Woo boy, do we have a wallop of a column today. As I’ve whined about in the past, all of my favorite comics tend to have the habit of coming out in the same week. Or maybe I’m just reading too many comics. Whatever the case may be, I went all out and have reviewed nearly a dozen comics this week!
We’ve got Power Rangers, we’ve got a new Spider-Man comic, we’ve got Luke Cage and Iceman, and I tried to throw in more DC comics, like Batman, Harley Quinn and hopefully the start of my Aquaman coverage. Thankfully, there were some real gems this week.
But the standout, as has been said numerous times, is the new issue of Silver Surfer. This consistent Comic Book of the Week is going to break my damn heart.
I almost jumped back into reviewing The Mighty Thor now that the Shi’ar story arc is over, but this week was a standalone issue to introduce The War Thor…which, I guess, is similar to The War Doctor? It was a fine issue, and I suppose this new concept could be fun, but there were just way too many comics on my review pile already.
Comic Reviews: Aquaman #25, Batman #25, Batwoman #4, Iceman #2, Luke Cage #2, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #16, Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #1, Silver Surfer #12 and The Wild Storm #5.
Boy, what a couple of weeks, huh? In my day job as a newspaper reporter, I have been wrapped up covering a high profile murder trial since late last month! And then there were those couple of days I was in the hospital! It’s been a crazy time, and it’s cut into my comic reading. A shame really, since we’ve had some good comics in the past few weeks.
This week in particular, we’ve got new issues of Batwoman, Squirrel Girl and The Wild Storm, along with debut issues of Generation X and Luke Cage, both of which were highly anticipated by yours truly! And sure enough, the spiritual successor to Power Man and Iron Fist wins Comic Book of the Week for another awesome story by David F. Walker!
Meanwhile, in comics I read but didn’t review, Harley Quinn kicked off a fun new story, though I think I’m gonna skip this one. Power Rangers was an interlude issue about Zordon, and was still good. And the second issue of Secret Empire kept the story rolling along, but mostly served to spin-off into the various tie-in titles. All-in-all, a fine week in comics.
I even enjoyed the new issue of X-Men Gold, so I may have to try that series again.
Comic Reviews: Batwoman #3, Generation X #1, Luke Cage #1, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #20 and The Wild Storm #4.
Lots of fun comics this week! Marvel kicks off Secret Empire, which I won’t be reviewing. And DC kicks off their next big Watchmen event in Batman, which I’ve decided to get back into reviewing. In fact, we’ve mostly got DC comics this week! A reversal of the norm!
Unfortunately for DC, the one Marvel comic I reviewed — Ms. Marvel #17 — wins Comic Book of the Week for some really fun bits! Like a day-saving video game session in the middle of a convenience store!
Meanwhile, the opening salvo of Secret Empire came out this week, and while I don’t really review Big Events anymore, I’m digging it so far! I absolutely love the set-up and premise behind this event. Captain America has been brainwashed into being a secret bad guy, and he’s using his clout and heroism to build up a secret army to take over the world! And the rest of the heroes are going to need to band together against impossible odds to defeat and save their greatest champion.
That’s just good crossover storytelling! I liked all the issues that kicked off the event, I love the evil knife twists that Captain America pulls off, and I hope for an exciting ride.
Comic Reviews: Batman #21, Batwoman #2, Harley Quinn #18, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #14, Ms. Marvel #17 and The Wild Storm #3.
The X-Men books are a mess and they have been for years. Maybe this is because Marvel is purposefully torpedoing the comics because they don’t own the movie rights, or maybe it’s because the comic has just been a snowball rolling down hill, getting bigger and more unyielding every relaunch.
Whatever the case may be, I propose that the X-Men should copy a play from The Wild Storm comic and do some kind of big, slate-clearing reboot — to an extent.
This month, Marvel will launch ResurrXion, the latest in a long line of complete, line-wide relaunches for the X-Men. As I’ve pointed out before, Marvel does this every two years or so. It involves simply recombobulating the various characters into new teams, all with the same general purpose. Maybe there’s a new major plot point — like Evil Cyclops or mass extinction — or maybe not.
Either way, ResurrXion looks like more of the same, and that’s no way to save the X-Men. Between X-Men: Gold, X-Men: Blue, Astonishing X-Men, Weapon X, Generation X and whatever the heck else Marvel might spring on us, the new relaunch looks and sounds like just more of the same. Random X-characters plopped into random lineups to accomplish the same thing as every other X-book for the past few years.
So I think Marvel should do what DC is doing with their Wildstorm comics, to an extent. They’ve hired comics visionary Warren Ellis to restart the Wildstorm Universe from the ground up in a new comic, The Wild Storm, with a couple different spin-off comics. It’s got all the familiar characters, but the slate has been wiped clean and Ellis is starting over from scratch.
I don’t think Marvel should go that far with the X-Men. This shouldn’t be a complete, ground-up reboot.
Instead, pare the line down to a more reasonable size, with a very, very back-to-basics approach. Don’t just throw random characters into random rosters just to fill page space. Create a solid, core team and trim off all the most recent plot nonsense. Wipe away M-Pox and even M-Day. Wipe away any contention with the Inhumans or the Avengers. Send the Young X-Men back to their own time period. No more weird time travelers or space visitors or secondary mutations or rebel factions.
Just a school for mutants, with some familiar faces on the faculty and in the student body, where a couple of them occasionally go out and save the world.
In our current climate of political insanity, with everything from Black Lives Matter to the alt-right to whatever the hell else, now is the perfect time for a comic book about a group of minority superheroes who protect a world that hates and fears them.
It’s Iron Fist weekend! Unfortunately, I don’t think Marvel released their new Iron Fist comic yet, so I don’t get that special sort of synergy. But while you’re reading these reviews, you best believe I’m binging some quality Netflix Defenders.
Fortunately, this week had some spectacular comics regardless, with new issues of Ms. Marvel, Harley Quinn, Hellcat and The Wild Storm! I also tried out the first issue of the new Batwoman series, and I’m considering getting back into Amazing Spider-Man!
Comic Book of the Week goes to the latest issue of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, which is telling some pretty stellar stories! Let us hope that next week’s movie can live up to the quality of the comic.
Meanwhile, I’ve been catching up on Tom King’s Batman, and it seems like I gave up on that series too soon. After the opening story, which I just didn’t like, King has been doing some amazing work with Bane, Catwoman, the Ventriloquist and more! I might have to add that back to my review pile.
Comic Reviews: Amazing Spider-Man #25, Batwoman #1, Harley Quinn #16, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #13, Ms. Marvel #16, Patsy Walker a.k.a. Hellcat #16 and The Wild Storm #2.