Pick of the Week: Captain America #696 is another dream collaboration from Mark Waid, Chris Samnee, and Matt Wilson. This version of Cap reminds me of Chris Evan’s version of Cap: embodies what is actually great about America and cleanse the palate after the Hydra Cap bad taste. Always considered Swordsman a mort on equal footing with Batroc the Leaper (the Jean Claude Van Damme of Super Villains), but he presented a sufficient threat. Part of me wonder why Samnee chose a Japanese sword versus a more European sword. I am enjoying the relatively lighter tone of this run and it is the perfect balance to their dark and heavy Black Widow run.
Darth Vader #9 dispelled my belief that Jedis/Sith can block all laser bolts. Master Nu perfectly illustrated that a bolt with enough force can overcome this skill. I wonder if Vader regrets “terminating” Doctor Aphra because her skills would have been perfect for this assignment. Soule continues to write one of the more appealing Star Wars series (the other being Doctor Aphra) out of the bunch. Camuncoli’s art is a perfect match for the high action world of Star Wars, the skirmish between Master Nu & the Grand Inquisitor being a prime example.
Spirit of Vengeance #3 reminds me of Midnight Sons due to the cast members like Ghost Rider and Blade. It also reminded me of Crimson (from the now defunct Cliffhanger imprint) due to the inclusion of Judas and a curse associated with him. Find it funny for some odd reason that a dwarf is forging an angel-killing weapon especially after the inclusion of Angela and angels into the Marvel Norse Mythos. The art seems to be a bit too cartoony for the story; Jae Lee seems like he would have been a better fit.
The Unbelievable Gwenpool #23 gave us an unexpected and surprisingly good Von Doom story. As a Doom fan, this portrayal felt more authentic than the Infamous Iron Man run and also showed Victor’s growth as a person. Pre-Secret Wars Doom would have attempted to kill Gwen for disturbing him or banish her to some hell dimension while cursing Reed Richards.
Inhumans – Once and Future Kings #5 made me why the Inhuman leadership (King Agon) never gave Black Bolt an Inhibitor from the get-go, since he was an infant. He didn’t have to go through those years of hellish isolation or experience the constant pain of misunderstanding. This series reminds me of Star Wars/Star Trek prequel series where the technology that would have made life easier existed but the powers-that-be just not to use it. It also showed me that King Agon & the Unspoken had similar views on the role of a king.
Black Bolt #8 made me realize what a great decision it was to keep Blinky as his supporting cast because she fills the void left by Medusa as his translator. I appreciate Ward’s art on this title because his characters are so expressive. You could almost feel Lockjaw’s smile after he was healed as well as the pain on Ahura’s face during his reunion with his dad and Titania’s anger over her missing husband. Ahmed showed us another area where the Inhuman king failed much like his peers Namor & T’Challa.
Black Cloud #6 made me wonder why Paul Reinwand isn’t illustrating more comics. His style is a much needed change much like his friends, Kris Anka, Kevin Wada, and Jake Wyatt.
Extremity #9 still gave me a last Airbender vibe. I am glad that a certain WMD turned pacifist returned but his return seems too quick. I wanted to see how the sibling fared on their own a bit longer.
The Meh Pile:
Many books were extra meh but nothing worth burning or mentioning.
This review was written in partnership with Pop Culture Network. They can be found on their website:www.popculturenetwork.com