The Comic Fanatic – 11/8: Uncanny X-Force, Age of Apocalypse, Avengers Academy, Red Hood and the Outlaws, Iron Man

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Comic Fanatic! If you haven’t already, check out my review of Deadpool #1. It’s got  Deadpool fighting zombie presidents. Quite a fun read. Up ahead we’ve got Uncanny X-Force, Age of Apocalypse, Avengers Academy‘s final issue, Red Hood and the Outlaws, and Iron Man.

The award for most awesome cover for this month goes to Uncanny X-Force #33. Seriously. How badass does Nightcrawler look? Awesome cover, and the rest of the issue is also very, very good. As we grow closer and closer to the finale in issue 35, the more I realize how much I will miss this book. On the other hand, I WANT TO KNOW HOW IT ENDS!  This features a heart-to-heart father/son talk between Daken and Logan. The rest of the issue is as strong as the series has ever been and I don’t want to give anything away. Suffice to say that it’s a culmination of everything that’s happened so far, and no one’s getting out of the last two issues without scars. Issue 34 drops later this month, with the grand finale in December.

Up next we have Age of Apocalypse #9. This issue focuses on two things: the aftermath of the previous issue (Zora decapitating Doom), and Graydon and Jean’s date. Prophet continues to play both sides against the middle (and the middle against itself). He’s rather crafty. Zora’s mostly annoyed and deadly. The date is rather interesting. It’s interesting how a few panels can expand on a character, but Graydon has a softer side that is shown and really helps to round out the character. And just incase you had forgotten about Fiend, we get a good reminder of how capable she is in this issue. Always fun watching her stab things. Lastly, the world continues to build as we get introduced to Keeper Murdock (Daredevil) who can track people by their heartbeats. As always, good art in this one. I rather like this series.

Avengers Academy #39 is the series finale. A rather happy finale for a series that definitely had its share of darker moments for the characters. All the main characters get a conclusion to their character arcs, as well as a brief graduation at the end. I’m gonna miss this series. It was rather fun and well-written. Amusingly enough, if you read last week’s column you’ll know I’m not a fan of Gage’s run on X-Men Legacy. Here, however, he excels. It has been a very good series with a new batch of characters that took some time to develop, but ended up quite well rounded. Some of the characters will return in Avengers Arena where they’ll be fighting each other. Not sure how I feel about that, but X-23 will be there, so I’ll be reading. If you haven’t checked out Avengers Academy, give it a try. You might like it.

On the other side of the fence, I picked up Red Hood and the Outlaws: Redemption, which collects the first seven issues of the New 52 series starring Jason Todd (the Robin who was killed and brought back to life). I have to say, I really enjoyed this book, way more than I thought I would. I thought it would be decent, but I’d say it’s great. The writing is fantastic and the art is really excellent. Everything I’d heard about Jason Todd was that he was an unlikable jerk. Granted that was pre-52, but still. I really like the way he’s written. A more mature vigilante, who will still kill. Roy Harper is a rogue and scoundrel in the truest and best sense of the word. A fun counter to the pensive and stoic Todd. Then there’s Starfire. I know many people were upset with her redesign, and I can see why. But I do like her in this book. I really enjoyed. There’s good action as well as character moments, and the art really pulls it together. Plus, they just look cool together. Recommended.

Iron Man #1 also hit the shelves this week. The writing’s not bad. Kieron Gillen can be a good writer, especially when he’s on top of his game (Uncanny X-Men’s Breaking Point arc). However, it’s hard to concentrate on the story with Greg Land’s art. Initially it’s not bad. Some of the shots of the armor actually look pretty cool. But then you see the faces and it just looks wrong. It’s not horrendous, but it just looks wrong. It’s like this:

 Male faces aren’t any better.

For further examples check here. The art isn’t inherently bad, but something about the faces really distracts me. The more you stare, the worse it gets. I wanted to read new Iron Man, but I really can’t get past Greg Land’s art. Sorry. Skipping this one.

Stay tuned as Marvel NOW! continues in the upcoming weeks!

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