One of my favorite tropes in all of fiction is Evil Versus Oblivion, wherein a super-villain is a reasonable enough person that they willingly side with the heroes when there’s a bigger, more dangerous threat. Doctor Doom, Magneto and the Kingpin do it a lot, offering aid and resources to heroes when someone like Onslaught comes along and threatens to destroy all existence.
This past week, in the pages of Uncanny Avengers, writer Jim Zub and artist Kim Jacinto (with some assists) brought this trope to life with one of my favorite super-villains, a villain I like especially because he’s a reasonable guy.
SPOILERS for Uncanny Avengers #24 and #25.
I love the Shocker because he’s a working class, ordinary sort of crook who just wants to make some money. He doesn’t have an intense, personal hatred of Spider-Man, he’s not consumed with the desire for revenge against the wall-crawler, and he’s not just crazy and evil. He’s just a guy with some special tools that he uses to try to steal money.
And he was trying to loot the Gold Reserve with another favorite villain of mine, Scorpia, when they’re discovered by Rogue. They’re all in Manhattan during Secret Empire, wherein the evil Captain America has created a Darkforce Dimension bubble around the whole island. Monsters of all shapes and sizes are descending on the island and interrupt the villains’ looting.
Then it’s up to Rogue to convince Shocker and Scorpia to join her in fighting for their lives and stopping the monsters!
This is literally plucked from my dream journal of comic book happenings. The Shocker being used in an Evil Versus Oblivion moment? That is what I want from comics. It’s like Zub reached into my brain and picked the absolute perfect character for this moment.
Granted, Shocker doesn’t go full hero — though while we’re on the topic, I think he’d be a great addition to the Uncanny Avengers. Shocker and Scorpia aren’t big on helping Rogue stop monsters, but they’re still involved.
And that’s enough for me. I don’t read Uncanny Avengers and I’m avoiding most Secret Empire tie-ins, but when a writer I like seems to literally read my mind and make my comic book wishes come true, I gotta respect that and buy some new comics!
Also, I am now totally ‘shipping Shocker and Scorpia. So that’s a thing.
Double also, this almost makes up for Zub killing off Mach X a couple weeks ago. Almost.
Marvel (with a little help from Bleeding Cool) has finally revealed their plans for the X-Men in their big relaunch this fall. There are still going to be a ton of X-Men comics, starring a variety of X-characters, with some new writing blood behind the wheel. I can’t necessarily say that any of these titles interest me right away, but I’ll probably give them all a chance.
The big news is that something has happened between mutants and the Inhumans that has them at odds, or at the very least, is shaping what this relaunch is going to be all about. We know that Marvel really wants the Inhumans to take over from the X-Men, but we’ll see how far they take that. Other important developments include the fact that the Young X-Men are still around, Cyclops has gone missing and Beast has taken sides with the Inhumans. Also, no sign of Multiple Man anywhere, in case you were as eager as me.
Jeff Lemire and Humberto Ramos will launch a new X-title featuring old characters, and will tackle the Inhuman problem head on. Their team will include Storm, Iceman, Magik, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Young Jean Grey and Old Man Logan, who is coming to the Marvel Universe following Secret Wars.
You can read an interview with Lemire at ComicBookResources.
Cullen Bunn and Greg Land will be creating a villainous X-Team to take over the main title. Their series will star Magneto, Sabretooth, Mystique, Fantomex and Psylocke.
Dennis Hopeless and Mark Bagley will get to take over the Young X-Men, in a series starring the remaining teen heroes (minus Jean Grey), along with X-23. Word has it they’re going to all pile into a van to cruise around searching for their destiny.
Honestly, a ton of Marvel titles are dropping now, probably not necessarily at the speed Marvel wants. But that’s what Bleeding Cool does. Check out this Reddit megathread to find links to all of the announcements. There will be new comics for Daredevil, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Carnage, Silk, the Uncanny Avengers, Angela and many more. In fact, there’s also going to be a new Karnak solo series written by Warren Ellis. My brother will be excited to hear that.
Basically, there’s a whole lot of fun coming out of Marvel in the fall. Though I can’t say that anything has really caught my eye. I like Jeff Lemire and Humberto Ramos, but I can’t say as how I like any of those X-Men due to their heavy anti-Cyclops feelings as of late. I think those evil Uncanny guys could be fun, but it’s drawn by Greg Land. None of those solo superhero are any of my favorites either. Lots of neat stuff, and I’ll probably check a bunch of them out, but nothing has really hit me like lightning so far.
But there’s still time! And more comics to be announced!
What do you henchies think of these new X-Men comics? Or any of these new titles? Let me know in the comments!
Nobody panic. Deep breaths. Calm yourselves. I’m just as shocked as you are. Batman Eternal has just released the single best issue of it’s entire 40+ issue run so far. It came out this week and it is very, very entertaining. It helps that Batman Eternal #43 forgoes any focus on the ongoing story and instead delivers an issue where Stephanie Brown and Harper Row hang out and talk about the coolness of Catwoman, but still, it’s progress.
I can’t believe I’m going to say this…but Batman Eternal #43 wins Comic Book of the Week. Wow. That took a lot of effort. There are a ton of very good comics this week, plenty of enjoyable reads. But when I really thought about it, I had to give it to Batman Eternal, because this team-up is a revelation.
Spoiler and Bluebird need to get their own comic after this. They need to go on to team up all the time, the new crime-fighting buddies of the Bat-family. These two need to be the new foundation for the Birds of Prey. Throw in Red Robin for some love triangling and you’ve got the sort of comic that could really matter to people.
I can’t tell if this is a good day or a bad day for comics. Batman Eternal…winning Comic Book of the Week…man. I just don’t know anymore. I can’t even.
While we’re adjusting, feel free to check out my review of Uncanny Avengers #1 over at Word of the Nerd. It was a relatively mediocre start.
Comic Reviews: Batman Eternal #43, Bitch Planet #2, Gotham Academy #4, Harley Quinn #14, Thor #4 and Uncanny X-Men #30.
Such a good week! My pull list was absolutely overflowing this week, but I find I don’t mind at all when the comics are this good. This is the sort of week that reminds me why I love comics so much, when the stories are just so good, so entertaining and so fulfilling. Not to say there aren’t a few stinkers in the bunch, but even those stinkers had a few good bits – I even liked this week’s issue of Larfleeze, for once.
The real standouts this week are Aquaman, Thor: God of Thunder, FF and Uncanny X-Men, which are some of my usual favorites. Brian Michael Bendis has yet to let me down writing Cyclops, and Jason Aaron is a master of Asgard. The news that Matt Fraction is leaving FF makes this week’s issue bittersweet, but at least Geoff Johns is sticking with Aquaman for the foreseeable future. Winner of Comic Book of the Week is Thor: God of Thunder for an absolutely stunning Day in the LIfe type of story.
At the same time, this week’s Journey Into Mystery was almost as good, and it’s the final issue of the series. Sad thing there, because I could read Kathryn Immonen writing about Sif and Beta Ray Bill for the rest of my life. The Thor corner of the Marvel Universe was on fire this week.
Less impressive were the final issue of Trinity War and the New Avengers tie-in to Infinity. Both disappointing, but both mildly entertaining, with a few good scenes each. So at least there’s that.
Moment of the week, however, goes to Adolf the Impossible Boy in the pages of FF.
I love comic books.
Comic Reviews: Aquaman #23, FF #11, Journey Into Mystery #655, Justice League #23, Larfleeze #3, New Avengers #9, Thor: God of Thunder #12, Uncanny X-Men #11, Uncanny Avengers #10, and Wolverine and the X-Men #35.
We check back in with a few different comics this week that I’ve skipped over in the past, namely Uncanny Avengers and Wolverine and the X-Men. The latter impressed me, if only for its superb use of Toad, while the former was kind of disappointing. The Marvel Universe is an odd place these days, and I just don’t think Uncanny Avengers really has a place in it. Maybe a few years ago it would have been something special, but these days, it’s lost in the shuffle.
Fortunately, Marvel is also publishing the excellent Superior Spider-Man comic, and I’ve finally given in to fan demand and read Avenging Spider-Man, now renamed Superior Spider-Man Team-Up. I liked it a lot, but this week it pals in comparison to the outright awesomeness of the Comic Book of the Week, Superior Spider-Man #14! Otto Octavius finally embraces his new Spider-Man persona, and it is glorious to behold!
Comic Reviews: Justice League Dark #22, Larfleeze #2, Superior Spider-Man #14, Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #1, Uncanny Avengers #10 and Wolverine and the X-Men #33.