A very Marvel-heavy week in which I consider the merits of further trimming my pulls.
Guardians of the Galaxy #7
Possibly the best issue of the relaunched run - Rocket Racoon and Ben Grimm are a lovely pairing, and Bendis writes a particularly good Grimm. But look, this is still the weakest issue of the week, and it's the book's best face, and that means I'm done here, I think.
A perfectly competent ending to the first arc, but absolutely nothing special. Edges out Guardians mainly on the strength of the line about Medusa's prehensile hair. Will probably keep this one more issue to see what it's like under just Thompson, but I'm pretty skeptical that this is going to ever be anything more than a bog-standard Marvel book with a better cast than it deserves.
Silver Surfer #3
As with the previous issue, a lovely homage to the long history of the character, but unfortunately also one that makes me more inclined to go dig up some classic Surfer tales than to read this. The ending is dramatic but almost entirely unearned, with Slott and Allred's style simply being unsuited to any sort of personal turmoil on the Surfer's part. Some lovely touches - Ms. Marvel's cameo is sublime. But also some muddy storytelling - the Thing's face turn is basically off-panel, for instance. All told, fine, and I'll probably keep up with this until it throws up an issue that actively annoys me again, but I continue to think the Slott/Allred approach has run its course.
Mercury Heat #9
The doldroms period of the arc, where its major ideas have been deployed but the payoff is nowhere in sight. Good, competent action of the sort that Mercury Heat exists to provide, and an issue with no major flaws as such, but without anything that compels it higher in the list.
It says so much about my ambivalence towards Marvel right now that my reaction to this issue is so mixed with the glum dread of knowing it's going to come unglued like every other crossover in recent memory. But two issues into Spider-Women... I like it! These are still a good trio of characters, and the decision to just separate them from the Spider-Men for a story and let them romp through the world on their own terms is great. Love Reed Richards, in particular.
Darth Vader #19
Gillen pays off absolutely fucking everything in this arc in a barnstorming issue that just goes from strength to strength. Love the interaction with Aolin and Morit, love all the stuff between Vader and Trios, love the final page. Love the decision to do a four-issue arc so that this moved fast and hard. This is just a flat-out well-designed issue.
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