So, between a basement flood, a dead alternator and the comics’ holiday shipping schedule (I couldn’t even get my comics!), I had no time, or freakin information to do a Threat Level Wednesday last week, but it was a short week so I got it covered here, later in this article. So Happy New Year and enjoy your final Threat Level Wednesday Tuesday of 2013!!!
4 out 5 Space Monkeys
Why?: Because even if I wasn’t a Damian fan, which I am, a big one by the way, I would get this book solely for the art. Kubert’s style is amazing, and you can see he puts his all into this miniseries. Damian, son of the Batman, and currently wearing cape and cowl after the death of the last Batman, Dick Grayson continues on his quest for vengeance despite near death from an attack by Professor Pyg and Jackanapes last issue. Found among the sewage of Gotham River by the ever faithful (and very old) Alfred, Damian is saved from death by what just might be Alfred’s last earthly act. Truly alone now, Damian goes to speak to his father, the O.G. Batman, Bruce Wayne for some advice, only to find him missing from his sickbed! Is the pressure getting too much for Damian? Sharptooth the Sharkman and Jackanapes can attest to the rage he displays in battle, plus why is Damian talking to a cat? Why is it talking back, and sounding a lot like Alfred Pennyworth? Who is the mysterious priest Damian confides in, and why does he know so much? And the villain we’ve all been waiting for shows up at the end. C’mon Damian…. why so serious????
w. James Tynion IV
a. Emanuel Simeoni
4 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Why?: Because not enough people are talking about this book and how good it is! Tynion IV’s. Epic arc comes to a startling conclusion. Calvin Rose, former Talon turned good guy vigilante is in bad shape. His girlfriend lost an eye and an arm being tortured for information about him, the Court of Owls brainwashed his daughter to kill him, and he is slowly being poisoned to death by his former mentor and benefactor Sebastian Clark, leader of the Court of Owls. Will Calvin be able to save Gotham from Sebastian’s nefarious plot? Not if the legendary Talon assassin known as the Gotham Butcher has anything to say about it! Is anyone going to help Calvin? Of course, a certain bat-eared vigilante with an interest in all things Gotham. That’s right, Batman shows up to lend a batarang, and he also has a few questions for Sebastian and the Owls, the most important one being, Where is Lincoln March (former Talon and supposed older brother to none other than Bruce Wayne… SEE told you should be reading this book!)
Tynion has taken the Owl mythology Snyder created in his Batman run and made it his own. A nice companion piece to the regular Batman title, and by the last few pages of this issue, one that is being brought even closer to the Batman universe (wait until you see Calvin’s new employer!)
4 out 5 Space Monkeys
Why?: Are you kidding me? An alternate Illuminati tale starring Magneto, Professor Xavier, 2 Black Panthers and Captain Marvel, drawn by Simone Bianchi, how could you not get this book? Hickman continues his hi-space opera of alternate Earth incursions into our Earth’s space-time continuum and the Illuminati’s efforts to repel the planet destroying events this issue, showing us another earth’s attempts to stop it. And watching them fail. Miserably. Earth 23099 has fallen, their attempt to stop the incursion fails, due to the intercession of the Black Priests. Black Swan, a captive from yet another earth’s incursion, explains to the Illuminati what befalls those who oppose the Black Priests, as we see them use something more than science, greater than magic, to wipe out the 23099-Illuminati with ease. Can our earth be far behind? This is cosmic superhero action at it’s best!
1 out of 5 Space Monkeys (good art can only get you so far)
Why?: This is cosmic superhero action at its lamest. Honestly, I give up. Thank you Mister Bendis for breaking a streak running since 1990 of me never missing an issue of Guardians of the Galaxy. 23 years ruined! I have loved the art in this book immensely, McNiven startin it up, Pichelli taking the doing some of the most glamorous work of her career, even Francavilla’s fill-ins and this Maguire issue. All top notch. It’s just the plodding repetitious go nowhere story that is killing it for me. Let’s see Angela, who “joined” the team, and quit the team, only to come back and join again teams with Gamora to fight Badoon (you know the guys they fought in issues 1, 2 and 3) while looking for Thanos, who they somehow misplaced when they were virtually next to him the last 2 issues during Infinity, and Peter Quill doesn’t believe he’s on Earth even though that’s where he met his demise, and is being held captive by Quill’s teammate Iron Man. Oh and Angela quits, an then joins again, two panels later. Please gods let’s hope the movie is nothing like this run.
The Twilight Zone #1
w. J. Michael Straczynski
a. Guiu Vilanova
4 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Why?: Because JMS is the man to do this book, an he does it right. Wall Street trader Trevor Richmond is an embezzler, a cheater and all around rich scumbag. When the opportunity to change his life, and start a new identity presents itself by the mysterious Mr. Wylde and his secret firm, Trevor takes it. It will only cost him everything. But with the SEC and FBI looking into his shady dealings,and his wife aware of his extra marital affairs, Trevor is more than willing to pay the price. Now with a new identity, literally thanks to some geneticmanipulation by Wylde’s firm, Trevor escapes all his troubles and starts anew. But if Trevor Richmond is gone, who is that who looks just like him surrendering to the court in his name???? JMS crafts a nice mystery here, with a nice cliff hanger that’ll leave you wanting more! Done just like a good episode of the old show, this is one book for fans old and new alike!
Last Week’s Surprise Pick (s): All of them! Hehehe I’m going to make them quick since it is New Years Eve and I plan on partying like its 2099!
Why?: This was a great issue! Segueing from Infinity to the next Avengers arc smoothly, while tying New Avengers and the Illuminati to this title more tightly than before. A visitor from the future warns the Avengers of a Rogue Planet crashing towards earth, and helps Iron Man come upwith a plan to save earth… by binding the Rogue Planet to ours. Along the way, the Avengers ponder what it would have took to manipulate events throughout time and space to intentionally send a planet from a distant galaxy to hit earth at this time, since the futuristic Visitor has stated this was an attack, not a random event, and hey! Who is this strange visitor fro another time and what dire warnings do they have for Tony Stark as the stage is set for Avengers World! I don’t have enough words to describe how cool it loks to have 4 of the top artists in there game all in the same issue drawing outrageous cosmic events. Simply a feast for the eyes!
Why?: Wolverine. Wolves. Bears. Battle in the Woods Adam Kubert. If your tired of Professor Wolverine the Avenger, and miss the savage force of nature he once was, this is your book! A great start to a sure to be classic sequel. The art speaks volumes and the acetate cover is pretty damn cool. Readit and enjoy!
Why?: Because the awesome DC epic continues to push the envelope when it comes to coolness. Batman and Catwoman plan out their rebellion in the Batcave, as Batman let’s her in on a little secret… he has contingency plans to take out the Justice League members if they ever go rogue. Looks like it might come in handy for an assault against the Crime Syndicate. A kryptonite ring (not gonna work on UltraMan!), a Sinestro Corps ring from when they tried to recruit him, a lightning rod from the future, and a Mother Box are all in the arsenal but is it enough? And what happens when Bats and Cats run into Luthor an his ad-hoc Injustice League consisting of Black Adam, Bizarro, Captain Cold and Black Manta? They all get attacked by Power Ring and his back up assassin squad! This is a super-hero-action-event series at its best!
Why?: Cuz I’m a fool for Crossovers, especially ones written by Geoff Johns. Even better when they are drawn by Ivan Reis. John’s continues to fill us in on the origins of the Justice League’s evil counterparts the Crime Syndicate. This issue focuses mainly on Power Ring, Johnny Quick and Atomica, but we also learn more about Grid and his motivations as he narrates most of the issue. The twisted origins of the Crime Syndicate villains, eerily mirror events in our League members histories, but in a darker, creepier way. And we still don’t know who the hooded prisoner is the Syndicate brought from their universe with them! This had better be one good reveal!