Astonishing X-Men #44 – Cyclops is a bonafide super hero. In this issue which should be called Cyclops and some X-Men appear for a bit too. Here we see Cyclops be bad ass and do some cool things with his “simple” powers that are awe inspiring including to his own team mates. The plot to this issue is also good but simple with Storm arriving to help show an upset Cyclops get out of his funk from Wolverine leaving to form his own X-Men, why no one questions why she is back to her old mohawked self from the 80s is beyond me but this is at least quickly answered as to why she is that way by the end which leads to an interesting but confusing ending. 4/5
Aquaman #3 – Aquaman and his wife Mera fight giant canibalistic fish men from the deep, and it is awesome! Also we meet a doctor from Aquaman’s past who is a bit insane and quirky, some comedy that Aquaman isn’t important which is getting a bit tedious when he is doing awesome and bad ass things, and get a gorgeously painted page showing Aquaman as a kid. What more could you want? Issue #4 out now is all I can think of. 5/5
Voodoo #3 – This has quickly become an interesting monster/fugitive story within two issues which is impressive as after a first issue filled with gratuitous T and A I was ready to write this story off completely. In this issue our resident evil alien goes to check in with the higher ups and encounters her first super hero, Green Lanter (Kyle Raynor). Their encounter is so well written and neither Voodoo, Green Lantern or the other Daemonites are seen as weak during it. What happens is true to each character and their strengths and by the end I am wanting all those involved to meet again and soon! We have another excellent ending here making you have to know what is next too. The only thing that sucks about the issue? Knowing the writer Ron Marz will be leaving the title in two months, I don’t want this ride to end quite yet. 4.5/5
Mighty Thor #8 – In a post Fear Itself world, Thor is dead and no one remembers he existed except Loki who can’t quite remember his name. Who did all the things Thor did so as not to mess up the history of Marvel? Tanarus, the god of thunder of course! This issue is supposed to be setting up the new status quo and quickly leap frogs that and starts to move the plot forward as well which is where some issues come from. The stuff about Asgard on Earth now being full of mythical creatures from all the other 9 realms is interesting stuff and can lead to great srtories, as is the new status quo of the gods with the three in one All Mother being in charge of Asgard since Odin abdicated, and where Thor actually is (still dead though) makes for an awesome and exciting cliffhanger, heck even Tanarus and the revisionist history is interesting. But then it all falls apart.
First, Loki, the god of mischief who has been amazing written by Journey of Mystery writer, Kieron Gillien, is nothing like what Loki should be here written by Fraction. His plan to find out the truth? Fly towards Tanarus and say “you’re not right, where is my real brother? I shall destroy you!” What the hell? This is the guy who just played Mephisto and won and yet he his a doofus here.
We find out who Tanarus really is (way too soon btw, where is the mystery?) and while it is a good character to have be Tanarus, how did the switch happen? More importantly how does the character and those behind it remember Thor? How does everyone else including the all seeing All Mother not know this? Captain America and Norman Osborn remember! This just feels like shoddy continuity which makes me think this will be resolved in an issue or two at most, making this pointless. Really if you want to read about Asgard in the Marvel Universe, go read the vastly superior Journey to Mystery. 2/5
Captain America and Bucky #624 – This should be called Winter Soldier #0 or I guess #.1 since that is Marvel’s thing now. It is a solid story showcasing the history of the Winter Soldier as former sidekick, former Captain America and supposedly dead Bucky Barnes tells about his life to someone dear to him. The history of him and Black Widow finding love while being used as weapons in the Cold War is a good look at a story that couldn’t have been published during the years it is supposed to be happening. The drama in this issue isn’t too high, you know it is a flashback, but how Bucky rebels from his Russian masters and finds some humanity is well done and touching as is his developing relationship with Black Widow.
The final few pages showing who he is talking to is touching as well. The art is simple and stylistic making it a perfect fit for a story set in the past. If this were published in the years of the Cold War it would have had a similar style making it work so well. After reading this I can’t wait for the new Winter Soldier series coming out in a few months Bucky and Natasha fighting evil sounds great. 4.5/5
Secret Avengers #19 – Did you ever read Warren Ellis’ Global Frequency series? It was a series of one shots of people taking down unique and weird threats. His short stint on Secret Avengers is Global Frequency with super heroes, right down to a new artist on every issue! This one rests on Steve Rogers (at this time former Captain America), Black Widow, SHIELD agent Sharon Carter, and Moon Knight taking down the man who has developed a drug that may be an offshoot of the super soldier serum that created Captain America.
What follows is a fun and fast paced tale of infiltration and fighting and includes Moon Knight playing James Bond, Steve Rogers setting someone on fire using alcohol, and the two women being a pair of purely awesome bad asses that they don’t always get a chance to be. The twists of the plot and the tiny character moments make this issue work so well and make me happy to enjoy this all too brief run of Ellis.
We finally get a sequel to Global Frequency, all it is missing is the Brian Wood covers. Did I mention the whole mission is finished once the issue ends? It is a short and awesome action movie with no commitment to further issues, though I highly recommend you stay on for the whole ride! 5/5