It’s that time again. The joyous day of the week after I’ve read all my comics and now I get to write about them. Welcome to my pull list. Last week I was quite picky about my reading and only had two titles that merited a feature. Those titles were Original Sin # 1 and Chaos Comics #1. Fantastic books, both of them, and I’ll be talking about them shortly.
Avengers # 29:
Jonathan Hickman’s been writing team books for a while now since his triumphant run on Fantastic Four and his Avengers is similarly awesome so far. An Original Sin tie in, this issue follows to the theme of skeletons in closets and sins being revealed The Illuminati’s secret clandestine meetings are revealed. For those of you unfamiliar with the Illuminati, they are the greatest minds in the Marvel Universe and make decisions for the universe at large. . . like launching Hulk into space. That ended badly. Their number includes Tony Stark, Namor, Black Panther, The Beast, (replacing Professor Xavier), Reed Richards, Black Bolt, and Doctor Strange and are prepared to do some extremely heinous things to save the universe. Many of the Avengers are not. Tensions run high and Iron Man fights his own team – including Thor and Captain America with explosive results. . . pun intended.
Avengers Undercover # 4:
Dennis Hopeless, author of the Avengers Academy, Avengers Arena, and Generation Hope: writes believable teenagers in the worst of circumstances. These youngsters survived Arcade’s Murderworld and had to kill to do it. They are offered revenge and indeed take it on their tormentor. Are they villains? Are they still superheroes in training? That remains to be seen, but this comic is top notch. It’s got teenage angst and plenty of ass kicking to go around. I like morally gray areas in my reading, I hope you do too. Give it a try.
Batgirl # 31:
Meet Ragdoll, a superhumanly flexible foe, with a lethal grapple fighting style, attacks Batgirl’s roomate. Bad idea! Ragdoll, like any good villain, manages a get away. Where a plot twist or even two occur. Gail Simone writes another fantastic issue. I loved the issue and it is a fair place to jump onto the title. One could argue however, that some of the ongoing plots in Batgirl are continued in this title and new readers could be a little lost. Gail Simone fans need to try this if they haven’t. People who want to try a new bat-book might want to wait. Take it or leave it.
Chaos Comics # 1:
During the 90’s a publisher called Chaos Comics created a cast of characters that were dark and sexy. Due to various bumps in the road (from a business perspective), little was heard from them after 2002. They have returned under the banner of Dynamite; another publisher and seem to be as true to form as they were before their hiatus. Tim Seeley; of Hack Slash fame writes, while Mirka Andolfo is on art. I’m admittedly not familiar with Andolfo’s prior work, but the art helps me reminisce about the old days. The introductory issue is a fairly interesting relaunch introducing the characters and explaining their motivations. The first plot involves vampire hunters seeking the famous character Purgatori. Fans of the 90’s comics should give this a try. Anyone who likes darker comics and dark humor should also.
Superman: Doomed # 1 One-Shot (Spoilers!):
Superman’s most terrifying foe is Doomsday and the Kryptonian baddie makes an apocalyptic return in the New 52. Who is Doomsday? Well he is a biological weapon that evolves to become immune to anything that harms or kills it. Oh! One more thing. He killed Superman back in the 1992 during the storyline “Death of Superman”. So he’s kind of a badass. His new event is called Doomed including three issues this past week in that vein. This arc is fantastic and I highly recommend reading all of them.
This one-shot starts the event off with a bang. A larger, stronger, and super heated Doomsday is rampaging through small towns and various outlying locations. This Doomsday travels through the Phantom Zone (formerly used as a prison by Superman for extra dangerous foes), virtually teleporting around Earth. Scott Lobdell, Greg Pak, and Charles Soule team up to write a compelling tale where Superman must make a tough choice: hold back to avoid killing this weaponized being or cut-loose and kill it. Each choice is full of peril. If he holds back he risks death versus a being that has killed him. If he doesn’t, he kills. Such a line once crossed cannot be uncrossed. The choice must be made quickly: it seems Doomsday isn’t superheated – he is absorbing all life force near him and growing stronger for it. Doubtless, the titans meet in battle and Ken Lashley does the epic battle justice. These two mortal enemies don’t just fight; they go to war against each other. Superman ultimately kills Doomsday in a fantastic fashion, but the fight isn’t over. Doomsday sublimates into a biological weapon which the Last Son of Krypton breathes in to prevent it from reaching innocents. . . Cue chapter one of Doomed.
At least a few less spoilers will be included in future reviews of the Doomed storyline. Regardless spoilers will be included so be aware of this as you read on.
Action Comics – Doomed Chapter 1 # 31:
Greg Pak recently took over writing Action Comics. He handled chapter one of Doomed quite well. Superman is found by the Justice League. Wonder Woman of course is concerned for her lover, but assumes he’ll be fine. Batman as usual is suspicious, but plans to cure Superman post haste. They are friends after all. Clark is cautioned to isolate himself from people, which he wisely follows. Supes goes through some introspection and eventually suffers nightmares and hallucinations where he loses all control. He of course pulls through his malaise and vows to continue saving people.
Superman Wonder Woman – Doomed Chapter 2 # 8:
I’ve always enjoyed this title. Charles Soule writes the couple quite well. This is no exception. Diana spends most of this issue trying to find Clark and running into Cat Grant in the meanwhile, Clark’s newest Daily Planet partner following his longterm partnership with Lois Lane. Finally, she turns to Bruce, who aims her in the right direction. After a tense conversation, Clark is revealed to be suffering from a disease that is slowly turning him into Doomsday. He asks her to kill him and a fight ensues, halted by none other than The Dark Knight. Wonder Woman refuses to kill him, naturally, and eventually Superman regains control. It appears as though his will is still iron. As the chapter closes we learn the extent of the disease and that this new personality is going nowhere anytime soon. Superman may be his own worse enemy, much like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Original Sin # 1: Who shot The Watcher?
That’s the question that everyone wants to know. Who stole his eyes? That. . .probably no one wants to know, but it can’t be good. Eyes are said to hold knowledge; the Watcher has seen much in his long life. Those eyes hold a lot of knowledge. If knowledge is power: those eyes are like nuclear bombs. Nick Fury makes a return to comics playing super spy and means to find all the technology that was stolen from the Watchers lair. He helps put together a crack team to investigate. Meanwhile, Mindless Ones (an antagonistic race of mindless berserkers, rarely used in modern stories) are developing minds. . . and telepathy. One rampages through new York where Spider-Man and Thing manage to curb it’s enthusiasm, long enough for it to. . .commit suicide??? The comic ends on looking in on shadows of the antagonists holding an eye of the Watcher. The creative team of Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato were great choices to helm Original Sin. They are both superstars at Marvel, often chosen to work on big comic events.
I’ll say this for Original Sin: I actually look forward to this event and how it ends. I was suffering from “event fatigue”. Lately, I was getting tired of big event after big event in comics overall. This one promises to actually have long reaching consequences and effects all my favorite characters. I can only hope the tie-ins are as interesting and relevant. Definitely try Original Sin. Your local comic shop might still have Watcher eyeballs to hand out. They bounce and glow in the dark. Go get issue one, you won’t regret it.
We had a fairly big week in comics. Two major events are happening. What are you reading? We’d love to hear about it on our forums!