Wednesday, 8 May 2013

has a week of highs and lows (mostly lows)

Some weeks I pick up my stash and find that there is hardly anything waiting for me, but what is there is just beautiful, like the comic equivalent of Shakespeare. And then there are weeks when a large proportion of my buy pil is available in my draw but none of it is actually any good. Sadly, last week falls closer to the latter than the former.

In for me this week were five comic books; Ten Grand #1 (which I've already talked about right here ), The Activity #12, Action Comics #20, Earth 2 #12 and Indestructible Hulk #7, which is a big haul by my standards, though not as big as big as it should have been due to my local shop running out of Snapshot #1 (dramatic fall to my knees and reach up in the air "NNNNOOOOOOOOO!!!!"). So, surely it was a good week? Well, sadly not, though in fairness it could have been a lot worse. However, half of this weeks books failed to hit the mark.

For instance, the Activity #12, after a somewhat long hiatus (I don't remember when I last saw a new issue) left the prior cliffhanger up in the air with a one-off issue detailing a past mission of a member of the team. Now, this issue was a good little story, however after waiting a while to see movement in the big storyline Nathan Edmondson was setting up previously, it felt like an unneccessary diversion which I struggled to get into. However, struggling to get into the story was probably down to my struggle to follow the Mark Laming's art. Maybe I've gotten too used to Mitch Gerads work in this book, but when most the characters look identical (and not like any of the regulars) it's difficult to know what relevance this story has. Hopefully, the next issue will be a return to form, but this got my reading time off to a bad start.

And then, for much the same reasons, it all went bad to worse when I got my hands on Action Comics #20, which saw Superman gain help in the form of Dr Sway Veritas (who??) too defeat a virus given to him in the previous issue that's now making monsters while Lex Luthor (the guy who gave him the vius) gets ready to take the Man of Steel down. Now if that made sense to anyone I'd love to hear it, but after the greatness that was the last issue I was really let down by this continuation which felt like a huge drop in quality in comparison. Though the art continued to excel (for the most part), the story itself severly let down the book, making me wonder if it's time to cut my losses and drop this from my buy pile (though maybe not after the final part of this story, for closure).

However, just when I thought all was lost, salvation was at hand in the form of Earth 2 #12, which saw James Robinson and Nicola Scott finish off Dr. Fate's introductory story as Khalid makes his prescence known to the world while simultaneously finishing of Wotam (with help from the Flash and Green Lantern). Now, unlike the rest, I couldn't put this book down, with Robinson having found his feet on this book as it's gone on and ended up writing a ever more immersive story with plenty keeping me interested. And with the ever consistently stellar art of Nicola Scott lining the pages (seriously, I don't think a saw a single flaw in this issue) as well as a cliffhanger ending that will no doubt hint at the next year's worth of issues, I find myself drawn more and more to this title and kinda glad I rode out the bumpy early issues.

However, my renewed hope came back to earth with a bump when I got around to Indestructible Hulk #7, which continued from the previous issue with Hulk joining up with Thor to beat back the Frost Giants who are trying to take control of Banner's time/space portal. Unfortunately, despite the strength the series portrayed in the previous issues, this book has lost it's way with me and isn't as enjoyable as it was at issue 1. Also, the art by Walt Simonson didn't entice me to the book, though this might just be down to personal preference as there is nothing wrong and is solid, it just didn't appeal to me. Overall, this book continues to feel just run of the mill, which is sad given the creative team. I'm just hoping that the next arc (which will have Daredevil in it so I will be getting it) shows signs of the early issues and reminds me of why I picked this book up.

And so that was that. A weekend that, although having some good stuff, had a lot more letdowns. Hopefully, the letdown books will come back and make up for it next month but, more immediate, hopefully, as I'm going to miss next weeks stash (Bristol Expo getting in the way), when I get the next stash it will end up making up for this one.

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