Twenty Thoughts About Twenty Comics – Ultimate Spider-Man, Phantom Stranger, Archer & Armstrong, Action Comics, Invincible Iron Man, Hawkeye, The Boys, Thief Of Thieves, Epic Kill, Detective Comics, Thor, Before Watchmen, Think Tank, Green Lantern, Amazing Spider-Man, World's Finest, Earth Two, Green Arrow, Batwing And Action Comics,
In Ultimate Spider-Man, Miles Morales and Captain America seem to be living in a different crossover than the rest of the Divided We Fall Ultimate books, in that civilisation is breaking down around the country, but New York seems fine. Which is, I understand, the opposite of what normally happens. But Ultimate Gwen Stacy saves the day by doing her best 616 Kitty Pryde impersonation.
Phantom Stranger #0 emphasises that this is Judas Iscariot, if we were in any doubt, but again manages not to name him. And while emphasising that Judas himself does not believe his is a bad man, but accepting his expected judgement, has "avarice" named and linked to the silver coins placed around his neck. Which is an odd one, most modern readings of Judas' actions peg him as a Zionist trying to force the hand of Judas to overthrow the Roman reign, one among the disciples who truly believed Jesus was the Son Of God, and that the payment was more of a peppercorn deal.
I'm still enjoying Archer & Armstrong as we get more religious conspiracy, nuns with guns, and our odd couple trying to find some understanding… and yes, Armstrong totally tapped that. The political satire is a bit too blatantly obvious to land any blows, and the fun between the two characters stil is lacking from the original, but there's an ember there. We must blow gently on it, clap our hands, believe in fairies and it may once arise again.
While in The Boys, Wee Hughie and Butcher also come to an understanding. But it's one that puts them in direct opposition, atop the Empire State Building. And friends become downright enemies.
The opposite is happening in Invincible Iron Man, as the book starts to regain the use of that prefix and the Armor Wars provide a different take on that tone… not so much Armor Vs Armor, but Armor teaming up with Armor, even when it's Evil Armor. Morality is out of the door, this is about the survival of the species and odd allegiances are forged. With a rather ring-based foe in mind. It's Armor Wars!!!
In Hawkeye #2 it's… okay, this is a comic book. It is still a superhero comic book. But does anyone, even that bad guys involved possibly think that the above could in any way work. Yes, that's right, don't kill the Avenger now, kill him elsewhere for some reason that is not just apparent but gives Clint a little more wiggle room to find a new target. Seriously now, there are some very stupid super villains around…
See, Black Kiss 2? Thief Of Thieves knows how to still get distributed in Canada and the UK.
Epic Kill continues its Presidential kill spree mission and action adventure car chase and gun chase, that may succeed in this form like no other American publisher has before now, before twisting into a death/life/death/life alternate paths that do everything they can to stop the ending of this series being a terribly obvious disappointing twist. And they pretty much succeed…
Bruce… I am not your father. Say that in a deep husky voice a few times. In Detective Comics #0 it's time for Bruce to go all Karate Kid on us, in a twist on the fate of his actual parents, that seems vry much in keeping with the themes of the Nolan movies. In fact, that's probably the point, this is possibly a perfect Batman comic to pick up after seeing The Dark Knight Rises.
Matt Fraction, Kieron Gillen, you are very naughty people. Very naughty people indeed. Tumblr will be all over you for this, a mixture of cheers and boos for the ending of Thor this month. And a slightly better Loki than last issue, which is nice to see. But the ending, oh the ending… seriously. I may have to spoil this later today. Be warned.
Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre is the one book that has stuck to the famous Watchmen nine panel grid, which pays off this issue as Laurie gets all loved up on LSD and her world starts to twist and turn. Still, by far, the most beautiful looking book in the project, and it reads at a fast pace too. Outstanding. Warning – this comic contains a non-blue penis.
Think Tank #2 goes a little neoconspiracy on us this month, showing us that for killing insurgents in Iraq, there really is a App for that. And teaching us that war is bad.
As Spider-Man continues not to keep Alpha in control in the new Amazing Spider-Man, he does draw on his own past quite deeply. With a rather prominent reference to Amazing Spider-Man #33… and he has had a lot of experience of that since!
And yes, female Robin-to-be-Huntress one day has her on parental death issues to get past as well in World's Finest #0. I'm starting to see why super villains keep trying to blow up orphanages, it's to try and dispose of as many future superheroes as they can. Playing the long game…
While Earth One #0 brings back the Multiverse… and some very dodgy reason as a result of it. Means justifying the ends time. All very Ozymandias.
So who did write Green Arrow #0 then? The cover says Ann Nocenti, the inside says Judd Winick. I'm going to go with the latter, but really it's anybody's guess as we get a rather unpleasant young Oliver Queen, who may have good intentions, but they don't go well. In fact they go very badly indeed. In fact, on the basis of this comic, there's far more scope in making Green Arrow a propr super villain… certainly more than Judas gets blamed for in Phantom Stranger.
Whereas Batwing #0 gives us his early origin story as, well, Daredevil. Fighting young kid, check, in a official legal job that doesn't solve the real problems, check, night sticks, check. It's just that in this case, the bad guy has the horns.
At least we were spared a legacy of Batwings going back to tribal African times. Maybe for the Minus One issues next year…
But Action Comics #0 instead, just gives us something… rather sweet. And emphasising not only Superman's alien origins, but highlighting the stuff he carries around with him as well… it's a zero issue for the character, for the brand, for the image, and for his security blanket as well. Super Linus.
And Green Lantern #0. I know he's a car thief not a terrorist. But I sometimes wonder whether the Green Lantern rings wouldn;t pick out some truly despicable people to be Green Lanterns, those that know no fear… wouldn't most Green Lanterns be terrorists?
This might be the last Thoughts for a while… something different next week, I think.
Comics courtesy of Orbital Comics of London.
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