I've been on a kick lately of reading all these old Marvel/DC crossover books I never read when they originally came out. This was spurred on by the fact that I recently just found the issue of DC/Marvel: All Access that I was missing so I could finally read the mini in its entirety and squee and gush over the Jubilee and Robin pairing all over again. Their little Romeo & Juliet romance was undoubtedly my favorite thing about the DC Versus Marvel event, though the whole thing had me pretty stoked when that hit. I bought the trading card packs, sent in my votes, bought dang near all of the Amalgam books. Fun stuff! I missed out on or wasn't interested in the books that preceeded and followed that event but I grabbed a super cheap Crossover Classics IV TBP and have been enjoying the Green Lantern/Silver Surver and Batman/Punisher clashes. John Byrne's Darkseid/Galactus was expectedly overwrought but the novelty was still interesting. And he draws a heck of a Galactus. I've still got the Batman/Spider-Man and Superman/Fantastic Four crossovers to get to next.
I could probably write a whole column about the Jubilee and Robin romance or DC Versus Marvel in general so maybe I'll save that for another time and just get to this week's comic offerings...
Walt Simonson's last issue and the last AvX tie-in for this series before we hop to the big three-part finale. Like it or not, this is the end of an era, folks!
The origin of Batwoman in The New 52!
Birds Of Prey #0
The Good: We get the story of the formation of the New 52 Birds of Prey written by the excellent Duan Swierczynski. The Bad: Apparently Travel Foreman is off the book and new artist Romano Molenaar is like they took all of my least favorite DC artists, brewed them together, and then poured that brew on one of the last books I'd want them too. Why can Birds of Prey never seem to escape the Ed Benes/90's Image cheesecake look? I'd really hoped we'd broken that curse because we had the incredible Jesus Saiz and then the off-beat Travel Foreman and we were getting a team of women drawn by dudes who weren't preoccupied with goofy angles that show off their butts. Rarghh... I have really loved this book and so long as Duane's writing can pick up the artist's slack, I'll stay with it, but it is disappointing to have a book work so well on both the writing and art side to be thrown so off balance.
THIS BOOK IS SO PERFECT YOU GUYS. And wow-ee-wow, Paolo Rivera's covers.
Dark Avengers #181
I'm worried that, as this book becomes more about the Dark Avengers and less about the Thunderbolts, my interest may wane. It's still Jeff Parker and he made the Thunderbolts incarnation one of the very best books Marvel was putting out. But he did that with artists like Kev Walker, Declan Shavley, and brilliant colorist Frank Martin Jr. I'm less thrilled with the capable but very average-looking art of Neil Edwards and Chris Sotomayor. Ironically, the artwork was much darker under the Thunderbolts team than the Dark Avengers art team. We're only one issue into the new art team so I may be reacting too harshly but we'll see how I feel when this book makes the complete transition from Luke Cage's Thunderbolts team to U.S.Agent's Dark Avengers in a month or so.
Justice League #0
Hey lookie here, we get a full issue of Shazam by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. Since the back up has already been slowly telling the origin story of Shazam, I wonder if this issue will just complete that tale rather than jump backwards in time, like the other Zero issues, but it could very well end up being a flashback origin for Black Adam or the Wizard rather than deal with Billy's journey. But that's gotta reach a conclusion soon since Shazam is expected to join the League shortly.
Mighty Thor #20
Each issue of the "Everything Burns" crossover has been a stab to the heart (or back, if you will) with successive twists, betrayals, and cliffhangers. Which is what makes it so great! Really paying off on everything Matt Fraction and Kieron Gillen have been setting up in Mighty Thor and Journey Into Mystery.
Red Hood And The Outlaws #0
I have not bothered one lick with Red Hood and the Outlaws since that detestable first issue but my minor flicker of curiousity here hangs solely on the fact that Pascual Ferry seems to have made a quiet shift back to DC and is providing art on this issue (along with two other artists... which I assume means each artist is drawing a different Outlaw's flashbacks) and I am a huge Ferry fan, and I'm curious if he's still employing this pencils-only style he'd been using at Marvel the last few years or if I might actually see his work being inked again. If the Ferry art isn't substantial enough or the story looks too full of horse manure, I'll skip this one entirely.
OH NO the conclusion of the wonderfully moving Spider-Men crossover!!! AAAA, it's just... man, they hit all the beats I would've wanted them to with this Peter Parker/Miles Morales meet up in the Ultimate Universe.
The New 52 origin of Supergirl!
Sword Of Sorcery #0
I find it interesting that in the marketing of this, DC makes a point to stress all the "boys" cartoons writer Christy Marx worked on (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, G.I. Joe) but no mention at all that she is the creator of Jem and the Holograms which I guess they don't realize carries as much or more nostalgia power as the other toons or maybe they're just afraid to market to women? Like, we'll disguise this Amethyst comic under the title "Sword Of Sorcery" and we'll mention every cartoon Christy worked on other than Jem and maybe boys will buy more comics that boys are already buying? This is especially flabberghasting when this book stars a beautiful female lead character who actually wears proper clothes and carries a sword and probably doesn't have kinky sex on rooftops. But then Catwoman, a comic with "woman" in the title has to constantly assert her breasts and ass on the covers and commit afformentioned acts of kinky rooftop sex. Though that book gets a female writer and artist this month so WE'LL SEE HOW THAT GOES, I guess, this just turned into a little Feminist rant. Sorry, you guys. But uh... with all of that said, I've never once read an Amethyst comic and I run hot and cold with fantasy books like this so we'll see if this introductory issue grabs me or not. Haha--ohhh ranting.
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #15
MILES JOINS THE ULTIMATES! YAY AND OH NOOOO!
Wonder Woman #0
For a book that's already done a lot to change what we'd known about Wonder Woman's origins, I'll be very interested to see what Azzarello and Chiang do with this Zero issue.
And there we have it. 'Til next time. Excelsior!