Bit of a low-key comics week for me this week, although I noticed how I picked up more Marvel than DC titles for the first time in a while (3 Marvel vs 2 DC). Sadly Phantom: The Ghost Who Walks #1 which I was really looking forward to, didn’t seem to make it to my local comic shop.
The biggest issue this week for me was probably Ms Marvel #37. It represents a huge gamble by Marvel, and I must admit, I’m quite surprised and unsure of this direction. The final issue of the End of Ms Marvel arc sees Carol, who’s powers have been increasingly unreliable, forced to push herself to her limit against her opponent. Doing so however pushes her powers over the edge, and unable to control the energy, she explodes and dies.
While I’m not a regular reader of the Ms Marvel title (just picking up the odd issues that look interesting), I’m finding this move a big gamble by Marvel. With Carol dead, Moonstone will become the title character of this book. Carol had only really recently been brought back to the fore-front of the Marvel Universe as Ms Marvel, so to replace her at a point where she’s just regained popularity seems a strange move. Granted we don’t know quite where they’re going with this plot (other than Moonstone taking over the book), but I can’t help but think this has the potential to backfire badly. The next issue stands to lose the Carol fans unless there’s a big twist ahead (while Carol exploded, we’ve seen energy-based heroes come back after dissipating before).
Of course, its also likely that that this is exactly the kind of thing they’re planning, and by using Moonstone and Dark Reign as a focus point in this way, they’ll attract a lot of attention to the title before Carol comes back. Heck, I’m blogging about it, and I won’t be the only one 🙂
On the DC side of things, I picked up Oracle: The Cure #1, and Wonder Woman #30. Again, I’m unsure where DC are going with Barbara Gordon and Oracle at the moment, so that means I’m approaching this series with a degree of trepidation, however its a solid first issue. With only three issues in this mini, I would have perhaps expected a faster pace in the first issue and a bit more happening, but nonetheless its always fun to see the Oracle/Calculator rivalry. I’ve mentioned before how much I love just the concept of Oracle, and so the Calculator as the villain’s equivalent has always been something I’ve really enjoyed. Here we see them both attempting to track down the remains of the Anti-Life Equation from the internet. While Barbara’s motives aren’t clear (possibly she’s after it to make sure no one else gets it), the Calculator’s seem to be tied in with his daughter being in hospital. I’ll definitely be picking up the remaining two issues of this series to see where it goes (indeed, this is probably the only Battle for the Cowl tie-in I’m picking up).
Wonder Woman #30 continues the Rise of the Olympian storyline. While I freely admit I’ve just been buying Wonder Woman for this story, which sounded interesting, I’m very much enjoying it. Unsurprisingly Gail Simone brings her usual excellent grasp of the characters as she turns Wonder Woman’s world upside down. In this issue, the focus is very much on Wonder Woman’s rage at what the society have done by unleashing Genocide, and her fury is brilliantly captured as she tears through the Society’s headquarters (the highlight of the issue for me was probably the image of Faust putting on his coat the minute he saw Diana approaching on the security cameras 🙂 ). While not appearing in this issue, I’ve been enjoying Gail’s handling of Diana, Donna and Cassie in this story. Its nice to see the three of them together.
My Marvel purchases are rounded off with War Machine #4 and Captain America #48. War Machine’s a series I’ve been enjoying a lot, although it has to be said, some of its been a bit daft so far, with Jim’s new ability to rebuild himself from nearby machinary (the half-tank War Machine was so over-the-top it worked, but I think I’d like to see this ability used in moderation throughout the run). There’s heavy Dark Reign influence here as well, with Ares forcing Jim to examine his motivations for his recent actions in probably the most effective scenes of this series so far. While it would’ve been easy to just through in Ares as an obligatory Dark Reign tie-in, Greg Pak really makes great use of him, as we see him break through to Jim in a way none of his friends have been able to since Jim became a cyborg. Jim’s conversation with Bethany where he says he’s ready to become human again works well, as it contrasts nicely with his denial of his humanity throughout the opening issues.
Captain America continues to be one of the best comics on the market. The finale of the recent storyline sees Bucky, Black Widow and Namor teaming up to rescue the body of the original Human Torch, who’s been turned into a bioweapon by an insane scientist, determined to reduce Earth’s population. Again, like War Machine, its the character moments that probably best define this issue, with Bucky determined to try and face some of the actions he committed while the Winter Soldier. Saying that, I’ll be glad to see him back and continuing to establish himself as Cap in future issues. I’m really loving the pairing of Bucky and Black Widow in this title as well. These two characters work well together, and I similarly love the way Ed Brubaker has weaved in events from World War II throughout his run. Its really given the title a sense of its history and helped give it a unique voice.