I Sure Did Read A Bunch Of Comics Recently

Now I'm going to write about them. I'm just not in the mood to try and dress up my "Not Another Occasional Comic Book Review" material any more than that.

Agents of Atlas #5- Jeff Parker gains my love all over again by presenting two superhero teams fighting in a novel, entertaining way. I loved Spider-Man as the voice of reason. He even found a way for the "hot blonde chicks who wear bathing suits as costumes" showdown between Namora and Ms. Marvel to feel more than perfunctory. Strong art from Carlo Pagulayan too. Next month they get involved with the Dark Reign cabal, and I'm looking forward to it. How crazy is that?

Amazing Spider-Man #594- The Marvel Universe has a predictable change of heart and hates Spider-Man again. To be fair, ruining a Yankees game is as plausible a reason as any, I guess. The new Vulture doesn't come across as much more than just some evil guy with ill defined powers, but I do like his gimmick of acting like an actual vulture of the underworld, and I can't imagine he'll be shoved down our throats, so he was perfectly okay as a villain of the month.

Apparently we're getting a big epic story next. I still have no idea what American Son's about, but since Joe Kelly and Phil Jimenez are probably the creative pairing of regular BND creators that excites me the least (excluding Kelly with Chris Bachallo on pencils), it's hard to get excited. I may skip out on the book until Mark Waid, Dan Slott, or Marcos Martin show up again, since they've been the big draws for me in the weekly era. That's the problem with this format, although sporadic Spidey stories may be all Waid can work in to a pretty cramped schedule.

Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #3- I'm sort of freaked out that Jonathan Hickman appears to have reached in my brain and plucked out the Fantastic Four story I've always wanted to read right out of it. While that story would be drawn by a team of Jack Kirby, Art Adams, Mike Mignola, Darwyn Cooke, Stuart Immonen, Pablo Picasso, and Charles Schultz, Sean Chen's a pretty good substitute. Also, I could go for a Black Susan mini-series, especially if she shot the Beyonder at the end of every issue. The Pirate FF could also be spun off. Really, they could make a 1602-like niche franchise out of the throw away gags in this mini, so I'm excited (and a little frightened) to see what Hickman will do when he writes the ongoing.

Exiles #2- While it's not reinventing the wheel, this has been a pretty fun series two issues in. I like the interplay between the cast and I'm interested in seeing what Parker can do with the formula. It would be nice to see them add more non-X-Men characters to the mix after they get done with this "House of M but not boring and largely pointless" riff they're doing, especially since this doesn't seem to be classified as an X-Book.

Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance #1- I picked this up because the Super Young Team are the only characters spawned by FC that I can see myself actually wanting to follow, and while I don't always like Joe Casey as a writer, he's usually at least interesting. This reminds me a lot of his Intimates series from Wildstorm, actually, except with Tweets from Superbat as his way of cramming in extra information instead of short flashbacks and cable news crawls in the gutters. One thing about Casey is he always seems to add something new to his move set with every comic he writes. That's admirable.

Casey nails the concept of superheroes who are more in to being celebrities than fighting evil that Morrison introduced in FC, and hints at a direction beyond that, but I'm not sure I'm going to stick around where he goes with it. There's a weird sense of a lot going on but nothing actually happening, at least in this issue, that made it sort of a frustrating read. While I like the idea of the characters, I'm not sure I like them enough to actually read the next issue. Wonder what Chad thinks of this, since he does all the writing about Casey. I also wonder if he was annoyed that I trashed Wildcats 3.0 after barely reading it. Have to get around to asking him someday.

Oh, and Crisscross's art is okay. It didn't make me want to jump or anything, but it was solid. I swear I didn't mention it just to make that dated reference; I just couldn't pass it up once I realized that I'd missed it on the first go around. The coloring was also perfect for the "JLA Watchtower as dance club" setting. And that's enough about this.

Fin Fang Four Return One Shot- Did I mention that I was giddy with happiness that this existed, since I loved the original one shot? Did I also mention that this is my favorite comic of the year so far? Did I further mention I had no idea that everything but the Christmas story was online? If I did, I'm doing it again, and I'll keep doing it 'til I pick up some of Langridge's creator owned work or that Muppets thing he's doing.

Kane vol. 7: Partners- Yeah, this is much older than everything else here. Not even sure why I'm bringing it up, since all I can say is "That Paul Grist, huh? He's pretty good." I'm trying to be thorough with all the stuff I didn't cover in my little mock Twitter thing, I guess.

Marvel Zombies 4 #2- I miss Machine Man a lot. I mean, this is the kind of solid comics you'd expect from Van Lente, but between the occasionally muddy art and the fact that the Head of Zombie Deadpool is the comic relief this go around, it's not nearly as fun as the last mini. Well, two issues in. Do like the use of the Hood, and who am I kidding, I'll probably read the rest of it. That said, is Dansen Macabre a Van Lente creation, or did she exist before this series? She's the only one of that "Substitute Legion of Monsters" team of villains who I couldn't remember ever even reading about. (Note: Don't answer this. It was a rhetorical question. I looked it up.)

Seaguy: Slaves of Mickey Eye #2- As much as we worship Grant Morrison in a cult like fashion here, I really think Cameron Stewart deserves medals, a giant sized Eisner, or some other gaudy award for taking all of Morrison's ideas for this series and making them look and read beautifully. As his Batman and X-Men runs showed, Morrison depends a lot on his collaborators. Stewart is one of his best. Also; heh, bull dressing.

Secret Warriors #4- I'm generally with Brian on the subject of the Latch Key Kid Young Avengers West Coast being a distraction to all of the cooler Nick Fury parts of this comic, but I actually liked their scenes in this issue. I really like the new recruit. His opening line really cracked me up, and he really seems like he could be a fun character, especially if he fights off Hydra with a sweet guitar riff. Also, Gateway's guest appearance was pretty amusing, as I never expected to see him again. That said, if I never see the kids again during the comic's run and it's just a bunch of scenes of Nick Fury (or Jonas Venture Jr. inside a Nick Fury robot) being bad ass, I could totally live with that.

Umbrella Academy: Dallas #6- It's amazing that I'm no longer excited by this comic. Sure, I enjoy it, but I'm not nearly as giddy over it as I was the first mini, even though it's arguably better, or at least more interesting (I loved the Vietnam interlude). Maybe it's the time travel, maybe it's what Sims said about the novelty of Gerard Way writing a good comic wearing off, maybe it's that I'm not a tween emo kid who's reading comics for the first time (although I sort of like MCR, I'll admit). I'm still on board for the next series, whenever that is, but I am amazed that it's become just another good comic to me. Not that there are enough good comics out there that that's a totally mundane thing that I can take for granted.

Uncanny X-Men #510- Even if I had read it, Brian pretty much covered whatever I would have possibly said farther down the page. I was liking Fraction's story more than a lot of people (well, Burgas or Paul O'Brian at least), but I can live without of it, especially with that injurious art. Maybe I'll peak my head around when the Dodsons come back.

Wolverine Omnibus- It's still sitting in the corner of my room, 90% unread, the iconic Miller cover mocking me. Really need to start plowing through that monster to justify its purchase, even if that is way more Wolverine than I need.

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