Two Guys Talking About Marvel and DC Comics Released This Week (Green Lantern #67, X-Men Schism #1, Captain America #1, New Avengers #14)

AARON GLAZER:
An event kicked off this week and an event ended! Both, somehow were better than the two big ones getting all the hype.

GREY SCHERL:
I wouldn’t go that far….but then again, I’m quite enjoying Flashpoint…everything was worlds better than Fear Itself though, which actually seemed to drag down the quality of books tying into it.

AARON GLAZER:
Let’s start with the event that ended, and the book you reviewed, Green Lantern #67 by Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke.
Without spoiling the very end, what happens this issue? How does the War conclude?

GREY SCHERL:
Big time action, everything gets wrapped up, and the status quo is altered majorly in unexpected ways (unless you’re someone who reads news with spoilers). War of the GLs ended as strongly, if not stronger, than the Sinestro Corps War, and that’s high praise.

AARON GLAZER:
While it wasn’t quite up to the SinCorps War, for me, it was still strong. Given that John Stewart, who took a major, damaging action earlier in the arc, has something new to angst about, were you at all surprised at how little he played into the conclusion?

GREY SCHERL:
To be honest, not at all. Johns may love writing all of these characters, but he’s really good in books like this at keeping the focus on who actually pushes the story forward. Guy and John would really have only served to slow down the pace of this issue, and he wisely didn’t keep too much focus on them. At the same time, just like in the SCW, he showed us that he does have a hell of a lot of respect for Kyle Rayner.

AARON GLAZER:
Kyle seems to get great moments, but the really big moment, and the only actual character development, are reserved for his pet characters, Hal and Sinestro.

GREY SCHERL:
Johns really does show his hand in the GL events, SCW ended with Hal, Kyle, and Sinestro getting all the love, and so does the War of the GLs.

AARON GLAZER:
Without giving away too much, what do you make of Sinestro’s new status quo?

GREY SCHERL:
Honestly? It’s a character defining moment, and the reasons why it happened stem from one of the best character moments that I’ve seen out of any character in the big two in a while. Sinestro has the biggest realization of his entire life and it only serves to make this already amazing character even deeper. His new status quo will be interesting, but it’s the character arc that I’m most interested in. I’d honestly say he got more forward character development in one issue than Hal has in the last few years.

AARON GLAZER:
I like that he’s been promising this since the end of the Sinestro Corps War and no one took it seriously. Overall, I buy it a hell of alot more than I do the Hal development.

AARON GLAZER:
What occurs to Hal doesn’t work for me unless it plays into the Guardians discovering fear. Otherwise, he’s saved them in two major crisises and there’s no reason to assume there aren’t more coming. For creatures of logic, the Guardians actions can only be justified by fear.

GREY SCHERL:
The Guardians are easily the most flawed characters in the book, but it’s hardly a new thing, and at the same time, it’s also the most frustrating thing. These little blue midgets are the most arrogant dicks in the galaxy and no matter what happens they refuse to pull their heads out of their asses. I honestly can’t understand how Ganthet and Sayd (whatever happened to her?) even came from this bunch.

AARON GLAZER:
I just wish they were written with some consistently. They are too often dicks for the sake of being dicks. They aren’t evil; that’s just poor characterization.

GREY SCHERL:
And for wise and all knowing beings they’re completely incompetent.

AARON GLAZER:
Lazy writing. So, I take it you’re with me and not in love with the Hal situation? I maen this isn’t a character I even like, but that doesn’t excuse shoddy handling.

GREY SCHERL:
It’s weird, I think the in character rationale is WTF Flag worthy, but I adore the new status quo and the potential it gives us.
I feel like we could have gone for one more issue, splitting this one after the end of the fight and giving the last three pages more room than…three pages.
At the same time, the ending is just awesome in that you don’t really see it coming and then bam, here it is and now it’s over.

AARON GLAZER:
I’m honestly just hoping Hal isn’t in the new book too much. Rating for the finale?

GREY SCHERL:
I gave it a nine and I’m sticking with it. This was so much better than I had anticipated it to be and I came out only frustrated that it’s two months until the next issue.
I actually hope Hal finally gets some Hal time in the book, as Johns hasn’t give him ANY of it since the SCW.

AARON GLAZER:
I think I’m going with an 8. It was very good, if the wrap up left me a bit cold. I dislike Hal time, because I can’t stand the character, but I understand the difference.

AARON GLAZER:
From an ending storyline to one beginning, it’s time to discuss X-Men: Schism #1.

GREY SCHERL:
I’m actually really torn on it, a lot of cool stuff happened, and our X-Men remained in character, but the plot itself just made me go “Really?”

AARON GLAZER:
How so? I thought it was very logical. There’s nothing to really spoil here, so feel free to speak openly.

GREY SCHERL:
Like, I understand Sentinels are an instantly recognizable big threat, but every nation in the world openly stockpiling them and using them, thousands upon thousands of Sentinels, for less than two hundred mutants. It was ridiculous.

AARON GLAZER:
the idea was most countries already had them

GREY SCHERL:
And just like every other time they need to give mutants a big public heel turn, ONE MUTANT shows up and does something bad and everyone wants to kill all mutants.

AARON GLAZER:
Which makes sense given how famous they were. Also note how embarassed world leaders were. Embarassed leaders will do a lot to distract from their shame.

GREY SCHERL:
It’s like, why does Dr. Doom get to go do something evil and nobody tries to kill the Fantastic Four for it?

AARON GLAZER:
Because mutants are a race. The idea is that they can’t be contained or controlled.

GREY SCHERL:
This isn’t a new thing, this is an issue I’ve had for years about the entire issue.

AARON GLAZER:
I never have problems with it. There are people who every time a black man or Muslim commit a prominant crime blame the entire race. How much worse would it be if those who commited the prominant crime could kill you by looking at you?

GREY SCHERL:
And you could make the same argument for so many things that I could wonder why they don’t just put everyone in camps.

AARON GLAZER:
They absolutely try every so often, remember?

GREY SCHERL:
I understand that people hate and fear what they don’t understand, but the entire world turning that quick, all at once, and because of the actions of one guy that the other mutants obviously aren’t working with? It’s contrived, it’s a means to an end
I get sick of “Kill all mutants” when they do it every few years.

AARON GLAZER:
The world has JUST chased the mutants onto an island, giving them no safe haven in any country on the planet. They look like a militia, and they just embarassed world leaders.
The last big Sentinel story was a decade ago and not about Sentinels, really.

GREY SCHERL:
“They” didn’t do anything, ONE person did it, and because he’s a mutant they tagged it as “all mutants did it”.

GREY SCHERL:
Didn’t an army of Nimrod’s attack the X-Men last year? Or did I imagine Second Coming, where humans from the future sent sentinels back in time to kill all mutants?

AARON GLAZER:
Look, a President got caught having a blow job and started bombing another country. In the real world. Not with the crazy paranoid Marvel Universe.
And that wasn’t a Sentinel story. That was a story with Sentinels. And there was no human involved. It was Bastion and machines.

GREY SCHERL:
Alright, fine, someone else wanted to kill all mutants, it was still a kill all mutants story.
I’m sick and tired of kill all mutants stories, they’re tired, they’re boring, they’re predictable.

AARON GLAZER:
This isn’t a kill all mutants story. This isn’t even really a Sentinel story yet. It’s a humans hate and feat mutants and take action story.
It’s closer to the Purifiers than anything else. But instead of being told for the tired theme’s take, it’s being told to give an outside force enough tension to cause questioning between Wolverine and Cyclops.

GREY SCHERL:
Someone dies, maybe two people, there’s a falling out, books are canned, books are launched, status quo change, and then a year or so later we’re back to normal.
The fact that an army of sentinels is most likely going to bum rush Utopia just reinforces the kill all mutants aspect, hell, the fact that SENTINELS are there reinforces it.
The only time Sentinels haven’t immediately led to that was when they put the crappy ONE Sentinels at the front door and made the mansion an internment camp for the 198.

GREY SCHERL:
God that story sucked.

AARON GLAZER:
I geniunely disagree. First, I don’t think anyone dies. Second, that’s the state of all comics always. The fun is in the journey. Can you tell a compelling story where Wolverine and Cyclops fall out? Especially when Wolverine is portrayed as pushed to the edge by all his responsibilities? I say yes. That’s what the story is ABOUT. Stuff needs to happen to get us there.

GREY SCHERL:
Hey, I’m all for the prospect of what Schism could lead to, I just wish Aaron hadn’t tapped the generic X-story well for ideas on how to get to it.

AARON GLAZER:
Since the shift is intended as thematic – two opposing idealogies – then we need something to bring those idealogies to the fore, i.e. Sentinels and the Hellfire Club, since both represent incredibly varied aspects of how to get to that point.

GREY SCHERL:
I think he could have come up with a more original method of achieving the same goal.
The Hellfire Club, on the other hand, now that intrigues me.

AARON GLAZER:
There’s nothing in the X-Men lexicon but Magneto that suggests this idea as strongly as Sentinels. And, again, the giant killer robots and world against X-Men haven’t been done on a grand scale in recent memory.

GREY SCHERL:
Well, there’s the fact that they were kicked off the country and onto a little island after having their public image destroyed like, two years ago. After Osborn made America hate them.
And giant killer robots tried to kill all mutants last year.

AARON GLAZER:
Combine the 2. Make them 1 core story like at the start of X-Men. When’s the last time we even saw classic Sentinels? When’s the last time Sentinels were even directed by humans and governments? When’s the last time the WORLD took an active hand against mutants?

GREY SCHERL:
I haven’t missed classic Sentinels, to be honest, they were cool in the cartoon but I’ve always hated them in comics.

AARON GLAZER:
I like them when used like Magneto… as a symbol.

GREY SCHERL:
And the world taking an active hate against mutants doesn’t interest me, I’m sick of every other writer making them outcasts while the writers between them get them accepted.
Fraction get them loved by all, so Aaron and Gillen make them hated.
Morrison made them the new cool, and whoever came in after him put them in an internment camp.

AARON GLAZER:
Fraction had them loved by San Fransisco. Gillen has yet to do anything with the concept. Aaron has them hated by governments, which isn’t the same as regular people.

AARON GLAZER:
Morrison, everything he did was immediately ignored and re-written.

GREY SCHERL:
Look at the point I’m making though, look back through history, X-Men is a tug of war. Everytime a writer pulls them out of their outcast status and tries something new, the next guy immediately whips them back to status quo and then some.

AARON GLAZER:
That’d be fair were they in Westchester and fighting Magneto… but they aren’t.

GREY SCHERL:
I loved Operation Zero Tolerance, but like, three months later nobody minded having mutant neighbors anymore, and then all of the sudden everyone wants their heads on platters because Magneto has an island.

AARON GLAZER:
Generally speaking, sure it’s true, but that’s as much a function of having three major writers for like 25 years.

GREY SCHERL:
So it’s not status quo because they’re on a different coast and Magneto joined them?

GREY SCHERL:
Despite doing the exact same things aside from those two changes?

AARON GLAZER:
No, because they don’t really fight evil mutants. They’re far more of a unified mutant community, as in survival is the key.
No Magneto or Xavier’s dream.

GREY SCHERL:
The dream was a horribly outdated concept that needed to be buried, both of them.

AARON GLAZER:
Yet, besides Morrison, no one else has.

GREY SCHERL:
Buried the dreams?

AARON GLAZER:
Yes.

GREY SCHERL:
Well, that actually would open up a can of worms that contains a giant sized rant about why Marvel maintains the top spot out of complete and utter fear of ever disrupting the status quo.

GREY SCHERL:
I unleashed that on Jules last night, it was kind of funny.

AARON GLAZER:
Yet the status quo is now disrupted for the X-Men. The core concept of protecting a world that fears and hates them remains – yet, they never protect the world anymore. There aren’t two conflicting, opposite mutant ideologies anymore. The characters have changed deeply. Now, what happens to them when the world reverts to viewing them like they always were?
That, with Aaron’s voice for character, is a compelling hook.

GREY SCHERL:
They don’t protect the world? What would you call the contents of every X-Men book where they put on concepts and fight bad guys? Doing laundry?

AARON GLAZER:
They’re handling mutant business, but generally don’t really get involved in world affairs. They’re not letting people take mutant drugs, or under attack from outsiders. The only time they’ve recently gone out and been superheroes if when Gischler had them fight Lizards in NYC.

GREY SCHERL:
You don’t need two core ideologies simply because “Mutant superiority” and “Dominant race” don’t work when your race numbers under 200 people. Magneto’s message of generic super villainy of the 60’s died because they made it even more ridiculous. Xavier’s vision was created in the times of Civil Rights, and the message has resonated because any minority can take it to heart, but at the same time, you don’t typically see minorities find equalities and then one guy blows it for everyone of that skin color or religion.
There’s also Astonishing where they’ve been saving Japan from monsters, and Uncanny where they’re fighting Juggernaut who belongs to the Serpent.

AARON GLAZER:
Uncanny, the Juggernaut is coming for them. Astonishing doesn’t really count to them in contuinity generally.

GREY SCHERL:
It’s an example, the X-Men don’t need to be hated and feared to resonate, they don’t need to be backed into a corner and fighting for their lives, they just need to be well written and have an actual purpose.

Jason Aaron actually writes the hell out of these characters, he does a great job, hell, I’m buying the next issue.
I just detest the means he chose to use to reach his end.

AARON GLAZER:
He isn’t making them resonate by making them hated and feared. He’s making characters develop based on outside stimulus. The two aren’t remotely the same. Rating?

GREY SCHERL:
No, but he’s restoring them to an outdated status quo that Marvel loves to push because it’s been off and on for 50 years and Stan Lee created it. This makes it easy to keep promoting the book to casual fans who have heard of X-Men, or seen the movies, but haven’t read the book. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to see one of these teams set up back in Westchester by the end of the year, and everyone back in the mansion with Magneto as a villain by the end of next year.
That said, 7 out of 10. Because my gripes are my gripes, and I still enjoyed the hell out of most of the issue.
Oh, and Carlos Pacheco remains awesome.

AARON GLAZER:
I have a lot more faith in Gillen than you. It’s an 8 out if 10 for the story, with a bump to 9 because Pacheco drew one of the best issues of X-Men I’ve ever seen, including Hitch and Alan Davis.

GREY SCHERL:
You have faith in Gillen, but Gillen isn’t the only X writer, and editorial rules all.

AARON GLAZER:
We shall see. Aaron’s near as good. From the two events that just began to the one that refuses to end, it’s Fear Itself in The New Avengers #14.

GREY SCHERL:
One thing I want to say about New Avengers, that rings true for Avengers as well right now, is that Bendis doing the reality TV style confessional camera for a character to do exposition is brilliant and something he should have been doing for years. It perfectly compliments his writing style and helps push a story better than his usual style of pacing and plotting.

GREY SCHERL:
One thing I want to say about New Avengers, that rings true for Avengers as well right now, is that Bendis doing the reality TV style confessional camera for a character to do exposition is brilliant and something he should have been doing for years. It perfectly compliments his writing style and helps push a story better than his usual style of pacing and plotting.

GREY SCHERL:
Now, at the same time, aside from a few random moments, the reality TV style confessional camera was the best part of the entire issue. This wasn’t a very good issue.

AARON GLAZER:
The issue certainly stumbled along, and while I like the reality TV for this arc, it would be overbearing if we got it constantly. Know what would work for Bendis, though? Thought bubbles.

GREY SCHERL:
Spider-Man bitching out Victoria Hand, and some of the fight were cool, but for the most part I read this issue and kept wanting to call you an asshole for telling me to hurry up and read it so we could talk about it.

GREY SCHERL:
You’d think so, but Bendis used thought bubbles in Mighty Avengers and it was horrible.

AARON GLAZER:
I didn’t like Spidey quitting because of Hand. How is that responsible?
Complaining, sure, but he shouldn’t be willing to leave his friends to her devices. It’s out of character.

GREY SCHERL:
Well, he’s still on the other Avengers and FF, he really didn’t need this team. He should be on one Avengers team, not both.

AARON GLAZER:
Yes, but that isn’t the point.

GREY SCHERL:
And I’d actually recommend this past weeks Amazing Spider-Man, because if they tied in the events of that issue it would make for a much better story and really do a lot of good for explaining his motivations.

AARON GLAZER:
The point is he thinks his friends are in danger because of this woman. If he just walks away he is leaving his friends in danger.

AARON GLAZER:
Yes, but the odds that Bendis planned that are about nil.

GREY SCHERL:
For the record, in ASM #665, Betty Brant was mugged and nearly killed. The only reason she was alone for it to happen is that Peter was too busy with being Spider-Man and working to go see a movie with her on their movie night, so she went alone. What followed was the entire supporting cast showing up to wait for news on Betty’s health while Spider-Man cleaned up an entire neighborhood looking for the guy who did it. It was a great issue with some horrible Aunt May characterization and a need in story for him to say “I’m ****ing Spider-Man and I need to go beat this guys teeth in just like the guy who killed Uncle Ben, so give me five ****ing minutes.”
Being on two Avengers teams, the FF, and being Spider-Man solo almost left one of his best friends dead. I could see him leaving a team.
That said, I highly doubt Bendis read the issue, let alone factored it into his plots.

AARON GLAZER:
That would totally work. “This woman is dangerous, and I’m not dealing with it. You deal with it!” does not.

GREY SCHERL:
Yeah, that was stupid. I get him of all people not trusting her, but the fact that everyone else in that room knows his real name and his history with Norman should understand completely.
But they question and knock him for it, these people who know that her former boss has been a decade trying to ruin Spidey’s life.

AARON GLAZER:
And I hate Mockingbird. She acknowledges she’s boring, then tries to be cool for the issue, and makes me hate her more. Avengers Tower falling has no gravitas that these robots killing innocents shouldn’t.

GREY SCHERL:

Avengers Tower falling has the same impact as DC getting attacked.

AARON GLAZER:
None of this is new for the Marvel U. Mockingbird’s reaction feels faked to make Fear Itself feel important.

GREY SCHERL:
Fear Itself, capable of dragging other books into oblivion with only the faintest of ties

AARON GLAZER:
Ha. Anything else to say about the issue? Except I bet Wolverine is somehow in San Fran for Juggernaut, even as he’s here.

GREY SCHERL:
It’s a fucking mess and if anyone is on the fence about buying it they should just go buy Amazing Spider-Man #665 to get a good Spider-Man done-in-one story.

AARON GLAZER:
Rating?

GREY SCHERL:
5/10

AARON GLAZER:
Same, for which Bendis can thank Mike Deodato, who hit a home run.

AARON GLAZER:
So, that’s Fear Itself New Avengers… how about the book that somehow ignored Fear Itself, Captain America #1.

GREY SCHERL:
Captain America took me two read throughs. One to pick it apart, and one to realize what I was holding.

Brubaker delivered one of the best first issues I’ve seen in a while, completely accessible for readers old and new.
At the same time, he also went back to the World War 2 well and came out with “Here’s characters from an untold story of WWII!”

AARON GLAZER:
I’m dropping this already.
If you’ve loved Cap so far, by all means, get it. It’s more of the same. But I cannot take every single arc being backward facing.

GREY SCHERL:
You can tell this book was launched a week before the movie comes out. It feels like the traditional Marvel marketing scheme.

AARON GLAZER:
I love that they just ignore comic fans…. Movie fans aren’t going to find this in droves; they never do. Cap’s partner just died again, and we have it about someone else from the war who died.
I do not like being marginalized by comic companies and I don’t like reductive storytelling.
Two strikes. Care to guess on the third?

GREY SCHERL:
Bru confirmed on Twitter today that Bucky fallout is coming after the first arc.
Is the third strike that it’s yet another secret history of WWII story?

GREY SCHERL:
This is like, Bru’s third or fourth.

AARON GLAZER:
Yep. 1. They don’t care to deal with a major event in Cap’s life. 2. It puts Steve back in costume. 3. More WW2!
I’m so done. Anything about the story? It’s more mysterious WW2 enemies who we’ll learn about in more flashbacks. More to add?

GREY SCHERL:
McNiven and Bru writing Nick and Dum Dum are the best parts of the issue.
Nick Fury should be in Captain America, and he felt right being there.

AARON GLAZER:
Bru (or Rucka) would write a crazy good Fury series. But we got Secret Warriors, so no complaints.

GREY SCHERL:
Secret Warriors has like, one or two issues left.

AARON GLAZER:
So, time to get Bru on the ball with the new Fury series!

GREY SCHERL:
Fury is moving over here it looks like.
GREY SCHERL:
7.5, for a first issue it did a damn good job, the art is gorgeous, and it’s readable despite the complaints.
I expect the score to drop to the 6 range by next issue though.
If and when we see it.

AARON GLAZER:
6. It was a solid effort of stuff we’ve seen before.

AARON GLAZER:
That’s it for this week! Keep it at ComicsNexus.com for all your comics coverage!

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