From worst to best of what I willingly paid money for. Also, the Mind Robber commentary will be coming out tomorrow afternoon – was going to edit it all tonight, but I’m falling asleep at the keyboard, so I’ll finish tomorrow.
Multiversity: Ultra Comics #1
The concept, of course, is just that of the classic The Monster at the End of this Book. But I want to raise a larger issue here – this is the issue of Multiversity that’s been most hyped – the “hypnotic induction” and “haunted” comic, which is literally dangerous to read. But if we take Morrison’s larger philosophical framework seriously – if, in other words, we accept his vision of how magic works and of what art is – then this is, I think, a flatly unethical comic. Morrison’s beliefs are such that parasitic and vampiric ideas are real things that can cause genuine harm and damage. Given this, unleashing one to feast upon the reader and making the reader’s infection by this idea a necessary part of the popular Multiversity crossover is at best ethically questionable, and worst monstrous of him. It’s clever, but it’s also borderline sociopathic.
The Black Vortex Parts 7-9
The rhythm of this continues to be frustrating – the Nova issue, in particular, felt like a complete digression to try to sell an issue of Nova, which was admittedly not an awful issue, but which is nevertheless frustrating, not least when Marvel’s scheduling means that three issues of this blob out at once. Whereas the “encase Spartax in amber so the Brood can eat people” twist is… thoroughly a delaying tactic and a direction I find myself spectacularly not caring about. Very much a “this is why I hate crossovers” moment.
This did nothing for me. Like, left me completely cold, no real comments to make on any front.
New Avengers #32
Man, remember when you could meaningfully tell the Avengers books apart? Still, this is a good issue, and kills off half the characters I couldn’t ever remember who were, so that’s nice too, because now I presumably don’t have to try. But this is probably the most lackluster beat before Secret Wars – too far before it to actually reveal much, but close enough that one feels impatient. This is a fine comic, but one suspects it is sound, fury, and a distinct lack of signification.
Gotham Academy #6
Interesting, and I like the last twist, but ultimately, the problem with being unable to remember any characters’ backgrounds I’ve had here is too entrenched, and I think I’m going to drop this in favor of trade-waiting.
Fun, nice twist at the end. One gets the sense Waid is working towards a conclusion to this, which is probably for the best, not least because they’ll want a new #1 sometime soon for the Netflix series, but it seems like a good conclusion. I quite like the Owl’s daughter. And Daredevil’s new costume, for that matter.
Uncanny X-Men #32
At last, Cyclops gets to the point where he’s been in Avengers, and things start to look interesting. Really quite excited to watch Bendis end this run, as he’s usually decent with endings, and the premise seems very interesting. And this sort of issue – one that’s basically just a series of conversations – is the sort of thing he’s good at. Quite fun.
Darth Vader #3
Kieron Gillen correctly intuits that what Darth Vader really needed was a wisecracking female archeologist sidekick. Astonishingly, he’s not even a Doctor Who fan. Plus, a homicidal protocol droid that obviously owes exactly the right amount of debt to Knights of the Old Republic. I’d been waiting for this comic to hit its stride and show what it’s going to be like, and for me, at least, it just absolutely nailed it this month.
Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #10
A big arc reaches its finale, with loads of bits that amount to narrative restatements of many of the basic principles of TARDIS Eruditorum, and just plain right-on “yes this is what Doctor Who should be” stuff. Fantastic, fantastic stuff – this remains the best Doctor Who comic I’ve ever seen.
The Wicked & The Divine #9
The presence of Ananke on the cover always suggested this issue may be A Bit of a Thing, and sure enough, some serious fireworks kick off here, with an absolutely huge shift to the status quo. And, interestingly, an issue that largely doesn’t feature Laura, and instead makes big philosophical statements about the nature of gods. The book goes from strength to strength, and one kind of expects the next two issues are going to be a mite explosive. Not least because of the cover for #11. Also, love the Spider Jerusalem nod in “I feel an essay coming on.”