Wednesday, 23 December 2015

December Comics Round-Up

Ultimates #2 (Marvel)

Yes, this is definitely the Avengers-esque title I'm going to follow. Black Panther's team - Blue Marvel might nominally be calling the shots, but it's definitely Black Panther's team - are all incredibly powerful, hyperintelligent, or both, and they're travelling the universe to sort shit out. Dan Brown's art is perfect for this. There's a real cosmic feel to this issue, ending with a complete inversion of what Galactus stands for, that could lead to some very interesting things indeed.

Doctor Who - Eighth Doctor #2 (Titan)

Emma Vicelli absolutely nails her depiction of the eighth Doctor. I prefer this issue to the first; this is the other side of the eighth Doctor, the careworn old man who's trying to remain positive in the face of an overwhelmingly cruel universe. It ends on an optimistic note, but we know that this Doctor is going to have to face his own war soon, which adds depth to the story. Very good.

Doctor Who Magazine #494 (Panini)

Haven't we had sword-and-sorcery planets in the comics quite recently? This is fine, but there's not an original element in it. Adrian Salmon's art style doesn't really work for it, either. I'm going to call this one a miss.

Batman/TMNT #1 (DC/IDW)

Just much more fun than it has any right to be. I like that this avoids going for all out campery. Batman and the Turtles might actually work very well together. And using Killer Croc here is so obvious it would have been foolish not to do so.

Ms. Marvel #2 (Marvel)

This is rather excellent, with Kamala facing the twin evils of gentrification and the exploitation of fame. There are some rather lovely moments with both Bruno and her adorable older brother, and pitting the youngest Avenger against a new, corporate version of HYDRA makes sense. The important stuff is Kamala's entirely believable reaction to the developments, though.

The Mighty Thor #2 (Marvel)

"Just take me to my cell, serpent. I figure it's best I get one now... before all the good ones are filled." That's just a brief line showing how awesome Heimdall is, but this is brilliant throughout. Thor is just excellent right now. The war between the Light and Dark Elves rages, with the incongruous sight of Roxxon tanks mowing down unicorns. Loki is back, all re-grown up and bad again, while the Elves and Jotnar lay waste to the Nine Realms in a beautiful and finely written story. Recommended.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #3 (Marvel)

A fairly middling issue for Squirrel Girl, but still way more fun than pretty much any comic series running right now. Retro-Dr. Doom just about works in this context, revelling in the campness of the character, but Nancy isn't quite up to the task of holding the storyline up against him without Doreen. Things work much better once the girls team up again. Digging Doreen's sixties costume. Includes the perfect footnote, "That guy's The Punisher! Like all men who take themselves extremely seriously, he likes to spend his downtime sewing cartoon skeleton heads onto every shirt he owns, so that way everyone can tell right away how extremely serious he is." When a comic running at half-power has lines like that, it's a keeper.

Lucifer #1 (DC/Vertigo)

Well, that wasn't nearly as bad as I'd feared it would be. I still don't really see the point of it; the original Lucifer series by Mike Carey was truly brilliant and a closed story, ending in the most perfect and final way possible. I'd expected this to be a reboot, rather than a continuation as it is here, and I'm not sure which is more pointless. Still, Lucifer returning to the Universe in the wake of God's apparent murder has some potential. Not a patch on Carey's work, but approximately 130 times better than the shit they cooked up for TV.

The Wicked + The Divine #17 (Image)

Wow, this has gone off the boil. The last issue of the current "let's look at everyone's backstory" season, this one focuses on cat-goddess Sekhmet, who is only interesting in fucking and drinking and is correspondingly boring as hell. Looking forward to how the series kicks back into gear upon its return in April, as it really needs some forward momentum.

And that's yer lot. I'll be cutting right back on the comics next year - Saga, Squirrel Girl, Ultimates and The Mighty Thor will be on my list, probably along with Ms. Marvel and maybe Spider-Woman

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