The Buy Pile: April 2017

Another month, more new comics. Secret Empire has started this month and boy oh boy am I excited to see where that is going (See here for more). In other news, my other titles have maintained their excellent stories and art. Let’s get down to it!

 

Amazing Spider-man #26

  • Silver Sable and Spider-man overlook the complications of just how Silver Sable is still alive and pursue a fleeing Norman Osborn. Mockingbird is forced to pull out on the orders of her superior, Nick Fury.
  • The pair find themselves caught in a trap, the test subjects of Osborn’s latest weaponry. They overcome the Goblin cycles easily but the Kingslayer 1, a huge battle-bot, poses a bit more of challenge. After a struggle the pair overcome it.
  • Parker promises Sable that he will aid her in taking down the Countess in exchange for help with Osborn. However, this doesn’t sit well with his investors or SHIELD, the latter declaring Parker Industries a terrorist organisation and, thus, a target!
  • In amongst all the drama, Otto Octavius is glad to see that Peter is doing most of the work for him, dismantling Parker Industries’ reputation rather quickly.

Another strong installment in this arc. For starters, great to see Parker actually coming into direct contact with Norman Osborn. I can’t wait to see how the chase continues. The sudden change of tune amongst the forces of SHIELD also promises to provide some absolutely stellar story-telling in issues to come. Parker being on the wrong side of SHIELD should be interesting indeed. Slott is definitely spicing things up in a big way!

Immonen’s art continues to live up to the hype. It is nothing short of wonderful to simply gaze in awe at the detailed illustrations, the colouring by Marte Gracia making it all the sweeter. I can’t wait to see more!

  • Story – 8.5
  • Art – 9.0
  • AccessibilityUnfriendly – This arc only started last issue so it’s probably worth getting that one as well. Noted, last issue came with a hefty price tag (Which I’ve decided is somewhat made up for by all the bonus content, though that is how it should be anyway) so I can appreciate why people may not be so keen. If you are looking for some Spider-man in your life, Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-man is set to launch in June. Definitely worth checking out if your a fan of a more classic, street level Spidey!
  • Overall – 8.75

 

Champions #7

  • The Freelancers have really dropped the Champions in it with their whole beating-up-homeless-guys-and-blaming-it-on-the-Champions stunt. They are trying to convince the authorities of their innocence but Viv’s honesty doesn’t really help.
  • The Freelancers, meanwhile, are forcefully removing some people from their home. The Champions, decidely miffed, jump into to apprehend them. The Freelancers and Champions clash!
  • Most of the Freelancers are apprehended with ease. Ms Marvel, the most frustrated, really lets lose on Panic, confessing her deepest fear is losing everything the Champions have built. Her team mates step in to calm her down.
  • All seems well. The Freelancers confess to being responsible for the homeless beatings. The Champions name is restored! But wait! Might reveals that she has managed to gain legal ownership of the Champions logo to use for financial gain.

I’m glad I decided against letting this title go. Ward has really made this title something special and seeing the team defend the ideals they have worked so hard to push is simply fantastic. The exploration of dragging other people’s good name through the mire was well done here, Ms Marvel really depicting how heavily it can affect a person. The Freelancers are fab adversaries to the Champions, acting as a perfect polar opposite to the team. This title continues to deliver consistently brilliant content and I can’t wait to see how the Freelancers thwart our heroes next time!

Ramos’ style has definitely grown on me now. There is something about it that feels modest which works well here. It accompanies the teams message well and it just fits like a glove.

  • Story – 8.5
  • Art – 8.0
  • Accessibility – Unfriendly – As above, it’s probably worth checking out the previous issue if you want to read this one. Honestly, I think this title should be read by everyone anyone but these past 2 issues have been pretty great on their own too.
  • Overall – 8.25

 

Doctor Strange #19

  • Wong is in some serious need of TLC and the Doctor is on hand to cast Mr Misery from the much loved Sorcerer’s Assistant/ Greatest Ally.
  • Doctor Strange, with Wong on his back, and Zelma make a run for it from a rather grumpy Mr Misery.
  • Doctor Strange takes Mr Misery back into him, protecting his friends as well as learning to appreciate Wong a bit better. Mr-Misery-possession isn’t an easy ride though, the Doctor emptying the contents of his stomach on several occasions.
  • With Mr Misery effectively gone, peace is restored to the Sanctum. The sewers on the other hand…

Aaron did a fantastic job in giving the readers a bit more information on the Doctor-Wong relationship. As it turns out, it wasn’t all hunky-dory and they actually didn’t get on a great deal to begin with. Learning what Wong had given up for the Doctor was really touching, really showing the depth of his love for the good Doctor and further cementing my love for Wong.

As always, Bachalo delivers some solid art work. His depiction of Mr Misery is beautifully awful and it really does look like the villain/ victim represents the pain of a Sorcerer Supreme pushing his limits to the max.

This arc has been pretty great but I think I’m ready for Mr Misery to finally get kicked into the Negative Zone or something or a while. Also, Secret Empire tie-ins follow this arc and you all know how much I love Secret Empire.

  • Story – 8.0
  • Art – 8.0
  • Accessibility Unfriendly – This is the penultimate issue to this arc and, although you might just be able to get away without prior knowledge, it does sort of rely on the reader knowing who Mr Misery is and how he came to be. For Wong-Doctor Strange back-story, on the other hand, this issue could be deemed Friendly.
  • Overall – 8.0

 

Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme #7

  • The Sorcerers Supreme have team upped with none of than Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, The Avengers, to tackle Newton’s army of Mindless ones.
  • Nina and Yao head off to see the Night Nurse about Nina’s brother and Yao’s severed arm. Night Nurse is able to help João who starts ranting about coming of the author of the Word of God.
  • Doctor Strange, after visiting his sanctum briefly, returns to battle and gives Newton a fair beating with the Cudgel of Yaziya (Thor aptly points out that there is nothing worse than a copycat). However, Newton is no longer the biggest problem.
  • From the depths of the Earth, a great beast rises. The Author of the Word of God has come!

This title never ceases to provide the sort of magical content I love. Doctor Strange is great but I do like the respite Thompson provides with simply having more magic, monsters and nonsense for me to really sink my teeth into (Not that I eat comics, they do not provide sufficient nourishment and they taste awf- Never mind…). It was nice to see the Sorcerers alongside the Avengers, I feel like this book doesn’t get as much love as it should do so its always nice to see big names appear to help with that.

Rodriguez again helps to really bring the wacky world of Magic to live. The Author looked truly terrifying and that rests succesfully on his shoulders. His handling of the Avengers was also great, almost to the point where I kind of wish he would illustrate an Avengers book.

  • Story – 8.0
  • Art – 7.5
  • Accessibility – Unfriendly – Without prior knowledge, the presense of the Avengers might throw some people. Plus, the story behind Newton’s betrayl of the team is must if you have any intention of reading this.
  • Overall – 7.75

 

Justice League #18

  • The Battle against the Timeless continues! Superman is struggling under the shear mass of Timeless henchman holding him down. The rest of the team are seeing similar scenes of distress, though some have help from the local inhabitants.
  • Batman has donned Lex Luthor’s Superman Suit and manages to help Superman. The Timeless drop like rag dolls after Batman breaks through the central hub, allowing his team mates to get the devices given to them by Molly into the cores.
  • Molly celebrates the teams success but not for the reason you might expect. With the devices in place, she is able to harness all the energy harvested by the Timeless and, with this new found power, goes to wipeout every superhero and supervillain!

Credit to Hitch here, did not see that betrayl coming. I did have an inkling just before it happened but it mostly came as a big surprise so well played. This arc hasn’t been my favourite by any means but it is nice to see some back-to-basics superhero action alongside some heavy content over at Marvel (Not that I mind that in anyway, I rather enjoy it).

Pasarin continues to illustrate exceptional double page spreads, the installation of the devices reunifying the time periods really blowing me away. If there is one thing I do enjoy about the Justice League, it’s Pasarin’s double page spreads.

  • Story – 7.0
  • Art – 8.0
  • Accessibility – Unfriendly – I imagine that, without prior knowledge, this issue would be very confusing. If you want to check it out, probably best to start at #15.
  • Overall – 7.5

 

Justice League #19

  • Batman, Superman and Jane Luthor go to confront supercharged Molly. Meanwhile, the rest of the Leauge are a bit confused, still displaced across time, with what exactly is going on.
  • Vincent, another one of the time travelling crew, offers up a blood sacrifice to gain access to the Timeless mind. He is able to inform the League that they need to destroy the machines before Tempus, the head of the Timeless, takes back control.
  • Superman battles tirelessly against Molly whilst the League set about destroying the machines. Molly really pushes Superman and Batman to brink until all seems lossed.
  • However, this is the Justice League we are talking about. They manage to make it back to their correct time and apprehend Molly. However, Molly informs the League of their mistake. Something far worse is coming: Death!

I don’t know it has something to do with me dropping this title as of this issue (More on that soon) but I found this finale a little lack luster. Noted, this definitely isn’t my favourite arc but I just found the conclusion a little disappointing. Hitch has written some really good stuff for this title but I don’t think this was one of those times.

Whilst the story didn’t do much for me, Pasarin rounds off my stint with DC with his usual high quality illustrations. The destruction scenes were quite simply wonderful (If one can refer to destruction as wonderful, per say).

  • Story – 6.0
  • Art – 9.0
  • Accesibility Unfriendly – What with this being the finale an all, not the best place to jump on. Next issue, a new arc starts so that would be as good as time as any to jump on. If you are looking for something a little more classic in terms of super-heroics, this title is probably worth checking out.
  • Overall – 7.5

 

Ms Marvel #17

  • Zoe is going through a tough time, her feelings for Nakia being broadcast all over the Internet. Though she faces lots of judgemental stares and mockery, Nakia stands by her friend. Zoe is quickly surrounded by her friends in a comforting bubble.
  • This inspires Kamala to take down Doc.X good and proper. She assembles the Iron Legion, her gaming crew, in person. After getting over the whole superhero-on-video-game0-team thing, Ms Marvel details her plan of killing with kindness.
  • The Iron Legion intend to teach Doc.X how to be kind by being nice on Battlecraft, doing this why the code resets itself in the hopes it will work to its maximum potential. She breaks away from the LAN party to confront Doc.X.
  • Doc.X ups the ante by materialsing as an actual being but Ms Marvel’s plan comes together and she is able to best it with one strong punch. But is it really a victory? Has anything changed?

Wilson delivered an issue that really addresses some big issue. For starters, private information being revealed to everyone. Seeing Zoe so supported by her friends was really touching and it reminded me why I enjoy Ms Marvel as much as I do. The exploration of human nature was also really good. After taking a hefty blow from Doc.X, Ms Marvel says:

“You’re wrong about people. Most of them aren’t awful. Most of them are just waiting for a chance to do the right thing.”

This. This right here is why Ms Marvel is such a great title! There is a whole of anger in this world and its stuff like this that really raises one’s spirits.

Miyazawa really helps convey the love in this issue with his wonderful style. He not only does great superhero stuff but his “real life” illustrations are wonderful as well.

  • Story – 9.0
  • Art – 8.0
  • Accessibility Friendly – Yes, this is the conclusion to an arc. However, the message it pushes is simply brilliant so if you want pick it up, I think you’ll be okay (Though I do recommend reading this title anyway, it is honestly amazing).
  • Overall – 8.5

 

All in, April was a strong month for really though provoking comic book story telling. Next month: Secret Empire overload! Please leave any thoughts or questions in the comments below, thank you.


I’ve decided that, what with life being quite so busy right now, I’m going to take a brief hiatus from comic book posting and focus on more educational posts for any and all posts I make for a while. I hope that is okay with everyone, we should see a return to normality come mid June.

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