Monday, May 9, 2016

Not-Even-Remotely-New Comics!: The Rest of January 13 Edition (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

If you're still reading this blog, you'll notice that I'm even more untimely than usual, slipping three full months behind schedule.  As such, I'm going to try to expedite the review process by summarizing most issues in combined posts.  If I have a lot to say about an issue in particular, I'll still go with a long-form post.  But, until I make my way through the backlog, I think less is more at this point.

Guardians of the Galaxy #4:  Yup, I'm definitely over this series.  The dialogue is so flat that it almost feels like Bendis is using a computer program to write it, combining random words to create sentences.  Moreover, everyone's power continues to fluctuate.  Whereas a cosmically powered Gamora remains unable to even land a punch on Hala, a normally powered Thing obliterates her simply by jumping on her, essentially repeating the events of issue #2.  It underlines that Bendis doesn't seem to have anything original to say here, banking on our affection for these characters keeping us returning each month.  Unfortunately, it's no longer enough for me.  Smell you later, Guardians. 

* (one of five stars)

Mighty Thor #3:  I'm not really sure what Aaron was trying to do here.  This issue is essentially one incredibly long monologue from Loki, where he tries to convince Jane that he's turned over a new leaf and wants to become a Loki that could make Freya proud.  But, for a reason that Aaron never really explains, he's surrounded by previous incarnations of himself, and they all want what Loki has always wanted in the past:  a dead Thor.  Not surprisingly, they fail to defeat Jane, and we learn that all Loki really wanted was to die with Thor, as Roxxon's bombs rain upon Alfheim.  It's never an easy thing to try to determine what Loki's true motivations are, but I'm really at a loss here to determine what Aaron wants us to believe Loki was doing.  After all, he ends the issue with Loki watching Jane fall to Alfheim after saving it from the missiles, hoping that he didn't just witness the last moments of Thor.  But, a few minutes ago, didn't he say he was there to die with her?  Honestly, I have no idea.

** (two of five stars)

Red Wolf #2:  Edmonson does a pretty solid job of showing Red Wolf's disorientation over finding himself in the future without getting too melodramatic about it.  In fact, it's really just background to the issue's main story, namely the drug wars raging in Santa Rosa.  A drug-dealer named Bly has sent his snake-handling enforcer to scare everyone in town into getting in line, and it seems like the only thing between him and success are the honest sheriff and deputy that Red Wolf meets in this issue.  Edmonson keeps us guessing when it comes to how long Red Wolf is going to be in the future, instead encouraging us to focus on the "Breaking Bad' story that he's weaving here.  It's not necessarily the most enthralling story, but we'll see where we go from here.

** (two of five stars)

Uncanny Avengers #4:  Duggan surprises me here, getting me to care about Synapse in a way that I haven't previously.  It logically happens when she decides to take on her grandfather, dismissing his threat that he'd defeat the Avengers as something that she'd heard before.  In other words, Duggan shows us the moment that Synapse started believing that she was an Avenger, and it gives this series the heart that it's been missing.  Not surprisingly, it's Deadpool who brings the humor:  the moment depicted on the cover -- of Rogue throwing him at their enemies, declaring it the "Oddball Special" -- is probably the only moment of real camaraderie in this series so far.  Duggan also wraps up the story solidly:  Cable reveals that he developed a serum to remove the Inhumans' immunity to the plague, and he injects Synergy with it to force the Shredded Man to save her -- and, by extension, everyone else.  Unfortunately, Duggan doesn't reveal why Synergy killing the Shredded Man would've produced the world that we saw in Cable's future, as Cable insists would happen here.  It would've been nice to know, given that the entire premise of this arc was preventing that future.  Duggan also weirdly reveals that the team's "secret mission" is to hunt down the Red Skull and retrieve Xavier's brain.  I call it "weird" because it's revealed in an awkward and passing moment of dialogue between Cable and Cap, as Steve tries to get Cable to stay on the team.  It also makes me realize that I can't even remember how "AXIS" ended -- I was pretty sure the Red Skull died, didn't he?  So, although Duggan managed to stick a wobbly landing for this arc, I think that we still have work to do in getting this series where it needs to be.

** (two of five stars)

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