As always, from worst to best of what I voluntarily paid money for. Also, if you’re the sort who only swings by for these, you should know that book two of my epic history of British comics, The Last War in Albion, kicks off on Friday. Book Two is on Watchmen, and should be a fun time. Do drop by. I’ll have a bit of an intro to it/recap of Book One up tomorrow as well.
Years of Future Past #3
At no point during the course of reading this issue could I have articulated what the point of its existence was. I am writing this mere minutes after finishing it, and I am already forgetting it.
Silver Surfer #13
I know this book is a Doctor Who homage, but there’s a thin line between homage and rip-off, and “let’s rewrite The Big Bang only as a Jack Kirby pastiche” is on the wrong side. Fun, but tough to feel good about.
Guardians of Knowhere #1
Thus far, Guardians of the Galaxy only without Star Lord and as an overly black (literally) book drawn by Mike Deodato is, thus far, not an electrifying premise, although as usual Bendis makes the ebb and flow of fuck all happening entertaining.
It’ll be perfectly fine shoved at the back of the fourth and obviously weakest Hawkeye collection, like “Return of the Good Gumbo” at the end of the shitty sci-fi volume of Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, but not actually as good as that.
Crossed: Badlands #80
An inevitable and effective ending with all the happiness you’d expect, but ultimately the Homo Tortor arc feels like a missed opportunity that fizzled instead of exploding.
Mercury Heat #1
Good stuff, but it’s firmly the second-best take on classic 80s British comics of the week, and so it’s got to go here in the rankings. Basically, good premise, but there’s enough heavy lifting to do in terms of explaining the rather baroque hard-SF mechanic that the book doesn’t get a ton of opportunity to actually do anything. But it’s no worse a start than True Detective Season Two.
Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders #1
A Muslim woman becomes Captain Britain, then gets plunged into a Judge Dredd pastiche. Yes, of course my reasons for liking this comic are in part political, but screw it. The multiversal conception of Captain Britain and Judge Dredd were always political, as readers of this site well know. This is a beautiful homage to British comics in a fun romp of a package. It’s delightful that Secret Wars allows such silliness.
It’s clear that Trees is not a book about momentum. And I won’t lie, I think Ellis’s experimentation with things you should have trade-waited for is a bit frustrating at times. But I don’t care; that last panel transition is fucking beautiful, and as far as I’m concerned, worth eleven issues of buildup. Now I just need to clear the time to reread those eleven issues so I understand it.
Where Monsters Dwell #3
Well that certainly escalated. Which is quite right; without abandoning the mad excess of his premise, Ennis finds an entirely new angle on it here, and the results are outright hilarious.
It’s the most inside-baseball thing imaginable; a structural rewrite of S.W.O.R.D., Gillen’s debut Marvel book, which nobody read. It mashes up bits of Young Avengers and Journey into Mystery. It has giant zombie ants with writing on their DNA. Gillen wasn’t lying with “Nextwave as a tragedy,” especially with an absolutely majestic final act that’s at once obvious and brilliant. Everything you hope for from Gillen throwing a Marvel Universe farewell party, basically.
Crossed +100 #6
My God, this was a bleak piece of pessimistic brutality. And, of course, brilliant. The fact that Avatar is continuing it feels almost as dumb as Before Watchmen, but on its own merits, as a self-contained story, it’s a ruthless skewering of an entire rhetoric of broken utopianism – an uncompromising viking funeral for the entire classic history of science fiction. Just in time for the Hugos.