Jan 28, 2011

Mixed Plate Comics- Week of 1.26.11

11:09 AM

In the first week of the "early" Monday shipments to retailers, all the buzz and drama was directed towards the Marvel/Diamond approved Tuesday sale of the Human Torch's Last Stand-- yes, by now everyone and their grandma knows that Johnny Storm got annihilated (literally). A horde of good reads this week that includes:  Teen Titans #91 / The New York Five #1 / Avengers #9 / Wonder Woman #606 / Action Comics #897 / Secret Avengers #9 / Uncanny X-Force #4 / Justice League Generation Lost #18 / Fantastic Four #587 / Shazam #1.  Now for the standout, fab-five freshlist...

5   Justice League: Generation Lost #18   Judd Winick & Aaron Lopresti
PG battles with the murderous Captain Atom (thanks to Lord's mindbending) and ends up escalating to a full-on fight with the JLI.  Power Girl believes she is taking on the heavy hitters of the JLA and begins to really fight all out-- leaving Booster and his crew to struggle with their mere survival against the Kryptonians' vicious onslaught. 

Ivo and Max continue their Dr. Frankenstein routine on Blue Beetle, looking to gain access to the powers of the scarab.  During which a deeper explanation is made on how Lord's mental powers work and are able to influence others on such a mass scale.

The unlikely hero, resident-FOB-- Rocket Red-- snaps PG out of her crazed spell with sonics and the JLI roster gets some serious cred now with Power Girl united with her old friends and on the hunt for Max Lord.

4   Fantastic Four #587   Jonathan Hickman & Steve Epting
Despite all the hype, this book hits all the lofty expectations with sure, the end of the 4-- but also with setup of an multi-layered approach in covering the first fam of Marvel.  Leaving each remaining team-member facing their own equally difficult conflict.         

Hickman gives Namor reason to pitch a tent in his fishnets with the Invisible Woman taking over as the Monarch of his enemies the Ul-Uhari.  Reed brings back the Maestro from Nu-World which creates a whole other splinter of power amongst the Hulks and finally the Human Torch flamed off.  A very touching, emotional moment when Ben Grimm overcomes the powers that have allowed him to be normal again, and all for nothing.  I love how Hickman has given more and more attention to the kids and their Future Foundation along with the expected future selves of Franklin and Valeria.

Isn't it odd though how near-omnipotent Franklin is portayed as and he can't make easy scrap of a few thousand oversized bugs??  Death of heroes in the world of comics is a major way to signal significant change in a book and from that standpoint, I feel they were successful in getting that.  But as for a renumbering / reboot to #1 again- lame.

3   Secret Avengers #9    Ed Brubaker & Mike Deodato
We finally get to see the mysterious, OG super-soldier- John Steele take on Rogers in the octagon, okay not quite but you get it.  As the Avengers and Shadow Council make the human trade between Sharon and Shang-Chi-- Deodato gives us some remarkable action paneling that doesn't even need panels or backgrounds.

Brubaker sets the next arc with some needed shine on Moon Knight who has to this point been cast in the shadows of the Secret Avengers.  It makes me think Wolvie vs the Hellfire Club how they got MK going in deep cover within the heart of the Council.  If you like high-octane, adrenaline-filled, page-flipping then you gotta plug yourself into this book. 

The most exciting team book out there for Marvel (well, since reading the whats in the Top2 spot).  And how about some more attention to the Prince of Orphans to keep up that Kung-Fu hustle?! 

2   The Uncanny X-Force  #4   Rick Remender & Jerome Opena
I have been waiting patiently on the side-lines for some real-deal, intriguing, kick-ass mutant stories to be told since the shortly lived connect of Ellis and Jimenez in Astonishing.  We finally got it right here yo, due to the illest X-collabo of Remender & Opena in the last 4 issues of Uncanny X-Force.

The Wolvie/Archangel led hit-squad get their wish of hunting down the recently, resurrected Apocalypse with the oddball-tracking skills of Deadpool and Fantomex.  Being that I never picked up the fabled Morrison run of New X-Men, this was my initial intro to Jean-Phillipe/Weapon XIII-- who is one damn cool mutant-magician.

After nearly losing their lives to the badass and uber-deadly Final Horsemen-- X-Force make their way into the ship that houses the mutants most feared enemy.  With some brilliant strokes of misdirection, mild-cannibalism and War's crush on Psylocke-- the team eventually finds the child, Apocalypse.

Each team member loses sight of their mission objectives and give in to their humanity and hope for the innocent to be molded into something better.  Well, until something happens that makes me think...how the eff can this be topped?!

The most riveting read X-book I have flipped through in years.  Some uncanny shit right here.

1   Action Comics #597   Paul Cornell & Pete Woods
Was mad close in which book was gonna grab my top spot but I just couldn't deny how remarkable of a depiction there ever was between the Joker and Luthor that is found here.  Maybe not since Straczynski's coverage on the Joker in Brave & the Bold have I experienced better, simply instant-classic dialogue meets art of Gotham's clown prince.

Woods art elevates in the more dark and eery settin og Arkham.  Cornell gets into our psyche along with Luthors by showing how disturbingly genius that creepy Joker truly is.  Lex gets his black sphere, Joker makes Lois-bot go a lil cray and how can things get even better??

Lex vs. Larfleeze!!!  Can't wait.

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big O
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