Claw Marks

Avengers Academy #23

There are a trio of events going on in this issue. First and most obviously, X-23, Wolverine’s gender-swapped teenaged clone, joins Avengers Academy. After initially freaking everyone out with what an utter badass she is, the rest of the students warm to her almost immediately afterwards. Second, the future version of Reptil is mentally possessing his younger self’s body and plotting against the team from within. And finally, Striker comes out as gay to Lightspeed, who is herself bisexual. And this is all in addition to another big super-battle that leads to an old X-Men villain worming his way into the Academy…

Verdict: Thumbs up. But I gotta say, the segment where Striker comes out? I really wasn’t fond of that. I got nothing against Striker being gay, but I don’t think he’d come out to Lightspeed, who he just barely knows. I don’t buy him being comfortable and accepting of his sexuality, especially the way he aggressively hits on every other female in the series. And I didn’t see the point of the big “Oh no, I was molested, I will cry on Julie Powers’ shoulder because OMG DRAMA” moment. But other than those five pages, the issue was just fine.

American Vampire #21

Again, we’ve flashed back to the days before Skinner Sweet was a vampire, and when he and Jim Book were best friends. They’re both members of the U.S. Cavalry, and their commanding officer would like them both dead for questioning his military decisions. The problem is that the Apaches they’re all hunting are out in vastly superior numbers — and even worse, Hole in the Sky, a renegade Apache leader, has gotten himself a powerful new vampiric form. Unfortunately for Hole in the Sky, the Indian maiden who he stole those powers from isn’t happy about getting attacked by him. So how are the soldiers going to deal with a hundred Apaches and two angry monster-vampires?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A nice conclusion to the storyarc. Not much else to say about it — I enjoyed it. Loved the art, loved the writing…

Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters #10

Steven Woods and Allie have gotten control of Mechagodzilla, just in time to stumble across Godzilla himself. The president wants them to get the giant robot somewhere safe so it can be refurbished and repaired, but Woods wants to try to take the Big G down. But can all his fighting skills and all the robot’s secret weapons allow him to defeat the King of Monsters — especially with King Ghidorah joining the battle — and Rodan and Battra, controlled by the evil French telepaths, on the horizon?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Exceptional action and very strong characterization. Gotta hand it to writer Jason Ciaramella and artist Victor Santos — this is very good work.

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