A long while back, I posted about returning to comics. Afterwards, I really didn't post much about the comic themselves - not sure why. In any event, I thought now was as good a time as any to do a rundown of which books I currently read the monthlies of.
I've yet to be disappointed by any of Whedon's comics work, and although Astonishing really begs to be read as a trade, given how tightly tied the long arcs are and how long it is between issues I simply don't have the discipline to wait. The issue released last week featured what may well be the most artfully executed plot twist ever in a comic. Well, maybe that's a bit much. But still, it was beautifully done.
This Civil War spin-off has actually done a very good job of following the logic of the mini-series ending through, and I'm glad it exists, because for many of the other books Marvel publishes it's barely noticeable that Civil War happened. The idea of rookie superheroes being trained, boot camp-style, has great appeal.
Maybe my favorite title right now, Bendis has done a great job of following through with the story of outcast Avengers trying to operate in the wake of Civil War and the fact that they are fugitives. I'm very, very much looking forward to the Invasion mini that will be spinning out of this in the next few months.
I've read the first three issues, and have yet to get to this week's fourth. I'm on the bubble with this one; I like Straczynski usually, and the idea of Thor navigating his way in a post-Civil War world is very interesting, but Straczynski's mystical/mythical stuff can be very heavy-handed. This issue will likely be the deciding factor.
This old-school mini-series, with the Hulk trying to kill all the superheroes, and with more massive fistfights than any comic in recent or vintage memory has been fun. Ended this week, but I haven't read the conclusion yet.
Almost a year after Captain America's death, Ed Brubaker has done a great job of keeping the series going. Lots of political intrigue, secrets, and a deft juggling of lots of supporting characters all vying to fill the vaccum left by the title character's absence.
This book is in an odd state of flux right now, with the "One More Day" storyline taking forever to progress due to artist delays. Being a big Spider-Man junkie I'll probably stick with it when it comes back, but it's not at the top of my list currently.
That Bendis has never faltered with this series, with issue #116 coming out this month, astonishes me. I mean, we are close to ten years since the Ultimate universe was introduced, and while Ultimate X-Men and Ultimate Fantastic Four have gotten very inessential and The Ultimates, while loads of fun, remains very sporadically produced, this title just keeps steaming along - never dull, never by-the-numbers, and very cohesive and integrated. Great stuff.
Whedon's conceit - that this is the never-produced eight season of the TV show - has proven genius, as that simple concept has gotten the masses (including me) into a Buffy comic like never before. So far, the story feels just right - with the right touch of the old combined with very natural and, in hindsight, inevitable developments flowing from the series finale.