Archive for Avengers

The Ballad of Captain Jughead


Jughead #4

Jughead has become convinced that Principal Stanger and all the new teachers are secretly training everyone to become secret agents. Everyone else thinks this is ridiculous, of course. But with his suspension over, Jughead returns to school and is quickly chosen as the practice target for dodgeball practice in P.E. The resulting bludgeoning has him dreaming that he’s the infamous Slackbeard the Pirate, who is captured by a pirate version of Stanger. When forced to translate a map, he and Dilbert Doiley forge a fake map so they can grab the real treasure for themselves. The dream gives Jughead an idea — he enlists Dilbert to bug Stanger’s computer to find out what he’s up to. Does this perfect plan have a chance of succeeding?

Verdict: Thumbs up. We’ve certainly come to expect this series to give us a funny and clever story that still manages a great level of high drama, and this issue certainly doesn’t disappoint. For a kid worried that he’s being turned into a secret agent, Jughead sure is doing a great impression of a secret agent…


All-New All-Different Avengers #5

The Vision has upgraded himself to be able to display holograms — and he uses this new ability to get Ms. Marvel kicked out of the Avengers! And when Nova accuses Vision of treachery, he gets thrown out, too! The remaining Avengers soon find themselves fighting a minor supervillain called Equinox — but he’s manifesting time-shifted clones, and the Vision finally turns against the entire team. How can the Avengers come back from this?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I guess it’s just a Marvel mandate that the Vision is going to be incredibly creepy in every comic he appears in. I expect Ms. Marvel and Nova will be back quickly — I rather suspect this is part of some long-range plan by the Vision to deal with the current crisis. Oh, and one of the best things about this issue is the look at Kamala Khan’s Avengers fan-fiction.

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Tiny and Stabby


All-New Wolverine #5

Wolverine and her clone sisters Gabby, Zelda, and Bellona are on the run from Alchemax Genetics, which created the clones and wants them back. Zelda is dying as the nanites in her bloodstream start to tear her apart, so Laura breaks everyone into Hank Pym’s lab so she can steal one of his Ant-Man suits. The Wasp shows up soon and agrees to help — she and Laura are shrunk down to microscopic size so they can go beat up teensy-weensy robots. But Alchemax has finally managed to track the clones down, and someone isn’t going to walk away from this.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The action was, ehh, okay — I’d be fine with a moratorium for a few years on the fairly tired trope of getting shrunk to fight nanobots. But this is all wonderful just for Laura wearing an actual fer-realz Ant-Man suit and for Janet van Dyne calling Dr. Strange clear in another dimension just to bawl him out for teleporting crazy people onto her property without asking permission first.


The Ultimates #4

The giant monster fight on the cover does not actually appear in any shape, form, or fashion inside the comic itself.

The Ultimates have made it into the Neutral Zone, and the Blue Marvel has discovered an old friend waiting for them — Conner Sims, former friend turned crazed supervillain. As Anti-Man, Sims had enough power to hold off most of the superheroes in the world, and he’d been responsible for the death of Adam Brashear’s wife. So Adam, Captain Marvel, and Monica Rambeau head out into the void to — kill Sims? Save him? Not even our heroes are sure. Meanwhile, someone is recruiting the reborn Galactus to stop the Ultimates — and it may be someone far too powerful for anyone to resist.

Verdict: Thumbs up — but mainly because I always felt the Blue Marvel vs. Anti-Man confrontation needed more oomph to it. The rest of the story is, well, adequate.


The New Avengers #6

The Avengers from the future have traveled to the present to stop Moridun the octopus space wizard, who has secretly taken over Wiccan’s mind. In the future, after he becomes the Demiurge, Moridun is able to use Billy’s powers to take over or even destroy the world. Can the future Avengers stop him now? And will the present Avengers let them do it? Or does Billy still have a chance to save himself and to save the future?

Verdict: Thumbs up. The future Avengers are really pretty cool — we’ve already met Danielle Cage, Luke’s daughter, as the future Captain America, but we also have a merman in Iron Man armor, an older Teddy Altman, and a tiny Nova. But the best stuff in this comic takes place inside Billy Kaplan’s head — and in the new revised future. If they wanted this to be the last issue, the last couple pages would make for a great ending.

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Dino Delight


Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #3

Well, Lunella Lafayette has been captured by the modernized Killer Folk, but Devil Dinosaur still manages to rescue her — and soon enough, she also rescues herself and the Kree Omni-Wave Projector she’s obsessed with. She ends up losing the device to one of the cavemen, and after that, her exploits being toted around by a huge T-rex are all over the news. We get to see Lunella’s secret laboratory under the school — where she’s also letting Devil Dinosaur hide out. Her school ends up catching fire, and she and D.D. help get everyone to safety, but next issue’s big green guest-star probably isn’t going to care about that.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s such a grandly fun comic. It’s got dinosaurs, punk rock cavemen, a gloriously weird kid heroine, and so much more. Please tell me you’re reading this.


The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #4

A bunch of computer science majors — including Squirrel Girl and Nancy Whitehead — are trapped in the ’60s, while Dr. Doom prepares to begin conquering the future. While Doreen plans to sneak into Doom’s hideout in Central Park and heist away his time machine, the rest of the students start building small EMP generators so they can shut down his electronics equipment. Unfortunately, Doom can’t be defeated nearly so easily. Luckily, Squirrel Girl has a few surprise allies from the future who can help her out.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Another fun comic. We almost get Doreen to defuse yet another major supervillain by talking to him and making friends — and the guest star at the end is pretty amazing.


All-New All-Different Avengers #4

Edwin Jarvis is employed by the Avengers again — not that he’s very happy about it. I don’t know if he’s just sick of butlering for superheroes or if he’s peeved about the Avengers’ new HQ — a run-down airfield in New Jersey. But the team gets called out to a mission before Jarvis can finish disapproving of the decor — a completely unexpected hurricane has hit Atlantic City. A metahuman called Cyclone is responsible, and dozens of people have been endangered. The new kids knock Cyclone down, but Vision puts him down for the count — in the most creepy way possible. And Thor lays a liplock on Captain America — and the reason why starts everyone wondering if she’s actually a thunder god…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Very nice superhero action, plus fun dialogue and interactions.

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Silver Blaze


Silver Surfer #1

Another new #1 issue, Marvel?! I am going to hit you guys with a boat anchor.

The Silver Surfer and Dawn Greenwood are finally returning to Earth, but first, they have to foil an alien invasion by a species called the Hordax. Once they get to Earth, Dawn is excited to learn that her twin sister Eve is pregnant, and her family holds a celebration for all the holidays she missed while she was in space. But the Hordax weren’t fully defeated, and their next attack on Earth drains the planet of every piece of art, literature, and music — not just the works themselves, but the memories of the works, too.

Dawn and the Surfer fly up to investigate, and they learn that the aliens can use the stolen fiction to take on the appearance and qualities of fictional characters. This leads to several pages of the Silver Surfer dressed up as characters from Doctor Who, Harry Potter, The Terminator, Star Trek, Back to the Future, The Wizard of Oz, Zardoz, Kill Bill, The Little Mermaid, and many, many more. Can even the Surfer’s cosmic powers prevail against all the heroes of fiction?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a wonderfully fun issue, with great character interactions, an all-too-brief cameo by Mike Allred’s Madman, and a ton of aliens cosplaying as fictional characters. This is an issue where you’ll really want to pay attention to the backgrounds, just to try to identify who everyone is dressed up as.


Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #2

Patsy working retail is really not something that works very well, with constant chaos, rude customers, rude co-workers, a shoplifter with a magical Bag of Holding, and a visit from Patsy’s old nemesis, Hedy Wolfe, who’s begun reprinting all the old Patsy Walker romance comics without Patsy’s permission. Can Patsy make it through her first day on the job without getting fired?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Another outstandingly fun comic — fantastic art and dialogue and quasi-drama. It’s a blast to read, and I hope all of y’all are enjoying it, too.


I Hate Fairyland #4

Turns out Gert wasn’t as dead as she looked at the end of last issue — just incredibly badly injured, needing a quick heal from Larry’s magic stogie smoke. After that, Gert kidnaps Queen Cloudia to get her to spill about why the noxiously optimistic Happy is prancing around Fairyland questing after the magical key that Gert assumed was fated to be hers. Turns out Cloudia’s plan is to let Happy get the key — and at that point, Gert becomes just another citizen of Fairyland, which means Cloudia will be permitted to kill her very, very permanently. So while Happy is cruising through the quests and getting closer and closer to the key, Gert decides to bypass all that by harnessing the power of one of the Seven Evil Dooms — in this case, Lord Darketh Deaddeath of the Realm of Skulllllllls. Can Gert handle the monsters in Deaddeath’s dungeon?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Skottie Young’s art is really what makes this one so much fun. From Cloudia’s constantly changing cloud-hair to Deaddeath’s skull-themed everything, there’s always something wonderful to see.


The New Avengers #5

In the future, Billy Kaplan has finally become the Demiurge — unfortunately, he’s been possessed by the diabolical cthulhoid monster Moridun, and he’s tearing the future Avengers to pieces. They make their escape into the past to try to fix things. Meanwhile, the New Avengers are fighting to mad scientists of W.H.I.S.P.E.R., which is led by the Maker — the alternate reality evil Reed Richards. But the team may have much more serious concerns than mad scientists soon.

Verdict: Thumbs up — but I get the impression this is going to get way confusing way fast. I’m still hopeful — as long as they keep up the great characterizations, as well as the fun we’re getting from Squirrel Girl…

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Hammer of the Gods


The Mighty Thor #3

Loki is back to being, at best, an anti-hero, and more likely, just a regular villain again. He does look an awful lot more like Tom Hiddleston than he used to. He tries to talk Thor into teaming up with him — but Jane Foster has had plenty of contact with Loki before, and he generally just tried to kill her to get back at Thor. So she knocks his head clean off. Of course, that’s no way to kill the God of Lies, and he comes back with a horde of alternate Lokis, including Loki Classic, King Loki, Kid Loki, Teen Loki, Frost Giant Loki, Lady Loki, and even Cat Thor Loki from the Squirrel Girl comic. Does Thor have a chance against all of them?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nice to see so many Lokis in one place, isn’t it? Also liked Thor’s rationale for knocking Loki’s head off — he’s always treated Jane Foster as nothing worth bothering with, which means she’d definitely be ready for payback.


Starfire #8

It’s the second half of Starfire’s team-up with secret agent Dick Grayson. There’s some decent action stuff, and a lot of soap-opera stuff, most of it involving minor characters whose names I can’t totally remember.

Verdict: Thumbs down. I ain’t entirely knocking soap opera, because superhero comics would be damn boring without some soap opera. But most of this issue was soap opera, and it wasn’t really much fun.


All-New All-Different Avengers #3

The Chitauri warlord called Warbringer just keeps kicking the Avengers’ butts, though he does have secret assistance from Mr. Gryphon, the mysterious businessman who bought Avengers Tower. Warbringer is trying to assemble a device that’ll bring hordes of Chitauri to Earth to conquer the planet for him. The team manages to get the pieces of the artifact away from him, but he’s still powerful enough to easily beat the most powerful members of the group. So Spider-Man is going to have to activate the device and then destroy it with split-second timing so they can push Warbringer through the portal as it opens. Will the plan work? Or will there be other complications?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Not at all bad, decently tense — and it looks like the Vision being creepy and weird is something that’s going to carry over into every comic he appears in…

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You’ve Got Mail


The Vision #2

Last issue, the Grim Reaper attacked the Vision’s robotic family, severely injuring Viv before Virginia beat the villain to death. She’s decided to keep the Reaper’s death a secret from her husband. She tells the Vision a story about driving him away. Meanwhile, Viv is on mechanical life support, and her twin brother Vin is not adapting well to the near-death of his sister. He attacks a rude classmate and almost kills him — and when the Vision is called to the school to talk to the principal, he uses his status as a superhero to cow the principal into not punishing his son. But things are not all okay for the Vision family. Someone knows what Virginia did, and they’re going to make her pay.

Verdict: Thumbs up. This comic is so very creepy. It’s so creepy and inhuman, I want to take every issue, lock it in a metal box, lock that box in another metal box, bury it in the backyard, and set the backyard on fire. And then, because I really, really love creepy comics, I want to then dig up the backyard, take the comic out of the box… and lick it.


Howard the Duck #2

In our last issue, Howard was rescued by a couple of gender-switched clones of himself and Rocket Raccoon. In this issue, we get their backstory. After Howard and Rocket escaped from the Collector during the first series, the girls — Linda and Shocket — were cloned from their DNA, and one of the Collector’s minions, Dee, was assigned to be their foster parent. When it’s decided that the girls are going to be frozen — or maybe even killed — Dee flees with them, and they rent a time machine to send them 25 years into the past so the Collector’s henchmen won’t pursue them. But Dee is eventually killed, leaving the girls on their own — and the Collector back on their trail.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It looks like Linda and Shocket are about to be very important characters — hence the origin story. It’ll be interesting to see what Zdarsky and Fish have planned…


All-New All-Different Avengers #2

A Chitauri calling himself Warbringer has just effortlessly kicked Iron Man’s, Captain America’s, and Spider-Man’s butts, but the Vision shows up to assist. Meanwhile, Nova flies into town to confront Warbringer, only to find that Ms. Marvel is already on the scene. Nova and Ms. Marvel don’t really get along. Warbringer gets away from them, too, but they team up with Spidey, Iron Man, Cap, and Vision to confront Warbringer one more time. It looks like it’s all over for the alien after Thor makes an appearance — but Warbringer has an unseen ally on his side…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Got the whole team together in just two issues — that’s a record for new team comics these days! Good story, good art, excellent team conflicts getting set up — all around, a lot of fun.


Revival #35

Jesse Black Deer, the terribly burned reviver, has been ordered to kill Em Cypress — and in fact, he attacks her and tears out her heart. But that can’t kill a reviver, and her heart grows back. But by then, he’s got her trussed up and is about to cut her head off — he’s going to bury her head and body separately to keep her alive but helpless. But Em’s sister Dana lures Jesse’s soul to him, and Jesse burns down to ash. But one of the guards is in on the scheme, and he’s going to behead Em — at least until Dana shoots his jaw off. But now the sisters are forced to go on the run to flee the authorities.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Looks like the end of a storyarc, and it’s a pretty good one, too. Definitely upsets the old status quo — and it’ll be fun to see where the story goes from here.

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All Hail the Emperor!


Astro City #29

Meet Zozat, a young Zirr from a distant planet. The Zirr are an insectoid race, loyal servants of their Empire and their Emperor, and frequent foes of Astro City’s heroic First Family. But this isn’t your typical superhero story, where the evil bug aliens invade Earth and are beaten back by noble heroes. This is a story about a mostly peaceful race of people who are definitely alien in form and thought — but more human than they (or we) would probably be comfortable acknowledging. Zozat is the school prodigy on his last day of school, excited to see his older sister back home from the military academy. But the Zirr military have captured an unpowered member of the First Family, and that means there’s about to be an invasion of hostile aliens from across the galaxy! Will this be the battle that finally allows the Zirr Empire to destroy the Earthlings once and for all?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s hard to say that the story really humanizes the Zirr — it’s more accurate to say that it alienizes them. The Zirr are really weird, and their language is bizarre, and their customs and mindset are inhuman. But they’re still a lot like us. They love their families, they play, they fight, they dream, they get propagandized by their media and government, they question, and they’re certain they must be the greatest species the universe has ever seen. They’re emphatically not like us; they’re also emphatically a lot like us after all — and this makes for a really wonderful comic book.


The New Avengers #3

The Skrulls are a dying race, but they see hope if they can summon their true king, a Kree/Skrull hybrid, from Earth. Oh, wait, they’re talking about Hulkling, aren’t they? And speaking of Earth, the New Avengers are getting settled into their new digs on Avengers Island. Power Man is questioning whether Wiccan’s name is really appropriate when he’s not a practitioner of Wicca; Pod is being made to confront its/her uncomfortable dual nature; Songbird and Roberto Da Costa have just discovered there’s a mole other than Hawkeye on the team. And then the giant Skrull warship decloaks and attacks everyone.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Fun art, decent story, cthulhoid monsters, surprisingly apt discussions of cultural co-option in the superhero community, and some wonderful and fun bits of dialogue.

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Lightning Round

Well, thanks to getting a ton of comics last week and being just plain bored with blogging lately, I’ve gotten way, way behind on my reviews. So let’s see how fast I can do a bunch of reviews…


Starfire #6

An alien bounty hunter pursues Starfire and isn’t shy about killing humans. Can Kory stop him, or is her head going on a pike?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Good humor and action, very pretty art, and that cover is a solid winner.


Spider-Gwen #2

While tracking down the Lizards, Spider-Woman meets up with a much different Captain America than we know. Can Gwen handle the Lizards and Cap — while handcuffed?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Fun story. Loved the new version of Cap — complete with a full backstory! Now I want to read more about her adventures, too…


All-New Hawkeye #1

Another new number-one issue! MARRRRVEL! (shakes fist at sky) Most of our story is set in the future. Clint Barton is a washed-up old coot, and Kate Bishop is rich and bitter and pretty damn good at her job. They’re trying to make up for the mistakes of the past — and that means they’ll run afoul of the Mandarin.

Verdict: Ehh, good enough for a thumbs up. Artwork and personality conflict are what sell this story the best.


All-New Wolverine #1

Laura Kinney, better known as X-23 and Logan’s gender-switched clone, has taken over the mantle of Wolverine. She’s trying to stop a sniper atop the Eiffel Tower — but she doesn’t have an adamantium skeleton to bounce bullets…

Verdict: Thumbs up. I wasn’t expecting to like this one so much. The art is cool, the action is excellent, and the dialogue and characterization are fun. I reckon I’ll be picking up a few more issues of this one.


All-New All-Different Avengers #1

Man, they’re gonna run out of Avengers titles before long. The members of this team include Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Vision, Ms. Marvel, Nova, and Spider-Man. Ahem, that’s the Sam Wilson Captain America, the Jane Foster Thor, and the Miles Morales Spider-Man. Not all the characters have even met yet, but the stories around them are plenty fun.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Yeah, I’m really looking forward to seeing Mark Waid writing these characters. This is probably one of the new Marvel titles I’ve been looking forward to the most.


Illuminati #1

Titania has been released from jail and plans to give up the criminal life. She’s doing her best, but it’s hard for ex-supervillains to get jobs anywhere. She-Hulk is willing to help her, but they’ve been rivals too long, and Skeeter rejects her aid. She manages to get a crap job as security at a pawn shop, but a robbery attempt ends with Luke Cage and Iron Fist assuming she’s the villain. And then she gets “rescued” by the Hood, who’s putting together a new gang of under-the-radar super-crooks.

Verdict: Ehh, it’s not bad, but I’m not sure I’ll be picking it up. We barely meet any of the characters aside from Titania and the Hood, and though Titania is a fun character, I don’t think there’s enough here to make me feel like I need to keep reading.


The Vision #1

In an attempt to be more human, the Vision has created his own family — his wife, Virginia, and their twins Viv and Vin. The entire family is deeply weird, terribly ominous, and they’re all utterly, utterly unhuman.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Wow, this one was amazing — an astonishingly creepy comic about robots pretending to be normal human suburbanites while actually being skin-crawlingly weird. It is so, so good.


The Ultimates #1

Yet another branch of quasi-Avengers, this team consists of the Blue Marvel, the Black Panther, Captain Marvel, America Chavez, and Monica Rambeau. They’ve got an extremely ambitious and wide-ranging plan to neutralize Galactus — and it’s not what anyone expects.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Another comic where I love all the characters — and at this point, I’m willing to read almost anything Al Ewing writes. And lookit, a comic book without any white male characters — and with that many serious powerhouses on the team, they may be Marvel’s toughest badasses…

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Dead and Crazy


All Star Section Eight #5

Probably the most absolutely impressive comic book released last week, if not all last month, if not nearly all of the year. Sixpack wakes up from a massive blackout to find the Phantom Stranger knocking out some fantastic gangsta rap. The Stranger is soon joined by Etrigan the Demon, and they both rap about how great it would be if DC would release a trade paperback of Garth Ennis and John McCrea’s “Demon” series from the mid-1990s. And he meets up with Jean de Baton, Flemgem, the Defenestrator, Friendly Fire, and Shakes — the dead members of Section Eight.

They throw him back into the waking world — in fact, they might have thrown him a little too hard, because he finds himself looking at himself from the first issue of this series — an alcoholic art critic, just fallen off the wagon, freezing to death in the snow. We briefly ponder the mystery of Dogwelder — and Sixpack gets one more visitor. Is this the guy who’ll join Section Eight at last?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A comic manages to go from gross-out humor, rap parody, an in-comic advertisement for a trade paperback that namechecks DC editor Scott Nybakken as well as Marvel editor Jen Grunwald, and closes with a deeply touching moment where Sixpack tries to save himself from freezing to death in an alley. It’s not just something that’s fun to read — it’s something that must be read, and if you’re not waiting desperately to see what Ennis and McCrea manage to do in this miniseries final issue, you just ain’t paying attention.


The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1

As the cover jokes, it’s a brand new #1 issue for this series less than a year after the first one debuted. The fanaticism for #1 issues at Marvel is something that really should be put under control.

Once we get some people rescued from a burning building and Doreen and Nancy moved into their new apartment, the bulk of this issue focuses on a visit to NYC by Squirrel Girl’s mom, which Nancy is utterly delighted about, because Maureen Green has the very best stories about Doreen’s squirrelly childhood. And on top of that, there’s an attack by Brain Drain, an old-school supervillain who’s basically a brain and a couple eyeballs inside a robot body. Can our heroes stop Brain Drain? Even more important — can they reform him?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s still, pound-for-pound, the talkiest comic on the stands. But it’s a lot of good talking, a lot of great jokes, a lot of clever storytelling, and a lot of awesomeness spread all over the page.


The New Avengers #2

The Maker — slightly better known as the evil Ultimate Universe version of Reed Richards — has unleashed a bunch of crystal-headed zombies on Paris. And even worse, he’s managed to co-opt some genetically enhanced S.H.I.E.L.D. agents — enhanced with gamma radiation, in fact, giving them powers similar to the Hulk’s! Luckily, the A.I.M. team has a couple serious heavy-hitters on their side — White Tiger, with all the power of a Tiger God, and Squirrel Girl, with all the powers of a squirrel! They make short work of the crystal-headed agents, but unfortunately, the giant scorpion-gorilla monster who accompanied the agents manages to co-opt Ava and Doreen next!

Max Brashear realizes that all the crystal-headed people are still alive, just with a higher-dimensional non-consciousness imposed over their own. Can the A.I.M. scientists, Wiccan, Songbird, and Power Man figure out a way to counteract the dimensional frequency and returning everyone to normal? And what ancient powers are working with the Maker now?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I’m still grooving on Al Ewing’s storytelling and Gerardo Sandoval’s funky fresh artwork. I enjoyed the threat escalation in the story, too. The hulked-out agents are threats because of their strength, but they get handled by the Avengers’ heavyweight contenders — and then the heavyweight contenders get turned into threats themselves. It’s wonderfully well-done.

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Digging Up the Dead


Harrow County #6

Country-girl witch Emmy is getting to know her big-city twin Kammi, who’s a lot more comfortable with the evil part of being a witch. She’s overjoyed to see the tree where she was born and wants to dig up her mother’s skeleton. She goes on a ride through town — everyone thinks she’s Emmy having a fancy day. She meets up with the man who’d asked Emmy to kill his wife’s admirer — and Kammi is much more willing to consider what he’s asking.

Verdict: Thumbs up. This is mostly a fairly quiet character study on how mentally messed-up Kammi is — but we do get some pretty horrific stuff right at the end. Mercy, Kammi is really bad news, and this is a really good horror comic.


The New Avengers #1

The “Secret Wars” crossover is almost over, so that means it’s time to meet some new Avengers teams. This new series by Al Ewing and Gerardo Sandoval features the heroes of A.I.M. — Avengers Idea Mechanics — featuring Songbird, Wiccan, Hulkling, Power Man, White Tiger, and Squirrel Girl (and Tippy-Toe!), with Roberto DaCosta, a.k.a the mutant Sunspot as the team’s multi-billionaire funder. The team is on their way to Paris to deal with attacks by a bunch of people with diamond heads.

The readers learn the mastermind behind the entire thing — it’s Ultimate Reed Richards, who was a major supervillain as the Maker. He’s planning to use science to invade the universe with the afterlife, and he’s got a compromised S.H.I.E.L.D. team as his slaves. Meanwhile, DaCosta meets with S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Dum Dum Dugan, who introduces him to the agency’s not-so-secret mole — Clint Barton.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I actually dig the weird art style, and I’m really digging this particular team, most of whom have never gotten to be official Avengers before. And I’m relieved that Squirrel Girl is so wonderfully funny — I was worried they’d try to turn her into a serious superhero at some point.


Spider-Gwen #1

The alternate-universe adventures of Gwen Stacy, Spider-Woman, return to comics. While racing to her new job at the Dollar Dog corn dog restaurant chain — and giving the cops the slip while talking to her dad on the phone — Gwen learns that her new workplace has been destroyed by an oversized humanoid lizard. Has Peter Parker returned from the dead? Is (impressively mustached) Curt Connors responsible? And does the Lizard have an unexpected sponsor?

Verdict: Thumbs up. More of all the stuff we loved about the first Spider-Gwen series — humor, angst, action, drama, great art, and awesome characters.

Today’s Cool Links:

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