These might be my last batch of comic book reviews for the foreseeable future! Diamond Distributors announced this past week that they’re going to shop distributing comics to retailers, and we don’t yet know if any of the major publishers are going to go digital-only during this virus apocalypse. If they do, I’ll be fine, because I read all my comics digitally. But if Marvel, DC and the like shut down all releases…welp, that’s the whole ball game!
Perhaps I’ll start doing reviews of all the tpbs I’ve been catching up on…
Comic Book of the Week goes to the second issue of Force Works 2020 for being the most entertaining comic this week! A lot of comics were just moving the story along, whereas Force Works 2020 was really fun to read with some solid character work.
Meanwhile, speaking of those tpbs, I read through the entire collected edition of Nick Spencer’s Astonishing Ant-Man and it totally held up! Great series. I started on Dennis Hallum’s Cloak and Dagger, and the first tpb was good, solid. But I cannot recommend the latest tpb of Rat Queens, with a whole new creative team. That was a disappointment.
Comic Reviews: Far Sector #5, Force Works 2020 #2, Hellions #1, Legion of Super-Heroes #5, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #49, Wolverine #2 and X-Men #9.
Can you believe we have to wait all the way until November for another superhero movie? Man, what’s wrong with the world? Good thing we’ve got other comics to fill the time! Detective Comics, Hulk comics, Wonder Woman comics, X-Men comics and Squirrel Girl comics!
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl wins Comic Book of the Week because Ryan North and Erica Henderson revel in what it would actually be like to visit the Savage Land!
I checked in on Amazing Spider-Man this week but decided not to review it because it’s largely a Secret Empire tie-in and I’m not super keen on reading or reviewing a ton of tie-ins. Thankfully, this tie-in is largely focused on Dan Slott’s ongoing story of Doc Ock taking back Parker Industries, so I dig that part of it. And it moves the Spider-Man/Mockingbird relationship forward a little, which I also like. But mostly it was a big, busy, crazy issue. So good times there!
Comic Reviews: Defenders #3, Detective Comics #960, Hulk #8, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #22, Wonder Woman #26 and X-Men Blue #7.
I’m happy to report my busy week has come to an end! I was covering a murder trial in my day job as a mild-mannered newspaper reporter, and the guy ended up being found guilty. He had it coming, trust me. But all that day job stuff cut into my blogging and comic book reading, so unfortunately it’s going to be a somewhat light week. It helps that Marvel Comics didn’t really put out anything too crazy this week.
Though Marvel did put out Uncanny X-Men #32, which wins Comic Book of the Week for finally kicking off Cyclops’ final journey!
DC Comics filled up the rest of my week, with new issues of Batman Eternal, Batman and Robin and Gotham Academy. It seems I really read a lot of Bat-books. That’s largely unintentional, they’re just the best that DC has to offer. That’s not a bad thing, right?
Oh, and you can check out my review of Darth Vader #3 over at Word of the Nerd. Good times in Dark Lord of the Sithing!
Comic Reviews: Batman Eternal #51, Batman and Robin #40, Gotham Academy #6 and Uncanny X-Men #32.
Forgive me for saying this, oh great comic book gods, but I think X-Factor is starting to show its age. If we take into account the renumbering, this current volume of X-Factor has published roughly 90 issues since 2005, and that’s not including the excellent MadroX miniseries that serves as an introduction. And all 90 issues have been written by the great Peter David. But after 90 issues starring essentially the same team members doing essentially the same thing, I’m starting to think this series is running a bit thin. Why do I say this? Because this one-off issue about Havok and Banshee teaming up to fight a real Banshee doesn’t really offer a whole heck of a lot.
Sure there is action and peril, but where is the character depth? Where is the exploration of the relationship between Havok and Banshee? Or more appropriately, where is the heart and soul of the comic?
Comic rating: 3/5: Alright.
Peter David is a master of character work. The early issues of this volume of X-Factor are a glorious examination of the Multiple Man character and the new headspace that David created for him. Not to mention all the twists, turns and relationships of the rest of the cast. Peter David is hailed as a genius for the character work he did with Quicksilver back in the now legendary X-Factor #87 from the 1993. And when Peter David is at the top of his game with this cast, he’s turned out some fantastic single issues. I was in stitches that time Multiple Man took the team to Las Vegas, because it was just such a fun and funny issue.
But after the last few issues, and especially this one, I’m just not feeling it anymore. They’re goods reads, I suppose. I enjoyed myself. But this issue is as bland as bland can get – except for a small scene between Strong Guy and Monet that captures that Peter David genius I’ve been talking about. That scene is stellar. But everything with Havok and Banshee is just boring. Maybe it’s the characters. It’s not like Havok and Banshee have any kind of history to draw on together. But as the writer, it’s Peter David’s job to provide an interesting relationship between these two characters, to make me care about them teaming up like this. And unfortunately, in that regard, he fails.
Full synopsis and more review after the jump!