Of course the week when I will be leaving town early on Wednesday afternoon is going to be the one with the heaviest load of books I have had for a while. Hopefully I can swing by my local shop and pick some up before my plane, and then at least I will have something to read on the flight. As always you can see just a straight list of my pulls at League of Comic Geeks. And on with the show!
Marvel Comics (Superheroes)
A-Force #3 – The A-Force series moves into its halfway point with this issue, and it looks like the team is finally ready to go against their orders and fight Doom’s authority. I do not imagine that this will go all that well for them, but they have a formidable line-up of Avengers to call on, so there is that at least. It is highly possible that A-Force might continue on past the Secret Wars event, though in what capacity is still a bit of a mystery. Still, the series has been solid so far and there are plenty of women Avengers to build a team around, but I do hope that there is more of a point to any potential future series then just being the team of all women.
Secret Wars #5 – I am actually a few issues behind on this series at the moment, so I will need to get caught up (sounds like I have some reading material for the plane even if I cannot make it to the shop tomorrow). There is a reason for that, though, and I have to admit the core series is not really grabbing me all that much at the moment. We have just passed the halfway point for the event and things will wind down soon. I am more interested in seeing what the plans are for the Marvel universe after Secret Wars than anything actually going on right now in the event.
Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde #2 – I grabbed issue one on a lark a few weeks back, but was pleasantly surprised when I did. The idea of a Disney-singing Star-Lord setting up shop in a nightclub run by Drax (with a fabulously absurd hairstyle) really should not work as well as it does, and yet it also seems perfect for the character. The addition of Age of Apocalypse Kitty Pryde spices things up nicely as it would be hard to find a version of the character who is more different from the one that Star-Lord knows. So far this is my favorite series in the crossover, and we have only seen one issue. This one tops my ‘hype’ list for the week.
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #8 – This is another series I am desperately behind on (I think the last issue I read was #4), but I keep getting it dutifully. There is no good reason for why I have fallen so far behind since it is a strikingly good series. It is not for everyone (particularly those who would say “Squirrel Girl? Really?”), but for fans who are willing to revel in the sheer absurdity of the Marvel Universe’s most powerful superheroine (even Thanos and Dr. Doom tremble before her) this has been a great series. More plane reading material for me, and possibly the subject of my next tradepaperback review.
Green Arrow #43 – The Green Arrow series has had a rocky run since the beginning of the New 52. It started out terrible, but then received an excellent run from Jeff Lemire (it is fantastic, you should pick it up). It floundered again while it was being written by one of the creators of the Arrow television show, but is now back on track following the Convergence event. Bonus points for having one of my favorite superhero artists, Patrick Zircher, working on the title right now.
Starfire #3 – The character of Starfire has been damaged goods since the start of the New 52, where they decided that it was best if she slept with everyone and had no concept of feelings or memories. It was, shall we say, a creative misstep (being polite), and her character never really recovered from it. Following Convergence she was given her own series by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, which has helped her quite a bit. They are still playing her as a ditz, but at least her brooding attitude has been switched out for something far more bubbly and interesting. This still is not the Starfire that we grew to love in her old Teen Titans appearances, but at least it is better than it was. This series is being played for a laughs, and is pretty much a less dark version of Harley Quinn (also written by Palmiotti and Conner), but there is nothing wrong with that. I am still hoping that someday we can get our badass, confident Starfire back.
Marvel Comics (Star Wars)
Lando #2 – Even jumping back into the old extended universe books Lando was a character who was never properly built up in any meaningful way. Fortunately Marvel seems to have realized that and is giving Lando some much needed star treatment at the moment. Like Princess Leia before it (review coming next week) the series is off to a great start, and I feel like Charles Soule has done more for the character than anyone else in the past thirty or so years (he had a trilogy of books come out, with the last one released in 1983, and then he has been a background character ever since). When they first announced Lando as the protagonist for a mini-series I was a bit skeptical, but the early indications are that they pulled it off rather well. Hopefully issue two keeps it going.
Dark Horse Comics
King Tiger #1 – Randy Stradley made a bit of a name for himself on the classic Star Wars mini-series Crimson Empire a number of years ago. It was a good, brutal action story with backstabbing politics and solid characters. Its two sequels, unfortunately, were a bit less entertaining and never quite reached the same mark. With Star Wars moved on to Marvel Mr. Stradley has decided to put his pen to paper again and draft up a martial arts story with artist Doug Wheatley. The first Crimson Empire series was strong enough that I am willing to give King Tiger a shot based on it alone, and I am definitely hoping for a return to glory.
Kaijumax #4 – I have never been a huge monster movie fan, though I did grow up with Power Rangers which are a kiddie off-shoot of that popular genre. Consequently there are likely a lot of references in Kaijumax that are going completely over my head each month, and yet I am still enjoying this story more than I should. The idea of these famous kaijus being secluded on a remote island, Alcatraz-style, with human wardens and guards (some of whom are severely corrupt) just tickles my funny bone. This book needs some more love so give it a look at your shop this week, even if you do not care one iota about the giant monsters genre.
Mercury Heat #2 – This is Kieron Gillen’s straight-up action comic, which is a bit odd for me since I tend to find his work to more cerebral than actiony. The first issue was solid, if perhaps not up to his normal standards, and certainly merits a look at his second issue. I am less sold on the art, which is a bit muddled at times, but not bad enough to mark against the comic (if I can struggle through Siege‘s art for Gillen’s writing then this is nothing). There is not much more to say on this one at the moment since the plot is still developing.
Velvet #11 – Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting have become one of the finest creative pairs in modern comics, and Velvet continues to impress. Issue 10, which closed out the second arc, came out back in April, so it has been a good while since the series was on shelves, but that was expected since they took the same break between the first arc and the second. Either way, this is one of the few comics that I look for in Previews each and every month to see if it is returning to publication, and now the third arc is finally here. Not being able to read this issue on Wednesday would be the biggest disappointment for me if I can not make it to the comic shop.