— Originally published in facerockery.bigbaddie.com. —
Hm. The first two Monthly Haul opening images contain Wolverine saying “Comics!” and I swear to God it wasn’t premeditated. Anyhoo, I kind of realized that since I’m doing this monthly comic book reviews thing, I might as well do it the last week of every month. If you noticed, I’m currently doing it the third week, which is sorta weird. So the third installment of Monthly Haul will come after the last Wednesday of January. I’m sure you don’t care, so let’s just go ahead and review some comics.
Annihilation: Conquest #2: Oh it’s on now, fight fans! Ultron draws first blood, and by that I mean he pierces the the chest of Moondragon with a mean right hook. I might be mistaken, but this is the only comic this month where you’ll see an evil robot killing a black lesbian dragon drawn magnificently by Tom Raney. Also, Star-Lord and his motley crew enter the fray. This is so gonna rock.
The Death of the New Gods #2: Please see this post so you’ll know why the hell this comic is on this list. Needless to say, I only picked it up because it was free. ‘Nuff said.
Green Lantern #25: Even though I only followed the Sinestro Corps War arc through this title, I can say that it’s my vote for Story Arc of the Year. I don’t know if it’s the pretty splash pages, the fantastic heroics, or the exciting teaser in the last few pages, but this is definitely a satisfying finale to a story that took everyone by surprise.
MATT FRACTION: MAN OF ACTION!
The Immortal Iron Fist #11: Fraction and Brubaker are definitely two of my favorite writers this year. I mean, in this issue alone, pure awesomeness comes from a fire-breathing dragon, the original Heroes for Hire kicking Hydra ass, and Davos the Steel Phoenix laying the smack down on a really hot chick appropriately named Tiger’s Beautiful Daughter. God I love this series.
The Order #5 & #6: Mr. Fraction hits us with two The Order issues this month, both of them awesome. Although #6 brings the noise a lot harder with the funniest comedy bit featuring Tony Stark in recent memory and a paraplegic black dude fighting a giant frickin’ scorpion. This series never runs out of face-rocking moments, I swear.
Punisher War Journal #14: If Matt Fraction has disappointed me this month, I think he did it here. There’s this scene where Frank’s in a line at a hot dog stand and there’s this annoying guy on a hands-free phone. Needless to say, I was disappointed that Frank didn’t massacre the dude. Yep. That’s the only disappointment I have with Mr. Fraction this month. Guy’s solid gold.
TEENS PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE!
X-Men: First Class #6: Thank God I read Jeff Parker’s blog entry about this issue’s misprint before I read it. Too bad I didn’t have the patience to wait for the fixed copies which arrived a couple of weeks after the initial release. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed the issue as I’ve always done since issue #1 of Parker’s rendition of the first five X-Men. Also, I’m hoping that there will be more Colleen Coover and no more misprints.
Avengers: The Initiative Annual #1: This is probably my favorite Marvel Annual of the year. Four solid origin stories that add dense layers on current plot lines in the monthly series is well worth the cover price, I say. And then there’s the additional story starring the *snicker* Liberteens. I thought it was just filler material until I saw the last page. This is the first time that I actually got interested in the whole Secret Invasion thing.
Teen Titans #53: OK I’m enjoying all the action in this arc, but I still fail to see the point in all of this. Nice art by Eddy Barrows, though.
X-Men #205: In this chapter, the proverbial shit hits the fan. The X-Men take on the Marauders, and round 2 goes to Sinister’s posse. Again. The New X-Men get their teenage asses handed to them as well, courtesy of Lady Deathstrike and the Reavers. And then there’s the matter of the Sentinels laying waste to the X-Mansion. I love the X-Men when they’re losing.
Uncanny X-Men #493: I’ve seen the X-Men take on the Sentinels several times before, but this latest rumble between the mutants and the giant robots takes the cake. I actually cheered mentally when Iceman said “Well, at least now it’s just like the good old days. Everyone against us, and giant robots to fight.” Nostalgia aside, it’s a pretty sweet brawl. Kudos to Billy Tan for the lovely art!
X-Factor #26: After the mansion-destroying battle of Uncanny X-Men #493, we get a nice little battle of philosophies between Cyclops and Patrick Stew– I mean Professor X. I just realized that so far, Messiah Complex is giving the limelight to the X-Men and the New X-Men. Sure, Rictor, Madrox, Wolfsbane (as part of X-Force *snicker*) and Layla have their missions, and Siryn made a brief appearance here, but where are Guido and Monet?
New X-Men #45: MY EYES!!! MY EYYYYYES!!! SOMEBODY PUT HUMBERTO RAMOS ON A BOOK I’M NOT READING, QUICK!!! Seriously though, the Deathstrike/X-23 fight could’ve been awesome if we knew what exactly was going on. If there’s one Messiah Complex chapter you can miss, this is it. I mean, really. This is the weakest chapter so far. The highlight here is the death of Caliban. That’s it. Well, maybe the previously mentioned cat fight. If Ramos didn’t draw it. ZING!
SUPER-STRONG HOT CHICKS AND SUPER-HERO ZOMBIES!
Marvel Zombies 2 #2: Super-hero zombies bickering in space. And upon their arrival on Earth, they start a super-hero zombie civil war. Do I really need to explain how awesome this book is?
She-Hulk #24: Not a sucky issue, but not an awesome one either. It’s just… meh. The new Skrull chick is interesting, though. Also, I’m getting used to Shawn Moll’s art. I think I like it.
Terror, Inc. #4: Terror’s hot paramour returns, and she’s pissed. And naked. With nude hot chicks and decapitated bodies everywhere, this limited series is heating up as we all get ready for next issue’s finale. I’m hoping that by the end of this mini, people will realize that we need a monthly dose of cussin’ zombies and nekkid wimmens. Make it so, Marvel!
Wonder Woman #15: Last issue, Diana fought white talking gorillas. In this issue, she fights Nazis! Plus, the back story of the imprisoned Amazons is pretty fascinating. Gail Simone’s wicked storytelling kickassery and the Dodsons’ magnificent art are making Wonder Woman readable again. YAY!
AND NOW FOR THE REST OF ‘EM…
Justice Society of America #11: I know Kingdom Come Superman’s arrival is something big, but I expected it to be bigger. I mean, the issue itself acknowledged that the last time another Superman arrived, Infinite Crisis happened. I hope to see more implications of his arrival because I’m sure it’s more than just making Power Girl feel sad.
The Ultimates 3 #1: First, the obvious: This is a pretty book. I love the gatefold cover. I was actually tempted to get two copies, but nah. I’m not entirely sold on Joe Madureira’s art since I’m not really a fan of Manga-influenced art. But it does look pretty. As for the story, well… HEY! I got a free copy of Ultimate Marvel Sampler #1 with this purchase! Ain’t that neat?
What If? Civil War: Is it me or is this What If? the best Civil War “aftermath” issue ever? The first story, which asks “What if Captain America led all the heroes against registration?”, ain’t that awesome. It’s somewhat… decent. Maybe I was just turned off by the art. That scene where Sue Richards died in Reed’s arms? Hideous and an Identity Crisis rip-off. But the other story’s kinda nice. And the bookend story makes it all work. God bless Ed Brubaker and Marko Djurdjevic.