Saturday, August 19, 2006

On 16 August, 2006

Okay, so I'm a month or so behind. But then, so is Marvel, and they are actually working with deadlines.

I have to live up to some linkage (Thanks, Kalinara), though, meaning it's time to get current and worry about catch-up later. It's usually the other way around, and that never works.

Ohh, I'm also having trouble settling on a new avatar. Sheep? Shulkie? Or should I go back to the porcupine? Or find a suitable Gert Yorkes image to crop and resize? Decisions, decisions...

Reading music: Leahy, Lakefield

--Warning: Spoilers ahead--


Nextwave #7: Warren Ellis tackles Marvel Mysticism, conjuring a demon from the Dank Dimension who eagerly accepts payment in United States currency and Suicide Girls. Demonic forces are unleashed, and of course Nextwave has to deal with them, and of course the demons explode beautifully. (It wouldn't be Nextwave without explosions!)

Before the explosions, though, we see: Dirk Anger sinking deeper into his drug-addled depression; see Monica and Elsa speculating about Captain America's sexual orientation; and Aaron Stack literally hooking himself up to a keg.

Memorable dialogue:
Elsa: What's our E.T.A. to Shotcreek?
Monica: Couple of hours. I just wish the Marketing Plan was more specific about this one.
Elsa: Yeah. "Magic deal." What do you think?
Monica: Could mean anything. Tabby said there was a "Magik" in the X-Men.
Elsa: Didn't Tabby also say that Magik was dead?
Monica: Like that matters. X-Men come back more than Jesus.

Do I Know What I Just Read? Yes.
Do I Care? Yes.

Runaways #18 & 19: Oh, Mr. Vaughan. How could you? Why did it have to be her of all characters? *sigh*

Still, hers is a hero's death, and while the Children of the Pride are diminished in number and spirit, they haven't lost their sense of purpose. They've gained a member in Xavin, too, and not a moment too soon, because there's demonic trouble ahead, and Victor still has to take a crash course in Leapfrog piloting.

The Runaways try to deal with their teammate's death, of course. One confides in the Leapfrog; another in Xavin; a third in Victor. Xavin him/herself is also trying to deal with the probable death of two planets, something that doesn't help matters.

It's a lot of good stuff to take in. As usual.

Do I Know What I Just Read? Yes.
Do I Care? Yes.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #32: Yes. The light at the end of the dark tunnel is here: the conclusion of the (aptly named) "Frightful" arc and the end of the Millar-Land run. Maybe the new team will bring back some of the magic Ellis and Bendis put into this title.

'Cause in spite of the mystical Atlantean ritual Dr. Doom (in Reed's body) uses to draw the alien out of Johnny Storm's torso, this is decidedly non-magical.

Reed (in Victor's body) deals with the Zombie Four using maggots. (Brilliant!) And Victor eventually takes back his own body in order to play hero, capturing the world-eating alien within himself and leaping into the zombieverse. Boy! Zombies, explosions, and aliens, but... Nah. It's just a little too much. And it's over. Yes.

Do I Know What I Just Read? Yes.
Do I Care? Eh.

Ultimate Fantastic Four Annual #2: Between this and Nextwave, it is Stuart Immonen week! Lovely! And energetic! And fun! (Let's review. Immonen: Fun. Land: Not so much. Or in the words of my AP English class not so way back when: "Beowulf good, Grendel bad.")

Anyway, Annual #2 goes back to the fun and the magic that got me started reading FF in the first place. It's the return of Dr. Molevic, the terribly disgusting Mole Man, plus an introduction to a few of the other Think Tank members. This little group of geniuses is led by none other than Strange Josie, slightly misandric inventor of the Stealth Corset.

Ultimate Mole Man, though. He has a thing for young scientific genius. Specifically, he has a thing for kidnapping them and dictating to them his life story. His hilarious bio recounts early scientific endeavors and devolving his baby sister into a lungfish.

And on. He has quite the bio. The story fluctuates between Mole Man's narrative, and monster-bashing a la Fantastic Four. The Think Tank crew, meanwhile, becomes another heroic team, riding to the rescue with Lemurian-style death weapons. There's even a moral. (Sort of.)

Thank you Mr. Carey and Mr. Immonen. You both rock.

Do I Know What I Just Read? Yes.
Do I Care? Yes.

Oni Press

Wasteland #2 focuses on a brewing religious conflict. The wandering protagonists struggle to live off the land, and through it all they worship "Mother Sun" and "Father Moon." (Talk about your symbolic role-reversals. I love it already.) At Abi's request, the village Sun-Singer recounts the legend of A-Ree-Yass-I, an apocalyptic Noah's Arc style tale featuring the aforementioned celestial gods. A flood, an almost empty sky, and a poisoned ocean (among other things) set the people on the path to redemption. That's what the Sunners believe.

But the Sunners are heathens in the eyes of Newbegin's ruling church. And the church is not to be trifled with. Even if the villagers can survive their trek through the desert, will they survive their destination?

It'll be worth finding out.

Do I Know What I Just Read? Yes.
Do I Care? Yes.

Week's most memorable moment: I am a sucker for badass Sue moments, like this one from Ultimate Fantastic Four Annual #2.

Tentative checklist for 23 August, 2006
(*Indicates a title I've preordered.)

Blue Beetle #6
Elephantmen #2
Women Of Marvel Poster Book (???)

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