Greetings, Nerd Bastards readers, Jake here from The Hall of Comics – where heroes shop. I’m a bag and boarded professional. My passion (and business) is to read, write about and sell comics. In an alliance forged in the stars, The Hall of Comics will be dropping by Nerd Bastards weekly, to bring you the latest word and the weeks best pulls in comics. So sit back, grab a snack, and check out what latest comic titles you should be reading.
The Secret Wars event sub titles have been more hits than misses, and X-Men ’92 is no exception. Arguably one of the most popular versions of the team (if not one of the better ones, creatively), its fans should be very satisfied. Like many other SW series it delivers what you’d expect, based on the name, and adds a little bit more to sweeten the reunion. It touches on the over arching event a little bit (and in interesting ways) but not enough that readers will be lost if they haven’t read the main title. Writers Chris Sims & Chad Bowers do such a good job of channeling Chris Claremont that I was reminded of the Jamie Foxx Paradox – y’know, as when he won the Oscar for playing Ray Charles. Does mimicry equal artistry? But there’s enough original material here, taken from other X-Men mythology, that halfway thru the book I gave up on that criticism. If it were 1992 again, I’d say the book is post modern, there are so many self-references to that era of comic books and pokes at itself. Definitely a fun read if this was your X-Men back in the day.
Not long after Blackest Night, I stopped reading any Green Lantern books for a while. They’d gotten to be too much of a good thing, so mired in many of the same ideas and overlapping to the point where I thought the material was going in circles. Green Lantern: Lost Army #1 looked like a good spot to dip my toe in the water again. It’s a straight-up GL Corps adventure, set in current continuity. It read well for someone like me who’d stepped away from GL for a while, but should be satisfying to fans who’ve kept up and want more John Stewart, want more of the Corps, and who miss Guy Gardner. Writer Cullen Bunn is doing so much these days that you’d think someone’s got him chained to a radiator somewhere with just a pen and paper. I usually enjoy his stories and while I’m not sure if his sensibility is right for a GL book, his stripped down, straight-forward writing made this first issue a good read. The stand-out here is Jesus Saiz. The cover doesn’t do justice to the smooth and fluid accuracy that he brings to the universe inside the book. It reminds me of Patrick Gleason’s work on Green Lantern Corps a few years back, but without the exaggeration. He’s a great fit for this cosmic adventure.
If someone asked me what DC’s Convergence should have been, I would have handed them Age of Ultron vs Marvel Zombies. It’s a weird and somewhat misleading title, but the story is everything that’s unique about Secret Wars. It takes place in the wasteland outside the Shield, the barrier that protects civilization on Battleworld from roaming Ultrons and ravenous zombies. It’d be hard to build a story out of those two mindless factions. But it does make an exciting backdrop for various characters from the other titles who have to make their way through this deadly region. We meet the old west version of Hank Pym (from the series 1872) as he’s being banished to the lands beyond the Shield. He meets some associates that I won’t reveal, but it definitely starts to get interesting. It’s this colliding of different realties that Convergence never quite delivered on. Secret Wars is beginning to tease the idea in several series now, as the various domains on Battleworld are starting to overlap and become aware of one another. I love it.
Fair warning, We Are Robin might make me put on my grumpy old man hat. It’s a solid read and anyone who’s into the current Bat-mythos should pick it up. It centers around Duke Thomas who we’ve seen in a couple of different Bat storylines. This Duke is searching for his parents who succumbed to the Joker’s recent zombie gas attack on Gotham. He’s desperate to find them and his actions bring the attention of other teenagers who’ve adopted the Robin identity. Not a bad premise, but I’m not sure if the disenfranchised teenager of the streets holds any interest for an adult reader who’s read lots & lots of comic books. Just within the Bat-world alone there’ve been more wronged young people who take it upon themselves to fight back than you could throw a batarang at. It’s too early to tell what new approach writer Lee Bermejo may bring to it, so I’ll go along for the ride to see. And I believe in the argument that some ideas are clichés for a reason – because they’re worth revisiting. Teenagers, though – m’Iright?
Infinity Gauntlet #2 was the last book in my pile before bed and I almost didn’t get to it. But I picked it up out of curiosity, to see how much further the story moved beyond the first issue. I’m so glad that I did. The Bakian family’s fight for survival pulled me back into this book immediately and I was swept up in the adventure. Young Anwen’s introduction to Nova Corps abilities gave me one of those feelings you often hope for in a good comic but is hard to find – the feeling that you too could have superpowers. A couple of familiar characters are introduced and the mystery around the status of the Infinity Gauntlet and the Stones deepens nicely. There’s an important Thanos appearance that indicates how intricate a story writers Gerry Duggan & Dustin Weaver have planned. I doubt that this is the series anyone expected from the title, but it’s a very satisfying surprise.
When news came out a few weeks ago that DC Comics would feature ads that share the same page with the story, the routine internet hubbub ensued. I’m guessing that any nerd rage was falsely inflated. I mean, this isn’t something new – both Marvel and DC would interrupt page flow with ads all the time pre-1980. Now that we’ve all seen the offending Twix ads in several books, I have to say that it’s been even less of an obstruction than I expected. Creators have simply reworked the material on those 2 pages so that they read from left to all-the-way-to the right, a composition that many modern books have used for years. Has this advertising move really upset any fans reading experience? Methinks not.
Alright kiddies, that’s it for me this week. Tune in next week for another addition of “Meanwhile at The Hall of Comics”. Wanna know what else is out this week? Check out the full list of releases at The Hall of Comics NEW RELEASE page HERE.
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