The Comic Fanatic – Week of 3/7:Age of Apocalypse, Venom, Wolverine and the X-Men

Welcome back, True Believers! Like most of Fanatics, I’ve been busy this week playing the greatness that is Mass Effect 3. However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t have time to go to the comic store. Rather the opposite. While I was waiting for Tuesday night, I had a chance to read a couple books that were rather excellent.

This week I picked up  Age of Apocalypse #1, Venom #14, and Wolverine and the X-Men: Alpha and Omega #3. Age of Apocalypse #1 follows AoA Jean and Sabretooth after the events of Uncanny X-Force’s Dark Angel Saga, and the events of Marvel .1 where they were turned human. In AoA #1, they team up with the X-Terminated, a group of human freedom fighters who are ready to kick ass and take names. Their opponent is none other than Jean’s husband, Wolverine, whose mind has been twisted. I rather enjoyed this one. The art is gritty and dark, and yet still colorful. The X-Terminated are a very interesting batch, consisting of mostly enemies from the main X-Men universe. It includes Bolivar Trask (Inventor of the Sentinels), William Stryker (Anti-Mutant Zealot), Zora Risman (Daughter of Matthew Risman, sniper for the Purifiers), Graydon Creed (Anti-Mutant terrorist) and Donald Pierce (Hellfire Club), along with Jean Grey and Sabretooth. Keep an eye on this one. It could end up being a great series.

Venom #14 concludes the Circle of Four event. If you haven’t been reading, shame on you. It’s been really fun seeing the unusual band (X-23, Red Hulk, Ghost Rider and Venom) interact and reluctantly team up to save the day from Hell. It is definitely worth your time and money. Time for me to see where X-23 will show up next. And last, but not least is Wolverine and the X-Men: Alpha and Omega #3 (of 5). This is a side story, written by a different writer than the main Wolverine and the X-Men run. It mostly focuses on Wolverine (Alpha) and Quentin Quire (Omega), with Armor and Rachel Grey in the supporting cast. Quire has trapped Wolverine and Armor mentally in a virtual world with his vast telepathic power, and Rachel is investigating the missing headmaster. Honestly, I’m not sure this story deserved its own run. It’s significantly weaker than Jason Aaron’s amazing Wolverine and the X-Men. The story’s a little slow and this issue is no exception. It’s not a bad read, but skippable.

I finally had a chance to read Sleeper, Season 1 by Ed Brubaker, and it might be one of my favorite comic books ever. Similar Brubaker’s other noir-style comics (Incognito, Criminal and Fatale), Sleeper follows the story of Holden Carver, a CIA agent in deep cover. When his handler falls into a coma, Carver has to figure out what to do. It’s really an amazing story with several twists and turns along the way. I also read The Promethean Challenge (Appleseed). Appleseed is one of my favorite movies, and The Promethean Challenge is the first volume of the manga that inspired it. It’s great fun to read, and Briareos and Deunan are great characters. I have since ordered the rest of the series.

That’s it for this week, True Believers! Stay tuned and as always, drop me a comment or find me on twitter!

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