New Avengers (2010) #32
The New Avengers (current line-up: Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Captain Marvel, Mockingbird, Daredevil, Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, Wolverine, Iron Fist and The Thing) get a visit from a lady from the FBI who has like, a demon possessing her? Last issue she fainted and the demon? went into Carol (Captain Marvel) but no one knows that yet. So Strange is trying to tend to the FBI lady, since, you know, the "Dr." in Dr. Strange is because he's an actual medical doctor. But the New Avengers, like any Marvel team, are a bunch of bickering children so he needs to lay the Strange smackdown.
Complete with spittle! For once y'all should have listened to Spidey, guys.
If you try to ignore the fact that Bendis seems to be killing off people left and right, this is a great issue. No not really everything is terrible. Turns out Daniel Drumm, the brother of a dude called Brother Voodoo, intends to punish Strange and the team for the death of his brother Jericho, and he does it by first possessing a powerful sorcerer lady and having her kill one of Strange's long-time allies, Daimon Hellstrom (Son of Satan) (no not that Satan, a different Satan). Then he engineers a situation in which the FBI are about to blow down the doors to Avengers Mansion, despite being ordered by Acting SHIELD Director Maria Hill to stand down.
Voodoo guy possesses one of the cops and forces him to shoot himself, but not until he's screamed THE AVENGERS ARE MAKING ME DO THIS just to cause a bunch of trouble for the team. Maria places everyone under house arrest and Luke and Jessica blatantly tell her they're leaving to take their child to safety. Last issue Luke decided he was quitting the team to devote himself to his family, and LOOK WHERE THAT GOT YOU, LUKE. Geez, guy can't catch a freakin' break. Okay so Strange explains to Victoria that she was maybe just a vessel for someone who is targeting him, and then Daniel Drumm shows up and explains his hate-on for Strange before pulling Vic's heart out through her chest and pissing off, just in time for Maria and the team to show up to witness him sitting next to her dead body.
Naturally, Strange decides to book it out of there rather than explain what's going on, because this is comics, where no one ever does the sensible thing ever. He teleports to warn his friend and assistant Wong that Wong is in danger and that Strange can't trust anyone, before teleporting to ask Daimon for his help. We get a classic scene of Strange seeing Daimon from the back, with his TV blaring the news about the incident at the Mansion.
But then he turns the chair around and finds that Daimon is pretty decidedly not okay:
|Somewhat less handsome now that he's all corpsified and gross.|
And then the issue ends with Maria and some SHIELD goons placing Stephen under arrest.
Iron Man (2012) #1
If at your next social gathering someone asks you "hey, does anyone know anything about Iron Man comics?" you can wow your friends with this nugget of information: the current creative team consists of writer Kieron Gillen and "artist" Greg Land. Greg Land. Greg Land has a problem, in that he can't draw women. He traces them. Which, I suppose would be alright, if not for the fact that it seems his only source of reference material is pornography, since each and every Land lady looks like this, all the time:
Also, he can't seem to draw Tony the same way twice.
Although the general consensus seems to be that the thing he does do consistently is draw him like he's a woman in a stock image eating a salad and looking way too happy about it.
But art gripes aside, Kieron Gillen is a gifted writer and this storyline is to do with the extremis technology, which rewires the human body and blends like, nanotechnology with human biology. It's part of the plot for the upcoming Iron Man 3 film, and if you can get your hands on Extremis trade paperback by writer Warren Ellis and artist Adi Granov I highly recommend it!
The basic plot here seems to be that the extremis technology is lose and Iron Man needs to chase it down before it hurts a bunch of people. A good, clean, fun first story, that should promise plenty of suit porn and uncomplicated action fun times.
Avengers Academy (2010) #39
I've never read this title before and this is the final issue! With Marvel NOW! coming in to full effect this book is being replaced with something called Avengers Arena which is like, gratuitous child murder? I'm not looking forward to it, especially now that I know what a bunch of cuties these kids are!
Oh my gosh seriously. Okay so after being depowered, the kids of the Avengers Academy get their powers back and confront their teachers (Hank Pym AKA Giant-Man, Greer Grant AKA Tigra, Jocasta & Pietro Maximoff AKA Quicksilver) about the fact that they were initially brought together because they were believed to be villain risks.
The teachers tell the kids that sure, that may have initially been the motivation for the Academy, but the kids have more than proved themselves to be heroes since. The issue ends with Madeline Berry (Veil) leaving the group to attend high school now that she has no powers, in an attempt to embrace a 'normal' life. Her definition of normal now includes kicking the shit out of bullies, which is rad.
A couple of cute/heartbreaking moments: Jeanne Foucault (Finesse) goes around observing that all the kids are seemingly paired off. First off we see Jennifer Takeda (Hazmat) and Ken Mack (Mettle) negotiating the next step of their relationship: bangin'. Then there are these two rainbow lesbians which is pretty cute.
Also these two Ava Ayala (White Tiger with Humberto "Berto" Lopez (Reptil):
And also this adorable bit where Brandon Sharpe (Striker) goes to prom with a kid who was inspired by his It Gets Better video. LOOK AT THESE CUTIES BEING CUTE:
But obviously seeing everyone getting their smooch on is kind of a bummer for Finesse, who hasn't got anyone to smooch on I guess, so she goes and watches Downton Abbey with Pietro.
Who gives her some advice about how shitty it can be to be a teenager and how things get better and you get less lonely and oh my god I might actually be tearing up a little bit now, god fucking damn it.
Avenging Spider-Man (2011) #14
This takes place in the Savage Land so you know right from the outset that it's going to be a hot load of bullshit. Basically, Peter Parker (Spider-Man) goes on a science field trip to the Savage Land (don't fucking ask man, it's this like, hidden continent full of dinosaurs and weird jungle and fucked up shit goes on there every fucking time so I don't know why anyone keeps going back) with a bunch of scientists. Did y'all know that Peter Parker is a super smart science guy? I think often people forget that about him. So he's on a science field trip and some dinosaurs attack their camp and start rounding up prisoners instead of straight up just chomping them down, which is a bit odd. Spidey then teams up with, I shit you not, a t-rex called Devil Dinosaur and a Neanderthal known as Moon-Boy who only speaks "lizard language".
Daredevil: End of Days (2012) #2
I haven't read the first issue of this (whoops) but apparently the man without fear has been killed by long time nemesis Bullseye and journalist Ben Urich is writing the story, and trying to figure out why "Mapone" was the last word Matt uttered before he died. He talks to super spy Nick Fury as well as Matt's sometime enemy, sometime lover Elektra, and doesn't learn jack shit. I'll keep you posted, I guess.
Scarlet Spider (2011) #11
This is the first time I've ever read a SS book. I don't know who he is or what his deal is. According to the blurb at the beginning, his name is Kaine and he's an "imperfect clone of the Amazing Spider-Man". This shit is actually so confusing I don't know how to even begin to explain it. Cletus Kasady (Carnage) is abducted and sent to the Microverse, a tiny parallel dimension that exists in between the atoms of the regular dimension, because this dude called Marquis Radu wants to Carnage to kill the Microverse's god so that Radu can take his place. Scarlet Spider, Flash Thompson (Venom), and a journalist named Katy Kiernan follow Carnage to the Microverse and Scarlet Spider comes close to embracing his murderous past and killing Carnage, but Radu captures Katy and Venom before he has a chance. It is revealed that Radu is building an army out of the alien symbiotes/suits of Venom and Carnage. Meanwhile, a mysterious healer dude tells Scarlet Spider that the fate of the Microverse is intrinsically linked to the fate of the regular universe, so they have to stop Radu from killing the Microverse's god.
Uncanny X-Force (2010) #33
The Uncanny X-Force are a secret team of mutants tasked with the kind of dirty jobs the X-Men can't be seen doing. You know what that means: good ol' fashioned murders. We begin this issue with some naked Wolverine, which is truly his natural state and should happen more often.
This is, of course, a dream, in which Logan runs in to Scott Summers (Cyclops) and a child version of the villain Apocalypse. Logan is concerned Scott will push the boy, who is called Evan and had for a time attended the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, but Evan jumps himself instead.
He wakes up and has an extremely painful conversation with his son, Daken about how while he was being trained to kill everyone he should have trusted he used to dream of what it would be like to have a family that loved him.
Meanwhile, an alternate universe Nightcrawler kills and alternate universe Blob by teleporting a shark into his stomach so it eats him from the inside out. Not even remotely kidding about that.
Then Daken drops Logan into a pool of water (because eventually it'll starve his brain of oxygen and he'll die because his healing factor can't repair that damage) and beats Evan nearly to death in front of him while he slowly drowns. Evan gets away and decides to go full on evil Apocalypse to rescue the X-Force team but at what cost?
X-Men (2010) #38
I don't want to alarm you, but this issue involves Daredevil, who a couple comics up was apparently deceased. This kind of thing seems to happen a lot, you just have to kind of roll with it. Matt and Domino sneak into a seedy underground casino that caters to super villains who play poker with their powers and gadgets.
Matty crashes the party and Domino sheds her disguise and they beat up the whole casino full of bad guys together, with some banter and a lil' bit of flirting because this is Matt Murdock we're talking about here and I think he is physically incapable of not being a tart.
So they beat everyone unconscious except one dude, who gives them the name of the guy in charge, and a location where he can be found. Witty banter, a cache of villainous tech and gadgets, attractive people flirting at each other, what more could you want?
Thus concludes this week's pull list, which is everything you never needed to know about the Marvel universe one week at a time (with the exception of whatever I didn't read that week). This was fun! I'll see you guys next week.
Next week's pull list includes: All New X-Men (2012) #1, Avengers Assemble (2012) #9, Fantastic Four (2012) #1, First X-Men (2011) #4, Gambit (2012) #5, New Avengers (2010) #33, Thor: God of Thunder (2012) #1, Wolverine & the X-Men (2011) #20, X-Men Legacy (2012) #1, and X-Treme X-Men (2012) #6 so stay tuned, lovelies.