Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Not-Very-Deep Thoughts: The November 23 Edition (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

Captain Marvel #10:  So...much...talking...

Civil War II #7:  I feel like I've read issue #5 three times at this point.  The only interesting thing to happen here is that Ulysses has a vision of the future where Captain Marvel seemingly destroyed the world after Iron Man pushed her too far.  But, he isn't really sure.  In the present, it seems clear Ulysses' vision of Spider-Man killing Captain America isn't actually Miles killing Steve, but Miles holding Steve's body after Captain Marvel and Iron Man's battle killed him.  But, are we really going to kill Steve Rogers again?  At this point, it's either that or Ulysses is wrong.  Either way, it's going to be anticlimactic.

Death of X #4:  OMG, this issue makes no sense on a number of levels.  First, all the X-Men titles published after "Secret Wars" asserted Scott did something so terrible even mutants wanted nothing to do with him.  (I can't remember which series it was, but I distinctly remember a new mutant expressing horror at the idea she would be on Scott's side.)  But, all he does here is destroy one of the Terrigen Mist clouds.  Why is that so awful?  After all, Black Bolt (who I didn't even realize was still alive after "War of Kings") murders him in cold blood.  Isn't that worse?  How the hell could anyone think Scott was the villain here?  Scott didn't kill anyone, but Black Bolt murders him.  Why is everyone so accepting of the Inhumans' religious fervor over the Mists?  Does protecting them justify any action the Inhumans take?  The Inhumans asserting the right of the cloud to pass around the world even though it actively kills people is essentially like arguing a maniac gets to murder people because his religion puts a high value on death.  It seems pretty clear Marvel had something else in mind, but had second thoughts, unable to make Scott do something that couldn't be undone.  It actually gives me hope he's going to return someday, since Marvel seems concerned about his reputation.  (By the by, we also never learn why Scott was riding those...things in "Secret Wars" #1.)  But, I'm sad to report this debacle isn't the worse part.  We discover it wasn't Scott at all.  Scott died in the lab on Muir Island, almost immediately upon entering it.  Everything since then was Emma, who seems to have lost her mind as a result of Scott's death.  It's just too much.  First, we kill off Scott fucking Summers in a flashback sequence.  Moreover, he dies mewling on the ground at the horror of it.  Then, his name is desecrated (even though it shouldn't be) without him even committing the acts he's accused of committing!  Emma reveals the truth to Havok, and then he doesn't do anything about it.  I just don't understand how anyone could read this issue and feel satisfied.  We've been force-fed "suspense" about these events for the last several months, but Marvel treats it like a footnote to "Secret Wars."  I just can't with them and their events anymore.

Detective Comics #945:  This issue is spectacular because Spoiler is spectacular in it.  Stephanie comes out swinging when she sees through Bruce's feeble attempt to gather information about the Victim Syndicate by hiding behind two-way glass while Leslie Thompkins psycho-analyze her.  First, she calls out Bruce and his tendency to underestimate his own allies (something she proves by seeing through his ruse).  But, she also refuses to absolve him of Tim's death, saying he only cares about his colleagues' feelings when he needs forgiveness.  She is 100% correct.  I had never thought of it that way, but Tynion hits the nail on the head.  Plus, she identifies the team as a group of potential threats -- three daughters of super-villains and an actual super-villain -- that Bruce wants to control.  It's also something I hadn't put together, but it totally fits.  In one fell swoop, Tynion dismisses the Bat-family's long-standing ethos, where the colder and more technically minded you are, the better asset Bruce believes you to be.  It's why Tim always seemed to be higher in Bruce's estimation than Dick, Harper than Stephanie, Damian than Jason.  But, Stephanie isn't having it.  She's not only smart-smart but emotionally smart, and, Jesus, the Bat-family could really use someone like that right now.  Take 'em down, Stephanie.

Spider-Gwen #14:  The art change here is terribly, terribly timed.  Just as I'm tearing up a bit (a lot) as Gwen realizes May not only knows her secret but doesn't blame her for Peter's death, we switch to an exaggerated cartoon-y style as Jessica and her family appear for Thanksgiving.  It totally spoils the moment, the moment we've been waiting to see since Spider-Gwen was introduced.  Talk about an editorial blunder.

Star Wars #25:  I admit Aaron loses me a bit here.  I'm not entirely sure why it was necessary for the Rebels to hijack a Star Destroyer if the only thing they did with it was disable some moon bases and send down some escape pods filled with supplies.  Couldn't they just have warped into proximity and sent down the pods?  It didn't seem like the Empire was guarding the moon bases that closely.  Also, couldn't the Empire just take back the supplies?  It's not like the Rebels stay to defend the planet.  Are the Tureenians really that well equipped that they can hold off the Empire?  Aaron also has some lazier moments here that I find surprising from him.  For example, at some point in this arc, the Empire put the captain of a rebel ship on the prow, damning him to freeze to death in the vacuum of space.  (Similarly, Aphra almost immediately freezes to death after Vader expelled her from his ship in "Darth Vader" #25.)  But, here, Han and Leia are able to float totally safely outside the ship.  Separately, one of the members of SCAR Squadron gives Sana a weapon so she can fight to the death honorably.  It's a really comic-book-y moment that interrupts the realism Aaron has used throughout this series.  SCAR Squadron had even fewer agents on the ship than the Rebels; they didn't really have the luxury of giving everyone a fighting chance.  Overall, it feels like Aaron was forced to rush the ending for reasons that aren't totally clear.  This arc had great promise, so it's sad to see it end with a whimper.

Star Wars:  Han Solo #5:  This issue ends pretty much the way I expected it to end, with the least likely candidate revealed to be the assassin and Han intentionally losing the race only to win.  Liu seemed to be writing for the trade with this series, because I'll admit I couldn't for the life of me remember why this "master list" was important.  I thought we just had to find the traitor?  But, more importantly, Liu manages to really sell Han's connection to Loo Re Anno, drawing a rare hint of emotion from Han as he contemplates his future of loneliness if he truly just sees himself "of the stars."  That said, Loo gets her happy ending as the gate at the end of the Dragon Void is revealed to be the connection to the rest of her people.  As a result, Han decides to stay with the rebellion for increasingly clear reasons, as he hand inches closer to Leia's.

Titans #5:  Abnett and Booth do their best to inject this issue with suspense, but it's ultimately hard to believe DC will get rid of Wally West five issues after they resurrected him.  As such, the tension we feel in this issue is mostly thanks to Booth's innovative panel arrangements, showing Wally's struggle to race faster than he's ever raced before.  Abnett also hints that the main point of this arc is Linda finally remembering Wally, perhaps because his sacrifice is so clear.  As such, it's particularly hard to believe he's lost in time; in fact, it feels like just another way to keep Linda and Wally apart, like we're in the umpteenth season of "Friends," where they're going to have to send Ross to prison for him not to be with Rachel.  My guess is we're going to see the Titans jump into the time stream to find Wally.  That could be interesting.  Here's hoping.

Also Read:  All-New X-Men Annual #1; Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1; Batgirl #6; Mighty Thor #12-#13; Prowler #2

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