So Many Comics: Reviews Around The Horn

Some quick-hit reviews for a bunch of books that came out recently, in case you haven't been keeping up.

Andy Hunsakerby Andy Hunsaker

Uncanny X-Force #21

There's only so much time in the day, and there are more comic books in coming out each week than time in that day.  On top of that, there are only so many comics that get in your head enough to do full reviews of them.  What about the others?  Well, here's a quick hit list of reviews for recent books to get those of us who have been traveling too much in the past few weeks to get caught up.

 

  • UNCANNY X-FORCE #20 & #21:  Rick Remender has taken a huge detour into really in-depth old Captain Britain continuity, meaning he really, really likes Psylocke, and you better know your X-history and be really into interdimensional tomfoolery to get into it.  Greg Tocchini's art is off-putting, to boot, but we've learned that there are absolutely no alternate versions of Fantomex in any other reality.  One more reason that guy's fascinating.
  • THE PUNISHER #8:  Greg Rucka's still kicking some ass and Frank Castle should always have a beard.  The cops from Se7en, though, are closing in on Rachel Cole-Alves, the sole survivor of her wedding day massacre who's taken up "punishing" as a hobby.  By the way, Exchange, Frank ain't havin' yer trap none.
  • RED LANTERNS #6: So far, a fat lot of nothin's been happening in Peter Milligan's cherry-flavored Lantern Corps other than Atrocitus' inner monologue, and now it seems like his dynamic with Bleez is a full-on Megatron/Starscream thing.  Plus, now there's a human Red Lantern named John Moore (not to be confused with Henry Moore, aka Wonderman, Fighting Evil As It Comes) who kills kids in a crash landing in service of a dark joke.  Okay.
  • LEGION OF MONSTERS #4: Dennis Hopeless's miniseries about Marvel's monster city, Michael Morbius' self-loathing and Elsa Bloodstone's general awesomeness wrapped up well, although while artist Juan Doe's insanely angular style certainly makes for dynamic monster drawings, it doesn't much allow natural human expression.  More monster city adventures, please.
  • AVENGERS: X-SANCTION #3:  Jeph Loeb continues the virus-ravaged robo-Cable's assault against the Avengers up, and it's looking more and more misguided, especially when his dad and his daughter show up at the end – but it's Loeb, so there's no telling if this insane mission is actually supposed to SEEM insane or if he's just not doing his job very well.  Ed McGuinness, however, is great at drawing Hulks of any color.  But seriously, stop having Nate say he's doing everything for his daughter and tell us freakin' WHY already.  And is Loeb seriously pitching Glenn Talbot as ANOTHER Red Hulk in the future?
  • THE DEFENDERS #3: The tiresome not-quite-humor of Matt Fraction thankfully takes a back seat to straightforward storytelling as Nul: Breaker of Worlds is finally defeated for good and the writing of Red She-Hulk continues to be wildly inconsistent between writers.  Always a danger with a newly hot commodity.  Still can't decide if the narrator who talks directly to the reader is a nice throwback or plain ol' cloying.  At least the Silver Surfer is pretty awesome in this one.
  • GODZILLA: KINGDOM OF MONSTERS #11: The series that should have ended a few issues ago with an ending written by Eric Powell and Tracy Marsh bleeds on, but possibly to a new conclusion.  We can only hope the whiny bratling monster-fu twins have finally met their ends, but somehow, Victor Santos' art is inconclusive on this matter even though they get fire-blasted by Big G.  Skree-onk.
  • ROBOCOP: ROAD TRIP #2: Robocop's losing his mind and talking to the ghost of Bob Morton while on the run from the corrupt OCP and their robo-animals.  The bleakly satirical tone of the movie is incorporated again by Rob Williams, but everything seems pretty well nuts here.  That's a road trip.
  • THOR: THE DEVIANTS SAGA #3 & #4:  Rob Rodi (likely no relation to the late Rod Roddy) is spinning a Thor yarn with an old-school sensibility (meaning it makes dialog packed to the gills with exposition nonetheless entertaining), dealing with the Externals and a power struggle with the evolutionary dead-end of the Deviants, although there's a weird detour into Ka-Zar land to fight some guy named Maurice.  Okay.  Still, adventure awaits!
  • GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS #5: Kyle Rayner brings the term "Skittle Squad" into continuity, while the rest of wonder who allowed an awful word like "orrery" to exist in the English language.  Also, the Giant Space Baby Mobile of Doom has apparently absorbed the planets of Tamaran and Okaara, among others, and is run by a sun-god named Invictus who will kick everyone's ass forever.  Also, New 52 Larfleeze is less Gollum and more snarky, it seems, and his constructs have their own personalities, and Glomulus might as well be Slimer.
  • GREEN LANTERN CORPS #5:  Apparently, there's an old, rough-and-tumble team of poker-playing hardass GLs who have a secret he-man club beneath Guy Gardner's bar Warriors on Oa, and they're called the Mean Machine.  Why Kilowog isn't one of them, I have no idea, but they join the fight against The Keepers, yet another planet full of people the Guardians have fucked over in their day.  Seriously, the Guardians have always been frustrating before, but they are straight-up bad guys now.  The fact that the Sinestro Corps has a duo called Fat Man and Little Boy is just as annoying as Larfleeze being referred to as Agent Orange.  THESE ARE SPACE PEOPLE, THEY DO NOT GET OBSCURE EARTH HISTORY REFERENCES AS NAMES.
  • FEAR ITSELF: THE FEARLESS #7 & #8: I really wanted Wolverine to kill Crossbones.  It's been a while since I weant 'hell yeah, it's Wolverine, bitch!' but #6 made me do that (although it might have been because I was looking for anything to be excited about in the 6th round of yawn-worthy hammer tag).  I'm glad he snikt-gutted the big Nazi prick.  Too bad Daimon Hellstrom's pulling whatever he's pulling.  However, I'm starting to get invested in what appears to be Valkyrie's last ride, as her mentality seems to be circling the drain towards the 'let it all end' notion.  And now she's messing with the X-Men… and lawd, let's hope this ain't another AvX tie-in in the making.  Is it bad that I'm already sick of it?
  • VILLAINS FOR HIRE #3:  I like Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning in general, and I really want to like this celebration of Z-list bad guys, but it just doesn't feel like it's coming together – much the same way that DnA's Annihilators: Earthfall felt shrug-worthy when it all shook out. No one was really buying Misty Knight's flip to the dark side, although why she's working with Puppet Master is certainly confusing.  It's all right.  Just doesn't feel like the heart is in it.
  • INFESTATION 2:  Oh, boy.  IDW's last iteration of Infestation, their first big multiversal crossover to tie-in a bunch of their varied series with a zombie plague, was very hit and miss, with more sub-par stuff from DnA bookending it.  This time, Duane Swierczynski is writing the adventures of the C.V.O., and while it's thankfully less enamored with the term 'artillica,' this time we're rolling into H.P. Lovecraft Land, to the point where Lovecraft himself is actually a character in the story as a conduit for the Elder Gods.  If you like big worms with giant eyes all over their bodies being investigated by a good-guy team of vampires, go for it.  They're still going to fold in G.I. Joe and Transformers, but now they're factoring in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Danger Girl this time instead of Star Trek and Ghostbusters.  Don't get too excited about the TF tie-in, though – IDW's current crop of TF titles may be the best they've ever been, but this tie-in hearkens back to the Hearts of Steel AU series where the Transformers were hanging out in the late 1800s.  If you liked that, then check in for more shenanigans.