Threat Level: WEDNESDAY! Avengers! New Avengers! Uncanny Avengers! Avengers World! (and some other books too!) ~ What'cha Reading?

Threat Level: WEDNESDAY! Avengers! New Avengers! Uncanny Avengers! Avengers World! (and some other books too!)

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Marvel Comics

Threat Level: WEDNESDAY! Avengers! New Avengers! Uncanny Avengers! Avengers World! (and some other books too!)

New Avengers #21
$3.99
w. Jonathan Hickman
a. Valerio Schiti & Salvador Larocca

5 out of 5 Space Monkeys

Why?:

Because this comic has pages within that, quite possibly, have some of the best characterization of Reed Richards, Black Panther and Namor you have ever read. The current Incursion (an inter-dimensional collision of a Parallel Earth with our Earth, resulting in the destruction of one of them , and that world’s universe) has tested the Illuminati to their limits. They fought Black Priests, Alternate versions of themselves, and various villainy from these alternate worlds, but now they faced their toughest test yet… The Great Society (an analog of the Justice League), mighty heroes from the alternate universe crashing into ours.
Seemingly undefeatable, the scales are tipped in the Illuminati’s favor when Doctor Strange returns from his mystic sojourn, teeming with demonic energy.Having paid a high price for the power he now possesses… to save his world, he sold his soul.

Defeating the Great Society is just the first step in saving Earth… now the Illuminati must use the Doomsday weapon they created to destroy worlds during an incursion, killing the Society’s World and the people who live upon it. But who is going to pull the trigger??? Without spoiling the ending, I will tell you this…. it’s no surprise who makes the hard call, just think… whose the only member with balls big enough to kill a planet???
Among the death and destruction in this issue, there is some deep and thought-provoking dialogue throughout the book. The Black Panther’s ongoing discussion with the ghosts of his ancestors, specifically their blood-thirst for revenge against Namor, who attacked and demolished Wakanda while part of the Phoenix Five. Black Bolt’s brother, Maximus the Mad’s conversation with the imprisoned Black Swan, regarding the nature of kings and what sets them apart from their subjects, not only fits the issue perfectly, but sounds like something straight out of Game of Thrones. And Namor’s speech toward the end of the issue, defending the actions of kings by putting them below their subjects was an insightful, but deadly example of Namor’s utter belief… in himself. All of these are prime examples of Jonathan Hickman’s fantastic writing ability. It was a smart move by Marvel to have a team-book of geniuses written by one!!
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Avengers #33
$3.99
w. Jonathan Hickman
a. Lenil Francis Yu

5 out of 5 Space Monkeys

Why?:

Because I haven’t kissed Hickman’s ass enough yet. Seriously though, I can’t help writing about this Avengers run.
I like reading comics that tickle your brain, where you almost seem like your learning something, but it’s presented in such away it doesn’t feel like school work and you don’t mind the sudden influx of big words and information. Reading Hickman’s run is like watching Cosmos with Neil Degrasse-Tyson, but it’s directed by Ridley Scott and has a Led Zepplin soundtrack. It’s quite overwhelming.
The Avengers time jumps into the future are nearing an end… and it’s down to just one Avenger. Thanks to the shattering of the Time Gem, Captain America finds himself 51,028 years in the future, losing his fellow teammates between jumps to the entropic nature of the limbo like realm they pass through between jumps, alone in a dark lifeless earth. Making his way towards a large, lighted Tower, Cap soon finds himself face to face with Worldcore, the pinnacle of evolution of a life form created from the merging a piece of Ultron’s A.I. coding and a mythical Wordtree. Existing as pure thought, a catalog of everything and everyone made into a digital Idea, cleansed and ordered according to its own programming, the Worldcore restrains Cap, and creates holographic, hard light archetypes of his fellow Avengers to ease his transition into a new being of digitized thought… scrubbed, cleansed and erased of any behavior or beliefs that Worldcore finds as “corrupted code”. The process is fatal.

But Worldcore did not count on 2 things:

1. This is Captain America, he doesn’t just lay down and get “transitioned into a new state of being”. He stands up. He fights back. He usually wins.

2. 47,000 years earlier, during a earlier time jump, A future version of Captain America, serving Planet Ultron (what Earth has become 422 years in the future) implanted a microscopic “bomb” somewhere on our Cap while he was held prisoner there. A bomb that is “going to change the future”

It does!

Hickman and Yu’s time travel epic is the highlight of both their careers, with Yu showing all the intelligence and action present in Hickman’s script, in his signature dazzling style. Capturing not just the majesty and scope of Hickman’s concepts, but the details and characterization that grounds the book in realism.  This arc is truly an epic story to behold!

The War with the Future has just begun!

Honorable Mentions:

portrait_incredibleAvengers World #10    $3.99
w Nick Spencer & a. March Checchetto

The Gist:
Trouble, Trouble and more Trouble. Cap, Stark, Banner and Maria Hill try to coordinate three different Avengers teams on three different missions. All are Global Level Threats. Gorgon has successfully risen the island of Madripoor (Wolverine’s old stomping grounds), which happens to be on the back of an ancient, giant dragon, and is now invading China. Morgan Lefay has returned set to conquer England with an army of slaves at her beck and call. And A.I.M’s. Scientist Supreme has dealt the Avengers their deadliest blow yet, besides hyperevolving a Carribean Island into a techno-organic sovereign nation and converting the Avenger Smasher to his side, he now pulls his biggest trick…. making the Avengers look like villains! (Iron Man’s showboating helps is caue a little). Luckily Maria Hill had the foresight to get some back up… from the future. The Next (hint) generation of Avengers have arrived!



300px-Uncanny_Avengers_Vol_1_22Uncanny Avengers #22  $3.99
w. Rick Remender & a. Daniel Acuna

The Gist:
I know your tired of hearing about Avengers books, so I’m just going to list the characters guest starring in this issues slam-bang conclusion to Remender’s Kang Dynasty story arc, and you draw your own conclusions.
Kang and his Anachronauts (Earth X Spider Girl, Iron Man 2020, Stryfe, An Abomination/Deathlok Hybrid, Doom 2099 and Magistrate Braddock)
Uriel and Eimin… the Apocalypse twins.
The Four Horsemen (a resurrected Banshee, Daken, Sentry and Grim Reaper)
Exitar the Celestial
Immortus and his Infinity Watch (Starhawk, Yondu and Martinex of the O.G. Guardians, The Annihilation Era Warlock, Captain Mar-Vell, a Nova-empowered Annihilus, a tarnished Silver Surfer and a Phoenix Power-wielding Vision)
All that and a team of Avengers and X-Men!!!
Nuff said!

D.C. Comics

Justice-League-32-Spoilers-Preview-Forever-Evil-1
Justice League #32
$3.99
w. Geoff Johns
a. Doug Mahnke

4 out of 5 Space Monkeys

Why?:

Justice-League-32-Spoilers-Preview-Forever-Evil-4Because the team of Johns and Mahnke aren’t just creating the next incarnation of the Justice League, their setting the stage for the future of the D.C. Universe. Besides the first two pages of Superwoman (The Earth 3 evil version of Wonder Woman, last seen in Forever Evil) creepily singing her own version of “Mockingbird” (you know… from Dumb and Dumber!) to her unborn child while in prison, This issue’s main focus is the New 52 Doom Patrol, introduced a few issues ago during the Forever Evil crossovers in Justice League. Johns and Mahnke continue the New 52 trend of taking the best of previous versions of DC characters, and stripping off the worst, more silly or outdated ideas. The Doom Patrol has all their misfit superheroes of yesteryear on the roster, but each has been given either visual, personality or power tweaks to give them a fresh coat of New 52 paint. Dr. Caulder, who prefers being called “Chief”, is a manipulative, goal oriented genius, who has gathered men and woman to him, those disfigured or shunned for their abilities and powers. Using their insecurities, Caulder manipulates his Doom Patrol, mainly through guilt as he “saved” most of the members from death or madness due to their powers. And like a more prickish Professor X, sends his students on missions, that may seem heroic, but really only serve Caulder’s own plans.3916743-screen+shot+2014-06-25+at+6.57.30+am
Robotman, formerly Cliff Steele, race car driver who supposedly died in a car crash, but his brain was saved and place in a Robot body by Dr. Caulder. Captain Larry Trainor, Negative Man, exposed to an unkown Radioactive Toxin that altered his body, he now gives off a powerfully deadly radiation,which is kept in check by lead-lined bandages courtesy of Caulder. Rita Starr, an actress with size changing abilities who must keep smiling and happy to retain her human form after exposure to a strange gas, if she loses her confidence she will return to the state of gelatinous goo the Chief found her in. And their final member, Element Woman, whose short stint in the Justice League ended in the dissipation of her molecular structure and eventual re-assembly by… you guess it… Dr. Niles Caulder.
Now on their first mission, to capture the new Power Ring’s …er power ring, the team starts to see the Chief’s true colors, as he relentlessly pursues the evil remnant from Earth 3, that has now possessed a young woman, who happens to be a shut-in survivalist suffering from PSTD. Not a good combo. Letting a building full a people continue to burn is the Chief’s kinda style, so everyone is lucky when the Justice League shows up. Except the Chief, who has a not so friendly relationship with he JL’s newest member… Lex Luthor! But when Power Ring (the actually evil ring, not the poor girl possessed by it) psychically bonds with Cyborg, his true motivations are revealed: To bring the entity that destroyed his universe to ours… and what role does Superwoman’s child play in his grand plan?? Somebody smells a Crisis a’comin!

Honorable Mention

The New 52 Map of the Multiverse by Grant Morrison Poster

The gist:  Yeah yeah, it’s not a comic… but something awesome indeed! This is just pure brain candy you absorb through your eye-holes. Fans of DC, The New 52, Crises, Graphics, Maps and other such nerds, geeks and freaks…. behold!!! The Multiverse!!!

DC-Comics-New-52-multiverse-map-for-Grant-Morrisons-Multiversity-1

See if your lucky enough to get one from your LCS. If not just drool over an expanded image of the above, and feel jealous!

Independent

3994670-low01-covera-680b6

Low #1
Image
$3.99
w. Rick Remender
a. Greg Tocchini

4 out of 5 Space Monkeys

Why? Simply because Rick Remender is so good at universe building, I will try anything he writes. Whether mashing all the cool dystopic futures of my childhood Marvel with all the best current story arcs (see Uncanny Avengers above) or creating his own worlds in Black Science, Sea of Red, and Fear Agent. Working with Greg Tocchini on this futuristic, under-water survivalist story, the two have put together a perfect #1 issue that will drag any reader in.

Low01_Page1Set millennia in the future, where the sun has begun to expand into a red giant. Humanity has retreated to bottoms of the oceans to survive the excessive heat and radiation that has annihilated the surface of earth. For generations the last of humanity has survived, continuously hunting for extra galactic planets that are habitable, hoping to find a new world where man can once thrive again.
Johl Caine is Helmsman for the Salus Dome, one a the few remaining under water cities and home to two million people. His wife Stel, is the city’s astronomer, constantly searching for a world on which they can survive. The time has come for their children to begin training, as the role of Helmsman,and possession of the last remaining Helm Suit, a hereditary position that allows them to bond with the powerful armor as only a member of the Kaine family could. Marik and Tajo are excited about their first trip outside Salus, despite their father’s long-winded history lessons and the great unknown outside their dome. Radiation. Mutated Sea Life. Mammoth squids. These are nothing compared to the horrors of the Scurvy Horde, mutated and disfigured pirates who prey on the city of Salus, bands of savage warrior ravaging the under water worlds.

Low01_Page6-585x400When the Caine family’s outing is suddenly interrupted by a trap set by the Scurvy Horde, there idyllic seeming lives of somewhat royalty are torn apart in the face of the Scurvy crew that attacks and boards their sub. Their Captain, figuring a way around the suits DNA coding to the Caines (it’s a pretty twisted solution), takes the Helm Suit, and swears revenge on the City and it’s inhabitants or transgressions not yet known, but the rather intelligent-for-a-savage Captain takes a little insurance along as well….

Remender does it again, although Low does have familiar themes to his work on Black Science, both revolving around the bonds of family and the relationship between a parent and child (I don’t know what Rick Remender has against children, but between the orphaned and dimension lost children of Black Science, Ian Zola getting blasted in the head in Cap, these two kids, the Apocalypse Twins and I wont even mention the shenanigans in Deadly Class, I think this guy needs a few more hugs…), it works for some damn compelling storytelling, with perfectly constructed tension building moments, mixed among the well written exposition of the main characters. And all that cool exposition would just be talking heads if it wasn’t for the graceful fluid artwork of Greg Tocchini, whose improvement from a decent but murky artist to a lively, kinetic master of detail and story telling is amazing. Tocchini gives each character personality in their looks and actions that reflects the characters Remender has written. His panel arrangements are cool and fun, and his character positioning (you’ll see what I mean when you read it) keep the book exciting and page turning. This book is going to rock!

Last Week’s Surprise Pick:

SUPREMEBR01_cover
Supreme: Blue Rose #1
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w. Warren Ellis
a. TulaLotay

4 out of 5 Space Monkeys

Why? 

Okay, I have to admit something here. When I bought the book, I thought the title was Supreme Blue Rose. it wasn’t until I was three-quarters of the way through it, seeing names like Darius Dax and Diana Dane and feeling a certain familiarity, did i realize…. OH! it’s Supreme {COLON} Blue Rose. This is Warren Ellis rebooting Rob Liefeld’s Supreme character from way back in the 90’s. Now, let’s just say I normally want verry little to do with anything Liefeld. I’m trying to work on my anger issues, so instead of using words like hate, disgust and talentless hack, I’ll just say Liefeld’s work affects me in ways that I do not like to express. But I love all things Ellis, and I did really enjoy Graham, Roy, and Dalrymple’s reboot of Prophet (seriously check that book out, I’m gonna grab the Glory trade soon!) and read of few issues of Moore’s silver age Superman take on Supreme,  so I continued reading instead of flushing it in anger.

Ellis has once again elevated a modern trope and has dragged Supreme into the next level of Superhero story telling. The story structure and artistic skills of Tula Lotay play out beautifully across the page, lending a weight and seriousness to a rather run of the mill character trope (well tropes actually, Superhero of immense power, secret identities, investigative reporter, filthy rich evil genius, etc). Let’s face it folks, this is probably the closest were going to get to a monthly Warren Ellis Superman comic, so you better jump in at the start of this archetype shattering epic in the making!

And-then-it-all-changed. r1qrftqow4f13fnglbw4 supreme-blue-rose-750x400

 Next Week!… more comics!

About Author

Trained by the Four-Color wizard, Hagan, in all things comic-booky, young Robert took to the streets of New York, dragging his large bespectacled head from comic shop to comic shop, absorbing, learning… knowing…. Until a very delayed pubescent spurt in his early thirties when the tumescent lump of comic knowledge burst forth, rupturing into nonsensical rants about Jack Kirby, superhero related tattoos, questionable cosplay activities, worshiping Jim Starlin as a prophet, and courting the young lady working in his local comic shop. Now he is just mad…roaming the streets late at night while walking his dog, plotting and preparing to unleash more comic-booky goodness on an unsuspecting world. He likes bread. The food. He thinks the band is crap. *Hey wanna freak Bob out? Come follow him on twitter (@dyrewolf1218), he's totally new to it and suspects it may be black magic...* - Chuck the editor monkey

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