there.  Peter David’s character-driven approach to the title has sustained it for over seventy issues now and when he wants to devote a few issues to stock-taking, a bizzaro western pastiche, and a demonic vampire spirit from Africa, that usually turns out to be a good thing more often than not.  This has never been a series to focus on visceral action, as all of the drama comes from things like seeing former mutant Rictor coming to terms with the fact that Rhane, his pregnant mutant ex-girlfriend, told him that the kid was his in order to save his soul.  Okay, maybe it sounds a little ridiculous when I write it out like that, but it’s still treated with just enough realism to be involving.  More successful is Jamie Madrox and Layla Miller’s back-and-forth, will-they-or-won’t-they banter while they investigate a vampire-related slaying.

All of this is just a prelude to the book’s main story, when Mayor of New York J. Jonah Jameson hires X-Factor Investigations to look into the death of his friend.  This friend happened to be a general, and the superpowered woman who killed him is now gunning for Jameson himself.  Though the story is a fairly routine tale of secret military projects gone wrong, the writing elevates it as we get a wealth of meaningful character moments and drama as one of the team faces a life-threatening experience.  It’s also fun to see the cast interact with Jameson, and David writes the man well -- even when he’s using him as a mouthpiece.  So you have all this, and strong art from regular contributor Valentine De Landro, and newcomer Emanuela Lupacchino, and it all adds up to another volume in the “win” column.

New Avengers vol. 2

New Avengers vol. 2

February 11, 2012

“Mild disappointment” seems to be the theme for the second volumes of Brian Michael Bendis’ two “Avengers” series.  Where adjectiveless “Avengers” stumbled in trying to top itself, this second volume of “New Avengers” actually gets off to a great start by having its team decompress from the world-threatening assault of Agamotto in the previous volume.  The majority of the first issue takes place around the dining table of the still-standing Avengers mansion and manages to cover a lot of ground just in the way its characters sit around and talk.  From addressing Stephen Strange’s status and getting him on the team, to Spider-Man having it out with former aide-to-Osborn Victoria Hand, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones addressing the ethics and reality of getting a paycheck as Avengers, it’s an action-free scene that works beautifully thanks to Bendis’ dialogue and Stuart Immonen’s grasp of nuance in his characters’ body language.  The hiring of a nanny for Luke and Jessica’s kid was also a blast, and now that I’ve read some of the comics that featured him back in the day, I can say that D-Man thoroughly deserves the trashing he gets here.

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Comic Picks #100 (part 2):  The Twenty Greatest Comics of All Time!

Comic Picks #100 (part 2): The Twenty Greatest Comics of All Time!

February 9, 2012

Part one can be found below.  The party continues with #'s 11-1.

Comic Picks #100 (part 1):  The Twenty Greatest Comics Of All Time!

Comic Picks #100 (part 1): The Twenty Greatest Comics Of All Time!

February 9, 2012

All based on my subjective opinion, of course.  The party starts inside with #'s 20-12.

Invincible vol. 15:  Get Smart

Invincible vol. 15: Get Smart

February 7, 2012

The title of this volume proves to be particularly apt, as Mark Grayson starts to realize that he’s not really making a difference in the world just by stopping the bad guys.  Like just about every superhero ever, he’s simply maintaining the status quo.  That all changes here.  It starts small, with him talking things out with a would-be supervillain named Gravitator, helping misguided foe Powerplex achieve a breakthrough in dealing with the loss of his family, and finding a way to free Universa and get her planet the power it needs.  Then he sees that one of his biggest foes, who achieves a stunning “Watchmen”-esque upset in this volume, was actually right and teams up with him to help save the world.

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Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine

Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine

February 5, 2012

I mentioned this in passing on Wednesday, and as you might’ve guessed, I REALLY liked it.  There have been dozens of Wolverine and Spider-Man team-up stories in the past and there will likely be hundreds more in the future, whatever shape the industry takes.  Will there be any as good as this one?  I doubt it.  (Also, between this, “Schism,” and “Wolverine vs. The X-Men,” it would appear that you really can’t have too many Jason Aaron-written Wolverine stories.)

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Oh, and about that “Spider-Men” teaser…

Oh, and about that “Spider-Men” teaser…

February 3, 2012

Not wanting to be forgotten amidst the “Before Watchmen” hoo-ha yesterday, Marvel released a teaser for their next “Spider-Event” in June.  The teaser has an amalgamation of the insignia for Peter Parker and Miles Morales.  Now this could mean that Peter will be back in some way or form in “Ultimate Spider-Man,” which I doubt because Bendis is too smart to play that card so early in Miles’ tenure as the character.  More interestingly, some have even speculated that this could actually be a crossover between the regular 616 Marvel Universe and the Ultimate one.

… I sure as hell hope that’s not the case.

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“Before Watchmen”… meh.

“Before Watchmen”… meh.

February 2, 2012

I was going to write about “Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine” today, but guess what I saw when I opened up the L.A. Times today.

That this was coming was no surprise.  Rich Johnston broke the story months ago and after leaks of character art got hit with C&D notices from DC’s lawyers it only became more credible.  When I first heard that they were doing this, my initial thought was, “Are you people out of your minds!”  Trying to add on to what is effectively the “Citizen Kane” of graphic novels, let alone compete with Alan Moore at the top of his game, strikes me as the errand of a complete fool.  Now that it’s here, I find myself strangely indifferent to the whole event.

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