Don’t worry folks, I made sure to put together the Friday Follow Up before leaving for Planet Comic-Con. So I’ll be on the road as this gets published, hopefully checking in later after night one (assuming the hotel has wi-fi). If not, enjoy the reviews and I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures.
Age of Ultron #4
The decompression continues. One thing of value to the plot occurs in this issue (which is still better than last issue). Bendis finally reveals what the central problem of the story is and has assembled his cast of heroes. All of which could have been accomplished in one or two issues. Most of this book is setting up pieces in slightly faster succession, but with less logic. One character is killed by an ally for absolutely no reason. The rest of the cast assembles in the same location with no planning or reason. They all just happened to decide to go to the Savage Land. A good rule of writing is that coincidences should never favor the protagonist(s).
The best part of this book occurs entirely off screen. Luke Cage, who Bendis has made one of the most sympathetic and enjoyable players in the Marvel Universe, makes a heroic effort to help his friends travelling across the world while he should be dead. It’s the kind of heroic last struggle that makes for a great book. So it’s too bad that we’re told about it and not shown a damn thing. Missed opportunity.
Status: On the Bubble
All-New X-Men #10
No one writes talking super-powered heads like Bendis, but that doesn’t stop this issue from feeling like filler. The Brotherhood’s plans move forward, albeit slowly, but the main story consists of a single conversation. Momentum is removed in order to provide a cliffhanger and tie-in to the “Uncanny X-Men”, which leaves the book light on story. The cliffhanger and setup feel gimmicky, but it’s still an enjoyable read.
Status: Starting to Fade
Earth 2 #11
This issue provides some good character moments and build up. In the past, it has felt like “Earth 2” was wondering in circles, just introducing concepts. Here, we’re provided with action. Not just in a battle with some guardian-monster, but in a character showing merit and another making a major decision. It’s not perfect, but it’s an improvement. Mr. Miracle is a fantastic character (one of Kirby’s greatest contributions to comics), but his introduction is forced and serves no purpose short of providing a reason for a gatefold cover. Stupid, stupid gatefold covers…
Status: On the Bubble
Andy Diggle and Jock write great thrillers. There’s constant propulsion to their stories and Jock’s dynamic art pulls you through the panels by your collar. Seriously, good stuff.
Superior Spider-Man #7
Everybody who enjoys superhero comics has at least one guilty pleasure. A character who isn’t popular or particularly well designed, but who you love anyway. Cardiac is one of my guilty pleasures, so I was bound to enjoy this issue no matter what. Slott is very good at utilizing B- and C-list characters. Throughout all of “Superior Spider-Man”, he’s pulled in a wide array of rogues from the Beetle to Screwball to Cardiac. It gives old fans a thrill and provides new ones with something interesting to look at. There’s less going on than most issues in the series, all building to a showdown with the Avengers. Even if this issue isn’t as jam-packed as previous ones, it’s still a joy to read.