Today, Patrick are discussing Age of Ultron 8, originally released May 15th 2013. This issue is part of the Age of Ultron crossover event. Click here for complete AU coverage.
Patrick: A few weeks ago, I noted that I wasn’t having very much fun with the whole Age of Ultron concept – issue after issue of pure, relentless destruction and doom was getting to me. But that started to feel like the point: Brian Michael Bendis was taking my comic-book-fan apocalypse-lust and rubbing my nose in it. When the heroes decided they had to take drastic action and travel through time to fight Ultron on his inventor on different chronal fronts, I cheered the initiative. Anything to stop the suffer-slog through devastated cityscapes. But as the series moves further and further away from what’s familiar in the Marvel Universe, the harder it is to get a grasp on the story. Continue reading →
Today, Mikyzptlk and Drew are discussing Vibe 4, originally released May 15th, 2013.
Mikyzptlk: As the old proverb goes, ”The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”I’m the kind of guy that tries to do the right thing in any given situation. I may not always succeed in that, but I usually have the best of intentions. However, no matter how hard I try, that old proverb rears it’s ugly head from time to time. Unfortunately for superheroes, they are no more immune to that proverb than I, and Vibe is quickly discovering that. Even though he just wants to do good, he may be figuring out that he’s being ordered to do just the opposite. This issue explores what Vibe does with that realization, as well as how he might be able to stay on his intended path. Continue reading →
Today, Spencer and Patrick are discussing Batgirl 20, originally released May 15th, 2013.
Spencer: We expect our heroes to be there for us when we need them, but who’s there for our heroes when they need help? Batman turns to Alfred, Superman turns to Lois Lane, and Batgirl turns to…her psychiatrist? While Barbara isn’t the first superhero to see a shrink, it’s rare for one with a secret identity to do so. Babs is putting herself at risk, yet where else can she turn? The failure of Barbara’s support system couldn’t have come at a worse time; not only is she weighed down by guilt, she’s also facing the most frightening new villain to show her face in Gotham in years. Continue reading →
Today, Taylor and Shelby are discussing Sword of Sorcery 8, originally released May 15th, 2013.
Taylor: It’s hard to believe, but we haven’t been able to buy Surge — that neon green, sugar-saturated soft drink — for thirteen years now. For whatever reason, I remember Surge being incredibly popular with my peers in primary school. The reasons for this really evade me at the moment. It wasn’t all that great or different from other soft drinks and it certainly didn’t offer any benefits aside from its taste. I don’t remember the ad campaign for Surge but I’m guessing that it must have had something to do with everyone’s fondness for the slimy soda. I seem to remember that everyone thought it was so chock-full of sugar it would drive a sane student nuts. If we wanted to stay up late or feel energized my friends and I would gulp down the snot-colored soda and pretend we instantly felt the effects. So that was Surge, and now it is gone. Even though I only liked it as a kid I still have fond memories of that stuff. Similarly, even though Sword of Sorcery is going the way of Surge and leaving shelves indefinitely, I’ll always look back on it with cheerful glee, glad that existed even for a short time.
Today, Drew and Scott are discussing Wonder Woman 20, originally released May 15th, 2013.
I said, war, huh Good God, y’all What is it good for Absolutely nothing Say it again
– Edwin Starr
Drew: War is ugly. There’s death, there’s destruction, there’s misery, but I think the ugliest thing about war is that we’ll never be free of it — it’s in our nature. Things quickly escalate from the desire to protect the people and things we care about, to a “the best defense is a good offense” mentality, to tit-for-tat reciprocity. It’s all too easy to see how vast groups of people — motivated only to do what is right for their loved ones — could be compelled to all-out war. In his Wonder Woman run, Brian Azzarello has traced this trajectory with grim fascination, simmering the tension along as the situation slowly escalates. This month finds that tension boiling over with three factions engaged in war — with the added complication that War itself is also a character. Continue reading →
Today, Scott and Ethan are discussing Deadpool 9, originally released May 8th, 2013.
Scott: Moral ambiguity is an important theme in Deadpool. Wade Wilson doesn’t kill people unless he has to, but he doesn’t have to enjoy doing it so much either. In Deadpool 9, the actual necessity of such violence, as well as Wade’s willingness to commit it, becomes blurred, forcing Wade to make tough decisions. It’s the kind of situation you might see depicted with a miniature angel and devil propped on each of his shoulders, but writers Brian Posehn and Gary Duggan would never revert to such a trite story device unless they were mocking it, right? Well, take the moral-righteousness of a recently-dead government agent who lives inside Wade’s head and put it up against the deplorable, power-hungry demon forcing Wade to do his dirty work and you get Posehn and Duggan’s version of a conscience-battle. They are a creative team, in every sense.
Today, Patrick and Shelby are discussing Fearless Defenders 1-4, originally released February 6th, March 13th, April 10th and May 8th, 2013.
Patrick: The premise of first four issues of Fearless Defenders is simple: Valkyrie was tasked with recruiting eight female warriors from Earth to serve as Shield Maidens of Odin, but she put off making the decision for so long that a handful of undead Doom Maidens have risen to take their place. Now no longer a matter of selecting who would make the best — or most cohesive — unit of Shield Maidens, Valkyrie ends up assembling a crew who can best be described as motley – composed entirely of women. This ends up being the series’ greatest strengths: no top-tier characters, no common theme connecting the cast and no expectations as to what this team is capable of or responsible for. Continue reading →
Today, Drew and Spencer are discussing Avengers 11, originally released May 8th, 2013.
Drew: Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers run has been all about mystery. Issue 10 found the Avengers vowing to keep some mysterious secret, but all along, there have been more questions than answers. Ancient alien races, disturbing, otherworldly biotech, and other insane sci-fi concepts have given Hickman full control over just what we understand, and when. It’s thrilling if you’re along for the ride, but can be incredibly frustrating — even off-puting — if you don’t have faith in Hickman to explain everything. In issue 11, Hickman offers proof that he can do answers as well as questions, turning his meticulously cultivated confusion into straight-up intrigue, as the Avengers go into spy movie mode (with a little Kung Fu thrown in, for good measure). The result is a breezy, fun story, that any fans can point to as proof positive that Hickman can handle character-based stories as well as his sci-fi weirdness. Continue reading →
Today, Drew and guest writer Michael D. are discussing Batman and Red Hood 20, originally released May 8th, 2013.
Drew: Bruce Wayne has never been particularly good at processing grief. He’s still driven by the death of his parents — actively and daily. In the wake of Damian’s death, Peter Tomasi has set out to follow Bruce through the five stages of grief, but has Bruce ever gone through all five stages? This month’s stage — anger — reveals a very familiar Batman, suggesting that he may have stalled out there 20+ years ago. Of course, both this issue (like last month’s) finds Bruce bargaining something fierce, so perhaps there’s hope he can progress, after all. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and Mikyzptlk are discussing Green Lantern Corps 20, originally released May 8th, 2013. This issue is part of the Wrath of the First Lantern crossover event. Click here for our First Lantern coverage.
Patrick: It might be pure, dumb circumstance that this issue of Green Lantern Corps came out a full two weeks before this epic run of Green Lantern stories comes to a close. The cover of this issue brashly proclaims that the story within is an “epilogue.” And it is – in the strictest sense, everything that happens in this issue takes place immediately after the crossover has been resolved. Peter Tomasi and Fernando Pasarin’s preemptive coda challenges the very idea that a Green Lantern story could end and explores a deeper truth about what we want, what we need and what we expect from serialized storytelling. Continue reading →