This was quietly one of the biggest weeks in comics and all without a major event hanging overhead. We start off the most controversial book of the week...
JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRY FOR JUSTICE #7: Confession time. I haven't quite kept up with this series, mostly because of the scathingly bad reviews and the awful dialogue on those preview pages. But this one promised to set up major DC storylines, so here we go. Star City is apparently falling apart, literally. Speedy is injured and little Lian Harper DIES! Ok, that's just brutal, especially when Roy Harper's already had his FREAKIN' ARM ripped off in this series! Prometheus is released from Justice League custody to stop the carnage. He does and promptly escapes to his other-dimension hideaway. Issue ends, though, with Green Arrow invading Prometheus's sanctuary and killing him dead with an arrow right through his skull! Oh lord, where do I even start here? Ok, they obviously wanted to set up a new status quo for Arsenal. They already ripped his arm off, as I mentioned. Isn't that enough to give him a new status quo? Why go into child killing territory? It just comes across as tasteless. The issue with Green Arrow crossing the killing line doesn't bother me as much, because DC's already butchered poor Ollie's character beyond repair at this point with Judd Winnick's hideous run and the abomination that was his infamous "wedding night", so there's nothing to lose on this end. Now when you combine these head-scratching events with some of the worst dialogue and artwork (save for the last page) I've ever seen in a comic book, you've got the lone frontrunner for the "One More Day" Memorial Worst Issue of the Year. James Robinson, you may pick up your fake statuette at the door. Thumbs WAY Down! You're better off reading this spoiler. Do NOT pick up this issue!
INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #24: Another issue that establishes a new status quo. Pepper and Maria have successfully lured the Ghost away from Tony Stark's lifeless body. With that taken care of, Tony's able to successfully reach the plateau of his mind, in spite of bad memories (including the people he let down) trying to get in the way. Tony asserts that his destiny is his own and is able to successfully reboot his mind. The ending is where things get interesting, though. Apparently, Tony's mind reboot only remembers everything BEFORE Civil War. A lot of forum goers are crying foul on this, but I like this move a lot. I don't see this as a retcon so much as I see a lot of good story potential with the Marvel U hating Tony for stuff he doesn't remember anymore. The dynamic with Steve Rogers should be VERY interesting. Thumbs up!
MIGHTY AVENGERS #34: I don't even know what the hell happened here. At some point, Hank Pym has uncovered the charade that Loki's put on for the better part of the past year. He tells Pietro and they both head off to Asgard and successfully contain Loki. Thor sees the danger of the situation and demands Loki's release, but Pym shocks everyone when he asks Loki to join the Avengers. Everyone leaves disgusted and the Mighty Avengers are apparently disassembled. I don't know what the hell happened here, other than the idea that Loki's got some hold over Hank.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #623: This is another one that got a lot of hype, so here goes. The main story sees Electro breaking the New Vulture out of captivity. New Vulture escapes, but the Kraven family tells Electro not to worry about him. New Vulture's apparently got a lot of baggage about his transformation and eventually gets pointed towards the direction of J. Jonah Jameson. Meanwhile, Spidey fights off a wannabe supervillain that's only in it for reality show notoriety, which gives Spidey plenty of reason to grumble about Mayor Jameson. Everything converges at the end, with the issue ending with New Vulture successfully attacking Jameson. For those waiting for the big moment where Peter Parker gets fired, keep waiting. It's not here just yet. Thumbs up for the main story, though, which is pretty intriguing.
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #33: And now we've got yet another issue surrounded by a lot of hype. When we last left Buffy, she found out she's absorbing the power of dead slayers. We leave off with her trying to cope with that idea, which she says essentially makes her a vampire. Meanwhile, Twilight has Giles, Faith, and Andrew in his clutches, as Giles is able to piece together who Twilight is based on voice. After undoing Twilight's magic, Buffy's able to track him down and travels halfway across the world at super light speed, tackling the Big Bad. The mask comes off and...HOLY CRAP, IT'S ANGEL! Suitably shocked, Buffy throws him down and tries to make sense of everything. She thinks it must be Angelus, but Angel assures her that it's 100% Angel. At this point, the issue could have stopped and it would have been an easy thumbs up, but now the wheels start to fall off. Angel tries to go into his reasoning for his heel turn, but is so cryptic and nonsensical that I can't make heads or tails of what's going on. The gist is apparently, Buffy and Angel are displaying some kind of sybiotic connection that causes them to get all glowy around each other. Issue ends with them...well, in Willow's words, "I think they're f#&*ing". Thumbs in the middle. Like I said, it was an easy thumbs up before Angel's villain spiel completely killed the flow the issue had going.
Next week, another major week that DOES have to do with events. Blackest Night ENDS! Siege CONTINUES! And Batman faces off with Robin. Until next time!
Well if that issue isn't a middle finger to IDW, I don't know what is. Seriously, Angel? It would have made more sense if it was Riley or a vengeful human Anya or even Dru. I am so glad, I am just buying this for a friend and reading it before I give it to him. I thought last month's was fairly good even with the goofy Superman stuff.
The best Expanded Universe book in my opinion is Shadows of the Empire (Amazon.com). Not sure if it's true, but I've always heard that Lucas himself felt that this was the best piece of EU material out there.