If there’s one thing I like more than a super-hero kicking someone in the mouth, it’s an Asgardian Goddess kicking a techno-virus-infected host body in the mouth…
Yes, it turns out my tastes are becoming increasingly specific, and yet I feel compelled to share them with you in another round of the Internet’s Most Fetishistic Comics Reviews!
Here are my thoughts on this week’s titles!
Nova #36: You know, it’s been my experience as a comics reader that when an issue ends with “Never The End!”, what they really mean is “Oh yeah, this is totally the end.”
Such is the case with this week’s Nova, which–along with its sister book in the Grand Abnett & Lanning Cosmic Saga–sure does read like a last issue. I’ve heard, but not been able to confirm with a cursory round of googling–that the book’s going on hiatus during the Thanos Imperative, but as we all learned from the sad, limbo-bound fate of The Immortal Iron Fist, going on hiatus while another mini-series goes on is no guarantee that you’ll be coming back. And with Nova being revealed to have a slot in the upcoming Secret Avengers the stars don’t really point to a continuation of his spacebound adventures.
It’s not that I think Nova’s going away–he seems to be a character on the rise that Marvel’s willing to put in the spotlight, as evidenced by his prominence in Paul Tobin’s Free Comic Book Day story and the aforementioned role in Secret Avengers–but based on sheer storytelling logistics, it’s awfully hard to have him be Secretly Avenging when he’s also bopping around space helping out the Kymellians or the Badoon or whatever. But then, it should be hard for the Punisher to be both a Frankenstein’s Monster and a senior-citizen vigilante mass murderer at the same time too, and they manage okay, and space warps mean an easy commute. So maybe I’m wrong.
If I’m not, though, and a rebranding is imminent, it’s a real shame. This issue–and the last three years of Nova, plus the time before that in Annihilation have been unfailingly fantastic. Heck, they’re the books that made me like Cosmic Marvel more than Cosmic DC, and that’s saying something. They’re just full of fun stuff, and it makes for something highly enjoyable. But clearly, I’m not the only one saying that–maybe it’s just the company I keep, but I’ve rarely seen anyone have anything but glowing praise for Abnett, Lanning, and their various cosmic co-conspirators (by the way: Cosmic Co-Conspirators? Call me, Marvel), so I can’t imagine that the shakeup would put the lid on the entirety of Marvel’s space stuff.
Which, I suppose, isn’t really much of a review of this issue, so: It’s got evil twins, alternate dimensions, and Cthulhu being zapped with space lasers. IT’S GREAT!
Sif #1: Kelly Sue DeConnick is one of the nicest creators I’ve ever met. Of course, the vast majority of creators I’ve met have been nice–that’s one of the amazing things about the comics industry, especially given the level of access that fans have to the people who make the books–but as you can tell by her quote in the sidebar, she’s just remarkably friendly and fun to talk to. Which is great, because there’s nothing I like better than when good people make good comics.
And this is a good one. ISB readers are probably aware that I consider Walt Simonson’s Thor to be the finest comic ever crafted by the hands of men, and DeConnick’s portrayal of Sif as a steadfast but prone-to-flip-out warrior falls right along those lines. It’s exciting, with a great little one-off plot that lends itself well to the self-contained nature of a one-shot, but still makes me want to see the inevitable conflict between Loki and the Asgardians almost as much as Gillen and McKelvie did last week. It’s solidly entertaining stuff, and if Marvel was looking to add another myth-inspired book to their ranks, they could do a lot worse than to drag Asgard away from Oklahoma and center it directly above the Fraction/DeConnick household (with occasional visits to England for more of Gillen’s Beta Ray Bill and Loki).
Plus, she finally wraps up a plot point about the awkwardness of Beta Ray Bill’s new relationship. But then again, I imagine it’s always awkward when your ex-boyfriend is a space-horse.
The Tick #3: I’ve been a pretty vocal booster of Benito Cereno and Les McClaine’s new Tick series (called, appropriately enough, Tick: New Series) since the first issue hit in November, and while it’s something you should all be reading, it’s worth noting that this issue features something I’m not sure I’ve ever seen before: Cereno actually apologizes to the readers.
Lord knows I’d never do anything like that–I’m pretty reading this issue was the first time I’ve ever actually realized apologizing to readers was something you could actually do–but Cereno is far less
of a jerk adversarial than I am. Regardless, his apology has to do with the fact that all three issues thus far have involved a new character he created for the series, Scarf Ace, the knitting bandit. See, he doesn’t want to be the guy who creates a pet character and then uses her all the time, as we’ve all seen elsewhere.
And to that, I say this: Pish-tosh, Benito! If anything, the public demands more Scarf Ace, the Sensational Character Find of November 2009! I say we get her into an ongoing series immediately, but why stop there? Scarf Ace Team-Up! Scarf Ace: Thief with a Thread! Scarf Ace Corps, featuring Lady Scarf Ace, who is twice as much lady as the original Scarf Ace (who is only one time a lady)! Seriously, Benito. Have your people call me. We’ll make this happen.
Ultimate Avengers #6: This issue was the subject of this week’s 30-second recap, but as some people didn’t quite get the message, I’ll clarify:
Take a look at the two scenes I posted, written by the same person nine years apart.
They are the same scene. Guy with reality warping powers makes female heroine relive past trauma. I mean really.
And that’s the week! As always, if there’s anything you’d like to discuss, like the perfect represenation of the High Concept in this week’s Street Fighter Legends: Ibuki, feel free to leave a comment below. Or, to hear me prattle on about Hercules: Fall of an Avenger #2, tune in to next Monday’s War Rocket Ajax!