This Week in Comics—November 27, 2013

infinity-#6-billboard-avengers-flag
 
batman-thanksgiving-picture-batman-robin-red-robin-nightwing-alfred-batwoman-holiday-bat-family

The Bat Family says Gobble-Gobble!

It’s Thanksgiving week and lots of heroes have things to be thankful for.  Aquaman sets out to get his wife and kingdom back, the FF spend time “chillaxing” on the moon while preparing for the battle with Doom, Kate Bishop finds a new career, the final battle for Earth is fought, Alana and Marko have their family, and Mulder and Skully get a new office and find the return of an old “friend”.

With everything the characters have to be thankful for, one of these “thankful” issues left me grimacing, and others were a bit more “meh”…and other were exceptional.

For a complete review of Aquaman (5) #25, FF (2) #14, Hawkeye (2) #14, Infinity #6, Saga #16, and The X-Files—Season 10 #6, read on!  Plus, have a Happy Thanksgiving from BasementRejects!

Aquaman (5) #25

Publisher:  DC Comics

Cover Price:  $3.99

Writer:  Geoff Johns

Artist:  Paul Pelletier

Date:  January 2014

Title:  “Baptism of Fire” Death of a King Part 7 of 7

11-27-aquaman-#25-geoff-johns-paul-pelletier-death-of-a-king-part-7-review

Aquaman (5) #25

Aquaman is ready for the fight of his life.  His kingdom has been taken by the rightful ruler of Atlantis, but Aquaman realizes for the good of mankind that Atlan must be stopped for good.  Now, Aquaman and Vulko are leading an army to liberate Atlantis…and a king will fall.

Aquaman (5) #25 is the end of the long drawn out Death of a King storyline which began in Aquaman (5) #18.  With both a fill-in stand-alone issue about the Others and the Villains Month issues, it feels like this story has gone on forever.

This drawing out of the story is unfortunate because it is a pretty good story.  This issue (despite the drawn out nature of the series as a whole) does feel a bit rushed and quick.  King Atlan who was so powerful in previous issues really goes down quite easily and doesn’t seem to be up to the same level of fighting as in earlier issues.  These little inconstancies hurt the story a little, but for the most part it remains strong.

Paul Pelletier’s art also is solid but not fantastic.  I do enjoy the art of the comic, but It would be nice to see a few different takes on Aquaman.  I am thankful that he appears to be keeping his chainmail shirt because Aquaman (5) #24 featured a cover where Aquaman looked more like Namor.

I am looking forward to seeing Aquaman move on.  The next storyline appears to be about the other kingdoms that made up the world in the times of Atlantis (Xebels, the Trench creatures, and Atlanteans are the only characters we’ve seen so far).  I just hope this next arc makes the whole arc without being broken up.

FF (2) #14

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Cover Price:  $2.99

Writer:  Lee Allred/Matt Fraction

Artist:  Michael Allred

Date:  January 2014

Title:  “Bath House of the August Moon”

11-27-ff-matt-fraction-lee-allred-michael-allred-art-review-medusa-ant-man-black-bolt-ms-thing-she-hulk

FF (2) #14

The Future Foundation has always been about planning and plotting.  Scott Lang must come up with the ultimate plan for a bunch of average heroes to bring down one of the world’s most powerful villains.  As Lang plots to destroy Doom in the Blue Area of the moon, Doom is plotting himself and trying to locate the FF before they can strike.

Lee Allred is writing the FF with story ideas from Matt Fraction.  It has always felt like FF wasn’t really a Matt Fraction book and leaned more to Allred who always has an interesting take on characters.  Now, it is the whole Allred’s family book…and it is cancelled.

I am really disappointed that Marvel didn’t give FF more of a chance to evolve.  With FF (2) #16, Marvel is cancelling the book and relaunching the Fantastic Four again…it is a testament to the rather sad state of comics today.  You get a smart comic like FF, and it can’t survive…I’m sure it will be relaunched again someday, but the team was evolving perfectly here.

This issue is really setting up the big final battle.  With two issues left, there are a lot of plotlines to tie up.  You also get a bit more of a connection between Darla and Scott though I am kind of phasing out during the Dr. Doom portions of this book (I do like it when he tortures the Powers however).

Allred’s art remains perfect for the title since it is so distinctive like the title.  I would love to see one of Marvel’s big mainstream books get Allred for a storyline at least.  He already had his hand a bit at the X-Men in X-Statix and he’s done some Spider-Man and Daredevil…let’s see an Allred Avengers or a Guardians of the Galaxy.

FF will be purchased until it ends because it is a great book with a great cast and great creators.  With so much “great” about it, I hate to see it end, but I will instead continue to enjoy each issue until it does.

Hawkeye (2) #14

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Cover Price:  $2.99

Writer:  Matt Fraction

Artist:  Annie Wu

Date:  October 2013

Title:  “L.A. Woman”

11-27-hawkeye-#14-matt-fraction-david-aja-cover-review

Hawkeye (2) #14

Kate Bishop is trying to get her life together by herself for the first time in L.A.  When she finds she can’t make ends meet, Kate decides to be a superhero for hire…on a bicycle.  Getting her neighbors at the trailer park to hire her is the first challenge, the next challenge is hunting down an orchid thief named Flynt Ward with powerful ties.  Even if Kate succeeds, Flynt might know someone who is interested in the result…plus, Kate finds a stranger lurking around the grocery store.

I really enjoyed the first run of Young Avengers (where the character developed).  I have also enjoyed Kate Bishop in Hawkeye.  Here, we get some Kate (or do you call her Hawkeye?) solo action in California.  The Hawkeye Annual had established Kate in California and here we get to see what she is up to there…as she gets (dare we say) an arch enemy in Madame Masque who now has dogged her for issues.

I love Fraction’s writing on this, but he does have to be careful not to get too “cute” witht eh dialogue which generally works better at a minimal level.  Kate seems a bit perkier than normal, but you can write that off as the change in scenery.

This issue marks a rotation of artists between Annie Wu and David Aja.  I prefer David Aja but Wu is a nice stand in.  Both keep the art to a minimal, but Aja just does a better job blocking and setting up his composition.  I still think the art on this comic stands out more than most art on the market.

Hawkeye (2) #14 continues the “must read” status of the comic.  I hope that Fraction has long plans for the archer and it worries me when he leaves books like Fantastic Four and FF which he helped found.  I like these little Kate getaways, but I’m also looking forward to another visit with Hawkeye-proper.

Infinity #6

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Cover Price:  $5.99

Writer:  Jonathan Hickman

Artist:  Jim Cheung/Dustin Weaver

Date:  January 2014

Title:  “Amber”

11-27-infinity-#6-skottie-young-variant-cover-infinity-gauntlet-review

Infinity #6 (Skottie Young Variant)

The battle for Earth is here and now!  With Captain America and his forces heading home and a battle against Thanos happening in space and on the planet, the last chance to stop Thanos is coming.  With Thanos’ son Thane a victim at his father’s hands, Thanos must be stopped at any cost.

Written by Jonathan Hickman, Infinity #6 finishes the massive mini-series that crosses over most Avenger based comics and other series of the Marvel Universe.  Now that the series is over, I feel I can see the problems in it.

If you look back at “Limited Series” or multi-title crossovers, there seems to be a problem brewing.  With Infinity #6, I can see that problem illustrated. In the back of the issue, there is a complex “how to read” page with the title crossovers.  You are paying $5.99 for an issue, it and should stand on its own or at least stand as a complete series.  I didn’t read the Avengers, New Avengers, or the other crossover series, and even though I’m a 30 year reader of Marvel, I only understood about ½ the story.  This is why comics are losing the casual reader (and have no hope of picking up new readers)…it is too costly and you get a more coherent story from collections.

For all the build-up of the series, you get maybe a five page battle with Thanos (which ends in a flash of light) and a bunch of fights with his undeveloped lackeys.  I wasn’t really clear what was going on with Black Bolt and the bomb through most of the series, and I’m still not sure now that it is over.  The Captain America storyline was pretty understandable, but at the same time, not very interesting.  I also felt at the end of the “massive” series that not much seemed to happen.

I wanted to like Infinity.  I loved the Infinity Gauntlet (which stood by itself, but had interlinking issues that enhance, but weren’t necessary to read).  I looked for a new Infinity Gauntlet in Infinity but instead I found a bit of a mess…another expensive failure for Marvel.

Saga #16

Publisher:  Image Comics

Cover Price:  $2.99

Writer:  Brian K. Vaughan

Artist:  Fiona Staples

Date:  November 2013

Title:  —

11-27-saga-#16-review-brian-k-vaughan-fiona-staples

Saga #16

Upsher and Doff continue to pursue their story about Alana and Marko but begin to find themselves as targets.  Marko and Alana talk about their future and find a possible job for Alana.  The Will fights for survival after receiving a mortal wound from Sophie and Gwendolyn realizes the only person who can help him is Marko.  Prince Robot IV nears the location of Heist’s home and Marko and Alana’s days of running might be up.

I love Saga, and Saga #16 continues the love.  I will say however, I want the plot to move a long a bit more.  The last couple issues have been a lot of sitting around and not enough shock (minus Sophie’s attack on the Will).  Saga has never shied away from shocking people and I think the comic works best when it does.

Like the previous issue, this issue feels like set up and from the ending, it sounds like the throwdown could be coming next issue.  Vaughan is doing a nice job getting all the pieces in place for another good issue and I can feel it.  Unfortunately, we have to see him set-up the board here…it is a strong issue, but I think Marko, Alana, and their crew are smarter than just sitting around waiting for danger to find them (this time in the form of Prince Robot IV and Gwendolyn).

Staples’ art continues to be stellar and it is awesome to see art and story come together.  I don’t want to jinx Saga, but I’d love to see Staples do some other comics just to see her interpretations of Marvel, DC, or Image characters.

I can’t stress enough that Saga is comic that you need to be reading (if you are an adult).  The comic is smart, snappy, fun, and leaves you looking forward to the next issue every time.

The X-Files—Season 10 #6

Publisher:  IDW

Cover Price:  $3.99

Writer:  Joe Harris

Artist:  Elena Casagrande/Silvia Califano

Date:  November 2013

Title:  “Hosts”—Part 1

11-27-x-files-season-10-#6-fluke-man-cover-incentive-cover-review

The X-Files—Season 10 #6

Disappearances are occurring in the waters surrounding Martha’s Vineyard.  As Mulder and Skully start their new assignment on the X-Files, they learn from their new liaison Anna Morales that their old case involving the flukeman might have returned.  While Mulder sets out to research the disappearances, Skully examines the remains of the creature…and both are about to make a startling discovery.

When The X-Files was a fledgling show, there were a lot more “Creature of the Week” episodes.  In The X-Files—Season 2 (which frankly stumbled about a bit), one of the best episodes involved the Flukeman and was called “The Host” (S2E2).  It had a great creepy monster and unlike a lot of X-Files episodes, you saw the creature clearly.

It always made me kind of sad that the Flukeman never returned (especially since it was occasionally mentioned in the show), and now that mistake is vindicated.  The second storyline in IDW’s fun X-Files—Season 10 series finally investigates the Flukeman, and it is good.

With the first arc dealing heavily with the X-Files’ past and alien mythology, it is nice to have this more “first timer” friendly story.  The creature-of-the-week episodes might have been weak on occasion, but they were the episodes for the casual viewer.  It is good to see that the comic doesn’t intend to ignore this.

That being said, I don’t know how long this storyline can run.  It is a really fun issue, but I don’t see myself enjoying a five issue story about the monster.  I hope that “Hosts” might run only three issues and be followed up by another two or three issue stand-alone arc.

The X-Files—Season 10 continues to be a great read for fans of the original series.  The comic is faithful to the characters (even having Mulder scoping out the young girls in Martha’s Vineyard), and it is like having an old friend back.  The X-Files—Season 10 #6 is definitely worth the visit.

Preceded By:

This Week in Comics—November 20, 2013

http://basementrejects.com/latest-news/this-week-in-comics-november-20-2013/

Followed By:

This Week in Comics—December 4, 2013

http://basementrejects.com/latest-news/this-week-in-comics-december-4-2013/

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response