Friday, January 13, 2017

Not-Very-Deep Thoughts: The September 28 Edition (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

Captain America:  Steve Rogers #5:  This issue is unexpectedly very relevant to the plot of "Civil War II," though I'm not sure where it leaves us.  Although I'm sure a similar theme has been covered in the "Iron Man" series, it's actually the first time I've seen a real exploration into the nature of Ulysses' powers.  First, Cap and Dr. Selvig realize the danger Ulysses' visions pose to their plans, since he could obviously discover Steve's allegiance to HYDRA.  However, they also recognize Ulysses seems to prioritize global-level threats and seem to assume Steve's duplicity would be low on that list.  (It's again why I'm not buying the events of the "Ms. Marvel" tie-in issues, because I don't really think Ulysses is spending all his time trying to identify who plans on robbing a liquor store in Jersey City before the prom.)  Selvig sends some "research" to Bruce Banner, and it provokes the vision that kicks off "Civil War II."  Moreover, Cap's membership in HYDRA means he knows Ulysses' prediction that the woman Captain Marvel arrested for trying to take down the global financial system was wrong:  she wasn't working for HYDRA.  (This part is a little unclear, though.  Steve asks the Skull if she could've been working for an independent cell, but the Skull refuses to recognize that such a cell could escape his notice.  But, of course, Steve's cell exists, so it sort of casts some doubt on the certainty of the Skull's conclusion.)  If you accept the events of this issue are true, then it's impossible to believe Carol's side of the argument, since Steve has proven Ulysses' visions can be manipulated and also incorrect.  It reminds me of "Death of the Family," where the tie-in issues made it clear the Joker knew the Bat-family's identities, but the main issues supported Bruce's insistence that he didn't.  It casts an even greater shadow over an event that I already find to be poorly plotted.

Extraordinary X-Men #14:  It's pretty clear Lemire knows where he's going, though I'll admit it feels like the falcon is getting too far from the falconer.  It stands to reason the two stories he's been telling over the last few issues will converge, but it's hard to see how Sapna and her mysterious benefactor will combine with Apocalypse and a Horseman-ed Colossus.  Lemire ups the ante here even further by introducing concepts like the World Eater (presumably Sapna's benefactor) and the Lattice (presumably the system of portals Sapna manipulates).  As I said, I'm confident Lemire is in charge of the narrative, so I'm not overly worried.  But, hopefully he won't drag out this story too much longer.

Ms. Marvel #11:  The best tie-in issues are the ones where the main event provokes changes in the character's life.  Willow delivers that in spades here, as a paralyzed Bruno tells Kamala he never wants to speak to her again (and announces he's moving to Wakanda) and Ms. Marvel ruptures her relationship with Carol over "predictive justice."  (Willow also gets in an amazing shot at the premise of "Civil War II," as one of the minor characters tells Ms. Marvel she should watch "Minority Report.")  Nothing here is easily fixable.  Under normal comic rules, Bruno would get some sort of neural implant that magically heals him, and we're never talk about his paralysis again.  The entire incident would just be forgotten, part of the group's usual shenanigans.  But, Bruno has finally decided the consequences outweigh the benefits, not only because his accident lost him scholarships but because Kamala doesn't seem to care.  Kamala doesn't really argue with him, and she ends the issue with no one standing by her side (not Bruno, not Carol).  The image on the cover for next issues shows her on a journey of self-discovery, and it doesn't feel like a random "NEW DIRECTION!" arc like Babs' does in "Batgirl."  Willow makes it clear why such a journey is necessary at this point, and I'm intrigued to see where Kamala goes, physically and mentally.

Star Wars #23:  Han and Leia as a couple are obviously an icon of the Star Wars universe, even more so after "Star Wars:  The Force Awakens."  However, Aaron tweaks that status here, giving us an insight into the experiences of everyone surrounding the couple during the time period where they aren't actually a couple.  Han and Leia's race to the bridge to see who gets to be captain is childish in many ways, from leaving such an important role to chance to forcing Luke and Sana to deal with a threat that presents itself during their race.  But, Aaron uses it brilliantly, showing us the awkward period where Han and Leia haven't admitted their feelings to each other while also allowing other characters -- such as Luke and Sana -- to shine.  Although it might elicit some raised eyebrows on the ship (and from the readers), it's a reminder these characters are human and not just icons.

Titans #3:  I don't have too much to say here other than noting Abnett seemed to confirm here that Kadabra is from the future but also a victim of Dr. Manhattan's machinations.  He knows Wally and Linda should know one another but don't and that Dr. Manhattan is behind it.  Abnett has Kadabra claim he threw Wally into the timestream, but Dick isn't buying it, a sign it's probably not true.  I have to wonder though how much truth we're going to get since DC doesn't seem to be in a hurry to address the Dr. Manhattan situation.

Also Read:  Batgirl #3; Bloodshot Reborn #17; Captain America:  Sam Wilson #13; Captain Marvel #9; Detective Comics #941; New Avengers #16; Spider-Gwen #12

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