Original Sin #7
w. Jason Aaron
a. Mike Deodato
5 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Because it’s Nick Fury versus Everbody…. In Spaaaaccccee!!! Marvel’s summer crossover reaches its penultimate chapter this issue, with the mystery of the Watcher’s death deepening, and the impact of his secrets rising across the Marvel Universe. With the Infinity Formula failing him, Nick Fury has one last desperate mission to complete before his death. Too bad it brings him into crossed purposes with some his oldest friends. And that’s “too bad”… for them.
Captain America has assembled some of the most powerful heroes in the world to head to the moon and confront Nick Fury. Tired of being deceived, manipulated and outright lied too (let alone having the sanctity of “Meat Night” tarnished by an LMD), Cap alongside Thor, Iron Man, Wolverine, The Falcon, Spiderman, The Hulk, Black Widow, Captain Marvel and Luke Cage attack an aged and armored Nick Fury outside of his hidden space station. Demanding answers to his involvement in the Watcher’s death ( I mean , Fury does have both of the Watcher’s Eyes in his possession…) and are only confronted by more questions.
Outgunned and out maneuvered by the Super Spy, heroes fall left and right by a single-minded Nick Fury bent on finishing his quest before dying, and passing his mantle of “Man on the Wall” to the next man (or woman! Or raccoon!) who will defend earth from all sorts of things that go bump in the night, that the various heroes of earth can’t handle.
The reader, privy to flashbacks the Avengers aren’t, sees there is more to Nick Fury’s involvement in the Watcher’s death than just being the killer, and hints at a closer relationship between the old soldier and the big bald peeping tom than we ever knew about.
Down to the big guns, Iron Man is taken off the table, by Nick Fury knowing the armor’s Stark override code, sending the Armored Avenger back home, locked in his own armor.
And Thor, poor Thor. God of Thunder. Scion of Asgard. Warrior Unmatched. Felled by a whisper. What the HELL did Nick whisper in Thor’s ear that changes the Norse God’s life in the most dramatic way possible (and sets up the next big arc in Thor…by Jason Aaron!)?
Oh and Dr. Midas, the Extermintatrix and the Orb, make their presence known, and it looks like the Orb is not just the Z-list villain we thought he was…
This event book rocks, thanks to Aaron and Deodato for crafting this soon to be masterpiece that fulfills the Company-Crossover Over-Event-That-Changes-Everything promise that is so rarely kept in the industry today. This is what you wanted all the event story arcs of the past to be.
Captain America #23 $3.99
w. Rick Remender a. Carlos Pacheco
The Gist: Zola has returned, invading Earth from Dimension Z, (remember that, from Remender’s first arc??? if not read this: Captain America from Remender and Romita, It’s a Jack Kirby meets Bladerunner Action Fest!) but he didn’t come alone. Besides the warped alien clones Zola uses as his army, a mysterious armored individual, storms Avengers Mansion, making a bee-line straight to the now de-powered Steve Rogers, knocking Avengers aside like… well like Cap would! What is this stranger’s relation to Steve Rogers? If you haven’t been reading Cap you might be surprised, if you’re a regular you probably saw this coming. But you didn’t guess the cliff hanger guest star though!!!!
w. Scott Snyder & Gerry Duggan
a. Matteo Scalera
4 out 5 Space Monkeys
Why?: Matteo Scalera, that’s why. Well not the only “why”, I do get the book regularly, and like the rest of his work, love anything Snyder does, and have been enthralled with what him and Capullo have accomplished with this title since issue #1, but I’ve followed Scalera around, and couldn’t wait for him to get a nice top-tier title, so he can get the recognition he deserves. And an issue of Batman, written by Snyder (and Duggan this issue) could not be a better place for his DC début.
Like an Italian version of Sean Murphy, it’s Scalera’s dynamic line work, and use of grit and shadows with a Sienkiwicz-ian finish that makes him perfect to pencil a Batman story, even if it’ just a fill in.
With his “Eternal” problems in Gotham (if you don’t get the joke… read the weekly Batman Eternal series!) taking up much of his time, Batman takes a night off from all those threats. But with Batman a night off means going out and solving a murder case!
Contacted by his friend Dr.Leslie Thompkins, Batman was asked to look into one of the social workers patients disappearing. While doing so, the Dark Knight finds a pattern that leads him to believe a serial killer is on the loose in Gotham, and he’s targeting the transient, homeless and on the run patients of Dr. Thompkins, people most people wouldn’t notice were missing. Batman is not most people.
This stand alone one-shot murder mystery brings Batman back into the present after the stunning conclusion to Zero Year last month, and it does it in style. Snyder and Duggan’s story brings Batman to one of the darker sides of Gotham City… Potter’s Field, final resting place of unidentified corpses for the city, and the perfect place to dispose of murdered corpses… especially if no one cares about the victim. But Batman does care, and sets out on a personal one-night vendetta to catch this killer, and spare even the forgotten citizens of Gotham from this twisted predator. Between the writing, and Scalera capturing Gotham and Batman in all their shadowy glory, this is a prime example of a damn good Batman one-shot: Murders. Mystery. Actual Detective Work. And Batman on the hunt. You couldn’t ask for more… but you get it; see what punishment Batman doles out for a murderer who prides himself on his anonymity and you’ll realize quickly… Don’t mess with Batman’s city… He’s Watching…
Constantine #17 $2.99
w. Ray Fawkes a. Edgar Salazar
The Gist: Constantine does the impossible once again: surviving a death sigil by casting back door switch spell activated upon his apparent death. It’s meant to teleport him a short distance away, where he could rally his forcing against an unsuspecting Tannarak and Sargon, who would believe him dead. Whether a flaw in the spell, or just the plain old Constantine luck, John is transported back in time to 1914, at the battle of Dars Es Salaam in Tanzania. Can he get his old friend Doctor Occult to help him get back home? Doesn’t look to good when Occult attacks Constantine, not recognizing a friend he hasn’t made yet. John is able to reshape one of the good Doctor’s spells into a transport spell….. but he doesn’t end up on Earth,….not even close!
w. Larry Hama
a. Steve Leialoha & Joe Benitez
5 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Why?: I know it’s a bit pricey..but I couldn’t pass it up. I’m a huge G.I. Joe fan. More specifically a Snake-Eyes fan. I have an Arakishage Clan tattoo on my forearm. I have a dog named Timber. He’s a Siberian Husky. And every once in a while, I convince my girlfriend to dye her hair red.
It was said girlfriend I was speaking to, relating my child hood tale of first reading this landmark issue, when I realized how freakin old I am! In mid-rant, using the nice hardcover bound book as a prop, I looked at the spine and saw 30th Anniversary Edition and I almost cried. I clearly remember starting my monthly collection of G.I. Joe regularly around issue 26 ( Snake Eyes origin issue! ) and going back and getting the previous issues in back issue bins at Fun Stuff, my then LCS.
Over the course of a summer I got a nice chunk, going back to the early teens, with a gap here and there and read them all with glee, and trying my best to re-enact battles from the comics with my Joe action figures.
Years later, after collecting the monthly book steadily for years, I read in an issue of Wizard about a “Silent” G.I. Joe issue,and was intrigued. I dug out my back issues and search through for issue #21, and was like “hey! I read this one! It’s silent??”
Now I was a pretty smart kid, and had a reading level score grades ahead of my age. So I consider it a testament to Larry Hama’s excellent storytelling skills, that I was so enthralled in the story I missed the fact it didn’t have any words, captions, or thought bubbles. Not one. Also I was 8, and probably hopped up on Dr. Pepper and Skittles.
In this well-put-together-yet-slim hard cover, not only do you get the incomparable original issue, written and drawn by Larry Hama, and inked by Steve Leialoha, you get to see Hama’s original un-inked pencils, as well as a 25th anniversary Silent Interlude II story from 2009’s G.I. Joe: Origins from IDW, written by Hama once again and drawn by Joe Benitez.
If you’re a G.I Joe fan, you need this book. If you’re a comic fan you need this book. Besides introducing Storm Shadow, unveiling his kinship with Snake Eyes, establishing a more than comrade relationship between Snake Eyes and Scarlet, it has on of the best last-minute rescue reversals you have ever seen in any medium. Ever. I am so tempted to publish an image of it here, but nahhhh go buy the book. If your one of those comic collectors who has a shelf with Watchmen, Year One, Dark Knight Returns, Sandman and Saga of the Swamp Thing on it, this hardbound reprint of the first ever silent comic will fit nicely right along side those seminal classics, like a katana blade nestled in the ribcage of your enemy.
Last Week’s Surprise Pick:
w. Marc Bernardin & Adam Freeman
a. Afua Richardson
4 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Because I read my girlfriend’s copy of the Pilot Season one-shot, and the concept behind the story was so intriguing, I couldn’t resist grabbing the follow up mini-series for myself. The idea is a damn good one. Once in while a generation produces a great military mind. A tactical savant that stands out from his peers and leaves his mark on the world. Alexander the Great. Genghis Khan. Hannibal. Napolean. Patton.
What if, the greatest military mind of our generation turns out to be 17 year old, 90lb when wet, orphaned girl named Destiny, born in SOUTH Central L.A. ?
Detective Reginald Grey has long since had a theory behind the sudden rise in gang violence, believing a lone individual to be responsible for the disparate groups of gang-bangers uniting and mobilizing in a much more effective, successful manner than previous encounters with law enforcement.
After a squad of cops, sent into the “Cross Roads” to follow up on a cop-shooting, are ruthless dealt with by an organized force of gang members, Detective Grey finally has evidence to his theory,an joins up with the next task force heading into the hood to deal with the repercussions of the cops previous encounter. They were expecting hoods and bangers. What they face is a well trained, well armed army led by a Genius!
Bernardin & Freeman’s script and story are fast paced, well written and thought provoking, with Richardson’s urban-manga style and color pallette give depth and power to this gripping story. I can easily see this getting optioned for a movie, or cable network mini series.
So long folks, and thanks for all the comics!