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Thursday, March 29, 2012

3/27/12 Reviews - AvsX, Avengers, Aquaman, Daredevil

The hits, they just keep on coming. Week # 2 in my return to buying funny books on a regular basis. Let's dive in and review some books because this is a blog about comics.


I know this was the week that AvX # 0 came out and that's the only thing worth reading reviews about but all of us comic fans are slaves to continuity and making you read a review of AvX before Avengers 24.1 would make your brain explode with frothing, irrational rage and I'm trying to be better about that this time around. I am going to save that special Fanboy Rampage (RIP) for the actual comics.

Major Spoilers, I know, but the Vision is back. And that is not the same Vision from the Young Avengers. Nah, it's the original Vision, back from the grave, all existential on your ass about what it means to have been on, then shut off, then turned back on again. The Vision was never really alive, right? He's a super-powered computer shaped like a man who fell in love with the Chaos Magicks wielding mutant daughter of Magneto. There's nothing alive about that last statement at all. He was turned on, hung out for a bunch of years, only to get a virus and be subsequently shutdown by the android malware that was the Sensational She-Hulk way back when in Avengers Disassembled. Remember that? That was the beginning of an end that really hasn't stopped for a lot of us. 

The Vision. Once he was dead, now he's not. Welcome Back, Vision! 

When you're an android back from the dead, the first order of business is asking questions. You start with Tony Stark, move on to Magento, and then end with Captain America telling you to buck up, soldier, because today is not yesterday and all we have to look forward to is tomorrow. 

I wonder what it's like to write about costume wearing robots. Do you channel Arthur C. Clark or Philip K. Dick? These are the tough decisions facing modern day comic book storytelling. 

Also, Hawkeye and Spider-woman are trying navigate the turbulent seas of "hey, we've done it a few times and I kind of like you, are we together or what?" thing. That is always tough, especially when your dead wife is not so dead and hanging around somewhere. Then again, there probably was an issue where things were really complicated for Mockingbird and Clint needed to give her time to figure it all out. Knowing Jessica Drew, she most certainly moved in before the corpse was even warm. 

Trifling girls being all trifling.

AvsX # 1

It all begins here! The Avengers! Versus the X-men! In a knock-down, drag out fight that's sure to have you hanging by your seat, because really, EVERYTHING AFTER THIS WILL NOT BE THE SAME.

I know, I know. Dumb comic book blogger coming out of blogging retirement, and already, he's being a mouthy little SOB about the next big cross-over that he has not read yet. So typical, us comic fans. We are as predictable as the story lines that unfold before us.

The Avengers are going to fight the X-men because the Phoenix Force is rearing its ugly head in the Marvel U again and its next host is Hope, the first mutant born since M-Day who was whisked away into the future, grew up, and then came back. Also, Hope has red hair and the Phoenix Force is a sucker for red headed girls. And the Avengers are not okay with that. Actually, from reading this issue you would never guess that but this is a zero issue so it is okay if we skip over those little details. 

This isn't about establishing the why and when we are all gonna tussle. This issue is about setting up the stage for the major players of the storyline which are the Scarlet Witch and Hope. The Scarlet Witch is back and she's fighting MODOK because that's what you do when you are trying to sort out the kind of emotions that come with being the reason behind both Avengers Disassembled AND House Of M. Life is hard when you got a glowing va jay jay. Naturally, you find MODOK and throw some salt in his super-villain-y game. 

Ms. Marvel and Spider-woman show up, lend a hand, and take her back to the Avengers Mansion for a reunion that obviously goes bad when the Vision lets her know that she is not welcome. For a robot, that Vision sure is emotional. That is not what is important here, though. This part of the issue is about setting up the Scarlet Witch for her big comeback. At the end of all of this, Wanda will get her chance to save the world and rejoin her place alongside Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Brian Michael Bendis is leaving the Avengers franchise and it is only natural that he finally gives the Scarlet Witch her chance to redeem herself once and for all. 

I'm calling it. You probably did, too. The Scarlet Witch will save the day and everyone will rejoice and dance and do whatever else it is that we do when things like that happen in super-hero comics. 

Do you think anyone told the Vision that the first thing that Hawkeye did when he came back from the dead was sleep his wife? That Hawkeye; such a man-whore, he is.

That was only part one of AvsX # 0. Part two has Hope, getting all riled up and having one those fights that only happens so we can move the story along. It's a Mulligan Fight. Kind of like how Scarlet Witch fought MODOK. That didn't do anything but give the writer a reason for two Avengers to show up, fight, chat, and then bring her back to the Mansion in order for us to see the exchange between Wanda and the Vision. In this case, it's the Serpent Society robbing a bank and Hope shows up to stop them because she's moonlighting as San Francisco's vigilante. 

What we are really seeing is Hope, getting all angry, letting loose and showing her darker side so we can all say "man, she's got a temper and is a little off-the-chain with that unchecked aggression, I wonder what's gonna happen when she's possessed by the Phoenix Force? I should keep reading." It's all set up and it makes sense for a zero issue. These are the major players and they are all being put in their place for them to be so. 

Was it a good issue? Nope but the boobs are nice. That's what we're all here for, right?

Aquaman # 7

I know. Me, buying an Aquaman comic? I must have been high. 

I've heard stories that this New 52 Aquaman is uber-boss and that it's time for me to give this a try. I know that once upon a time I may have had it out with a certain DC blogger about Aquaman and how lame he was but at the ripe old age of 32 I'm fairly certain that anybody who shows up in a super-hero comic book wearing a costume is just as lame as Aquaman has ever been. 

I have been too far removed from all of this to have any preference. DC or Marvel, it's all white noise to me. My second week in a row buying weekly comics and it is tough to say whether things have gotten better or worse. Other than my hard-earned cash, there is no emotional investment in this for me. Do I like reading dramatic stories about men and women in capes punching each other while trying to save the day from the likes of Doctor Doom and Lex Luthor? Sure. I'm only human. Is it possible that those same super-hero comics are capable of delivering a story that actually says something beyond Spandex Man hits Professor Bad Guy? Of course. Is Aquaman # 7 the issue where that happens? Not really.

Aquaman and Aquawoman do just that and it's business as usual. Ancient relics from Atlantis are stolen, people die, and heroes go looking for answers. My ignorance towards all the above make it hard for this issue to stand out but being that this is issue # 7 in a series that came from a major retcon, it is possible that I'm 7 months too late. 

Either way, as a new reader, color me still emotional uninvested. 

Daredevil # 10

In my absense, I still paid a little attention. From what I heard, Mark Waid's Daredevil has been up to some good. Graves have been robbed. One of them belonged to Matt's dad, therefore Daredevil is on the case.

The art in this issue is great. Just great. And Daredevil, he goes toe-to-toe with Mole Man, which we get to see in a nice little fight between the two. For a second, you almost think that Mole Man is kind of a bad ass, going punch-for-punch with Daredevil. When it is all said and done, it is another fight amongst a million super-hero comic book fights. That's not what makes this issue intriguing but it helps. 

No, what makes this intriguing is the Daredevil who was dating the Black Cat and the machinations of villians like Megacrime and the Black Spectre. None of those names are familiar to me yet the little bits about them dropped in this issue, mostly revealed from a break-up letter from the Black Cat to Daredevil, are enough to make me want to pick up a trade or two. Good stuff, indeed.

Weekly comics: it's a wonder that I ever left you.

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