Dwayne McDuffie's current run of Fantastic Four reminds me of Roy Thomas' Fantastic Four yarns from the early 70s.
So McDuffie's Fantastic Four is to Roy Thomas' Fantastic Four as....
The Order #3 is to...
Giffen and the Bierbaums' Legion of Superheroes.
Like Giffen, writer Matt Fraction is employing extended panels per page, and the result is that the readers are quickly given an extensive look into the psyches of the characters starring in this comic, which reminds me greatly of the amount of layered characterizations that were present in Giffen and the Bierbaums' Legion of Superheroes. This issue, which spotlights Calamity, the speedster of the Order, is filled with twists and turns that were also expected in Giffen and the Bierbaums' Legion.
X-Men: First Class Vol. 2 #4 is to....
Untold Tales of Spider-Man
Like Kurt Busiek's classic Untold Tales of Spider-Man, Jeff Parker is working in untold tales of the X-Men, giving them the depth of humanity that Busiek so notably gave to his characters in Untold Tales. Meanwhile, like Untold Tales, the stories are light and adventurous, while not being bland or babyish. This issue, which depicts Hank and Bobby on a road trip, was loads of fun.
Cable/Deadpool #45 is to...
Quantum and Woody
In recent issues of Cable/Deadpool, as writer Fabian Nicieza has been stripped of one half of the stars of the comic, Nicieza has embraced the absurdity of Christopher Priest's Quantum and Woody, while still maintaining, like Quantum and Woody, the veneer of humanity at the heart of the jokes. In this issue, Deadpool and breakout supporting character, Bob - Agent of Hydra, are sent back in time to World War II, where they team up with Captain America and Bucky. I like how Nicieza works in Bucky's new status quo (that he was secretly a totally bad ass commando), and manges to give Bob some hilarious lines, while also establishing some interesting human reactions from both Bob AND Deadpool (quite surprising on the latter's end).
I think a lot of folks would be shocked by how good Cable/Deadpool is right now.
Iron Man #22 is to...
Like Chase, the Knaufs are having Iron Man investigate the darker sides of superheroes, in a gritty matter, yet grounded in realistic reactions by characters within the comic. In this issue, Tony Stark investigates the murder of an Initiative superhero in Nebraska, where the heroes are led by, of all people, Captain Ultra (who actually gets handled with uncommon respect by the Knaufs). The way that the story is grounded, while working in minor heroes, reminds me a lot of D. Curtis Johnson's Chase series.
Man, Chase was a great series.
Immortal Iron Fist Annual #1 is to...
Like Strong, writers Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction use this Annual to retell classic pulp stories, only with a modern edge that is quite enjoyable. This story features Danny meeting Orson Randall's biographer, who takes Danny through some interesting stories, while some bad guys are making a move in the present day. The artwork by Howard Chaykin, Dan Brereton and Jelena Djurdjevic (whose interiors, in particular, were quite striking - I'd love to see some further interiors from her).
And when the writer I'm thinking of when I read the work is Alan freakin' Moore, you know you most likely have a good comic book on your hands.
That's it for now!