Saturday, 24 November 2012

COMIX ZONE: 24/11/12

A smaller haul this week (which can only mean a comparably larger one next time), with another first ish, another gorgeous Batwoman from J.H. Williams & co. and another pair of Spider-flavoured antics and the loss of a body part from yours truly. Let us crack onwards, ye mans and womans!
First off the plate (?) is this week's Captain America #1, written by last week's Uncanny Avengers scribe Rick Remender (lately of the superb Venom series also) and illustrated by erstwhile Amazing Spider-Man cohorts John Romita Jr., Klaus Janson and Dean White who as a team can't help but transport me back to that less-than-fondly-remembered-but-at-least-nicely-illustrated period after Spider-Man's marriage was annulled by the devil (aka Mr. Joe Quesada). I can remember reading one Captain America issue ever, in which he wasn't even Cap because the government had taken the title off him and he was wandering the Americas as, like, Flag Battler or something like that. Basically what I'm saying is, for all my immersion in comic lore, I probably know as much as you do about this guy. He's from the past, he likes America, ummm... That's all I got. So this was a fresh, icy fresh experience for me, gang. It's a good issue, too. Though I don't know why yet, Cap has been transported to another dimension and stolen a baby. That's all I'm telling you besides this book looks awesome and reads awesome and has earned a regular spot for purchase and review. I'll let you know how that infant theft goes next time the book's out which, knowing Marvel's publishing schedules, will be sometime during the, like, past or something. Dudes are quick.

Something neat about Batwoman #14, and the series in general, is that it's not interrupted by ads as they're all left to the end of the book. It says something about JH Williams' art that DC are willing to present the book this way - comics aren't known for their embrace of change and ads is money, and money is money. So yes, the art is top-notch. Top drawer. Top banana, if you will (I wouldn't, but to each his own). I'm enjoying this Wonder Woman/ Batwoman crossover so much that I might just stop reading once the book goes back to normal and bail out on a high. WW fits so well into Williams' script and scribblings that it's not hard to imagine her as a regular fixture of the book, and the Greek myth that she brings with her (including in this issue ol' Medusa herself and Killer Croc's quite unexpected transformation into the Hydra), gaghhh, it's all so suitable. More more more. The best-looking book on the shelves this and (every) month.

Finally, our pair of Spider-Men. Despite the last three issues' lacklustre Danger Zone arc, I still wound up saving Dan Slott's Amazing Spider-Man #698 for last. Old habits, all that. To Bendis' Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #17 first, then, and another chapter in the line-wide story that I've not been following in other books and feel unfit to comment on. Civil War in America seems to be the order of the day, but things are popping up or disappearing from month to month and I'm just lost altogether. I could do with less of these mega-crossovers, to be honest. I'll wait for the hardcover to fill in the pieces but for now I'll have to be content with just hanging out with Miles (and whichever artists are handling him this month) and waiting for his book to be his own again.

I'll apologise in advance, but this week's Amazing is truly amazing. Like I said last week, I had this feeling that Danger Zone was just killing time and that the really good stuff had to wait 'til now so it could coincide with the year ending and all. Scheduling, man, it's all in the scheduling. This latest (and apparently final) three-issuer, Dying Wish, kicks off with a brief sort of retrospective and wouldn't be the worst place to jump on if you were new to Spider-Man, covering as it does some of his origin aspects and confirming the status of his relationships with his family, friends and workmates. All that and the biggest, best twist I've read since I started following monthly books earlier this summer. I made a point of staying away from message boards and review sites for this one because the title seems spoilerific enough but the way things panned out left my jaw literally on the floor. That's right - literally. It detached from my body and I'm writing this with a ghastly overbite. I may never recover. Pray you never meet me in person and have to avoid staring at it. Best time to be a Spider-fan.

See y'all next week. So long as I'm in whichever house the books are delivered to on the day the books are delivered, I'll get these up on Saturday from now on.

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