Editorial: What Comics I Read This Week

This is a quick, to the point section on what I picked up in comics in the last couple days and what I think of them.

Avengers Arena #4

Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artist: Alessandro Vitti
Avengers Arena is Battle Royale (no Hunger Games here yet) with B and C grade Marvel characters, each issue following a different character trapped in the game.  I use the word game even though its a forest because Arcade set the whole thing.  But that’s all previous issues.  This one follows Nico and Chase of Runaways fame as they meet up with X23, Hazmat, and Reptil.  As always someone dies which is key to determining whether you’ll like this series.  Marvel has been pretty clear, your favorite characters are going to die in tragic, heart wrenching ways without notice.  The positive: Chase gets really good character development that shows Hopeless read the Runaways series.  The con: Hopeless evidently didn’t read Whedon’s issues of Runaways since Nico’s powers aren’t evolved.  Overall I like this series but so much of what makes it good is going to depend on the destination.  Also the last page is a pretty big WTF moment.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #18

Writer: Andrew Chambliss
Artist: George Jeanty
As amazing as Angel and Faith, Spike, and Willow have been during season 9, Buffy has oddly been lacking.  I got pretty excited with the return of Illyria even though I’m sad her pet demon “Pancakes” won’t make it over from IDW.  Illyria is one of those characters that I feel in love with during the IDW Angel series.  We pick up with Buffy, Illyria, and the Klingon look alike confronting “Sev”(short for “Severin”) the siphon.  They escape, form a plan with the council of beings who still have magic, which are probably the most entertaining portion of the issue, and surprise, the plan doesn’t work out in pretty much exactly the way you think it won’t.  The issue gives Xander and Dawn a bit of screen time.  The problem is as much as all the other Buffy-verse comics understand these characters are best when they can play off each other, Buffy doesn’t.  If I seem angry its because the other Buffy-verse comics are good, it makes no sense why this should be so bad!  Buffy and Illyria are pretty boring together because they have no emotional baggage toward each other.  You know who would be entertaining interacting with Illyria?  ANYONE ELSE.  Hell a Xander/Illyria conversation would probably be mind blowing.  Buffy’s plan in the issue is out right idiotic and there is no reason the character shouldn’t know better as a proven tactician.    Frustrating!

Uncanny X-Men #1

Writer: Brian Bendis
Artist: Chris Bachalo
I will try to write this without complaining about the madness that is Cyclops’ new powers.  This issue is entirely setup.  Cyclops is gathering mutants with Magneto, Emma, Magik, and a few new faces.  The issue takes place from the perspective of one of those individuals being a traitor and wanting to take Cyclops down by ratting to SHIELD.  You should be able to guess who the traitor is immediately even though the story treats it as a big reveal.  The big reveal is also the same person who broke Cyclops out of prison after ol’ Slim killed Xavier so either SHIELD is being played or Bendis really dropped the ball.  The idea of Cyclops starting a mutant revolution is neat as well as the sentinels return.  I find myself pretty curious about Magik even if its like watching a friend’s daughter grow up to be a stripper.  The thing that is crazy to me is everyone hates Cyclops yet he still has followers.  Even Emma Frost hates the guy but she’s right behind him.  Like I mentioned in past posts, you really don’t know about a Bendis series for several issues because the man builds slow which isn’t a bad thing.  The other thing I will give Bendis is so far he isn’t falling prey to any of the typical favorites that most writers go to for X-Men.  X-Men characters are more divisive than any other group in my opinion and writers are just as likely to hate or love a character as anyone else.  It really hurts when the author writing your favorite character hates them.  X-fans know what I’m talking about.

Ultimate Comics X-Men #22

Writer: Brian Bendis
Artist: Chris Bachalo
I’m the beaten wife who keeps going back to the abusive husband that is Ultimate X-Men.  I remember the love we once shared and see potential good but when you’re viewing through the ground beef of black eyes, any hope is a lifeline.  So, the prejudice son of a preacher was turned into some sort of power absorbing sentinel, took over part of the US, and then Kitty Pryde lead a team of Wolverine’s son, Icemen, Rogue, and other people on a guerrilla war to save mutants, eventually founded their own country, and now have invented a seed that can adapt and grow under any conditions and the world wants to murder them for it.  Also Iron Man because Iron Man has to be in everything now since he’s the most popular Marvel movie franchise.  Wolverine’s son is a surprisingly good character and Kitty Pryde is probably one of the best choices to lead the book.  This issue is Iron Man giving Kitty Pryde political advice, a politically motivated jet fighter attack, more political advice, and que end issue shadowy suited board members planning evil against our protagonists.  I hate myself.

About MusiM
Musician, writer, Gundam model hobbyist, video game lover, host of The Carousel Podcast, and all with a day job.

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