The Comic Fanatic – 11/15: This one goes to Eleven!

That’s right, this week had an astonishing number of excellent titles, that I really don’t want to exclude any. So, on this mega, ultra sized edition of The Comic Fanatic, we’ve got eleven comics to talk about. So let’s get right to it!

First up, we have Saga #7. Back after a two month hiatus, Saga picks up right where it left off, with Marko’s parents showing up on their tree-ship unannounced. We also find out more about Marko’s past, as well as more about the war going on. We also learn why Hazel shouldn’t exist. She does, but really shouldn’t given the way things are. As this is Saga, the writing is impeccable, the art is fantastic, and you should be reading it. If you haven’t started, pick up the first trade (which collects the first six issues), and then this one. Saga is simply one of the best comics on shelves now.

Now let us venture to the world of the Bat. This week, Death of the Family continues in Batman #14, Batgirl #14, and Suicide Squad #14. What a ride. We’re still early in the event, but this is clearly a very different Joker than we have seen before. Perhaps most similar to The Killing Joke, but another step more evil and insane, and maybe smarter. Joker’s had some intricate plots before, but here we’re seeing that he not only has a hand to play, but a full deck. A full deck that has been rigged from the start. It is clear now that there is nothing he won’t do, and no one is safe. He intends to kill everyone Batman loves. Nothing more, nothing else. Just the destruction of Batman’s entire world, and then his life.

Batgirl #14 is a great example. How better to paralyze (no pun intended) a hero, than to make her relive the most painful moment in her life? Barbara kicks a lot of ass in this issue. A lot. Pushed to the edge, she really has no choice. She shows that she is every bit worthy of the name Batgirl. Very will written and illustrated issue. Wonderful art. The characters are well drawn, and the fights look great. And Joker? Still creepy as ever.

Suicide Squad #14 isn’t bad. It has some interesting scenes between Harley and the Joker, but in the end it feels unnecessary. The middle portion of the book goes back to Waller and the rest of the cast that nobody really care about. Face it, most people read this book for Harley, and Deadshot (who’s now dead). Buy Batman and Batgirl for sure this month. Two fantastic reads. Then pick up Suicide Squad if it interests you.

Over on the Marvel side of things, we have a couple very notable new Marvel NOW! titles: Thor: God of Thunder #1 and All New X-Men #1. Both are worth your time and money. Thor surprised me. It follow him in three different point in his life, facing the same enemy: The God Butcher. First we have young Thor, like early in the first movie. Brash, arrogant, and enjoys wine and women. Then we have current Thor. Lastly, we have Thor, The last God of Asgard. Many, many years in the future, Thor is the only God left. Beaten and bruised, he vows to go out like a true God of Asgard. Very excited to see what this one has in store. Great art. Written by Jason Aaron (Wolverine and the X-Men).

In the first issue of All New X-Men, Cyclops has broken out of jail, and put his team together. They start helping new mutants with little regard for anyone else, especially if they’re human. Really, it’s purposely at the expense of human. So yes, he’s still a pretentious jerk. Bobby makes an offhand remake that the Cyclops they grew up with wouldn’t stand for this, so that’s exactly what Beast does. He goes in the past and recruits the original five X-Men (from 1960) to talk Scott out of his ways. This first issue is mostly setup, but I am very excited to see where this goes. Great art and colors. Very vibrant. I can’t wait for the past X-men to meet their current selves. Jean is dead, Beast has had further mutations, Angel is no longer Warren after he tried to kill every one, Cyclops is a mass murdering criminal, and Iceman, is still Iceman.

Wolverine and the X-Men #20 is a rather unremarkable side story with Angel and a couple of new mutants. Not bad, just not the caliber the series is used to. The next should be rather exciting, as it featured Frankenstein and a circus. I’m curious.

Marvel Universe VS the Avengers #2 is the second part of a four part story where a cannibalistic virus has infected most of the world, with the Avengers trying to save what’s left. Doom comes with a proposition: he’ll save the world if they give it to him. Rather interesting story, told from Hawkeye’s perspective.  Well written. I liked the inclusion of the kids from Avengers Academy. Worth reading.

In Gambit #5, he faces the man he stole from at the beginning of the series, and safe to say, Cich is not a happy camper. After a lesson or two, he believes he has Gambit on a leash, but when has anyone been able to control Remy LeBeau? Most curious about this issue is the last page inclusion of Pete Wisdom, a minor mutant notable from Warren Ellis’ run on Excalibur. Will see how things turn out for our cajun friend.

Invincible #97 is an interesting issue of one of the best series ever. It’s clearly a filler issue before everyone starts dying in the next issue (and up to the big 100 issue), but there’s some good stuff in there. Kirkman seemingly mocks himself  and appears to condemn excessive variants and his handling of the 100 issues of Invincible and The Walking Dead , but then goes ahead and does it anyways. Not sure how I feel about that. Looking forward for a big world-ending threat that Invincible is known for.

In The Walking Dead #104 we finally realized that yes, Rick does have a plan. But remember, this is The Walking Dead, so no one can be happy. That’s pretty much all you need to know. A solid issue, but things never look up for our heroes.

Big week, and that’s not including the new Fables trade that’s out. So much, hopefully you found something you’ll like. Until next week!

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