That’s it for now, as I try to stay warm and crack open the Franken-Castle collection. What are YOU looking at?
After twelve labors,
The lion of Olympus
Parties greco style!
After yesterday’s DC-centric 12 Days of Christmas, we figured we should take a crack at the old Marvel U, too. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!
Agents of Atlas
Since I’m going out of town next week, this is the last Game Tape of 2010. What a year it’s been too!
So what was out this week? Lots of good stuff from Marvel and an early Christmas surprise.
With the exception of Dr. Doom showing up to do something nefarious, Hickman throws almost everything imaginable at the Fantastic Four in issue 586. Sue doesn’t see the big picture. Namor’s actions are rationalized, Johnny and Ben face a negative situation, and Reed has a date with a hungry man. Someone dies next issue, and Hickman has been clever enough not to give it away. With the team split three ways, things look rough and feel as though stakes are high for everyone. Thank you again, Mr. Hickman, for the consistently outstanding work you’re doing on this book.
It’s also worth mentioning that the art team of Epting and Magyar keeps the pace. It’s reminiscent of Hitch and Neary or Butch Guice, but it maintains a distinct style. Gone is the freakishly muscular Reed too. All around this is a solid and well crafted title and this team deserves some critical recognition.
Despite the fact that Wonder Man was acting weird and erratic, and neither Tony Stark nor Thor seemed to care enough to ask why or investigate, Avengers #7 was the most enjoyable of this series. I know this was out last week or the week before, but I just picked it up. The Hood takes up the rest of this issue collecting the Infinity Gems. That alone is enough to keep me in for another arc. One minor complaint would be that the half of the team that isn’t Wolverine, Iron-Man, Thor, or No-Varr all have the same Spider-manesque voice. Nothing but snappy patter from Spidey, Bucky-Cap, Spider Woman, and Hawkeye. Sloppy.
Secret Avengers 8 continues to be solid, but not so impressive. I may drop this one monthly and get trades instead. It boils down to a pacing issue for me. Not enough seems to happen in an issue.
X-Men #6 was an outstanding coda to the vampire arc. I’m looking forward to next issue since it looks like no more vampires for a while…I say for a while because some threads are left loose. I’m still really digging Gischler’s Cyclops. It’s not many who can or should stare down Dracula himself, but it works. Cyclops hasn’t been this much fun to read in…ever. Thank you Mr. Gischler.
By the by, is there still an Astonishing? I don’t remember it being canned, but I can’t remember the last issue either.
The real treat this week was seeing that there’s another Gumby book out. I didn’t know this was coming out. What a great surprise! This is a four part mini-called Gumby’s Gang. The kick off books stars Pokey. It’s fun and everything you’d expect from a Gumby book. The only down side is that since it’s not written by Bob Burden, it lacks a little in the ape-shit insane department. It’s still pretty messed up crazy, but it’s not near the same level as a Golem-ized Gumby or the ghost of Johnny Cash. Still and all, it’s a nice round out to a week of winners.
I missed Atomic Robo last week (I really should just add that to my pull list) but picked up Green Lantern, conned in by a Parallax-infested Flash on the cover. It was pretty good, though I didn’t find the big reveal that meaningful.
So, since there’s not much from last week to discuss I’ll take a little quality time to talk Tron: Legacy. A direct sequel, but following the exact same plot, we catch up with the Users and what’s happened on The Grid over the past 28 years. I went in with extremely low expectations but found myself happily surprised by how watchable it was. Keeping in mind that this is a PG movie (in theory) aimed at kids, they skip over plot details and points that the Matrix couldn’t get away with, but that’s okay. The special effects (creepy young Jeff Brdiges asides) are incredible, and assuming you can buy into the premise (otherwise why would you even be in the theater?) there’s nothing keeping it from being an enjoyable afternoon spent in the theater.
Well, that’s it for me. What are YOU looking at?
When you live in a house as big and as old as Wayne Manor, you get used to the creaking, settling, and things that go bump in the night pretty quickly. But when your life is ALSO made up of costumed lunatics (both as enemies and allies), police action, and fifth dimensional imps you starthaving to deal with the things that go bump-thump-ra-da-grump-Kltpzyxm! For this week’s LIST we present Strange Noises in Wayne Manor.
For starters this week, Batman and Robin #18 made a heck of a lot more sense. I won’t say it was great, but it was good enough that I’ll see how it ends. This issue reads like a golden age bat-villain origin story in which a bit of wonky medical fact is bastardized and mixed with toxic chemicals to create a mentally unbalanced villain. Some plot points are glossed over too quickly, but that’s forgivable considering how much ground had to be regained from last issue’s train wreck.
I can’t recommend that others pick up this Loki mini series, but I’m enjoying it. Of the Norse pantheon, Loki interests me the most. He always seems stuck wanting something not in his best interest, but he doesn’t ever realize that. The trickster aspect is also enjoyable. This mini reads as a greatest hits from mythology. Issue one covered the relationship with Thor and Loki’s role in the creation of Mjolnir. Issue two focuses on the death of Balder. It’s all well told in a Gaimanesque tone of voice. That said though, unless you’re really on fire for the god of mischief, wait for the trade.
Thunderbolts #151 was also really good. As usual, Jeff Parker shines. Here he covers the origin of Ghost. While the story beats are boilerplate, Parker makes them seem fresh. Seriously, he’s just that good.
So there you have it, another Wednesday passed.