What Brendan’s reading…
Something sorely needed recently popped up in Launceston. We got a comic shop! With actual new comics!
It’s called Alternate Dimensions and it’s very good. If you are a Lonny local or just in town go check it out. Tell Ron I sent you, maybe I’ll get an extra stamp on my free comics card.
A byproduct of this is I am reading a lot more new comics so I thought I would do a few mini reviews. I’ll try to avoid anything spoilery, but will be mentioning some prior stories so be aware.
Superior Spider-Man #1-6
The one that started it all! Originally this was the only new book I was subscribing to. Spider-man was one of the books relaunched in the recent Marvel NOW initiative, and I had been reading Amazing Spider-Man digitally so I figured this was a great way to jump into the brave old world of physical issues.
In Amazing Spider-Man #700 a big shakeup occurred. I won’t go into all the details but what you need to know is that Dr. Octopus transferred his mind into the body of Peter Parker. Parker seemingly died in the body of Doc Ock. Octo-Spidey is the star of Superior Spider-Man, and the comic shows what happens when a super-villain plays hero.
Dan Slott has been a love him or hate him writer on Spidey, and Superior isn’t likely to change your mind. His Spidey is lighter, a bit goofy and he favours narration. However I definitely fall into the love camp. I find this Spider-Man a lot of fun, and I think Superior has just gotten better. Seeing Otto using his super-villain logic to solve superhero problems is both exciting, and often hilarious. Often times he is a far more successful hero than Peter ever was, but given the route he takes (his violence threshold is a little… different) it’s interesting to debate whether he truly is the Superior Spider-Man.
The art is similarly divisive. I have heard a lot of hate for Humberto Ramos’ “cartoony” style, but I really think it suits the light style. Plus, when it gets dark (and it does) the contrast has that much more impact. The end of #6 was really quite confronting.
I recommend this book, and with 6 issues out that must mean a trade is just around the corner. Give this very different Spidey a try, you might just like it.
Avenging Spider-Man #16-18
This book is basically the new Marvel Team-Up. In each issue Spidey teams up with a new hero for an issue or two of light hearted adventuring. It’s always been a pretty easy book to jump onboard as it’s light on continuity and many issues are done in one. This has continued since the introduction of Octo-Spidey with every issue so far featuring him teaming up and clashing with a different hero. We have seen X-Men, the Future Foundation and Thor and it’s great to see how they react to Spidey’s recent attitude change. Especially Wolverine… it’s so good.
Artists on this book vary, but they are generally of high quality. The writers used to change too, but since Octo-Spidey came along Chris Yost has taken over. So far, so very good. In many ways this is the better (of 2 good) Spider-Man books. It’s super easy to jump on board, so maybe next time you get a free comic on your loyalty card you should check this out.
Young Avengers #1-2
I love Young Avengers almost as much as I love Runaways. I love Runaways… a lot!
So when I saw this is mostly a new team, featuring only Wiccan, Hulkling and Hawkeye (the girl one), and adding in young Loki, (haven’t read Journey into Mysery, but I may have to) Miss America, (don’t really know who she is) and Marvel Boy/Protector/that not very popular avenger I was a bit skeptical. I still am a little bit, but I suspect this may be good.
Kieron Miller writes amazing dialogue, capably following up Allan Heinberg. These teens are cooler than I’ll ever be, but their dialogue is very real. However this is one slow moving comic, 2 issues in and nothing much has happened. Being monthly this could be a negative, and may be worth waiting on trades if you aren’t sure.
Onto the art, and boy, is this one perty book. I mean look at this!
Gorgeous! Does it cover up story issues? Depends how into art you are. For now I’m sticking with this book, as it’s a very unique thing. Hopefully the story gets moving though.
Daredevil #23 – 24
I heard issue 23 was a great jumping on point for this book. You can’t read a single article on comics without someone raving about Mark Waid’s Daredevil. It deserves it. All of it.
After a long period of darkness for Daredevil, the old swashbuckling hero is back. Mark Waid’s Daredevil has been through it all, and finally just says fuck it. He’s enjoying being a hero again. That said, he’s still getting put through the ringer. A new villain is targeting him, and in two issues he has fought crazy guys with the same super senses as him and even dogs with super senses. The flip side is his personal life, which as usual is possibly even more interesting than his super one.
The art on this book has a classic, clean kind of look. It works really well with this optimistic take on Daredevil. Look how nice it is!
On a sidenote, I love how this book embraces Daredevil’s outside the norm powers. It’s great to see him struggling in noisy situations, and really working to win a fight. Daredevil is an inspirational hero, and this book really does him justice.
Age of Ultron #1-2
This book only started a fortnight ago, and we are already 2 issues in. This is a very good thing. There is nothing worse than when these big events out stay their welcome.
But is it any good?
I mean I liked the foil cover.
You see a lot of the plot is yet to be revealed. What we know is Ultron has taken over. There are very few heroes left, and they are changed by surviving in this post apocalyptic world. I mean, the first issue features a lot of Hawkeye headhunting bad dudes (and winging hookers). This book has potential, but we’ll have to wait and see if it’s more than just the Avengers version of Age of Apocalypse. Stay tuned on this one.
There you go kids. I’m just about to start getting Guardians of the Galaxy, and if there is interest I’ll follow-up some of these. Any questions, comments, complaints pop ’em below.