It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for Four-Color Bullet, the only comic book review column that fans are waiting to show up in the New 52. Speaking of showing up … Spoiler! Is! Back! And she looks fantastic! But we’ll get to Stephanie Brown in a sec. Here are this week’s bullets.
DC Comics presents: Martian Manhunter’s plans for world domination come to fruition, in Futures End: Justice League #1; Wonder Woman loses her humanity and embraces her destiny as God of War to fight back Nemesis, in Futures End: Wonder Woman #1; Batman and Robin! Trapped in the Widow’s web! Penguin to the rescue?! It’s all in Batman ’66 #43.
From Marvel this week, Edge of Spider-Verse continues as the Superior Spider-Man takes the fight to Karn, the man leaving a trail of dead Spiders throughout the multiverse, in Superior Spider-Man #33; Havok and the remaining members of the Avengers Unity Squad are brought low by Red Skull and his S-Men, in Uncanny Avengers #24; and Miles Morales, the Ultimate Spider-Man, joins the X-Men, in All-New X-Men #32.
In the Valiant Universe, Quantum and Woody, and Archer and Armstrong continue their insane, and ill-conceived team up to find the Hobo King, in The Delinquents #2; Following Livewire’s sacrifice, Unity rallies. And they have Armor Hunters in their sights. Last hope. Last stand. Unity #11
And from IDW, an abortion clinic bombing leads Mulder and Scully to investigate a right-wing extremist group led by a teenage girl who claims to hear God. But her actions are far from heavenly, in The X-Files; Season 10 #16.
The kids are not all right
When we last saw Purple Man, he was being pretty darn scary in Brian Michael Bendis’ Alias. Now, he drops by San Francisco, and as usual, his terrifying, sleazy, mind-control powers are with him. Mark Waid’s work on Daredevil has been nothing short of fantastic throughout. And this tale, book-ended by some of the creepiest, unsettling events I’ve seen in some time, is no exception. In addition to that, Matt gets to meet his girlfriend’s parents, and is given a proposition that Matt may find hard to say no to. Keeping an eye on how that plays out will be interesting. This issue is light on the action, but do you see that cover? It’s exactly what you think it is, and Waid makes Purple Man, and the Purple Children, some of the scariest foes Marvel has to offer.
And the action isn’t prevalent, but that just means that we have time for some character development. Characters need to be able to emote, and express properly on the page. In this regard, Chris Samnee is top-of-the-line as usual, and shares a deserved storytelling credit with Waid. They go together like chocolate and peanut butter, and this book is the better for it.
And so, a new arc begins with a terrifying new villain for DD. How Matt handles what comes next will be worth biting my nails for a month.
Along with Wally West, Stephanie Brown, a.k.a. The Spoiler, has to be the most fan-demanded character in DC’s New 52. Before the universe-spanning reboot, she was popular in the pages of the Batman books, even becoming Robin for a very brief spell before she tragically lost her life in a Gotham City gang war.
Her father, the two-bit Riddler wannabe Cluemaster, always provided some tension as Stephanie played the hero game behind her criminal father’s back. Stephanie re-appeared in the New 52 back in Batman: Eternal #3, and now makes her long-awaited debut as she takes on her criminal father as The Spoiler in this week’s issue 24.
Thankfully, we’re given a bit of a New 52 backstory in that we see her as a kid, and that acrobatics are nothing new to her or her father. What I as the reader could have used more of was a little more background on her. And storytellers Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, with wordsmith Ray Fawkes, and Tim Seeley and Kyle Higgins in as showrunners of sorts, have made New 52 Spoiler just intriguing enough to have been worth the long wait.
Artist Andy Clarke shines here, perfectly providing the tone the writers have tried to convey. And the action is smashmouth, wallop to wallop, panel to panel.
All in all, it’s good to have Stephanie back and her reboot is off to a good start.
And that is it for Four-Color Bullet this week. Email and comment if you so choose. Are you a Spoiler fan? What do you think of her return? Sound off, already!
It’s a great time to be a comics fan. See ya 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!