I have to admit, Wednesday was mildly disappointing. Comic shop "missed the boat" on I (HEART) MARVEL: MASKED INTENTIONS, and they didn't have ALL-STAR SUPERMAN #2 in stock. But they may have the latter next week, at least. And I can't stay disappointed, not when Mother Nature is teasing mid-Michigan with hints of spring. There's no way this early March thaw can last -- we have a smattering of winter to come, I'm sure -- but you take what you can get.
But, on to this week's reading:
--Warning: Possible Spoilers--
"There are no accidents." I'm not sure if FANTASTIC FOUR: FIRST FAMILY #1 (of 6) is meant to tie in with recent Fantastic Four events (i.e., a retcon of sorts), but it seems to be canon. Whatever it is, it's mighty confusing, what with Reed's mental landscape and all. Hopefully things will start to make more sense as the story progresses. (I did like seeing Susan taking on a maternal role right off the bat.)
The SON OF M #4 (of 6) is becoming more and more interesting. Not unpredictable, but interesting. The Terrigen Mists are a bad thing for those who are genetically unprepared for them. Pietro has clearly not reformed, and if he was on his father's bad side before, well... he still is, only more so. Not to mention the cheesed off Inhumans. (Also, no wonder Lockjaw wanted to live with Ben Grimm. Poor pooch.)
Okay. I will accept NEXTWAVE as canon. Grudgingly. Trouble is, I do not want to let go of the FIN FANG FOUR... Foom. You know, the human-sized, well-spoken, extremely irritable dragon chef working for Reed Richards in the Baxter Building? That is the real Fin Fang Foom as far as I'm concerned. So how to account for the lizard that attempted to put Boom Boom in his pants? Well, in this blog, he shall henceforth be referred to as "Fin Fang Clone." Problem solved.
Hilarious stuff, though. Warren Ellis is a twisted, twisted man. And I think I may pick up the monthlies after all, instead of waiting for the trades. The fan pages kind of make it worth it. That, and I can maybe hook my brother on comic books with them. I set him up with the first two issues, and Avengers: The Ultimate Guide for reference. (He didn't know who the Avengers even were, which of course had to be remedied.) But that's another story for another time.
XMEN: THE 198 #3 (of 5) is getting good. The government tagging the mutants wasn't a huge shocker (though the tags themselves were.) And there's a new Puppet Master in the house, and he's much creepier than the FF villain.
Some weeks ago, I found GUARDIANS #1 in the dollar bin and was well pleased with it, though Marvel apparently wasn't. Cancelled series. Pity. Well, last week, I found issues #2 and 3 in the dollar bin, and couldn't resist. Then I Googled the series like I should have done in the first place, hence the linkage here. Seems they did in fact finish off the arc, and I've a bit of back-issue hunting to do after all!
For a while now ("a while" is relative), or at least since I entered the comic blog community, I've felt kind of left out about half the time. Not a huge shock. I mostly read Marvel, and the odd independent or three. But mainstream DC is something I'm not very familiar with. (Again, the degree of familiarity is relative.) So... Time to delve, right?
Yes, it's definitely time to delve. But the true delving will have to happen next week, with the assistance of T. at Clems, who's a DC guy. These dollar bin picks just left me cold (GREEN ARROW #26) and confused (JLA #96). And it's not the comics' fault...
A big corporation wants to evict poor people from their homes so they (the corporation) can build a huge mall/office complex. Cocky Robin Hood dude sympathizes with the little guy (because he's a Robin Hood dude, and sympathizing with the poor is a major prerequisite for Robin Hoodness.) So this benevolent archer lends a hand, helping the peoples' lawyers secure enough funding to fight the corporate bigwigs. Just to make things interesting, there's a big green monster tearing around the corporation's construction site. And, no, it's not the Hulk. This is the (a?) DC Universe, after all. It's just a random big green monster thrown into the mix on page 18. GREEN ARROW #26. My introduction to Oliver Queen. Moving on...
Note to self: Avoid starting any story in the middle, especially if you are unfamiliar with the setting of said story. Knowing who Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are did not help me when it came to JLA #96, which was a mistake on a variety levels. There were vampires, though. Speaking of monsters and vampires, let's move on to...
DOLL AND CREATURE #1 is probably the sort of thing I had in mind when I picked up IN THE BLOOD #1 last week.* Adventurous horror! Fun! Murderous gray-skinned drug-crazed monsters out for blood! Just the right amount of gore, even. (That is to say, there was enough to get the point across, but not enough to overwhelm the stomach.) Nice.
*Update: Two weeks ago, actually. My bad.
MAZE AGENCY #1 was another dollar bin pick from last week, and it caught my eye due to title recognition (from a relatively recent review at Polite Dissent.)
Pure murder mystery. No major CSI-style forensics, just good ol' fashioned sleuthing. I generally take a passive role when reading (or watching) mysteries, and MAZE AGENCY was really no exception. Though I did figure out one thing before the end. Nice change of pace, at any rate.
Notes and Rankings (Best to Worst)
*All read Wednesday and Thursday evenings, in my bedroom whilst listening to the Serenity soundtrack. This soundtrack is fine background for stuff like GUARDIANS, FF, and even MAZE AGENCY, but not so much for NEXTWAVE.
1. NEXTWAVE #2
2. DOLL AND CREATURE #1
3. GUARDIANS #2 and 3
4. SON OF M #4
5. X-MEN: THE 198 #3
6. FF: FIRST FAMILY #1
7. MAZE AGENCY #1 (Caliber)
8. GREEN ARROW #26
9. JLA #96
Panel of the Week: A priceless bit of dialogue in NEXTWAVE #2, complete with Fin Fang Clone lurking in the background.