Thursday, September 1, 2011

Comics of the Week

One thing ends, a new one begins and yet another just stays consistently great. Hard to argue with any of it, really.

Flashpoint #5 may not have had the most mind blowing revelations, but it did deliver what I had hoped would happen. Flashpoint directly sets up the DC reboot. It would have been a waste had this not been the case. Now, I am looking forward to seeing how much of what we saw in the Flashpoint tie ins will pop up in the new DC books. Overall, the wrap up of the Flashpoint universe did seem a little rushed. Suddenly all these characters, who had last been seen making their way to this final battle in their tie-in books, just start appearing but not really doing anything. At point, Grodd's army shows up and Barry Allen says "Grodd too?" and that's about all we see or hear of it. The real payoff is in the end when Barry shows up in the regular/new DCU and delivers a letter to Bruce from Thomas Wayne. We've already seen a kinder, gentler Bruce since his return from the dead, and this moment reinforces this idea for the new universe. It will be interesting to see how much Barry remembers about Flashpoint and the old DCU as time goes on. Clearly, they've left the door open to go back if needed. I don't fault them for that, and really, it makes sense creatively.

Sometimes what makes a comic book great is the promise it sets up for upcoming issues. I would say this is what takes Justice League #1 to the next level. Basically, it's a great first issue, even if you know nothing about DC. For months, we've all been waiting for the reboot with anticipation, dread, disdain, excitement, fear, etc. Now that it's here, this first book really feels exactly like what they promised. It's a whole new world. Yes, the characters' essences are still there, but you really aren't sure what's coming next. I like that. For all the talk from fans about how DC and Marvel always do the same thing, it's been interesting to see them rage against this change. And from past experiences with "change" I understand that. This is not the same as before. It really feels different. It's not a Heroes Reborn take on the characters. It's not a Crisis in which characters are de-aged and histories compressed. This really feels like a fresh take on characters, rather than just a new version of the same events we've seen over the years. Granted, it's one issue in, so who knows where it's going, but like I said, it's the promise of the next issue(s) that makes this great. And that promise has me excited.

Then there's Uncanny X-Force #14. This has been one of my favorite books being published since I read the first arc. What Remender has going here is what makes X-Men books so great, but there's something else here that is just special. This team is on there own, with little to no interference from the rest of the Marvel U. It almost plays out as if this were the only book to ever feature these characters, even though they have these elaborate histories that influence them and the story in every way. I know a little about these histories, but even if I knew nothing, I'd still love this book. To top it off, this issue features the return of Jerome Opeña on art. If I need to say more about why that is something to drool over, then you haven't read the first arc of this series and you need to do so. Interestingly, Wolverine is out of commission for the majority of this issue, and even though he's the character I'm most interested in, the others are so compelling, even Deadpool, that I didn't notice how little of Logan there was until the end. If you love X-Men, pick this series up. If you don't love X-Men, pick it up anyway, and it may change your mind.

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