This Week's Haul: Long Live Sean McKeever!

I read a lot of really good comics this week! Here's what I thought of some of them:

Spider-Man Loves Mary-Jane #20

The squeeing hit inaudible decibels this week as I read this. I mean, look!:

They're gonna maybe hold hands!!! Eeeeeeee!!!

Firestar, I love ya, but get out the way! Harry, you suck and go die somewhere. Now all the excess baggage has been removed and MJ and Peter are totally gonna hook up! It's gonna happen! Any issue now!

Except! Ack! It's Sean McKeever's last issue! The letter at the back almost made me cry (it was really nice that he was able to mention his upcoming run on Teen Titans, though). Oh, Sean McKeever, thank-you so much for creating this series. Just yesterday a young girl in the comic shop shyly picked up the first Mary-Jane book, and I was like, "Ohmygod, that's my favourite comic. You should buy it. You'll love it. If you don't, I'll eat it." Because, although I don't normally eat comics, I have a feeling that this one would taste like ice-cream. I await Terry Moore's run with interest and, like most MJ fans, some amount of uncertainty. But I'm sure it will be great. The foundation is so solid, with such a great cast of characters, I think it will be awesome to the end. Everyone was sad when Miyazawa stopped doing the art, but David Hahn has been doing a great job.

Oh, and PS: I love having the Mini Marvels back-ups. Such a great idea.

Countdown Week 42

This was the surprise of the week. As you may recall, last week I said I wasn't going to buy this anymore because I just haven't really enjoyed more than a couple of pages of any issue. Plus, the overall arc is a confusing mess (someone in the store yesterday asked us what Countdown was about and we could not answer that question, except with laughter).

The point I am getting to in a roundabout way is that I enjoyed pretty much every page of this issue. From Trickster and Piper's cuffed-together Midnight Run-style adventures:

to Holly's conversation with Harley to Jimmy's decision to be a super hero to whatever Mary Marvel and the Riddler were doing. Plus, bonus Ryan Choi content, and an odd little scene between Batman and Karate Kid which TOTALLY sounds like a lover's spat:

"Sure. Go. Whatever. I don't know why you think I'll care."
"Fine. I just thought I'd say good-bye, but I don't know why I bothered wasting my time."
"Good then. Go."
"I will."
"Fine. Bye."
"See if I care."

So I was wondering why I was enjoying this issue so much, and then I check the writer and AH! Of course! It's Sean McKeever!

And Forerunner!

(Note: I can't even imagine how challenging it would be to be given Countdown as your first writing assignment at DC. Soooo confusing).

The New Avengers #32

And now Bendis Theatre presents: The Avengers as a Marvel Comics Message Board

Spider-Man: As a re-cap, Elektra is a Skrull. Let's talk about that.
Wolverine: Any one of us could be a Skrull, and I will now give detailed reasons as to why, based on recent events.
Dr Strange: Maybe you're a Skrull, Wolverine.
Wolverine: I certainly could be. And here's an amusing and surreal list of reasons why, including the fact that I am in every single comic on the stands right now.
Spider-Man: So what does this all mean?
Everyone: Shrug. War, maybe?
Spider-Woman: We should take this dead Skrull to Tony Stark.
Luke Cage: Tony Stark is totally a Skrull.
Hawkeye: Backed. Who else is a Skrull?
Spider-Woman: The president?
Everyone: Skrull, Skrull, Skrull
Everyone: Mercifully distracted by plane going down.
Iron Fist: Dr Strange, can you do some magic or something to save us?
Dr Strange: Nope!

And the plane crashed and they are probably all fine. Or Skrulls.

Sub-Mariner #2

I don't have much to say about this. I do want to mention that it falls into one of my favourite sub-categories of comics: Iron Man getting his ass handed to him.

I also want to say that I was totally following and enjoying this series until this moment:

Well...when I heard about this Sub-Mariner mini-series, I certainly never thought I'd see that guy in it.

Ehn. They're probably all Skrulls.

Justice Penis Society of America #7

Well, clearly some quick photo-shopping was done here to reduce Citizen Steel's controversial package. Here's the original:

So I guess I can also expect that Mary-Jane statue to be wearing a comfy sweat suit when it comes out and she'll be studying for the LSAT exam.

They can smudge out Citizen Steel's junk all they want and it still won't distract from the fact that the dude is HOT.

Power Girl knows what I'm talkin' about.

Yeaaaah. (I love how Eaglesham draws Powergirl. I really do).

I also love how Eaglesham drew the alternate cover for this issue, which is the one that I bought:

Hilarious! And even better is the subplot that it refers to: Superman and Starman chatting it up while scarfing sloppy joes and milk at the mental hospital cafeteria.

Oh man I love this comic.

Green Arrow Year One #1

I thought this was great. I'm a big Green Arrow fan and Andy Diggle and Jock do a nice job of updating his origin. It starts with Oliver as a cocky, thrill-seeking billionaire with a Robin Hood complex. By the end of this issue he's been double-crossed and thrown off a yacht in the Pacific, so we can expect to see him learning to survive on a deserted island in the next issue, honing his archery skills in the process.

I liked this little fun piece of foreshadowing:

As can be expected from these guys, it's a very macho comic and I expect we'll be seeing a lot of violence and action in the next three issues. And beautiful covers.

Superman #664

Continuing the very long Busiek story-arc about Arion' s bleak prophecy about Superman and the other aliens on Earth inadvertently destroying humanity while trying to save it. In this issue, which I really enjoyed, Arion magically takes control of Superman...but only for a second. Superman is able to overcome the spell using techniques learned from Zatanna. Unfortunately for Superman, no one else knows that, and he has to deal with wave after wave of emergency anti-Superman measures.

First comes the federal government's Squad-K, a tech-heavy bunch of soldiers and vehicles designed to take Superman down if necessary. Then comes Prankster with his own anti-Superman weapon:

A giant pie filled with lead and electric jolts. Well, that's something else!

Then the Justice League AND Justice Society show up:

(No one invited Geo-Force). Superman, awesomely, has to yell to get it through Hal's thick head that he isn't being magically controlled:

Hey, shouldn't Hal be kinda busy off in space with that forget it.

Superman takes a moment to wonder what Batman is doing:

In the end, Superman talks it out with the leader of Squad-K, throws Prankster in
jail, and vows to hunt down Arion and stop...whatever it is that Arion is doing. I honestly kinda forget. But I did like this issue. A lot.

Nexus #99

Hells yeah! New Nexus!

Nexus is a comic that I've only gotten into in the last year, which turned out to be excellent timing what with the new series just starting up after a ten year hiatus. If you've never read Nexus, I can't recommend it enough. It's just a really well-written and beautifully drawn comic with awesome characters. In space. I think a lot of people are intimidated by it for one reason or another, but it's very easy to follow. I really find that, as far as outer-space stories go, this one is very straight-forward. Green Lantern Corps is more confusing than this by far.

This is issue #99, but it could work as a jumping-on point. I'm sure they are hoping new fans use it as a jumping on point. I would recommend reading the three original black and white comics, which is collected in a small out-of-print but easy-to-track-down book called Original Nexus, then reading the single issue Nexus: The Origin, and then the Alien Justice three-part series. Seriously, you read those seven comics and you will be all set to enjoy the new series. Then you'll be able to read amazing pages like this and fully appreciate them:

Seriously, not as confusing as it looks.

As an aside, I think that women are better represented in Nexus comics than in any other comics anywhere. Ever. Actually, people are just generally better represented. And Nexus himself is an amazingly well-developed character.

My goal is to get more people into Nexus. As I keep stressing, I just got on board myself and it was really easy. Great superheroes exist outside DC and Marvel.

Green Lantern #21

I think the good thing about this issue is that it more or less brings people up to speed who may have missed the sold-out Sinestro Corps one-shot. And it does it in a non-boring way for people who have read it.

I am trying to think of things to say about this and I got nothing. It's good. Read it. Parallax is gonna pound on the Green Lantern Corp. You don't want to miss that.

Alright, that about wraps it up. I read other stuff, but I have nothing really to say about it. Oh! Except Superman Confidential, which I wrote a review for that will be posted on Comic Addiction shortly. I also have a copy of the new Minx book, Clubbing, which I haven't read yet, but I'll let you know what I think of it.

Today is my friend Paul Hammond's birthday. He's a talented artist and one half of local screenprinting superstars, YoRodeo. You should check out their stuff at their website. If you like cool art and stuff.