Friday, April 29, 2011

Comic Book Moments of the Week for 04/27/11

A momentous end to the month for this version of Moments of the Week. Action Comics hits 900 on the odometer, Age of X comes to a close, foreshadowing of the next event in Avengers, and the end to both Brightest Day and Justice League: Generation Lost. So hit the jump to find out who renounced what and the return of some old fan favorites!

Avengers #12.1

Ultron reappears, and Iron Man  has seen where this is going from those dreams in Invincible Iron Man. This seems to be the Ultron from Annihilation Conquest, reappearing from the husk of a Space Knight found by The Intelligencia, not the one that Jocasta married at the end of Mighty Avengers.

Action Comics #900

Lex Luthor confiscated the power of a Phantom Zone alien, which wants to remove negative emotions from existence. So the universe is being bombarded with feel-good rays, and all Luthor has to do to hold onto this infinite power is to not use the power in a negative way, like destroying Superman. Luthor's ego just can't let that happen, so the infinite power is lost and Luthor disappears into the Phantom Zone.

Here are the key moments from a David Goyer backup story that is making the rounds on the internet, taking away from the big conclusion to Paul Cornell's Lex Luthor story. After standing between police and protesters in Tehran for twenty four hours straight, Superman decides that he's too global a figure and renounces his US citizenship. As a lifelong Superman fan, the idea to make Superman a global character is fine and in many ways he's been just that for years, but it shouldn't have to come at the removal of US citizenship. Just simply do what they did in the 70's and have the UN bestow Superman honorary citizenship to every nation on Earth. Add to, don't take away, and certainly don't have Superman go to the UN to make a speech about it. Goyer's story just comes across very ham-fisted and political, which is something that shouldn't show up in a Superman comic. Sorry about that little rant, on with the moments!

Amazing Spider-Man #659

Carlie Cooper gets drunk with her girlfriends and decides to get a certain Green Goblin tattoo that all the convicts and crazy villains are getting these days, as seen in the current Osborn miniseries. The only way Carlie could make this any worse is to get the tattoo right on the back of her neck.

Batman Inc. #5 

The Hood, DC style. And he's a spy to boot! Nice use of the bat symbol over the face, it helps distinguish from Azrael. The Hood does have a point about Batwoman being mistaken for a vampire, but at least she doesn't glow or shimmer.

Detective Comics #876

Scott Snyder continues making Gotham become a city that adapts to whoever is under the cowl, foreshadowing events for his upcoming Gates of Gotham miniseries. This issue marks the appearance of Sonia Branch, daughter of Tony Zucco, the man who killed Dick's parents. She seems to be a genuinely good person caught up in the dealings of a new crime boss in the city. Lovely splash page by Jock of Dick preferring to go acrobatic in the city as opposed to swinging around like Bruce.

Brightest Day #24

Swamp Thing returns, and kills his Black Ring counterpart. And the elements are returned to the world in their normal state, except Hawkgirl, who is dust in the wind. Swamp Thing, however, is really running with the idea of "restoring balance," which involves killing a bunch of business executives who have polluted the earth. Only one person can help figure out what's going one with Swampy, a certain British bloke with a penchant for smokes...

John Constantine returns to the DCU proper, a lot younger than his Vertigo counterpart. DC have said we're looking at a Punisher/Punisher MAX situation here.

FF #2

Spider-Man being looked down upon is always fun, but somehow with kids doing it it makes it even better. Doom has a memory problem that is blocking access to certain recent memories and his mystic arts, and this requires finding Kristoff, Doom's successor with implanted memories from the John Byrne Fantastic Four era.

With Doom and Kristoff hooked up, Reed was given the chance to really stop the tyrant, but doesn't go through with it. Doom is restored back to his old ways, now a member of the FF at the behest of Val.

Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #9

In order to escape Mogo, the Crayola Cavalry (TM) dig underneath Oa to the Foundry, the batcave of Oa. We also run into Shedd, who seems to be a hidden protector of the guardians similar to Sloth from The Goonies. Guy takes Krona's original willpower device from billions of years ago, looking to relive his glory days days of using the Power Glove on his NES. The group splits into two after this; Hal and Guy to stop Parallax in the Central Battery, Kyle and John head to Mogo to stop him sending out rings to bolster the ranks with brainwashed recruits.

Justice League: Generation Lost #24

Captain Atom forces Max Lord to make the world remember him and everything he took away before going through with another time jump. Max escapes and puts up videos on the internet telling the world he and Checkmate are going to keep an eye on the world's trouble making meta population, but also exonerates the JLI heroes from what happened in Chicago when Max killed Magog. So Max Lord kinda sorta wins in getting some support from the public.

Bruce is already financing one worldwide team, why not another one? With J'onn back to normal, it looks like all the key players are aligned for this, maybe even Guy will show up by the end of The War of the Green Lanterns.

Thunderstrike #5

The new Thunderstrike, Kevin Masterson, takes out Mangog with the help of Thor and fellow Asgardian Gruenhilda. On top of that, getting Thor to show humility to a teenager is always pretty big. Kevin is actually a really good character and this is a nice way to continue the Thunderstrike name, I hope we see him show up in Avengers Academy at the request of Steve Rogers.

Venom #2

The symbiote suit is showing a greater need to bond with Flash, which is nothing new, but Flash seems to be listening and agreeing to it a lot more now. This never ends well.

New Mutants #24

Who says you can't avoid genocide AND recycle at the same time?

Legion erases his Moira persona and reverts Utopia back to the way it was. Frenzy and Cyclops were married in that alternate reality, but Emma is marking her territory again. Look for some other repercussions this year in the X-books, like Chamber getting his powers back and Jean/Phoenix returning, although it might be a brand new character or simply the Phoenix Force itself.

Uncanny X-Men #536

Cyclops has offered the people of the Breakworld refuge on Utopia, and now has to figure out what to do with them. A nice scene of Scott just realizing that sometimes good intentions go beyond simple gestures.

Kruun still has revenge on his mind, using the "cure" from Astonishing X-Men's first arc on Magneto and looking to go after the Breakworld group, primarily Colossus.

X-Men #10

I think Spidey was going to kick Wolverine no matter what, just to try out that new line of banter.

Emma probably doesn't know what's worse in this situation, the sewage or Spider-Man jabbering away. Nice page layout by Chris Bachalo using the pipe as a panel guideline.

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Klep said...

I picked up Batman Inc. #4 and #5 for Batwoman, and while I enjoyed her characterization and interactions with the others, I'm not sure what exactly happened (beyond the broad strokes). I don't know whether that's because I came in partway into the story or because Morrison was being Morrison.

Meanwhile, over in FF, I'm really enjoying the way Hickman has been writing Spider-Man. He used to be one of my favorite characters and it's really nice to see someone consistently writing him the way he was back when I liked him.

As far as I'm concerned, this week's ASM makes Carlie Cooper irredeemable. She's getting a tattoo of a man who murdered her close childhood friend and her boyfriend's then-fiancé, abused his son (another of her friends), and murdered any number of other people including fellow members of the police force. On top of all this, the specific tattoo in question is a symbol of white nationalists. She knows all of this, and she gets the tattoo anyway out of drunken spite.

That goes beyond bad judgment; that's just evil. Any reaction from Peter other than kicking her to the curb and shunning her is completely ridiculous, particularly given the pedestal he keeps Gwen on. Unfortunately, I don't think we can trust Slott to write either of them like actual human beings, so I'm banking more on the ridiculous happening.

Michael said...

Great write up about Goyer's Superman story. However, I do have to point out that you got Marvel's Negative Zone and DC's Phantom Zone confused.

But hey, who knows, maybe when DC and Marvel finally have another crossover, they'll just make them the same thing.

Anonymous said...

There needs to be more Spider-Man and Emma Frost interaction! Doubt Emma agrees with that though :)

Interesting scene with Carlie, looks like she's on the way to becoming an interesting character at long last. Hopefully this will provide for some good drama!

Ken Boehm said...

Corrected, thanks for that, Michael. I was running a bit behind this week and all the zones ran together. :)

Midnight Monk said...

Not sure who did the art for Avengers 12.1 but Marvel should HIGHLY consider switching out Romita Jr. for that artist

Surprised about Doc Doom situation being resolved so soon but it'll no doubt make for great storytelling. And I agree it'd be cool to see Thunderstrike in Avengers Academy but knowing Marvel he'll be utterly abandoned like every other teenage hero

Lastly, I missed most of Age of X but I really didn't even know Frenzy was an X-Man or was on Utopia, seriously when did she show up?

Naymlap said...

I was surprised by Kruun's attack on Magneto. I just took for granted that Emma would have scanned the Breakworlders before Scott would let them on to Utopia. I was not expecting Cyclops to be that naive. But Kruun planning his revenge, that was pretty much a given from the first page of the issue.

Anonymous said...

My goodness that's horrible art in the 2nd New Mutants pic. Take a look at the Cuckoos. Not only do they not have faces, but they're all copy and pasted again!

I thought Greg Land wasn't on that title.

grifter said...

@Midnight Monk:
swap Romita Jr out for Bryan Hitch? when they're both on, they're very good. under tough deadlines ... ouch. Hitch in particular, seems to run into problems more in recent years, whereas hunky Romita Jr has the years creeping on him so its a bit understandable.

Tom said...

Bendis plus hitch don't mix

nf said...

New JLI series? Sign me up.

Jarmir said...

My moment of the week was seeing Thor. It was a great movie, I would day similar to Iron Man 1

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