Sunday, July 17, 2016

Not-Very-Deep Thoughts: The June 8 Edition (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

Civil War II:  Amazing Spider-Man #1:  Gage really uses the premise of this mini-series to the fullest, as Spider-Man takes around Ulysses to try to get his measure.  Once Spidey decides that he can trust him, Gage uses that bond to explore other implication of Ulysses' premonitions.  For example, Pete realizes that Ulysses could guide Parker Industries' research into more fruitful areas, allowing them to abandon dead ends more quickly.  It makes you realize how valuable Ulysses could be and why people (and not just superheroes) would fight over him.  After all, Pete would use him in Parker Industries' medical and security divisions to save lives, but other people might not be so scrupulous.  However, Ulysses complicates matters when he predicts that Clayton Cole will once again become Clash and fight Spidey.  It reminds us just of how much of a chaos agent Ulysses is.  I could see the fight becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy and Peter realizing that Tony is right, that acting on Ulysses' premonitions is a bad idea.  As interesting as that story is, though, it pales in comparison to the issue's main highlight:  Peter in his boxers accidentally getting into bed with a naked Johnny Storm.  Excuse me as I go re-read that page again...

Detective Comics #934:  For most of the "New 52!," "Detective Comics" has focused on more traditional Batman stories, the type of stories that you'd see collected in "Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told," Volume 9.  While Scott Snyder was telling marquee stories in "Batman," Layman and then Buccalleto and Manapul told stories that rightly focused on Bruce's work as a detective.  I frequently enjoyed them much more than I did Snyder's work on "Batman."  For me, they have been one of the high points of the "New 52!," focusing on characters rather than concepts.  That said, I'm excited by the new direction that Tynion starts here.  He essentially creates a formal Bat-family, as Bruce and Batwoman prepare to train the next generation.  Although he pushes the boundaries of this conceit at times, it never actually feels forced.  Someone is monitoring the vigilantes of Gotham through drones with technology ten years beyond what the military has, and Batman asks Batwoman to take the younger heroes of Gotham -- Orphan, Red Robin, and Spoiler -- under her wing to make sure that they're ready for the coming conflict.  It promises all sort of fun moments between Bruce and Kate, since Tynion makes it clear that she might be the only person capable of not taking his bullshit.  Oddly, Clayface is thrown into the mix, though Tynion doesn't explain why the mysterious threat would have identified him as a vigilante or why Bruce suddenly decides that he's redeemable.  I feel like I missed a mini-series or something.  But, it's a fairly minor complaint, given how strong the rest of the book is.  I highly recommend this one, if not for this issue itself, but for where we seem to be going.

Star Wars:  Poe Dameron #3:  The good news is that Soule continues to do a great job showing Poe as someone who would be a great date.  Like, you probably wouldn't take him home to meet Mom, but you'd wake up the next morning hungover with him next to you and not be all that upset about it.  His charm is real, people.  The bad news is that I still have no idea what happens here.  The egg that we've seen in previous issue hatches, revealing a cross between Dr. Manhattan and Mothra.  It turns hostile, threatening to kill the Crèche members...until a less blue version of it appears and fights it.  I think that this other Mothra was also in the egg with blue Mothra, but Noto doesn't really make that clear.  Anyway, they have a fight while the First Order agent just talks and talks and talks.  Really.  He's barely phased by the blue Mothra versus other Mothra battle; even the roof collapsing onto everyone doesn't stop his exposition.  In future issues, I think Soule would be better served focusing on Poe and less time on other characters.  After all, this series isn't entitled "Annoying First Order Assholes and the Black Squadron Heroes Who Fight Them, with Special Guest Appearances by Poe Dameron."  (Maybe it should be, though.)  After all, I read Chuck Wendig's "Aftermath" novel, and I didn't even realize that "Snap" is the teenager from that story until Soule mentioned it in the letters page.  We just don't really have the space to focus on all these characters, given that we expect our time spent on Poe.  Give us what we want, Marvel!

Also Read:  All-New X-Men #10; Darth Vader #21; New Avengers #12

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