She-Hulk #1: good issue, but I’m not sure if this is a monthly for me. The one odd thing, however, was that the opening spread contains a pic of her drinking with Tony Stark and Thor. Um…Tony’s an alcoholic, though he’s clearly drinking a martini. It’s funny that Marvel can make sure that nobody smokes, but no one caught that? Anyway, the art works well for the story, even though I’m not really in love with it.
Batman #28: a flash forward issue. Can I just go on record and say that I hate EVERYTHING that Scott Snyder has brought to the Batman mythos? There must be something wrong with me, as everyone else raves over his work, and I just don’t see it. I’m tired of Zero Year and I really don’t know if I’m onboard for this Batman Eternal weekly. Anyway, I hope the Spoiler fans will finally shut up after this issue.
Red Hood and the Outlaws #25: This was important because it’s a Zero Year tie-in. Since Zero Year takes place six years in the past, and Jason Todd is 15, that makes him 21 now. We’ll come back to this later. It also links Talia to the weird mystical mumbo jumbo that Jason studied after his “death”.
Cataclysm: Ultimate Comics X-Men #3: What an utter waste of a miniseries. Clearly, Marvel felt that every Ultimate title needed a Cataclysm spinoff, but this one did absolutely nothing for me. They spend three issues in a pocket universe, where Galactus isn’t even a threat to them. Wasted potential.
Earth 2 Annual #2: I dropped the Earth 2 series early on because it wasn’t the “real Earth”. Still, I became fascinated when I heard they were introducing a new Batman, since that Earth’s original Batman died during the events of the first issue. Well, the new Batman turns out to be Thomas Wayne, and we’re given a different view of Bruce’s origin than we’ve had in the past. Thomas Wayne is essentially the Earth-2 Hourman, who happens to wear the Batman suit to honor the son he disappointed. I’m intrigued enough that I might give this book another shot.
Batman and Robin Annual #2: this issue features the New 52 interpretation of Dick Grayson’s first mission as Robin, as told through flashbacks. The important thing about this is that Dick becomes Robin at the age of 16 in the New 52 and not much younger, as in other incarnations. Let’s say Batman took Dick on as Robin in the second year of his mission, so that’s 5 years ago, making Dick 21 – just like Jason. So, this probably helped the “visual continuity” of Robin, as the replacement looked to be the exact age of the Robin who left to become Nightwing. To criminals and Gothamites, it would look like Robin has been the same guy the entire time, even though there were two different people behind the mask. This is a lot less jarring than Batman replacing an 18 year old with another 12 year old. This seems like one of the rare benefits of the new streamlined New 52 timeline.
Black Widow: I can’t decide if I like this book or not. Basically, it seems like Marvel wants to repeat the Hawkeye formula: here’s what an Avengers does on days off from the team. Sadly, I don’t find Natasha’s life that interesting. The art, by Phil Noto, is beautiful but the stories are pretty formulaic. She goes on a mission, she kills some folks, there’s a twist, and she comes back home. It also seems odd that she does this because I seem to remember that the Avengers have something of a morality clause. In Hawkeye, Clint got arrested and was reminded of said clause. How does that not apply to Natasha, out and about murdering people?
Another problem is that I feel like I’ve read this story before. You see, back when Wizard tried their hand at publishing comics through Black Bull, they had a book called Beautiful Killer. It was about a redheaded assassin who happened to be drawn by Phil Noto. The book was clearly influenced by Black Widow and Spider-Woman, so to have Noto on the actual Black Widow almost seems like a retread. Each issue is self contained, so I can’t say that this series would probably read better in trade form. Four issues in, I just don’t know if this is a monthly obligation for me.
Deadpool #23: I love this series so much. It’s funny because I never really liked the 90s Deadpool stuff, but I’ve been onboard since the Daniel Way series. I loved how Coulson was part of this story arc, and the Watchmen reference on the last page was pretty funny.
Origin II #2: I’m not sure what to think of this mini yet. I’m wondering if it’s like its predecessor, in that Origin was really only a great reading experience after it was collected. To read it issue by issue made it feel disjointed in a way. Two issues in, it’s not grabbing me, even if Mr. Sinister happens to be a main character. I also wonder if Kieron Gillen is the perfect choice to write this. After all, this was Paul Jenkins’s territory, as he wrote the first series, as well as the bookend Wolverine: The End. Also, I haven’t really enjoyed anything that Gillen has brought to the Marvel Universe. He was great on his indie stuff, like Phonogram, but his mainstream work has left me disappointed. I think I might drop this in single issues and come back once it’s been collected.
Well, that’s me. What have y’all been reading lately?