Welcome to this week’s Four-Color Bullet. All comics should have been bought, read, and sorted, and your comic shop owner given enough money to at least keep the lights on. Without further ado, cast your eyes downward, fellow comic geeks and behold the Bullets …
DC Comics treats us this week with Batman and Catwoman teaming up against the peril of Professor Pyg, in Batman: Eternal #10; Barbara Gordon is being watched. Tapped phones, secret meetings. But can she figure out what’s going on without compromising her secret identity, in Batgirl #32; and The Minstrel! A deadly recital for Batman and Robin! The Dynamic Duo … costumeless! All in Batman ’66 #36.
Over at Marvel, J. Jonah Jameson warned us that emulating this new Spider-Man character would prove to be troublesome. And he was right. Meet Clash! New York’s newest menace. And Spidey’s biggest fan, in the continuing untold tale of the days and weeks after Peter’s fateful spider bite, The Amazing Spider-Man: Learning to Crawl #1.2, Shang-Chi is back, in London, and hip-deep in mystical kung-fu types, in Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu #2; and as the Watcher’s death reverberates across the Marvel Universe and secrets are revealed, even the Invaders aren’t immune to the crazy, in All-New Invaders #6.
Dark Horse brings us Star Wars #18, where Princess Leia’s wedding day has arrived. And so has the freakin’ Empire! Vader’s fleet bears down on the vulnerable Rebels as they scramble to escape the deadly double cross.
And Valiant rounds out the Bullets with the first big crossover of 2014: Armor Hunters.
In Original Sin #3, the Orb held aloft one of the Watcher’s eyes and caused it to explode, and everyone within the blast radius became privy to some of the Watcher’s secrets. One of those secrets was imparted to one Luke Cage, leader of a street-level Avengers squad dubbed The Mighty Avengers. Luke learned that, even after his father, ex-cop James Lucas, alienated him because of his career, Mr. Lucas led a super team himself back in the 70s. And what follows is a story of another bad mother– (shut your mouth) worthy of an Isaac Hayes theme song, with all of the fun of 1970s blaxploitation films.
This issue of Mighty Avengers , an Original Sin tie-in, was fun, as they all have been, despite being the “little brother” of the Avengers books. Writer Al Ewing makes the book fun and charming, without taking away any of the seriousness and the danger. And penciler Greg Land is one of the best in the industry, producing beautiful shelf porn with every issue he draws. And although they’re an urban, grass-roots kind of team, the team is spreading into the supernatural, largely due to Blade, the vampire slayer being part of the team. And as a fan of horror-comedy, I’m excited to see where Ewing takes me as a reader. And after reading about him after I fell in love with the comic, I learned that he essentially got to hand pick the characters, and everyone on the team is everyone he liked when he read comics as a kid, especially one Monica Rambeau a.k.a. Captain Marvel, a.k.a. Proton, a.k.a. Spectrum. And I liked reading The Flash over at DC for the same reason when Geoff Johns wrote it. Because he was a childhood fan of the character, and usually you can count on the fans doing the character the most justice, giving it the most care and commitment.
I think that’s a lot of why Mighty Avengers is so fun. And this issue is no different.
Original Sins (plural) is a five-issue mini series dealing with the rest of the secrets that the Watcher’s eye revealed and, with the exception of seeing Deathlok return to the Marvel U., was largely disappointing and not at all worth the 3.99 price tag. I just couldn’t like it as much as I wanted, possibly because Brian Michael Bendis overused The Hood so much in his New Avengers run, I had honestly hoped never to see him again.
Again, the Deathlok story was pretty good, solidly written by Nathan Edmondson with some bang-up art by Mike Perkins, who brought the awesome to Ed Brubaker’s Captain America run. And there’s the first of a five-part tale starring the Young Avengers that left me needing water when it was over because it was so dry. And Rick Geary’s art in that particular tale was off-putting. But there’s also a fun Lockjaw story, so it isn’t a total waste if you decide to pick it up. You don’t need this to enjoy Original Sin. Feel free to stay away.
And that is Four-Color Bullet for this week. As always, I welcome emails and comments. Thanks for checking in.
It’s a great time to be a comics fan. See you guys next week.
WAIT! I almost forgot!
Happy Father’s Day to us dads and the moms pulling double duty!
You may be excused. Have a great week, y’all.
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!