The Weekly Round-Up #355 With The Vision #11, Batman #7, Chew #58, Civil War II #5, Seven to Eternity #1 & More

Best Comic of the Week:

The Vision #11 – I guess everything in this series takes place before Civil War II, seeing as the heroes who assemble to stop the Vision from killing Victor Mancha in this issue are not all likely to stick together anymore.  Anyway, this is a pretty serious issue, as the Vision heads out to seek justice for his son, Virginia has a truthful chat with Viv, and a number of characters make guest appearances.  Most exciting thing about this issue?  In the 616, there’s an Omega the Unknown movie, starring Simon Williams.  I am really going to miss this title when it ends next month, and think that Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta deserve a lot of credit for putting together one of the most unique Marvel comics I’ve read in over a decade.

Quick Takes:

Astonishing Ant-Man #12 – Scott Lang is on trial, and while he’s secured She-Hulk to defend him, no one expects that the new Beetle, his occasional lover and partner in crime, will work for the DA’s office to send him away.  Nick Spencer’s excellent plotting has made this one of Marvel’s most unexpected and enjoyable books.  I think there’s only one or two issues left to go, which is a shame, as this has been a great read.

Batman #7 – I think it’s way too soon for there to be crossovers in the DC Rebirth universe.  To begin with, I’m shaky on whether or not I want to commit to this title, and having it tie in to two other titles would have been the thing that caused me to drop it, were those two other titles not books that I’m enjoying more than this one.  Secondly, it’s strange that the creative team has shifted for this issue, bringing in Steve Orlando as a co-writer/scripter (which I wouldn’t complain about, because I really like his work), and bringing in Riley Rossmo as artist, who is kind of a terrible choice, despite his being very far away from the DC house style of regular series artist David Finch.  Thirdly, I don’t want to read Batman comics where our hero flies his jet around to fight giant monsters.  That’s not what Batman’s about.  Anyway, with all of these strikes against it, I suppose this issue is a little better than I expected, but I didn’t expect much.  If the next Batman arc doesn’t improve drastically, I’m going to dropping this title.

Black Hammer #3 – As we continue to get to know the characters better, this issue puts a lot of the focus on Barbalien, the Martian Manhunter analogue, who has reasons other than just being an alien for why he doesn’t always fit in, especially in the small-town environment he now finds himself trapped in.  I like what Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston are doing with this book, even if, over three issues, not a whole lot has happened yet.

BPRD Hell on Earth #145 – As we get closer to the big end of this series, we see the final evacuation of the BPRD base in Colorado, and a significant conversation between Panya and Kate.  This book feels very drawn out lately, but Mike Mignola and John Arcudi can still hit strong character moments as well as anyone can.

Chew #58 – We’re getting very close to the end of the series, and, if the alien sky writing is to be believed, the world.  To save everything, Tony is expected to eat his wife (and no, a little bit of her won’t do the job) so that he can absorb her powers and use them to kill anyone on the planet who has eaten chicken (recently, I hope).  He’s not prepared to become a mass murderer, although I would think that allowing the planet to be destroyed when he is the only one who could fix things makes him a mass murderer of many more degrees of magnitude.  Anyway, Tony tries to enjoy his last day with Amelia, but his family has to intervene.  It’s a nice, quiet issue, before what I assume will be two final issues of mayhem.

Civil War II #5 – The heroes are finally fighting against one another, which is kind of the point of a Civil War series, but that’s absolutely all that happens here, until Ulysses mucks things up again with his powerset.  As always with this title, it’s not exactly bad, but it’s not enough of a blockbuster to be particularly memorable.  The focus on Brian Michael Bendis’s characters, especially shoehorning the Guardians of the Galaxy into a prominent place in the story, is kind of annoying.  This has been a disappointment.

Dept. H #6 – No one ever gets a moment’s rest deep under the ocean in this series, as the crew of the undersea base rush to assess the damage caused by an explosion last issue, and as Mia begins to wonder just how much of the chaos of the last few issues has been done to distract her from her real purpose there – discovering who murdered her father.  Matt Kindt’s story is not as complex as Mind MGMT was, but it’s very entertaining.

Empress #6 – The penultimate issue of this series sees the family reunited just as they get ready to face their final challenge.  I’ve been getting a lot of enjoyment out of this series by Mark Millar and Stuart Immonen, even if this issue’s twist was telegraphed ages ago.

Horizon #3 – I decided to give this series about aliens infiltrating the Earth to stop it from trying to take over their homeworld a try, and so far I’m liking what I’m seeing, although I wish it wasn’t quite so decompressed.

International Iron Man #7 – Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev wrap up the story of Tony Stark’s biological parents, and also this series, as it becomes more grist for the Marvel relaunch mill.  I’m a little curious about the whole adoption angle, and what Tony’s relationship with his mother will be like, but at the same time, I think I’m done with the weird pacing and randomness of Bendis’s Iron Man books.  This story is being continued in the new Invincible Iron Man book, which is also going to feature Riri Somethingorother as the new Iron Man, but called Ironheart (which sounds like a Steampunk Thundercat to me), while Maleev goes on to work on a Dr. Doom Is Iron Man title, and instead of trying to keep it all straight, I think I’m going to just stop buying it all.  Much simpler, really.

Invisible Republic #11 – The third arc of this excellent series begins by jumping ahead a ways in the storytelling, as Croger travels to Earth to promote his book, which is really Maia Reveron’s journal.  We get a good look at what Earth is like in this universe (it’s not pretty), and learn that the moon of Avalon has been more or less quarantined.  We also begin to learn about Maia’s time on Kent, a very different world than the one where she grew up.  Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman are telling a very complex and rich story through this series, and I find it very rewarding.  

Karnak #5 – Warren Ellis is, I think, trying to make some sort of point about ego through his use of Karnak, but with issues coming out so rarely, and the story not being very interesting outside of the philosophy he is trying to impart through it, it’s next to impossible to care.  There’s one issue left to go, and I think it might be the last Warren Ellis Big Two comic I care to read.  I’d much rather stick with The Injection or Trees.

Manifest Destiny #23 – The Sasquatch arc no longer has Sasquatches in it, but it does have a tense negotiation with the Teton people as Lewis and Clark prepare to camp for the winter, and in Helm’s journal, the secret to why the Teton people are not happy to meet Americans.  This series has taken a few unexpected turns over the last couple of years, and I love that I can’t often predict where it is headed.

Micronauts #6 – The first story arc ends with the team solidifying around Oz, and relying on an old Micronauts trope, although the Enigma Force is now an Entropy Storm.  I’m enjoying this title more than I expected, and I hope that whatever the Revolution event is all about doesn’t wreck things.

Nightwing #5 – So just as Nightwing’s title was establishing its relationship to the Batbooks, and solidifying a purpose for the character, it gets totally subsumed into a needless crossover that does more than a little to deaden the emotional impact of last week’s issue of Detective Comics.  While we’re all so busy congratulating DC Comics for publishing comics people actually want to read again, they are determined to prove that they haven’t changed all that much.  It’s disappointing.

Power Man & Iron Fist #8 – This issue is less silly than the last couple, as Luke tries to figure out what to do about Danny and various innocent people being locked up in jail, and that leads to a conflict with Carol Danvers and her various groups of superheroes who support her side in the Civil War.  The tie-in is starting to take the shine off this book, and I’m wondering if I should be considering dropping it.

Rom #3 – I continue to enjoy this fresh take on the classic character, but I wish that the Revolution event wasn’t affecting things so early in the run (I’d rather it not happen at all, to be honest).  I like the way Chris Ryall and Christos Gage have adapted the central ideas of the Marvel series, but changed them to make them more fresh and modern.  I also love the Bill Sienkiewicz cover!

Rumble #14 – Things are very chaotic in this issue, and seeing as where the chaos bar is usually set for this comic, that’s saying a lot.  John Arcudi and James Harren are putting in some very good work with this unusual urban fantasy series.

Seven to Eternity #1 – Rick Remender launches a new fantasy series, with the unparalleled Jerome Opeña, and as is always the case with a first issue from this writer, it’s pretty interesting.  Remender leaves a lot to the reader to piece together in this world, as we see a stubborn family gifted with magical abilities finally face the consequences of their choices when the Mud King’s forces come to get them.  This book looks wonderful, and has a lot of information in it, while also providing a good sense of the main characters.  I’m looking forward to this one continuing for a while.

The Wicked + The Divine: 1831 AD – Kieron Gillen and guest artist Stephanie Hans takes us back a couple hundred years to take a look at an earlier iteration of the Pantheon.  Gillen presents a variation on the famous night in Switzerland where Mary Shelley told the story of Frankenstein, although now the Shelleys are gods.  It’s a good issue, reminding me of the kind of stuff that Neil Gaiman used to do in Sandman, and helps readers understand what role Ananke has always played in these stories.  It’s pretty, but Hans’s art often leaves me a little cold.

Comics I Would Have Bought if Comics Weren’t So Expensive:

Agents of SHIELD #9

All-New Wolverine #12

Amazing Spider-Man #18

Britannia #1

Civil War II: Choosing Sides #6

Civil War II: X-Men #4

Dark Horse Presents #26

Doctor Fate #16

Guardians of the Galaxy #12

Hellboy and the BPRD 1954 Black Sun #1

Mighty Thor #11

Rom Revolution #1

Superman #7

Uncanny X-Men #13

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