The big boys came out to play this week. Although one of the biggest boys of all, UNCANNY X-MEN #536, and one of the biggest critical darlings, AMERICAN VAMPIRE #14, did not make my cut. Nominated both of them last month. Liked them both again. Just thought the first part of their respective stories overshadowed good, not great, second chapters. And the competition to get nominated is mighty fierce this week. I max out at 10. In alphabetical order.
ACTION COMICS #900 – Was ginormous! A 96-page spectacular! And while I didn’t like every page, I certainly liked more than enough. Touched on the Grounded story arc. Touched on the New Krypton story arc. Was the finale to the Reign of Doomsday. Even Death showed up. And it was all wrapped around the Lex Luthor is a god story that has been going on in Action Comics. Plus I absolutely loved the Gary Frank Secret Origin parts! A great anniversary issue.
BRIGHTEST DAY #24 – Totally nominating! I liked it! Return of Swamp Thing. Return of Deadman. Return of Martian Manhunter and Aquaman. Intro of John Constantine to the main DCU. And Firestorm is still going to blow up! I’m good with all of that! They definitely knew how they were going to end the story and it ended in a good place. As to the series as a whole. Too many dangling plot threads, Jade springs to mind. But most of all, it was too long, really could have been maybe a seven-issue mini-series. Still, overall, not bad. Enjoyed large parts of it. Give it a B, maybe B-minus.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #617 – Loved how the book was set up. Started with a Winter Soldier story. Then gave us some Black Widow. Ended with a Steve Rogers/Henry Gyrich story in the back drawn by Chris Samnee. And I really got the feeling reading this issue that Bucky is about done as Cap and Steve Rogers is taking back the starring role. The Cap movie comes out in July. As does a new Captain America #1 and Captain America and Bucky #620. So we shall see what happens. And as much grief as I have given Bucky lately — calling people names is mean! — I do hope his de-Cap-ing is handled well as for the most part I have actually liked the Bucky/Winter Soldier stories of the last couple of years.
DETECTIVE COMICS #876 – Was great. Hungry City part one. Still some Jim Gordon. Conversation about his son. Which is fine. But glad they got back to Batman as the main focus. Loved the giant dead Orca. And it was even better when the dead body fell out of its stomach! Like that it’s a Dick Grayson being a detective story. The daughter of the man who killed Dick’s parents is being blackmailed and Dick will have to help her despite that connection. Rock ‘n Roll Batman vs. a Car Crusher. Gotta love it.
FF #2 – Was absolutely hilarious and Sue Storm rocks!
MARINEMAN #5 – How’d that sneak in this week? Totally not a big boy. And nobody reads it. But I love it. 30 pages an issue. So easy to read. Long stories. Plot builds each issue. Give it a whirl.
MIGHTY THOR #1 – Had some flaws. Namely Thor going scuba diving. But Olivier Coipel is awesome and I love that it’s a Galactus/Silver Surfer story.
NEW MUTANTS #24 – The last issue to the Age of X. Although the Aftermath is coming up. And I guess it was all just a story to bring back Legion and introduce some new characters. The anomalies. Which I am totally okay with cause I enjoyed the Age of X immensely. And after reading New Mutants and finding out that the Age of X only existed in Legions mind…right?…I looked at my reading pile to see AGE OF X UNIVERSE #2 sitting there next with Captain America, Sue Storm, and Iron Man on the cover and I said to myself, “Well, what does it matter. Those characters never even existed.” But I mustered up the courage to read it anyhow…and it was still real good. Figments of Legion’s imagination or not. Even liked the sketchy Dazzler/Dr. Strange story in the back.
SCALPED #48 – Scalped is so good that I’m reduced to complaining about the coloring! What was up with that?!?! Letters page! And Joe is complaining about the covers. Take this issue for example. Arty. Yes. Cool. Maybe. But I agree with Joe, those funky covers do not inspire anyone to actually read Scalped. And the comment we always hear about Scalped is, “What’s it about?” Well, it is most certainly not about a boogieman and his spider web!
WALKING DEAD #84 – Carl update! Sorta. He only appeared on the first and last page of the issue. Seems to have regrown his jaw and cheek bone. And looks like his scalp is intact. Ken and his Nick Fury supposition looks like it may come true. Assuming he lives. Jury is still out on that. I’m still leaning toward yes at this point. And I’m still leaning towards it all being a shock moment and not much more. Unless Carl does live and blames Rick and kills him! Anyway. Actually loved this issue. The zombie slaughter was fantastic. And Rick’s epiphany, stay, fight, build, no more running, was great.
And if you’re keeping score at home. I just nominated, Superman, Batman, Captain America, Thor, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Brightest Day, Scalped and Walking Dead. Big Boys one and all. A great week of comics. Conversation on Sunday. Talk at you then.