Friday, June 23, 2017

Not-Very-Deep Thoughts: The May 31 Edition (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

Captain America:  Sam Wilson #22:  The best line in this issue is when Sam tells Scott Lang that there's no point trying to save America because America never wanted them in the first place.  Again, Spencer gets right to the heart of the current state of affairs in America politics.  From the pro-HYDRA guys in the diner telling Sam they're fine with HYDRA so long as they get manufacturing jobs to the mobs harassing Inhumans, Spencer paints a picture using colors we see every day in the newspapers.  It gives this issue an energy missing from the main series (and I think the main series is still pretty solid).  Sam's decision to avoid the other heroes' attempts to save the day and instead focus on the little people feels right.  He's still smarting from the lessons he learned as Captain America, but he can't turn his back on people in need.  Characterization is hard to do in an event this big, but you can tell Spencer's been with Sam a long time reading this issue.

Moon Knight #14:  The devastating part about this issue is the revelation it won't continue.  The creative team has provided a definitive take on Moon Knight, one that seems impossible to imagine another creative team changing.  But, it is possible.  We've seen Jason Aaron back off the amazing work Al Ewing did with Loki on "Loki:  Agent of Asgard," turning him again into the God of Lies instead of the God of Stories.  I hold out hope Aaron is only portraying other Asgardians' unchanged view of Loki, and the Loki Ewing delivered to us in "Loki:  Agent of Asgard" #13 will one day appear.  But, it's a reminder that a 14-issue series isn't enough to cement a changed narrative.  Lemire so brilliantly brings Mark to a conclusion here, as he embraces his other personalities, referring to himself in the royal "we" as he dismisses Khonshu and finds peace with his illness.  I was never a huge Moon Knight fan before this series, but now Marc Spector is pretty much my everything, a feeling I remember from the end of "Loki:  Agent of Asgard."  I worry anyone else will lead him astray, resurrecting previous incarnations for him because it fits with whatever event is currently destroying the Marvel Universe.  That apprehension and fear is the perfect sign of how amazing of a story the creative team told and how grateful I am that I got to experience it as it unfolded.

Spider-Gwen #20:  It's difficult to follow all the people coming after Harry and, by extension, Gwen in this issue.  Wolverine wants the bounty on his head, even though I'm not sure who put out the bounty.  S.H.I.E.L.D.?  Why would S.H.I.E.L.D. want Harry?  I thought he went rogue from Silk, not S.H.I.E.L.D.?  But, S.H.I.E.L.D. sent Shadowcat to capture Harry, so, if Logan is working off a S.H.I.E.L.D. bounty, why would they double up their agents?  Or, are they freelance bounty hunters?  That would make more sense.  It can't be the Hand, since Matt already had Gwen going after Harry.  Maybe we don't know yet?  In a way, this confusion helps sell Gwen's decision here to turn her back on Murdoch  and stand with Harry.  Too many people are asking her to trust them, so she sticks with the one person she can trust.  The only problem, as she herself reminds Harry, is that she and her father have a lot riding on that deal with Murdoch.  Latour hasn't portrayed Murdoch as someone easily outfoxed, which means I don't think this one is going to turn out well for Gwen.

Teen Titans Annual #1:  Time-travel stories are the worst under the best circumstances, but this one joins the mile-long list of ones that make no sense whatsoever.  The resolution of this story comes when the Teen Titans and the Titans travel into the past to try to stop Deathstroke from saving Grant.  (They're worried doing so will change the present, lest you think they're just mean.)  They unexpectedly find themselves face-to-face with the Teen Titans of that era.  Damian decides to kill past Wally (for reals), cutting off Deathstroke's connection to the Speed Force at the source.  That would make some sense, I guess, except for the fact it doesn't make any sense in the context of previous events.  After all, even if Deathstroke doesn't have Wally's access to the Speed Force, he still has Kid Flash's.  (Speaking of this conundrum, Wally somehow managed to keep his access to the Speed Force despite Deathstroke using it to charge his battery, but Kid Flash lost his access for the same reason.  Maybe the writing team explained that at some point, but I've got bigger fish to fry.)  At any rate, to make matters more confusing, Deathstroke apparently doesn't need their powers, because he's learned how to connect to the Speed Force on his own.  As such, I'm not sure why Damian's action does anything at all.  All it seems to do is restore Kid Flash's access to the Speed Force, though Priest never explains why it would do so.  At any rate, Kid Flash rushes into the Speed Force to save Deathstroke lest he get loss in there.  But, he doesn't know what he's doing, so Wally has to go save him from getting lost in the Speed Force.  (Yes, by the end of this issue, I was just desperately hoping no one said "Speed Force" again.)  Then, everyone hugs (for reals) to give Wally a connection to the present, and everyone lives happily ever after.  I mean, other than Wally, who apparently now has a pacemaker after Damian killed him in the past, and Deathstroke, who quits the mercenary business because he has all the sads.  Everyone else is totes happy.  The only real winner seems to be Dick, because no one ever learned about his Lazarus contract with Deathstroke, a contract that still doesn't make sense to me and seems completing incidental to the events of this arc.  In other words, this event might have started off well, but it quickly disintegrating into the usual nonsense we get from time-travel stories.

Also Read:  Generation X #2; Occupy Avengers #7; Secret Empire #3; Star Wars:  Dr. Aphra #7

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