Comics reviews are a weekly feature provided because my Patreon provides over $200 for every week of blog content.
From worst to best of what I bought, which wasn’t much this week.
All-New X-Men #39 and Guardians Team-Up #3
Two parts of the largely unwanted Black Vortex crossover this week, and it plods along with the relentless lack of speed that characterizes multi-title crossovers. We’ve at least made it to the point where different books follow different characters, which is something. Curious to see how this works when it buggers off to some distinctly more minor titles come April, losing its anchoring in Guardians of the Galaxy and All-New X-Men. But it’s a fairly intellectual curiosity – this is not particularly interesting, and I’m glad the X-books are now freed up to go work towards the end of Bendis’s run.
A wordless one-shot that ties Batgirl into some Batman event I don’t entirely understand, but that appears to involve some sort of Joker toxin virus. It’s a slender thing, but worth highlighting this week in particular for an illustration of why spiking that Joker variant cover for Batgirl #41 mattered by demonstrating the virtues of letting Barbara Gordon be resolutely undefined by The Killing Joke, which remains the worst thing Alan Moore has ever written.
Loki: Agent of Asgard #12
One of those issues that sets up interesting things more than it does them – for someone with a better knack for remembering plot lines from recent comics, I suspect the rush of references here is very satisfying and fits together brilliantly. For me, who can’t handle a comic without a recap page, it’s less engaging, although I’m still really interested in where Ewing is going with Loki in the general case.
Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #6
Ultimately, this just repeats the revelation from last month, although now with new details of exactly how it is that Nextwave is being considered in-continuity, where it had previously apparently not been. (That’s news to me, but.) Although the best line is clearly “The Beyonder? Oh god, I should have never taught that guy to poop.” Because remember, kids, while there’s apparently doubt that Nextwave: Agents of HATE, one of the greatest superhero series of the past decade, is in continuity, there’s no doubt at all that Secret Wars II is. Ah, Marvel. I bet next issue will have LOTS MORE PUNCHING.
Batgirl defeats the angst-ridden version of herself defined by her disability and victimization so that Gotham City can rock the fuck out. God, I love this New Pop aesthetic of comics.
The Unbeatable Squirrel-Girl #3
I laughed multiple times over the course of this issue, which is really all you can ask for from a comic called The Unbeatable Squirrel-Girl. Much like Batgirl, this is firmly in the New Pop style (see also Spider-Gwen, The Wicked and the Divine, and Sex Criminals), which is worth defining more rigorously, as it’s by miles the most exciting thing going on in comics right now. (Closely related to what Bleeding Cool slyly calls the “light and brighty” aesthetic.) Emphatic demonstrations that intelligent, carefully constructed comics do not have to be dark and brooding masterpieces. And next month, punching Galactus. Punching is important to comics.