by Aaron Einhorn
Every week Aaron goes to The Laughing Ogre in Columbus, Ohio and spends far more money than his wife would prefer. He then comes back here and writes about the comics he reads that he thought were noteworthy. This isn’t everything he picks up, just the things that he feels merit discussion – either for being really good, or for having something really wrong with them.
Adventure Comics 4
I’ve seen a lot of criticism for this book across the net, and I guess I understand why. We’re only four issues in, and we’re going to discard the adventures of Conner Kent in order to focus on Superboy Prime? But I can’t help it, I adored this comic. Personally, I loved the meta-context of seeing Prime read about his own adventures. I loved hearing Alexander Luthor mock Prime with the knowledge that the Internet hates him. And I’m a sucker for almost anything Blackest Night. The Legion back-up was also very solid, focusing on a pair of doomed romances within the Legion. Overall, this one was a win in my book.
Dark Avengers 11
The Molecule Man has been one of my favorite characters ever since the days of Secret Wars. The combination of his nearly-unlimited power with Owen’s fragile ego has always been a nice pairing in my mind. And anytime an event like Dark Reign happens, it always makes one wonder “Where are people like the Molecule Man anyhow?” Bendis does a good job of showing that Owen is more competent than he once was, yet still shows how much he fears the mind of Reed Richards, and watching him take apart the Dark Avengers was perversely enjoyable.
Dark Reign – The List: Spider-Man
Spider-Man vs. The Green Goblin is one of the most classic pairings within comic books, and frankly, we’ve seen far too little in the way of direct confrontation between Osborn and Parker since the beginning of Dark Reign. Some have looked at Osborn’s list with incredulity, thinking “He’s wanted nothing other than the destruction of Spider-Man for how long? And killing the web-slinger is number eight on the list?”, but I accept that. I like how Osborn defended his actions to Victoria Hand, explaining that it was his reward – not his priority.
I also liked seeing Parker strike a serious blow against Osborn, and in a way that had nothing to do with his physical power, and everything to do with Peter’s greatest weapon – his intellect. From analyzing why Osborn’s Uni-Beam isn’t as powerful as Stark’s, to getting inside Osborn’s head, to using the Internet to get the news of Osborn’s experiments out to the world at large, Peter Parker showed Norman Osborn why it’s not a question of their physical powers, but what is inside of them that makes Parker the better man than Osborn could ever hope to be. My pick of the week.
Dr. Horrible 1
Oh, disappointments abound here. I loved Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, devouring each chapter as it arrived online last year. And so I had great hopes for the Dr. Horrible comic. Sadly, what I got was a middling-to-decent origin story that did little to get inside the head of any character, and which had art that was vaguely reflective of Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion without really being evocative of them. Dr. Horrible 1 is far from the worst comic I’ve read this year, but it may the one where the gap between expectation and execution was the greatest.
The Flash: Rebirth 5
I may have to eat crow here. I’ve long since protested that the most interesting thing about Barry Allen was how he died, and the legacy he created (along with Jay Garrick, the original Flash, of course). I though Barry’s death in Crisis On Infinite Earths was a classic moment of comic-book storytelling, and I thought that a serious attempt to revive him was a mistake of epic proportions – even if Geoff Johns was writing it. Now, while it’s taken five issues for me to really buy into it, Flash: Rebirth has made me want to see more Barry stories. Professor Zoom has a plan to destroy Barry that is appropriately villainous and terrible, and the interactions between Zoom’s Speed Force and the true Speed Force is really fun to see. It’s also always great to see the Flash family reborn – and I am entirely supportive of seeing the new Impulse, the return of Max Mercury, and watching Liberty Belle tap into her father’s speed formula once again (even if the combination of her mother’s strength and her father’s speed should make Jesse one of the top-tier powers in the DCU). While this book didn’t quite take my pick of the week, it was a very close thing.
The Mighty Avengers 31
Moments of brilliance make this a worthwhile read, even if the villain is lame. And I’m sorry, but he is. A generic king of the Inhumans, conveniently forgotten, and with a very generic cosmic power-set? It’s boring. But what made this issue utterly worth reading were the character moments. Amadeus Cho and Hercules working together is always a good thing, Quicksilver’s personal quirks were spot-on (and the moment with Luna at the end was heart-rending), and the interplay between Ronin and the Wasp was more fun than it had any right to be. This was definitely worth picking up if you’re a fan of the characters – and who cares if the plot was dull and incoherent?
Also this week, in The Incredible Hulk 604, Banner and Skarr end up finding the newest incarnation of Harpy, who has a happy reunion with A-Bomb, , Nomad: Girl Without a World 3 finds Rikki Barnes unmasked and in serious danger with the Secret Empire, The Outsiders 24 reunites Geo-Force with his dead half-sister Terra in a Blackest Night tie-in good enough to read to net myself a promotional ring, but otherwise is fairly inaccessible to people who aren’t current readers of the title, and Thunderbolts 138 has the team tearing itself apart when Ghost pushes a Mister X who is in serious need of a release for his bloodlust.
Thoughts? Disagreements? Want to offer up ideas on what books you’re reading this week? Let us know in the comments!