How’s everybody holding up? Coronavirus has yet to hit my little enclave in Upstate New York, but it’s getting closer by the day. I hope all of you are safe, sound and doing your best to get through this!
Thankfully, I read my comics online these days, so no need to go outside! This was a stellar week, with quality issues of The Green Lantern, X-Men, New Mutants and the Comic Book of the Week: Ant-Man #3! This mini-series is just delightful!
Meanwhile, I did get caught up on the first issue of Strange Adventures, so expect that review this week. And I just binged the third season of the Castlevania and it was phenomenal! So dark, so cool, so charming and so action-packed. This series is not one to miss!
Comic Reviews: Ant-Man #3, The Green Lantern #2, New Mutants #9, Strange Adventures #1, Thor #4 and X-Men #8.
I have an addiction to ordering graphic novels on Amazon. Admitting I have a problem is the first step. But in better news, I finally have my hands on Spider-Man: Life Story! I’ll let you know what I think!
Comic Book of the Week goes to Thor #3, because nothing tickles my pinks quite like an awesome guest appearance from Beta Ray Bill!
Meanwhile, I didn’t like the Sonic the Hedgehog movie. I suppose one argument could be made that I should cut an obvious kids’ movie some slack, but we’ve all seen good kids movies. This is just a dumb film filled with cliches and tropes. And they don’t really get Sonic right. He’s all about attitude, but movie Sonic is a hopeful, lonely kid who just wants a friend. And as the tropes dictate, he gets at least one.
Comic Reviews: Go Go Power Rangers #29, The Green Lantern #1, Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey #1, Iron Man 2020 #2, Thor #3 and X-Men #6.
New comics! They’ve come out! And I’ve read a couple! Like Batman! And Guardians of the Galaxy! And even Captain America! What a time to be alive.
Comic Book of the Week goes to Go Go Power Rangers: Forever Rangers #1, an oversized issue that didn’t need to be that at all. But here we are. It’s a fun, action-packed issue that promises to kick off more to come!
Meanwhile, I dunno, I don’t have much else going on at the moment. What about you peeps? Any new comic recommendations for me?
Comic Reviews: Batman #73, Captain America #11, Guardians of the Galaxy #6, Go Go Power Rangers: Forever Rangers #1, Unstoppable Wasp #9.
I think I’m reading less comics these days. I don’t know if I’ve run out of time or if I keep running out of comics I actually enjoy. I’ve dropped most of the X-Men comics I’ve been reading. I dropped Amazing Spider-Man and didn’t pick up any of the other supplemental Spider-Man comics. I dropped a lot of DC Comics. Am I…am I falling out of love with comics?!
Let’s hope not. I think it’s just the current business practices of the Big Two.
Some solid comics this week, from War of the Realms to Go Go Power Rangers. Comic Book of the Week goes to the new issue of Tom King’s Batman, which I’m finally back to reviewing! I think it’s my favorite Tom King series ever, and he still brings the deep character drama.
Meanwhile, some big cancellation news this week. We’re losing Unstoppable Wasp again, which is a damn shame. Gonna miss that book. And the entire X-Men comics line is being cancelled to make way for Jonathan Hickman’s plans. I’m more excited about that…though now I fully regret buying all of X-Men: Disassembled and anything they’ve done since. Marvel’s X-Men relaunches get shorter and shorter. And now all those character deaths really were meaningless. Unless it was part of Jonathan Hickman’s grand plan that Strong Guy be dead. If so, I feel personally attacked.
Comic Reviews: Batman #71, Giant-Man #1, Go Go Power Rangers #20, Guardians of the Galaxy #5 and The War of the Realms #4.
In a Little More Than 2 Years, Nearly Every Single One of My Favorite Comic Book Characters Has Been Killed
As a longtime comic book reader, I have my personal list of favorite characters. Everybody has one, right? Those characters that you love to read about and see pop up in new comics. For a lot of people, their favorite characters are big name superheroes, like Spider-Man or Batman. For me, I tend to prefer the smaller supporting characters. That’s just what happens when you read a lot of comics and are exposed to a lot of characters.
As such, when I started this blog back in 2011, one of my earliest Lists of Six was my top six favorite comic book characters of all-time. With the exception of one name, that list has remained pretty firm over the past eight years.
In the past two years and a couple months, nearly every character on that list has been killed. Several characters in my Honorable Mentions addendum have been killed. And a couple other characters I love have either been killed or nearly killed within this time frame.
I don’t…I don’t know what’s going on.
I don’t presume to think this is some sort of targeted attack on yours truly. I think this is just the unfortunate cost of loving minor comic book characters, the sorts of characters that can be chewed up and spit out as any given writer sees fit.
But damn, this has been pretty hard on the soul.
And I guess I just felt like listing them off, as if that would help me somehow. Let’s start with my favorite characters list:
Multiple Man was killed in Death of X #1 in October 2016.
He’s still dead. Multiple Man has returned to comics, replaced by one of his duplicates. And his character has been re-written as a feckless coward. So that’s some good salt in the wound.
The Mimic was killed in Extermination #5 in December 2018.
This one was really disappointing. He made a surprise appearance in Extermination after being out of comics for a few years. I knew from the moment he appeared that he probably wouldn’t survive the series, and I had to wait several months for those fears to be confirmed.
Phil Urich was killed in Amazing Spider-Man #797 in March 2018.
Phil was my favorite superhero as a kid, and the first comic I actively started collecting on my own, issue-by-issue. I endured years of him being transformed into an unrepentant villain before they finally put him out of his misery.
Tim Drake was killed in Detective Comics #940 in September 2016.
Thankfully, his death was a fake out. He survived and returned to service shortly thereafter. He’s even gone back to being just “Robin” instead of the far more ridiculous “Red Robin”. So there’s at least one happy ending in this list.
That’s it for my list of favorites. I listed “Robin” on that list as more of the concept of the character. Damian Wayne, the current Robin, is still alive…but if I’m being honest, he hasn’t really been ‘Robin’ in a long time. The concept of ‘Batman and Robin’ as a team is pretty dead. So does that count? Not to mention that Damian was killed in early 2013. So for a short while there, Robin was dead.
The Spot is also still alive, but he’s the one character I would probably take off my list of favorites. I’ve always been a big fan of the Spot, and will always be a big fan of the Spot, but there are characters I like better. Which is probably why he’s still alive.
How about some of those Honorable Mentions at the bottom of the page?
Mach X was killed in Thunderbolts #12 in April 2017.
The Scorpion was maybe killed in Venom Annual #1 in October 2018.
I’m not too sure about this one. It does appear that Venom kills the Scorpion, but then Scorpion has been showing up in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man recently. I may have to check and see if there’s an explanation.
Strong Guy was killed in Uncanny X-Men #12 in February 2019.
This is the most recent, and inspired this list. Strong Guy is Multiple Man’s best friend, and one of my favorite duos in comics. And now they’re both dead, and neither one particularly cares about the other these days. So just bleakness all around.
Avalanche was killed in Uncanny Avengers #1 in October 2012.
That happened a year after I started my blog and he’s still dead. The recent X-Men Gold comic introduced a new Avalanche, but I didn’t read it, and I’m pretty sure the character didn’t stick around. The X-Men have since ignored the new Pyro also, and he joined the X-Men towards the end of that comic. So that’s not looking good.
That’s the major list. Eight of my favorite comic book characters have been killed since I started this blog, most of them within the past two years or so. And only one of them has been properly ‘resurrected’ in that time. It’s just a little soul-crushing.
That’s not counting the time Stingray was nearly killed in a recent Avengers comic. Or the speculation that Simon Baz, my favorite Green Lantern, is probably going to be killed in Heroes in Crisis.
I don’t have any larger point to make. And I’m largely just whining. But c’mon. There’s only so much my soul can take. Is it really so wrong to have favorite comic book characters? Is there somebody specifically targeting me?
When will it stop?
All I really know is that Beta Ray Bill had better be very careful now that he’s a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. There’s almost no way he’s going to survive that comic.