Offering a brief interlude to the rising tensions between sisters, Fables #147 takes Rose Red back home to the house she grew-up in and offers her the opportunity to choose a peaceful path in nature rather than continue the road to war begun so many issues ago. Although momentarily tempted, Rose chooses forbidden knowledge
The issue’s other storyline involves Fabletown attempting to bring the immortal Prince Brandish to justice for the murder of Weyland Smith. Choosing trail by combat Brandish squares off against, and is quickly decapitated by, Lancelot. However, the prince’s unique medical condition doesn’t allow the contest to end causing serious confusion as to what happens next.
Should the pair be still dueling when Rose Red returns you have to wonder what her reaction to the odd scenario might be and if Lancelot’s realization that he is indeed Guinevere may come to pass as his attempt to take down a guilty knave his queen has pardoned might actually quicken the fall of the new Camelot. Worth a look.
The latest issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten begins Buffy realizing the duties and politics she’s been forced to take on since accepting ownership of the Vampyr tome. Meeting with everyone from new vampires to leprechauns, the Slayer’s sanity is tested. And, if that wasn’t enough, two old friends come to call.
Albeit for different reasons both Harmony and Clem have been fan favorites for quite a long time but haven’t been given that much to do since the end of both Angel and Buffy‘s TV runs. Issue #10 changes that with Harmony’s new master plan to change the book and rewrite magic in the world to her liking. Thankfully Clem, now in the role of her toadie, still has a conscience. Although he does grant one of Harmony’s bizarre wishes (no, not the crazy fanfic one) in deciding to make unicorns real.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #10 proves to be an awful lot of fun capturing Harmony’s craziness. I hope to see more of each of them. And Buffy’s new position offers up all kinds of odd meetings that I’m sure the Season Ten writers will enjoy exploiting. Worth a look.
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Uncanny X-Men #29 not only offers us a battle of words between Cyclops and Magneto over the fate of the extremely powerful, and a bit out-of-control, Matthew Malloy, but it also adds a mew wrinkle with a pair of time-traveling subplots one of which may stabilize the situation and another that may through the X-Men’s entire history into chaos.
Along with continuing to play on Magik jumping back-forth through time for the assistance of Doctor Strange, who comes us with an unusual solution to the Malloy problem, the latest issue also gives Tempus her own subplot as she considers altering time in a very large way by warning Professor Xavier of the Malloy situation in the past and alloying him to try and prevent the current situation before it ever occurs. Of course you have to wonder what else a past version of Xavier might learn about both his future and that of his prized student opening up the door for a very big shakeup if Brian Michael Bendis wants to walk the reader through. Worth a look.
Trapped inside a sinking Kraang Laboratory at the bottom of the ocean Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New Animated Adventures #18 offers the conclusion to last month’s story as Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael will have to put aside their feelings and work alongside Tiger Claw, Razah, and the bug-eyed Baxter Stockman to survive.
Of course the solid (if unexceptional) adventure ends in the villains betraying the heroes (just as Raphael predicted) but the quick thinking of the Turtles allows the group to make it home safely while sending their enemies on an unexpected side trip which is sure to infuriate them even more.
The holiday-themed back-up story offers a bit more enjoyment as Mikey freaks out discovering he’s been chosen as Raphael’s Secret Santa. However, knowing his brother so well, Mikey eventually comes up with the best present anyone could ever give Raph for Christmas. Worth a look.
After setting up the event in several of the previous mini-series, Smallville Season Eleven: Continuity brings a new Crisis to the Smallville Universe. Lois and Clark may have been able to make it home from a parallel Earth but not before the Monitors have begun deconstructing time and space in the reality they know as home. With all reality being erased, ripped apart to a molecule level, and rewritten, Superman has very little time to save his home.
Writer Bryan Q. Miller gets a little timey-wimey in his explanation of what is occurring across time and space (but not quite all at once as there are pockets left out for heroes to fight back from) but it works well-enough as the set-up to a world-ending event which will need all hands on deck to stop.
The bleak situation should allow the comic to bring back a wide assortment of characters to fight against the end of their universe. Not only do we get the regular Smallville cast but Batman, Nightwing, Zatanna, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and others all make an appearance here as Superman must lead his friends into war. Worth a look.
I’m far from Grant Morrison’s biggest fan, and the New 52 bastardization of Billy Batson into a teenage punk unworthy of the magic of Shazam still drives me crazy, so my expectations for The Multiversity: Thunderworld Adventures #1 were pretty damn low. I was wrong.
As he did with All-Star Superman, Morrison shows off his love of Silver Age zaniness by crafting a classic Captain Marvel story that could easily fit into the pre-Crisis DCU. Complete with classic representations of all its characters, Morrison chooses not to wrongly remake Captain Marvel for a new age (as DC so thoroughly botched with the New 52) but instead remind us of the throwback hero who earned the nickname the Big Red Cheese.
The plot of the comic involves the latest scheme of Dr. Sivana to steal the magic of Rock of Eternity for himself and the Sivana Family who, once super-powered, square-off against Cap, Captain Marvel Jr., Mary Marvel, and their supporting cast who include Tawky Tawny (although sadly not dressed in his plaid suit). And even the Monster Society of Evil gets in on the fun!
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The time-displaced X-Men’s (along with X-23) visit to the Marvel Ultimate Universe continues as Jean Grey goes looking for help only to come face-to-face with this world’s X-Men including herself. Reading each others minds creates immediate confusion for both telepaths but also forges an unusual friendship between the pair understanding the highs and lows of each other’s troubled lives. Attempting to return home to Cyclops‘ compound, Angel and X-23 also discover that they are indeed in the wrong world and, as far as they know, without a way to get back home.
Things aren’t any easier for the Beast who has a dinner date with this world’s Doctor Doom who is fascinated with the tale of time-and-space-displaced mutants. Just what the super-villain plans to do with such knowledge is yet to be seen. And, in the least interesting of the three storylines, Iceman finishes battling the mole monster on the streets of New York only to run into a couple of police officers and discover mutants are no more beloved in this reality than his own. Worth a look.
As Splinter, Leonardo, Raphael, and Michelangelo continue training with Old Hob‘s new army of mutants to go to war against the Shredder and the Foot Clan, Donatello continues his attempt to form a shaky peace with his father’s enemy realizing that the imminent threat of the Krang is a far bigger danger than continuing old blood feuds.
Teased for months, we finally get multiple images of the Technodrome in action as the Krang’s battle station nears completion which will likely set off some action-heavy issues in the months to come and possibly cause some serious fall-out between Donnie and his brothers over the Turtle’s choice of new friends.
Rounding out Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #41 the issue also offers glimpses into Casey and April‘s current life away from their friends while Baxter Stockman and Professor Honeycutt come to their own understanding about the Technodrome and the looming destruction of all mankind. Worth a look.
So much of Astro City deals with the fringe, normal people on the periphery of the super-hero world, that when you get a comic centered around a particular hero you are always a bit surprised. Beginning a new four-issue arc, “The Dimming of the Day” gives us a peek at aging crimefighters Crackerjack and Quarrel while offering a contemplative look back at the humble origins of the later who used her natural gifts and tragic family history to carve out a life as a super-hero.
Quarrel’s back story takes up much of the first issue of the arc while introducing the idea of two crimefighters whose heroic exploits may be coming to an end. Wiser and more armored, but a bit slower these days, how hard is it for a hero to admit that it might be time to hang up the tights?
Although I’ve quite enjoyed the short one-off issues of the current series, Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson open a door here I’ll gladly walk through and stick around to see what does happen when a super-hero decides (or is forced to) retire? Worth a look.
The final issue of “The Quest of the Broken Blade” pits Samurai Jack against Aku without the magical sword which is the only weapon the evil demon fears. Those waiting for a big throwdown between the pair are not going to be disappointed as the entire comic is a single battle between Jack and Aku that ends with the samurai’s sword restored and Aku’s relentless attacks paused as the evil shape-shifting master of darkness escapes once more.
How the sword reappears is a bit of a surprise but certainly fits into the metaphysical aspects of the comic and the animated show which spawned it as the character not only finds the strength to keep fighting from within but the weapon by which to do so as well.
With the arc complete Jack has earned the sword bequeathed to him by his father all those years ago, but still stuck in Aku’s demented future our hero is no closer to finding a path home. His quest, it seems, will continue. Worth a look.