Welcome to Four-Color Bullet for the week of May 28, 2014. I hope New Comic Day was good to you, and you made your hard-working comic shop owner happy by cleaning that folder out. I read my stash and here are my notables for this week.
Peeking into the Marvel Universe this week, Giant Size Spider-Man retells the story of Peter Parker’s rise from zero to hero; the Invaders fight to stay alive on the Kree homeworld in The All New Invaders #5; and the Guardians of the Galaxy gets some much needed help as Captain Marvel joins the team, in Guardians of the Galaxy #15
Inside the DCU, Superman continues his fight with Doomsday, as Lois becomes a servant of Brainiac, in Superman #31; Marsha, Queen of Diamonds has the Bat-diamond that powers the Bat-computer in the Batcave, in Batman ’66 #35; and let’s all welcome Stephanie Brown back to Gotham, just in time to be targeted for assassination in Batman: Eternal #8
The X-Files: Season 10 #12 from IDW sees Mulder and Scully up against an old foe as more of the alien black oil surfaces in the Middle East, and Lara Croft is pursued through the streets of London as she tries to stay one step ahead of her assailants and save the Endurance crew, in Tomb Raider #4 from Dark Horse Comics.
SCIFI.radio is all abuzz, as one of our own, contributing writer Nur Hussein, appears in the pages of Tomb Raider #4 this week. He translated a panel of the comic into Malay, and as a token of appreciation for his help, Gail Simone wrote him into the issue. Captain Hussein was given the important task of taking Lara to London as the captain of the fishing trawler they were on.
From the IDW solicitation: Stop us if you’ve heard this one before; a Sumerian god has invaded the City that Never Sleeps, causing all manner of chaos. People are possessed. Blood rains from the sky. Dogs and cats … you get the picture. This is where you call the Ghostbusters, they break out their neutrona wands and cross the streams, taking care of business and saving the day, right? Maybe not this time!
IDW continues their 30th anniversary celebration of Ghostbusters with issue 16 of the ongoing series, part four of the Mass Hysteria story arc, as the boys and girls in gray finally have words with Tiamat, Goddess of Chaos,and finally press their luck with that whole crossing-the-streams-total-protonic-reversal thing. Every month I have nothing but good things to say about this book. Because it’s consistently awesome. Every. Month. Always well written by Erik Burnham, each issue is like Bill Murray, Harold Ramis (we miss you) and Dan Aykroyd are providing the actual words for the characters. It’s funny when it’s funny, and serious when it needs to be. And artist Dan Schoening gives it that Saturday morning cartoon feel, while reminding us that the drama is sometimes far from a Saturday morning audience.
If you’re not reading it, but you’re reading this review and thinking to yourself, “You know, he likes this book so much, I’ll try it,” let me give you a quick recap. Throughout this series and the last one, the Ghostbusters have traveled the country ‘busting all kinds of beasties. They’ve restarted death, been kidnapped by “celestial entities”, and torn through the dimensional fabric to escape. And their exploits have caused THINGS MAN WAS NOT MEANT TO SEE to notice them, in particular, Gozer’s sister Tiamat, Goddess of Chaos, who just wants to know what all the hubbub is about. And she has brought the fight to them, from raining blood to the re-possession of Dana Barrett and Louis Tully, who we haven’t seen during the series until now. And rather than the Sumerian pantheon of gods just trying destroy the world, Tiamat is gunning for the Ghostbusters like a cat after laser light, and taking it entirely personally.
If you’re a Ghostbusters fan who reads comics, I can’t imagine you’re not reading this. This series is a great addition to the mythos and you can tell it’s a labor of love for Burnham and Schoening in every issue. Just simply a good comic. And in a time where one issue of a comic costs almost as much as a 500 page paperback, you have to be discerning, right? Well, this is one of those books that I don’t mind plunking down $3.99 for an issue. Just sayin’.
Way back in the first issue of the Avengers relaunch, Steve and Tony decided that the threats were getting bigger so the Avengers had to get bigger. From a storyline perspective, I could see that. We didn’t have that kind of explanation when X-Men exploded into 48 different X-titles. Which is why I have long since abandoned X-Men. Now we have Avengers, Avengers World, Secret Avengers, Uncanny Avengers, New Avengers and still more. And as aggravated as I am about the flood of Avengers titles, I did find one that I liked enough to stick with. And it’s really pretty good. And the only reason I took a chance is because Blade, Marvel’s vampire hunter extraordinaire, is part of the team.
Mighty Avengers is just different enough to be engaging. When Luke Cage and other heroes were on the scene of Elder God Shuma-Gorath’s attack on Manhattan during Thanos’ attack on Earth during Infinity, they realized they worked well together, and even with all the new Avengers teams, they agreed that there needed to be one close to home to answer calls while the other teams were out dealing with other, more powerful threats. So Luke brought together Monica Rambeau, the former Captain Marvel now called Spectrum, the White Tiger, She-Hulk, Falcon, the new Power Man, the Blue Marvel, and Blade, formerly in disguise as the new Ronin. And the team dubbed themselves the Mighty Avengers, an Avengers team not yet sanctioned by Tony and Steve, and became a grass-roots, city-level, Heroes for Hire-esque Avengers team, headquartered out of an old abandoned theatre in Manhattan. I only bought the first issue of this because it was revealed that Ronin was really Blade. And where Blade goes, I go. But even if Blade weren’t on the team, I like the book so much, I’d keep buying it anyway.
This issue is an Original Sin tie-in. In it, Adam Brashear a.k.a. the Blue Marvel remembers the Watcher with the Watcher’s wife Ulana, Blade takes on some were-snakes to keep a mystic talisman safe, and Luke and the others find themselves chasing down a Mindless One becoming embroiled in the events from the first two issues of Original Sin. As far as this particular issue goes, it went kind of slow, but by the end, we see that Blade’s appearance on the team is going to involve them in some pretty serious supernatural cases. And writer Al Ewing keeps the funny coming, as Luke realizes in one scene that he made a wrong choice that morning when he chose answering a call over changing his baby’s four-alarm diaper. Add to that the gorgeous art of Greg Land, and this was another really fun issue, despite the slowness. Next issue’s tie-in will be better, I hope, as we see that Luke Cage’s dad ran an on-the-fly Avengers team in the ’70s
And that is Four-Color Bullet for this week. I’d like to thank Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet artist Ty Templeton for checking us out and mentioning FCB on his blog, as well as Tyler James, writer of the new series, Epic, from ComixTribe, for reading FCB and taking the time to comment. Go click the links and check these folks out. As for the rest o’ youse … leave me a comment below if you want to talk comics, or send me an email. Seriously. Let me know what you guys are reading. If you have any picks, I’d love to know about them.
It’s a great time to be a comics fan. See you next week!
Michael Brown is a comics nerd and a father who lives in small town Tennessee. When he’s not making his players mad in his “Shadowrun” RPG or experimenting with new and inventive uses of duct tape on his children, you can find him checking out the latest comics and movies for SCIFI.radio!