Sunday 7 June 2015

June Comics mini-round-up

Well, I'm still picking up a few titles. My pull list is now down to just Saga and Wic+Div, but here's the last gasp of Marvel until September's massive reboot, when I will inevitably pick up a bunch of new titles to see where the Marvel universe stands.


The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #1

The one Secret Wars title I've bothered picking up, although some of the others, like Weirdsworld and A-Force look fun. Ultimately though, most of this stuff could probably run just as happily as part of Marvel's pre-existing multiverse, which now lies in tatters. Renew Your Vows takes the opportunity to reverse one of Marvel's most misguided story decisions, and puts Parker back where he'd be if he hadn't retconned away his marriage to MJ in a deal with the Devil.

It actually works brilliantly, with the Parkers - Peter, Mary Jane and young Annie - struggling to juggle the twin responsibilities of family and the greater good. When an elaborately over-the-top threat emerges that begins taking out heroes from throughout the Marvel universe, Spidey is forced to make difficult decisions regarding his lifestyle. With a supervillain prison breakout leading to Venom's return to his life, Spidey makes some tough choices. Dan Slott continues writing the main Spidey series, and seems revitalised after a somewhat lacklustre few months of placeholding. This shows that a married Spidey can really work, and hopefully some of this will carry over into the retooled Marvel universe.

Spider-Woman #8

Not Secret Wars related, presumably running behind the big events, this ties up Drew's current Secret Wars.
storyline regarding minor supervillains and their partners. It's fairly strong material, dealing with very real, potent issues of women's relationships with abusive men and the lengths people go to to escape bad situations. Remains good fun though, and Drew has some great interplay with Ben Urich. Thankfully, Spider-Woman looks set to remain part of the Marvel line-up post

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #6

Remains an item of pure joy in papery form. Ryan North and Erica Henderson show the makings of a classic writer-artist team. Eloise Narrington deserves a shout-out for her Deadpool Guide to Supervillains trading card art. Doreen Green's charmingly baffling world expands to include such notable characters as Chipmunk Hunk, Koi Boi and the misunderstood Hippo the Hippo, but Nancy is by far the standout character; the voice of reason in an absurd world. This had better survive the heave-ho, or I'll be unhappy.

Saga #28

Chapter 29 is out next week, and hopefully will get this comic back to where it needs to be. I hate to give a bad review for this title, because it delivers beautiful artwork and dialogue every month, but the plot has slowed down to a crawl now. I think that maybe this just isn't suited to the monthly approach, and I'm really thinking that, after the current run, dropping it from the list and waiting for the trade in future. Which would be a shame, but this works best as a novel, not a serial. That last page is gold, though.

The Wicked + The Divine #11

Seemingly, we're set for months of flashbacks and suspense raising following this, but damn, this was a stonking issue. The series dipped a bit in the middle while it set things up, but now it's really delivering, with some genuinely shocking developments this issue, a rapid series of gut punches that left me breathless. Inanna's (apparent) death isn't a huge surprise, but as for what happens to Laura... damn. This was well played - Gillen made it look like everything was in place for the endgame. We should have known better. The last few pages of this issue abruptly changed the rules we thought this universe ran by. Persephone had to spend six months a year in the underworld, right? Presumably, when we next meet our core characters, it will not be on this plane. We can only wonder which of the Pantheon were in on this set-up, and for how long, but Laura's role in events makes much more sense now. Stunning.

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