Comic Book Catchup
by J.D. Cook
Well it’s been a while since I’ve been able to talk about Comic Books because my local store was sold out of some stuff I wanted and then Thanksgiving rolled around but now I’m back and happy to report I’m all caught up on the titles I follow.
First Scott Snyder’s Batman continues to wow me. Greg Capullo’s art is like nothing else on the market and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for young Batman with Dr. Death. Man is that guy creepy. Check out the latest issue to see what I mean!
Secondly the current Superior Spider-Man arc ‘Darkest Hours’ deals with Agent Venom coming to town. What I love about the way Dan Slott writes the book is that the Superior Spider-Man really is a villain. Octavius really isn’t trying to be a good guy any more. He’s just Octavius in Spider-Man’s body. So when you read the book you always root for his opponent. When he fought Spider-Man 2099 I rooted for him the whole time and now I am of course hoping beyond hope that Flash Thompson manages a hail mary and survives ‘Darkest Hours’ as Venom. The book feels a bit like the Walking Dead in that you are always hoping for something good to happen only to be disappointed when Octavius overcomes his opponent or manages to stay undiscovered inside Parker’s body. Unfortunately in the most recent issue Octavius tricked Thompson into a device that removed the Symbiote. So now he’s just Flash and Octavius has become the ‘Superior Venom’. I’m hoping the next issue deals with Flash defeating him and re-obtaining the suit but as I said the Superior Spider-Man usually wins to my dismay. My only complaint with the issues is that it doesn’t feel like the Flash Thompson that I spent 42 issues reading about. Different writers have different voices so I guess there isn’t much I can do about that but it would be nice to get a one line mention of where Mania is at the moment. Octavius might have the upper hand in comics but from the first look at the new Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailer Peter Parker seems to be doing okay for himself in the film industry! Although the trailer does foreshadow an upcoming appearance by Dr. Octopus so maybe Parker’s days are numbered there too…kidding of course!
The Uncanny Avengers got really ‘deathy’ this past issue. I mean Issue 13 was kind of funny with Captain America losing his hearing and then issue 14 is just death everywhere. I won’t say who died in the interest of keeping this bit spoiler free but I will say one of the characters has actually been offed once before earlier in the series, albeit in the alternate ‘Age of Ultron’. I participated in a live chat with Rick Remender and Tom Brevoot recently and their teases and comments on where the story is going are extremely exciting. The art work released for the new cover during that chat (pictured above) seems to hint that the story will take a leap into the future of Mutants. Me thinks I sense a ‘Days of Future Past’ type of story playing out with Havok and the Wasp wanting to change the past after Mutant Society elopes to space for a couple of years. I think I have a good idea of how the story will play out but Remender always has a few tricks up his sleeve so I can only wait and see how Kang, Onslaught, the Apocalypse Twins will all mix together in ‘Ragnarok Now’.
While on the subject of Rick Remender I should touch on his newest comic book Black Science. I got the first issue and loved it. In an odd synchronicity his tale is somewhat similar to one I’ve been working on for a few months. Well they have dimension jumping in common but Remender goes in a much different direction than I am planning to. I loved how the entire issue felt like pulpy 1950s science fiction. There were frog people, crazy suits, the Anarchist League of Scientists and above all else the hook that scientists can go too far in their pursuit of progress. I can’t wait to get a bit more back story on the world the protagonists come from and what drove them to break the dimensional barrier. Jump on this title at the beginning and see where it’s going.
Black Science is just the latest creator controlled comic book to come out of Image. Their crown jewel is Saga and boy did that start picking up with the last two issues. It is on its 3rd story arc right now and it felt like the story slowed down a bit but Vaughn showed what a masterful writer he is with some big reveals about what has been going on for certain characters. One in particular, The Will for those of you who read it, was hallucinating badly throughout this whole arc and I chalked it up to him being a little wacky to begin with but there was a very real reason for it. That reason may just get him killed but of course I will have to wait until the next issue to see what will happen when most of the primary characters collide. It’s almost like these last two story arcs have all been building to one huge culmination. I just hope nothing tragic happens because I am quite attached to all of the characters. Fiona Staples art continues to make me smile on every page. I love how she draws the most taboo things but it’s all done in a very innocent and bright style. All of these comics continue to prove my first comic book commentary right, the best science fiction is coming from comic books!
Until next ‘Thor’s Day’ my friends!
Past Comic Book Commentaries
Laying the Hammer Down on ‘Thor’s Day’
Boycott X-Men: Days of Future Past
Uncanny Venom, Hilarious Captain America
Batman Still the Crown Jewel of the New 52
The Superior Spider-Man