After taking a month off, Nicholas Brendon returns to co-write the latest issue of Buffy Season Ten which continues the fresh start for the comic’s core characters and new living accommodations for roomies Spike and Xander. Continuing the theme of temptation, the latest issue sets Spike and Xander at the mercy of Sirens who nearly devour the pair if not for the timely intervention of ghost Anya screaming some sense into her ex-fiance.
With new digs the Scoobies are back together. Across from hall from Spike and Xander there’s Buffy, Willow, and Dawn leading to a Friends-style set-up so obvious one character even comments on it. The Siren escapade is a mix of bizarre and humorous (pillow fights? do Sirens really enjoy seeing half-naked men having pillow fights?) tempered by the loneliness of both Spike and Xander.
Xander’s situation with Dawn is far from settled and the ongoing temptation to use the new Vampyr tome continues to affect all those who hold onto it foreshadowing an error in judgement looming just beyond the horizon. Worth a look.
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In an attempt to fulfill the final wish of Charles Xavier, the unlikely force of Rachel, Cyclops, and Wolverine go after an Omega-Level Mutant whose knowledge of his immense powers Professor X wiped from his mind. With the professor gone, those memories are returning making the man a potential danger to every living being on the planet.
Without getting specific about just what powers the man controls, Uncanny X-Men #26 sets up the mutant as a major threat who S.H.I.E.L.D. will gladly take all the help it can get to neutralize before things spiral out of control.
The issue brings up two subplots worth keeping an eye on in Iceman‘s boiling rage against Scott Summers for Xavier’s death and in the conflict of Cyclops’ young mutants when discussing the reasons for the existence of a training program pitting them against the Avengers. Both foreshadow potentially messy situations for Cyclops and possibly his entire team. Worth a look.
Leonardo‘s planned competition for the rest of the team gets out-of-hand when the Turtles’ leader is captured by Fishface who alters the various challenges and traps in Leo’s obstacle course to lethal levels in hopes of finishing Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael once and for all. The comic’s main story forces the competition into a team-building exercise (which Leo had in mind all along – although be it far more dangerous than he planned).
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New Animated Adventures #15 also offers a pair of goofy and enjoyable back-up stories. The first is presented from the perspective of Ice Cream Kitty who fancies herself a legendary hero with the freezer door is mistakenly left open allowing the slowly-melting warrior to dispense justice on the streets of New York. The second storyline involves Splinter‘s attempt to master Mikey’s favorite video game, which offers only frustration for the Turtles’ master. All three stories work well and are certainly worth a look.
Wrapping up the two-issue arc begun last month, Astro City #15 reveals the history of Eleanor Jennersen and how the leading mind behind robotics became the owner of a robot scrap yard in the middle of nowhere. Pulled before a judge for the crimes caused by the robots her nephew decided to use for a quick profit, Ellie breaks out of prison (thanks to the help of her metal friends) and clears not only her name but those of her rebuilt robots as well by revealing the true threat behind the plot: her old college roommate Vivi Viktor.
The Reed Richards/Victor von Doom elements of the story are fun to see played out as the unassuming and noble Ellie is revealed to be one of the most brilliant people on the planet despite Vivian’s attempt to shatter her mind and steal her secrets decades ago.
Despite every motive to seek revenge from the woman who stole her life, Ellie proves to be a hero in every sense of the word not even accepting the praise or help of the world’s heroes once they realize the true story. As always, worth a look.
Although his actions will have serious consequences for when he returns home to Earth, Nova takes the day off from school to fly into the heart of the Chitauri Empire and search for his father whom he has learned had been living as a slave forced to battle in the alien race’s gladiatorial games.
Sam makes it to the race’s heavily-guarded homeworld of Chitauri Prime, but discovers his father has already led a prison break and is now lost somewhere in space aboard a ship with limited capabilities which the young Nova cannot track.
Although Nova #21 doesn’t reunite Sam with his father, it does confirm for Sam that the former Nova is still alive and (like many other of the former gladiators) searching for a way home. It will be interesting to see how long the comic keeps his father lost in space and just what happens to Sam’s space-fairing extra-curricular activities once he does return to Earth. Worth a look.
With the set-up of the team settled and the New Warriors victorious over the High Evolutionary I decided to pop back in on this title and give it a look. New Warriors #9 has two things going for it: lots of Scarlet Spider and an insane giant basketball mascot intent on proving himself a hero. This my friends is a good time.
Returning Kaine to Houston against his will Vance Astronik attempts to sell the hero on staying with the team when the city’s former basketball mascot, transformed into a giant 100 ft. insane bear, shows up to take down the “super-villains” and prove himself the true hero of the city. Scarlet Spider vs. giant stuffed bear? Yeah, that’s pretty awesome.
The B-story involves the rest of the team blowing off some steam by hitting a nightclub in Prague. Although it gives the various other characters less a role to play (which is fine by me with Kaine picking up the slack), this lighthearted subplot does foreshadow dark times ahead for one particular member. Must-read.
Although she doesn’t make an appearance in this issue other than in a flashback, Velvet Tempelton‘s spirit can be found of every page of the latest issue of Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s Velvet. Where the previous issues were spent to set-up the premise and the mystery of searching for the truth of what happened to the super-spy turned secretary, Velvet #7 is focused on the woman herself and how she’s viewed by the two men leading the search to find her. Even if, for the first time, we aren’t seeing the world from her perspective, the latest issue arguably offers readers the clearest picture of the character yet.
Velvet’s continued actions baffle Colt and Roberts who are only beginning to suspect that there’s likely far more to the story than the simple frame job suggests. Colt’s perspective gives us a glimpse at the dangerous false trails one finds while searching for a master spy while Roberts more analytical approach searches for assets and leverage which can be used against Velvet, although he discovers just how far he’s been lagging behind his target in the final couple pages of yet another terrific issue. Best of the Week.
The second issue of Smallville: Chaos focuses on the misadventures of Lois Lane and Superman dealing with being trapped on a parallel Earth under control of the Manhunters while back home Lex Luthor capitalizes on the Man of Steel’s absence to put his plan into action.
The storyline involving Eclipso continues as well, but it’s not given much space to develop and feels somewhat neglected given the focus on various other storylines happening here. We do get more of Booster Gold in action, stepping in to be the hero of the hour in Superman’s absence along with Hank Henshaw (although neither appears ready to step into Superman’s shoes just yet). Sadly don’t get more of Zatanna this time around.
The main takeaway from Smallville Season Eleven: Chaos #2 seems to be that no matter what Earth Superman may find himself living on, his dead computerized father is still a giant jerk. For fans.
The latest issue of Fairest splits its attention continuing to examine Reynard‘s misadventures with the angry family of the beautiful farm girl he bedded in their barn (who may not be quite as much of Deliverance cliches as the previous issue suggested) and the continued clamor of the various Fables of The Farm over the five available glamours which will soon be up for grabs in the coming lottery.
More intriguing than Reynard’s tale, the main story on The Farm this month centers around Owl and his wife the Pussycat whose dreams of traveling with her husband to various exotic locales have only intensified since the news of the lottery for the five new glamours.
The Owl and Pussycat story is worth picking up, especially given the husband’s sweet attempt to give his wife a small taste of what she’s been missing for hundreds of years, but even with the twist Reynard’s tale is taking up far too many pages of the series limited number of issues for my liking. For fans.
After breaking out of prison and surviving a murderous armada made up of dozens of Rocket Racoon‘s pissed-off ex-girlfriends, Rocket, Groot, and their friend/hostage take a bizarre trip to Sendak and Funtzel’s Intergalactic Towing and Recovery Service (of course that’s after Rocket goes super-violent on a couple of amateurs foolish enough to refer to him as a “raccoon”).
There’s plenty of mayhem and crazy violence for fans of Rocket Raccoon here along with finally giving a hero a look at the impostor who has been killing in his name. Longtime fans of the character should also be keenly aware of the mention of the Book of Half-World foreshadowing where this journey may ultimately lead our hero.
We’ll have to wait at least another month for the story behind the other raccoon, and probably even longer to find out how the latest setback effects Amalya’s murderous plans, but Skootie Young delivers yet again matching art and story for some bizarre fun. Worth a look.