Thursday, June 30, 2016

Big Week for Comics

Along with my comics, I picked up a few trade collections and Paul Dini's Dark Night, which I forgot to get last week. As I've managed to get my complete batch of new comics read tonight, I hope to get to that soon.

As for the comics, they're a mixed bag, but mostly good.

Leaving Megalopolis: Surviving Megalopolis 5
The penultimate issue. It's been a while, so I kind of forgot where things had left off, but a quick summary up front and reading a few pages got me back on track. We're close to finding out what caused the city's heroes to go crazy while our good guys are in quite a mess, hoping to get help from the city's villains to defeat the crazy heroes. Only Gail Simone could've cooked this up. And J. Calafiore's art is just stunning.

Mockingbird 4
This has been much fun, but I think there's just one more chapter to the story. At any rate, Bobbi teams up with her ex Clint, after rescuing him, and it all has to do with whatever toxin is killing her. Despite the dire situation she's in, the tone of the book is fairly light. Chelsea Cain gives us an entertaining Bobbi Morse. The art by Niemczyk and Parsons is lovely, too.

Lady Mechanika: The Lost Boys of West Abbey 2 (of 2)
M.M. Chen's rather creepy story concludes without much by way of surprises -- golems and Jewish magic and metal bodies to achieve immortality are hardly new ideas -- but still manages to entertain. I hope we see more of Insp. Singh. He matched up nicely with Mechanika. The art by Benitez and Montiel is intricate and gorgeous.

Star-Lord 8
After last issue's surprisingly entertaining bickering of Peter and Kitty while captives of the Collector, this issue's conclusion of the story is rather flat. Kitty relates how she and Peter broke up, then Rocket and Groot show up for a rescue, which feels like it came out of nowhere despite Peter (or was it Kitty?) having sent them a message last issue that they were too busy playing a game to notice. The whole story felt inconsequential and ultimately uninteresting.

Captain Marvel 6
Carol spends some time with Rhodey, then has to face Alpha Flight's Board of Governors who seem annoyed with her not having handled the recent threat fast enough. Which gets Carol thinking about the Inhuman Ulysses who can predict crime before it happens which of course is the focus of Civil War II. It's a valid theme to explore, but having just finished watching the last season of "Person of Interest" which dealt with opposing AIs trying to do just that, this feel rather insubstantial. I'm not reading Civil War II, only the few comics I usually read, so I'm getting this piecemeal. I also can't wait for it to be over and we can see how it all shakes out.

The Spirit 12
The long story comes to a satisfying conclusion, though the evil Mikado Vaas gets away. These twelve issues seemed to touch on everything that makes The Spirit great.

Steve Rogers: Captain America 2
Pretty much Red Skull telling us what's going on. By now, everyone interested in comics, especially Marvel comics, knows the controversy of the first issue ending with Steve Rogers saying "Hail Hydra" and meaning it. That pretty much sent social media denizens into total meltdown mode. I'm a fairly new Cap reader, so I don't have the long history with the character. I've not read many Superman and Batman storylines that didn't suit my view of those characters and I've avoided the recent Superman movies because that's not the Superman I know and love. But I don't begrudge anyone trying something new with beloved characters even if I have no interest in what they're doing. I am more willing to go along with experimentation involving characters I'm not so invested in, like Steve Rogers. I'm also intrigued by where Spencer is taking this story and am waiting for the story to finish before passing judgment on it. It's an intriguing story.

People are upset this time because Spencer and Marvel lied. They denied Steve was brainwashed, and now it's revealed he was. People are upset that the whole thing was a publicity stunt, and yeah, it's been clumsily handled, but my feeling is that it's comics and that's how they operate and nothing is forever. Superman didn't stay dead. Steve Rogers didn't stay dead. He didn't even stay old and weak. So I never really thought he was Hydra. Which is why it didn't bother me that this was done to a character created by two Jews (and I'm Jewish). I did take Spencer at his word that this wasn't going to be brainwashing or a clone. I wanted to see what else it could be. And here's something I realized upon reading the issue: Spencer didn't really lie. It's not brainwashing in the usual sense. Steve wasn't tortured, he wasn't subjected to mind control techniques. No. He simply had his memories replaced by Kobik, the Cosmic Cube who thinks, thanks to trusting Red Skull, that Hydra is good and making everyone Hydra will make them better people. So I'm letting Marvel and Spencer off the hook, even though I never put them on the hook. And I want to know how this is going to be resolved. It's the story's conclusion that will make or break this story, not the first chapter. There's some good stuff in this second installment, about hubris and manipulation on both sides. Spencer, in my opinion, is writing a good story.


  1. Well I am glad that Steve has had his memories altered. Wait...I am not glad at all! But that's still better than having him secretly be a Hydra agent. Oh comics.

    I m also doing my level best to NOT read Civil War.

    1. I never really thought Steve was a Hydra agent, and the story is intriguing.

      With Civil War, all I care about is how my favorite Marvel characters will be affected when it's over.

  2. I am with you on that!