SPIDER-MANDATE: The Lowe-down on "Secret Wars," Tie-Ins and Stacey Lee
It’s like What I Bought, but with less song lyrics!
Speaking of Burgas, I’ll kick things off with the only trade I got this week, one where he was quoted on the back cover:
Atomic Robo Volume 2: Dogs of War- And here’s what our second best Greg promised on that back cover:
Seriously, people: Buy Atomic Robo! You have nothing to lose except your cynicism!
While I’m still holding on to my cynicism, thank you very much, this was as fun as advertised by folks around here (and others). There’s a real Hellboy/weird pulp adventure vibe to the whole thing which is an easy way to win my heart. I mean, beyond the Nazi judo from Lara Croft’s spiritual forerunner there,
I’d actually read and enjoyed the Free Comic Book Day issue of this last May. I just have a tendency to forget these things exist when it comes time to actually by them (which reminds me, I should probably look in to purchasing Apocalypstix). So it was a pleasant surprise to find it a copy of this at the local comic shop (even if it totally screwed up my attempt to cut back on my comics budget this week). I think I’ll go back and order the first trade rather than wait for it to appear on the trade shelves over there by accident.
Special Forces #4- If finding a copy of Robo on the shelves at my LCS was a surprise, then finding a copy of this waiting for me in my pull box was a pleasant mindblower, not unlike finding this in the freezer case in the grocery store.*
So, yeah, I forgot this existed, too. This didn’t entirely work for me like it did Sims, but I liked it better than Diana at Savage Critic. I never read in to it the way Diana did; I think the fact that Zone and Felony killed everyone was less a commentary on the war and more the elements of Baker aping/parodying Frank Miller that were so prevalent throughout the series, for instance.
That said, I didn’t see it as the triumph Sims does, although the fact that it had been months since I read the preceding three parts. That said, I’m iffy on whether this is actually works on two levels like he does. That said, it does bear a re-reading to determine that, so that alone is worth praising (at least if you’re an adherent to the lowered expectations school of criticism that I often employ). And even if it doesn’t wind up striking me as brilliant political satire, I do have to admit the use of lines like “Because we hate your freedom!” did crack me up.
And now, some corporate comics!
Captain Britain and MI-13 #11- I have to admit; beyond the admittedly awesome bits with Dr. Doom and Drac’s moon pissing contest and the vampire missiles that made me pick up the book, I wasn’t exactly crazy about the last issue. I decided to give the series another shot because the non-awesome parts were Claremontian “downtime between missions” stuff, featuring a bunch of characters I have no investment in. I wanted to see if the next issue would work better for me.
It did. Pete Wisdom demonstrates that famous British stiff upper lip and prepares for war with Dracula, looking like a total bad ass in the process. Blade’s appearance is more Tomb of Dracula than Wesley Snipes movies. While there’s not a lot of action or plot movement in this issue, it does build tension fairly well, and makes me look forward to the next issue. That’s a rare thing in serialized comics these days. I may be a late adopter on this one, but I’m willing to see where it goes from here.
Daredevil #116- Despite being as big a fan of Ed Brubaker as the next person who reads mainstream comics and is at least a functional illiterate, I’ve never been that in to his Daredevil run, from the sporadic issues I’ve sampled of it. To be fair, I was pretty well underwhelmed by Bendis and Maleev’s run before him. I may just not have much use for old horn head when Frank Miller’s not writing him (although I do have a soft spot for the Silver Age issues collected in Essential DD vol. 1.
That said, Tucker Stone’s excellent review at the Savage Critic and some extra cash made me give this a shot. And it’s a damn good comic, as you’d expect a Brubaker/Aja collaboration to be. I’m not entirely sure if I’m going to keep up with this in single issues, but I’m keener on actually picking up the trades than I was before.
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1- This was all very nice boilerplate Fantastic Four stuff until Ben opened the elevator door. Then it looked like my platonic ideal of the best FF story not done by Lee, Kirby, and Sinnott ever. So, Hickman continues to bat a .1000 as far as I’m concerned.
X-Men and Spider-Man #4- This is actually the only issue of the mini I’ve picked up, solely because it featured Spider-Man teaming up with my favorite X-Men line up ever (it was basically the same one that was featured in X-Men Classic when I started reading that series as a youngster, minus Storm). Given that it’s a series of interconnected stand alone stories set in different points in continuity, it was perfectly easy to jump in on. It’s a premise that worked well in Dan Slott and Ty Templeton’s excellent Spider-Man/Human Torch, and I’d really like to see adopted more often, even if it’s
Christos Gage turns in a good script, even if it’s basically an issue of Marvel Team Up. I’d like to see him join the Spidey Brain Trust. That said, the art from Mario Alberti is the real draw. Well, beyond the first appearance of Xraven the Mutant Hunter. As you might have heard, it’s very pretty (and was even better in the previous issues, apparently). I’m also going to go ahead assume that’s why it’s $3.99; a pretty Italian art import tax.
Finally, the best saved for last:
Marvel Apes: Speedball One Shot- Seriously, forget all of the rest of this crap; it’s more Marvel Apes! Not only that, it’s more Marvel Apes Speedball vs. the Red Ghost! And it’s a lead in to more one shots! And Tom Peyer’s back doing the back ups, featuring jokes at the Ancient One’s expense and Charles Darwin punching out Apelicia Masters! And the inevitable Apes vs. Zombies crossover is foreshadowed! Kyle Baker’s satire doesn’t have shit on this!** DC can shove that cowel people are fighting for up their ass! This is the only single issue worth your $3.99 that came out last Wednesday!***
* I mean, seriously, a pretzel stuffed with eggs? That totally freaked me out. I mean, its existence almost made me start blubbering incoherently in the middle of the grocery store like the Comedian! If I had an arch villain, I totally would have found him and done that in his room in the middle of the night! Also, I fully expect one of the makers of that thing to toss me through my window any day now. Which will be embarrassing for them, since it’s Plexiglas. And it would be a really short fall, because I live on the ground floor. But otherwise, this is totally like Watchmen!
**Okay, no, not really, but it certainly was my favorite comic of the week by a wide margin. I could totally read a Speedball/Ape-X ongoing. They could be this century’s Heroes for Hire, but, you know, they’re apes! The damn thing writes itself!
*** This, I’m pretty serious about, even if what I saw of BFC did exceed my low expectations. Damien joy riding with the Batmobile alone tempted me to pick it up, but it’s no Marvel Apes.
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