Monday, August 25, 2008
What I Read This Week
Batman And The Outsiders #10 -- Chuck Dixon finishes his run on the Outsiders with a tale about extra-terrestrial horror in the middle of Gotham City. The strong action-adventure plot comes off the rails, however, with the weird resolution, as the Outsiders seem very quick to jump to the conclusion of Batman's death. It feels shoehorned in to accomodate the concept of "R.I.P." if not the actual execution of Morrison's story. The plot of it -- that Batgirl is Batman's "insurance policy," and that the other Outsiders are not happy with that -- makes sense, but the way it is expressed here is just muddled. Be interesting to see what Tieri does with this. Lopez's art is, as typical, quite nice, esepcially his 5 O'Clock Shadow-sporting Dark Knight.
Guardians Of The Galaxy #4 -- A Secret Invasion tie-in, of sorts. It's got Skrulls in it, but it doesn't really reference the invasion of Earth, but I guess it's close enough. Anyway, after the recent rash of security breaches at Knowhere, the Council is growing tired of the Guardians not following their protocol. And to add another pile of fun, a bombing suggests the presence of one or more Skrull infiltrators inside the haven. Will the paranoia and mistrust tear the Guardians apart before the holes in space get a chance to do it? Being a tie-in-in-name-only helps this issue out tremendously, as the basic "Skrull paranoia" plot works just fine. Some new revelations on how Quill brought the team together as well as the inner workings of Knowhere help build the title, while more interaction between Rocket Racoon and Cosmo is always a treat. DnA and Pelletier continue to turn up the quality on this cosmic comic.
Iron Man #32 -- The conclusion of "With Iron Hands," and, to a degree, the end of the "Director of SHIELD" era. With twin threats -- one from his past and one from his present -- bearing down on him, Tony Stark must make the decisions and then execute them lest the tiny former Soviet republic of Kirikistan be turned into nothing but smoking rubble. Some have called this an "inventory story," which makes no sense since it is in four parts. It's a story, you know, the reason why we have solo titles and not just event comics. Anyway, Stuart Moore delivers a solid final chapter in his tale, mixing both plots together satisfactorially and telling a compelling story of Tony Stark, Director of SHIELD. The title shifts to featuring War Machine for the next few months, and then will be cancelled and relaunched as a solo series for Rhodey, which I am happy about. But this series was a superior comic month in and month out, especially after the Knaufs took control. When Civil War ended, I was concerned that the new direction would be a flop, but instead it was a homerun. But like so many of Tony's new directions, this one only lasted as long as it suited Marvel, and not the story. But that's alright, because the stories themselves are still great fun and aren't going anywhere any time soon.
Flash #243 -- "Fast Money" wraps up, as does the main subplot for the first thirteen issues worth of the revitalized series as Tom Peyer and Freddie Williams II finish up on the title. In Gorilla City, the West family has just suffered a terrible blow, but Wally must still face the menace of Grodd, or else the suffering will only continue! A pretty good resolution to the story arc, which went in all sorts of unexpected directions from the somewhat commonplace (for The Flash) beginning. It's not the best story I have ever read but enjoyable, and Peyer has a good grip on Wally. Which is why, of course, he is leaving the title. Oh well!
The Pick Of The Pile is Iron Man. The two DCs this week seemed shorter and less complex than the two Marvels, and of them,Shellhead's mag was just slightly better.
So what did YOU read this week?