Readers of this column can infer I'm a pretty big DC fan. I would estimate that, right now, about 75 percent of my pull are DC comics. For some odd reason, the pull this week tipped way in favor of Marvel. Weird. Anyway, let's dive into this week's batch, eh? Got your Yoo-Hoo? Good!
Iron Man (Marvel): I'm somewhat of a fan of ole' Shell-head, so, when I heard he was getting a new title with Warren Ellis as writer, I was stoked. Yet, this book has been a big letdown since about issue three. The big reason is mainly the book's erratic shipping schedule. I'm pretty sure the book came out when it felt like it. Seriously, though, a large part of the reason for the delay was because of artist Ari Garnov, whose unique style takes time to complete. Ellis put some interesting ideas in the book (issue two featured a prolonged discussion on ethenogens), yet it wasn't enough to sustain my interest in this title. Fortunately, Ellis and Garnov's run ends with this issue, so things may change for the better.
New Avengers: Illumanti Special (Marvel): This book serves as one of the prologues to Marvel's heavily hyped summer event, Civil War. Shortly after the Kree/Skrull war came to Earth, a group of heroes consisting of Iron Man, Reed Richards, the Sub-Mariner, Professor X, Black Bolt and Doctor Strange came together to form a clandestine group to direct the Marvel Universe's affairs. The group, with the exception of Namor, manage to work together peacefully over the years until Congress decides to force every superhero to register with a specially created bureau. Iron Man comes out in favor of it, while the others balk, ultimately leading to a fight between Namor and Iron Man. Civil War promises to create a schism amongst the heroic community, and this special shows it beginning. I really enjoyed this book and am now anxiously looking forward to Civil War.
Exiles (Marvel): The concept behind this book is simple: displaced mutants from various alternate Earths travel around the multiverse fighting evil. This particular storyline, "World Tour," has the team pursuing a Proteus-possessed Mimic through various realities, most of them consisting of former imprints of Marvel, such as the New Universe and 2099. This was the first issue I picked up, after hearing many good things about it, and I was very impressed. Writer Tony Bedard (whom I remember from his Valiant days) creates interesting scenarios and makes good use of Marvel's grand history. Too bad he's leaving and Chris Claremont is coming on board.
Dead @ 17: Blood of the Saints (Viper Comics): I bought this trade paperback off Amazon, thinking it was the first in the series. It turns out it was the second, but that didn't hamper my enjoyment of this book. The story's protagonist is Nara, who died at the age of, you guessed it, 17. She is then resurrected and becomes a pawn in the struggle of good versus evil. This story introduced her evil counterpart. The supernatural goings-on almost take a back seat to the character dynamics. Nara lives with her best friend Hazy (since Nara's folks think she's dead), and Hazy since started seeing Nara's old boyfriend, which, understandably, creates some tension. There's one particularly heart-breaking scene in which Nara, in disguise, talks to her parents. Creator Josh Howard's art is VERY manga-esque, so, if you hate that style of art, you may want to think twice about checking this book out.
All-Star Superman (DC): I've sung the praises of this book before, but the latest issue, three, was beautiful. It's in the running for my favorite issue of the year.
Don't tell Shaun Corley what he can't do!