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Monday, April 22, 2013

Comics Thoughts for the Week of 4/17/13

I'm sadly a bit crunched for time this week with professional and personal obligations, so instead of doing one big feature article I plan to just hit some slightly elaborated thoughts on my entire pull list for the week. This may become the future direction of this article, as my pull list is shrinking a good deal rather than expanding due to concerns with quality. Who really wants to spend money on a title you don't find some enjoyment in? It would be like watching a tv show simply because you feel like you have to, but with a 2.99-3.99 price tag on it.

This week's pull:

Daredevil #25 - I was incredibly curious about the cover, as it looked like Mark Waid was finally going to reveal who the mysterious enemy was that has been making Matt Murdock's life a living hell for almost the entire run of this relaunched series. That has not occurred as of yet, but we were introduced to Ikari, an assassin that has the exact same power as Matt Murdock and contains a number of elements that remind a watchful reader of Daredevil's past (yellow and black suit, but with ninja-like trappings). The issue had one of the most kinetic fight scenes I've ever seen in a comic, all credit due to Chris Samnee, who has really blossomed as a talent for Marvel and been the perfect counterpart to Waid's "modern-silverage" take on the character. The end to the fight was something I did not see coming, and I love getting a clever surprise like that. Waid continues to knock this book out of the park and Daredevil is, Hawkeye or no Hawkeye, the best and most consistent title Marvel produces. A+

Daredevil: End of Days #7 - On the other end of the spectrum we have Daredevil: End of Days, a series I've enjoyed which continues to focus on Brian Michael Bendis' and David Mack's return to the character. It's a darker, more noir based take that has alot of roots within their initial arc when Bendis took over the book entitled "Wake Up" that starred Ben Urich. This book is solid, and had Daredevil not been completely reinvented by Waid and Samnee, I would certainly be much more excited for End of Days. Unfortunately the series has fallen into formula a bit, with each issue focusing on some old figure from Matt's life via their discussions with Ben over the mystery word "Mapone". It's all very well done, with great art by Klaus Janson taking over most of the pages but I'm so interested in Daredevil's "present" in the Waid run, that his future just seems far less forward thinking by way of this title. Also, I found the end twist of this issue a bit of a disappointment. B- 
Wonder Woman #19 - Much like Daredevil has been telling one long story with only the barest hints of arc-breakdowns, Wonder Woman is doing the same thing and the title is all the better for it. Here we get some very nice interactions amongst the core cast in trying to determine the "last born's" new name (it won't be Steve, that's for sure), as well as a look at Poseidon's true form in his battle with the First Born. I also really enjoyed the sudden change in Orion's face after Wonder Woman punched him, as if he was masking his true appearance to appear more normal for those on Earth. I look forward to seeing where that may lead next. Beautiful art throughout (which I was shocked to learn was mostly fill-in work) and this book continues to work wonders for me. It remains DC's best title and almost neck and neck with Waid's Daredevil. A

Justice League #19 - This is a title I'm so glad I didn't drop even when I started to feel like it was spinning its wheels by the second arc, as since The Throne of Atlantis, I believe it's my favorite team book DC is producing, as it should be. This issue sets a few things into place such as a possible point of crossover with the Shazam backup in introducing the Sons of Adam like terrorist organization in Khandaq. There's also a neat sequence where we're introduced to the idea of a Batcave within the batcave where Batman hides his ever-present plot device of "plans to take out the Justice League members just in case". There's a risk here that we may see some serious storyline recycling from Geoff Johns via the Tower of Babel elements and really anything involving Black Adam, but his energy is definitely renewed since leaving Green Lantern and I'm very excited for Justice League for the first time since the relaunch. B+

Batwoman #19 - This issue we learn some deeper secrets about Kate's father, namely that he has a son, and we get a look into the heads of Cameron Chase and Maggie detailing a bit of drives them as well. There's a nice bit with Director Bones as well where he orders Kate (as she's been taking her cues from the DEO lately) to reveal who Batman is. She refuses, but Bones have a few chips in play including jailing her father and revealing that Kate's sister is still alive. It's another very fun read of what I generally believe to be the other great Batman family title right next to Scott Snyder's work on Batman. JH Williams and W Haden Blackman have been given alot of wiggle room to craft Kate's story without regard to much in terms of ongoing Batman concerns, whereas the other titles have been roped into the crossovers pretty unmercifully and to poor result. Trevor McCarthy's art is making for a fine replacement for Williams and Guy Majors colors continue to play a key role in that continuity between the two artists. B+

Legion of Super-heroes #19 - I don't even know why I buy this title anymore. Mon-El lost an arm, I guess that was interesting. D

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