Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My Monthly Stash - May 2014

As you can see from the unusually short list that follows, I didn’t do a whole lot of comic reading in May.  I was…distracted.  You see, after a lengthy hiatus, I resumed playing my game of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on the Wii.  I love the Zelda games- this one in particular, but I got hung up on the Cave of Ordeals a couple of years ago and took a longer than expected break.  Suffice it to say, after much cursing and loss of pixelated life, the Cave has been bested, the Palace of Twilight explored and Zant defeated.  I might have even beat Gannon by now if it weren’t for the added distraction of binge-viewing House M.D. on Netflix.  Too much media for this glutton to consume! 

A Paltry Pile
May 2014
Iron Man #23
Thor: God of Thunder #20
Loki: Agent of Asgard #3
All-New X-Factor #6-7
Moon Knight #3
Cyclops #1
Original Sin #0-1


Iron Man” #23 officially kicks off the “Rings of the Mandarin” storyline which has been brewing steadily throughout the preceding “Iron Metropolis” arc and “The Accursed” over in “Thor: God of Thunder.” With Malekith in possession of one, and seeking after the remainder of the Mandarin’s rings, the stage is set for one of those ‘Acts of vengeance” type tales wherein the hero is up against a foe from outside of his usual rogues’ gallery- which I normally love.  This issue was a solid enough start, full of decent art, appropriate secondary character plotline development and guest appearances, though it was hampered by an overabundance of  new-reader-friendly expositional caption boxes.  Also, I don’t completely buy Tony’s reasons for not getting Thor involved.  Let’s see how this plays out.

In “Thor: God of Thunder,” future King Thor dukes it out with Gramps-lactus, while present day Thor tries to impress his new girlfriend by demolishing the Minotaur’s pollution centers.  Fun!

Loki: Agent of Asgard” takes a darker turn as old, evil Loki recounts (and dabbles directly in) the origin of the sword Gram and Sigurd, first hero of Asgard.  I like the “Tales of Asgard” approach, but issue to issue, this book is tonally confused.  Might be dropping this after first arc ends.

 All-New X-Factor” #6-7 basically deals with some of Cypher’s emotional baggage from the “Fight the Future” arc that concluded the most recent volume of “New Mutants.”  Doug is suicidal, Warlock is working for his father, the villainous Magus, and X-Factor is confused as to what they should do about it.  In the end, Doug and Warlock join the team and Magus is left alone since technically he’s done nothing wrong.  The team is now essentially assembled, so of course they head off half-cocked on a rescue mission that isn’t quite what it seems.  At its heart, David’s X-Factor has always been more about the personal, character connections and that’s what makes it great.

Moon Knight” #3 continues the weird with MK having to bust out a special suit of armor/raiment (that he doesn’t even remember acquiring) in order to whup a gang of punk ghosts who are beating up the living.  As odd as that sounds, it was a much better issue than #2, and it was fun to catch a glimpse of some of the ancient Egyptian artifacts that Marc has been collecting.  Also, it’s interesting to see how he’s been manipulated by Khonshu and it makes you wonder, ‘What else has he done that he doesn’t recall?”

Rucka and Dauterman’s “Cyclops” #1 was really good.  I’ve never been that big of a Scott Summers fan, but I’m enjoying the adventures of his younger, time-displaced self, and am particularly interested in seeing how his relationship with his dad progresses.  I’ve missed seeing Corsair and the Starjamers around, but I’ve gotta ask, “What’s the deal with Hepzibah’s weird spacesuit tail compartment?

I thought that Marvel’s big summer event “Original Sin” got off to a good start with issue #0.  Waid writes the inexperienced Nova in such a way that he comes across as young, but not juvenile (as too often occurs in his ongoing series).  The relationship this Nova has developed with the Watcher has been interesting, and I found it touching that this omnipresent being would share his story with Sam.  Too bad he had to go and die in issue #1.  I like the pace, the art and the crime-solving flavor of this event.  I like seeing characters that wouldn’t typically hang out together (Doctor Strange and the Punisher?) go on missions- but how did they so easily track down Emma Frost when she’s supposedly a terrorist in hiding?  I’m happy to see the REAL Nick Fury back in action- I seriously cannot stand that they’ve created an Ultimates/Cinematic U “Fury Jr.” in the 616.  I’m digging this so far, but am not getting any of the tie-ins outside of the ongoing titles I normally get.  I might pick up “Original Sins” in trade, though.

BEST of the month
All-New X-Factor #6-7
Cyclops #1
Original Sin #0-1

WORST of the month
Nothing sucked!

What I’m looking forward to next month
All-New X-Factor
Silver Surfer
Original Sin

          Next month I will be burning through some mini-series that I’ve been holding off on until they ended: “Disney Kingdoms: Seekers of the Weird,” “Origin II” and “Star Wars: Lucas Draft.”  Until then!