The Buy Pile: September 2016

Again, November and publishing about September. This is due to Civil War II delays and a couple of delivery issues (Not that I mind). The penultimate month before Marvel NOW! 2.0 kicks off in Marvel Universe so climatic stuff all round. Also, the first arc of the Justice league comes to a close. All-in-all, exciting stuff this month (Though I, as I do with most comic related things, say that every time). Let’s get started.

All-new All-different Avengers #14

This month: the Unstoppable Wasp. The issue opens with the Russian Immigration Bureau trying to take Nadia, the All-new Wasp, back to Russia. However, with Nadia’s rather interesting past the RIU representatives are quickly discovered to be members of W.H.I.S.P.E.R (I don’t know who they are so best not to ask me (I did do a Google search for you and yielded no results)) who are equally quick to defeat. They go back inside where they suddenly see (What I assume to be) a news update on recent events in the superhero community such as the death of a big character (Which I won’t spoil till I cover it in my Civil War II reviews (Which I plan to release once the event ends (Unless people want to know now))) and the ongoing fighting. Nadia flips out at the sight of superheroes, the pinnacles of morality, fighting each other and she then proceeds to enter her micro lab contained in a crystal (As cool as it sounds, I assure you (So very cool, unless this isn’t your thing)). She works tirelessly to find a fail safe way to solve the problem which ends up blowing up her lab (Oops) which, thankfully, is casualty free as Janet saves Nadia from the explosion. Janet and Nadia then share an adorable moment where Nadia is summed up for what she is: Unstoppable.

Gosh. Darn. It. Why Marvel?! Why?! This issue of ANAD Avengers showed just how innocent and brilliant Nadia is. Her being the Wasp is great enough but her desire to be the best she can be is simply inspirational. Her solo title, unfortunately, won’t be added to my buy pile from February (As I have maxed out my personal limit) but I might have to pick up a graphic novel, if they release one. This series is getting ever harder to say goodbye to…

Amazing Spider-man #18

The issue begins with a flash back to the Spider-verse stuff (Which I haven’t read and fear it would confuse me a great deal (Lots and lots of Spider-men)) where the Superior Spider-man (Doctor-OctoParker (Doctor Octopus inside Peter Parker (I don’t know either…))) is sent back to his original timeline. It then moves to some Volume 3 content where Parker Industries has been destroyed. Two small robots then “wake” up, one inhabited by the brain waves of Doctor Octopus. He doesn’t hang around and aims to re-possess Parker’s body but comes to the realisation that, at that time, Parker has the capability to throw him out again. He instead takes control of the Living Brain, Parker Industries’ robot assistant number one. From here, he is able to do a great deal undetected except one thing. Find Love (Don’t feel bad for him, it is down right creepy…). The women of his desires? Anna Maria Marconi. He goes as far as to inhibit one of her boyfriends and get him a job in Australia. Talk about jealousy… He then consoles a broken hearted Anna. Parker calls and brings the story back to the New U controversy. The conversation then turns weird, too weird to share (So please, don’t make me). Doc Ock takes things very personally when Anna unknowingly rejects him. He then goes a little crazy and decides that the only way to win her heart is to go about it the same way as before: in Parker’s body (He is a terribly deluded man). He takes them both to New York City where Parker and Marconi are concerned about the Living Brain. Parker tinkers around with him in a hope to fix him. One thing leads to another and he detonates himself but 0nly after escaping in his original little robot vehicle.

I don’t really know how I feel about this issue. The volume started really well for me, very upbeat with Peter actually catching a bit of a break and it was very enjoyable to see him with all his new technology. Recent issues have been pretty rough, really, with a lot of dark stuff coming to light. I guess the whole Parker Luck thing had to shoe horn itself back in but I just wish it hadn’t. Happy Parker is a far nicer read.

Astonishing Ant-man #12

We begin with the obligatory flash back which details the dangers Lang faces: the Cross Clan (Both in name and spirit), The Power Broker and his daughter Cassie. Oh, and his arrest. We then move to a court room where Lang is being put on trial. His lawyer, the brilliant She-Hulk is set to have the case in the bag. That is, until, Janice Lincoln walks in or, as she is better know, the Beetle, who Scott may or may not have had romantic relations with. We then cut to Cross standing over his hospitalised son, Augustine where Egghead is dragged in to see him. Cross then gives him an offer he can’t refuse (Partly due to being threatened. The court room comes back into focus where Lang has to explain to She-Hulk how bad the situation is with Janice standing against them. Meanwhile, Cassie is watching the trial, much to her mother’s disapproval, feeling terribly guilty. We the find Cross and Egghead in a Shield Helicarrier layaway department (Which has some pretty cool side items including the Spider-mobile, Fantasti-car and the Destroyer) where they find Lang’s helmet and shrink down to get inside it. She-Hulk then provides a stellar opening statement, detailing Lang’s heroics from his defeating of Dr Doom to being an Avenger. Despite this, Janice points out the major flaw in Ant-man: Scott Lang, a known criminal who left his wife who got his own daughter killed (by accident but still). Pretty rough going, to say the least. We then end with Cross and Egghead inside Hank Pym’s secret helmet lab (first seen in the Ant-man Annual #1 which I happen to own a copy of). Inside they find something terribly cool but terribly evil: Pym’s most recent, deadly and out right awesome Yellowjacket armour.

It is getting ever harder to see this superb series go. I honestly don’t think this series has had a bad issue (Except issue 1 being a touch iffy but still good) and it is going to be really tough to say goodbye to it next month (Not of my own choice, it is ending but that will be discussed when  I review #13). Below is a picture of the new Yellowjacket suit. Utterly amazing, in my opinion. Anyway, next issue: Au revoir Ant-man (It isn’t French themed, I was trying to be different… Sorry…)

Doctor Strange Annual #1

Doctor Strange is going through a bit of a rough patch, all things considered (The whole Last Days of Magic storyline was rather heavy hitting, to say the least). Consequently, the glorious Sanctum Sanctorum is in need of a bit of maintenance (A lot, really…) and the man called in to do it has a bit of a personality clash with Wong. Meanwhile, an unexpected blast from the past lands on the Doctor’s doorstep: Clea, his ex-wife. Things get a little heated as Stephen has a mini breakdown over where Clea was during the near-apocalyptic fall of almost all magic. It’s revealed that Clea was very much effected by the incident, forced into hiding to save herself. Her reason for coming, the mystical union that they call marriage. Clea believes that their union is draining the little power Stephen has left. Their heated debate is cut short by the frantic ringing of the bell connected to Wong’s room. It turns, Mr Maintenance man was in fact Xycorax, a rather terrifying demon who currently has Wong in its clutches. The pair try and save Wong and it isn’t until the arrival of an extremely cheerful (2 week holiday in Jamaica) Zelma turns up and Clea transfers her bliss to Xycorax, stopping him for a short while. To put a stop to Xycorax for good, Doctor Strange rips apart the magic contract, which arrived when it was most needed: To save Wong (True Friendship). Clea and Doctor Strange bid farewell as friends, a touching moment to say the least. The annual ends with a short introduction to Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme (A new Marvel NOW! 2.0 title) which details how Yao (The Not-quite-Ancient one) and Merlin meet (It involved the robbing of a magic map and being saved from Prison). Next Issue: Blood in the Aether!

A great bridging comic between AN AD Marvel and Marvel NOW! 2.0. The stories were rather good and I was pleased with the annual. Annual’s are a rather wonderful novelty for me so I always appreciate getting them. October is set to be a very exciting month (I appreciate I’m writing this towards the end of November but whatever) with not 1 but 2 issues!

Ms Marvel #11

The issue opens with Bruno borrowing Kamala’s Jewellery (Her wonderful gold bracelets, to be precise). Naturally, her mother questions why Bruno is taking a family heirloom and, moreover, why he is in the house without Kamala being there. His reasoning is that he wants to ensure Kamala has everything she needs in one place. Oh, and some armour. We then fast forward back to the current day where Kamala is about to put predictive justice to the test. Hijinx is jumping up and down in a car graveyard (Only thing I could think to call it), threatening to detonate an explosive device. Becky takes him down when Ms Marvel arrives and outs Ulysses’ prediction as wrong. That is, however, till one of the cars does explode due to Hijinx. Becky and Ms Marvel start fighting again, accompanied by the brilliant arrival of the Canadian Ninja Syndicate (See below). Captain Marvel breaks it up, again, and is shocked to hear what Ms Marvel has done. Iron Man comes to her aid but that doesn’t stop a major dose of feels being given as Captain Marvel expresses her disappointment in the hero whom she gave her former title and legacy to bear. Ms Marvel and Iron Man leave whilst Becky rants on about stepping up as Captain Marvel’s new junior partner: Lockdown. She’s rejected and thus a super villain is born (Not categorically confirmed but I’m calling it, Becky will be back as a Ms Marvel villain). Kamala returns to Bruno’s bedside where he is just about managing to stand up. Kamala tells him about all the stuff she has tried to fix but it falls on deaf ears. He informs her of the extent of his injuries and how the only place where he really has a future is Wakanda and that is where he intends to go, not wanting to see Kamala again. Kamala, as you’d expect, is distraught, having lost both the respect of her mentor and her best friend.

Image result for Ms Marvel #11

Well that was emotionally draining. Seeing Kamala’s life fall apart quite so violently is not a pleasant read and shows just how brilliant G. Willow Wilson is in showing the good and bad side of being a hero. I just hope that Marvel NOW! 2.0 brings about some more good times and excitement. And, hopefully, an answer to where Bruno’s girlfriend Mike has got to, as she is again absent… Will the mystery ever be solved?!

Justice League #4

The penultimate issue of the first arc of this volume. The Justice League are spread far and wide, trying to solve the major issues that threaten the Earth: Alien Invasions, the Kindred and major natural disasters (Busy, busy, busy). The Green Lanterns are in space, dealing heavy damage to the source of the Aliens. Cyborg and Batman are at the Kent farm, trying to understand why the aliens are invading and waiting for Superman to return from his trip. Aquaman is still talking to the Zodiac stones who pose a possible solution for the Kindred issue. Superman is attempting to destroy the natural disaster generators (NDGs) as fast as he can. Being in the Earth’s mantle is proving to be quite a stressful experience, even for the Man of Steel. Flash is providing eyes on the Kindred, though no one is able to be contacted. Superman finds a way to destroy the NDGs and quickly attempts to destroy the remaining ones as fast as possible. Wonder-women is still conversing with the Kindred whilst inside one. The issue ends with a cut back to the Green Lanterns who go and explore the surface of the planet from which the Aliens are coming from. On the surface, hundreds of Cyborgs. Creepy Cyborgs.

I enjoyed this issue and am finding myself warming to the characters more and more as the series progresses. My favourite members are now blurring into me liking all of them just because they are all so different. We shall have to wait and see how this arc ends (Well, not really, considering the fact that that particular issue came out in the same month…).

Justice League #5

The issue opens with Aquaman spreading the Zodiac crystals in key areas around the world and then heading to help the Justice League. Concerned for the Flash, who is currently under attack from aliens, Batman and Cyborg leave Lois and Jon Kent to help him. Superman is struggling in the Earth’s mantle but is still managing to destroy the NDG’s. Wonder Woman breaks out of the Kindred body she was trapped in to join her fellow team mates who have just arrived. The Kindred begin their final act but the Justice League aren’t having any of it. They come to the realisation that some of their power has been stolen by the Kindred and decide to take it back. The Flash starts running, crippling one of the beings. Cyborg directs the Lanterns to bring his alien lookalikes to Earth where he can gain control over them and cripple another being. Aquaman makes it the League in the nick of time and prevents another earthquake. The Kindred are decidedly grumpy at the turn of events and attack the Justice League. However, Superman is at hand with the last NDG which activates right above the heads of the Kindred, reverting them back to the numerous humans they had taken control of to form themselves. The Justice League have saved the world yet again.

This was the last issue of the first arc and I have to say it wasn’t the strongest of endings but, upon review, it wasn’t quite as bad as I had thought. It was still a touch cliché but, in all fairness, I can’t really propose an alternative ending to it. I do think that my feelings are partly based on the negativity this series has been getting (Shameful, I know, to have my opinion swayed so easily). Next Issue: State of Fear!

Overall, a rather miserable month for plot but still great. There has been some debate (with myself…) over whether or not I would be continuing with the Justice League but it is going anywhere for the moment. It’s no good committing to something and then just dropping it so quickly. My October Buy Pile is, decidedly, too long to fit on one post so I have been speculating on how to do it. With some series ending and others starting, I shall be publishing a farewell post and a welcome post plus a Buy Pile for my regulars. Also, do people appreciate my summaries? Would you rather they were shorter? Or would you rather I just gave my opinions on them? Leave any thoughts or questions in the comments please.


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