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Top of the Pile – 2012-06-12

And… I’m back. It took longer than I expected to get caught up from my vacation, but I finally made it. Here are the books I read tonight. Mini-reviews are after the page break.

  1. DC – Action Comics #10
  2. Marvel – Avengers vs X-Men #5
  3. DC – Earth 2 #2
  4. DC – Worlds’ Finest #2
  5. Marvel – Avengers Academy # 31
  6. Marvel – Uncanny X-Men #13
  7. Marvel – The Invincible Iron Man #518
  8. DC – Justice League International #10


1) DC – Action Comics #10

My first thought for this book was… confused. We start off with the younger Clark going into action in his shirt and jeans costume, but he has a red shirt. Huh? Was this a laundry accident? I don’t know and it isn’t explained.

Next Superman meets with the Justice League and it looks like it was shortly after they formed. He’s in his full modern day uniform here though. The story makes clear that this scene takes place just after the previous one, so why the uniform switch? Again, it’s not explained.

A little later we are introduced to a new character in a robe. This at least looks like something that is setting up the next issue, but it seems oddly placed here.

Next we go back to the young Clark hanging out with Jimmy and Lois, and then being ‘killed’. This seems out of left field, but it does lead to a nice encounter with the issue’s main villain, and the back up story for the issue. Unfortunately the backup story is marked as taking place after issue #11. Again, huh? Is it really that difficult to coordinate things that this story couldn’t have been published next issue?

Overall this issue left me confused. It jumps from place to place with no explanation and has a lot of holes that are left for the reader to fill in. What happened to good, clear, storytelling?

2) Marvel – Avengers vs X-Men #5

Not horrible for an event book, but honestly, the story could have been told in far fewer pages. The whole series, like most event books, is extremely padded. Get. On. With. It.

3) DC – Earth 2 #2

Much better than the first issue. Jay gets his powers, Mr. Terrific turns up from whatever they’re calling the main Earth now, Hawkgirl/woman makes an appearance, and Alan proposes to his boyfriend just before the train their riding on explodes. Unlike the first issue, this one makes me want to read more. This may not be the Earth 2 I wanted and expected, but it is showing some possibility.

4) DC – Worlds’ Finest #2

Not as big of a chunk of the present day story as I would have liked, but we did get more of the back story on what happened when Kara and Helena first came to this earth. It does seem like Kara is letting her powers be known to at least some people. I have to wonder if this will be used against her in a future issue. In any event, the way that she acquired her wealth is both interesting and based in current headlines.

5) Marvel – Avengers Academy # 31

This book just gets better every single issue. This issue in particular takes the whole silliness of Avengers vs X-men and turns it into a story that is well worth reading. The whole idea of Tigra telling the kids that they can’t go without a ‘fight’ was brilliant! Hercules was played perfectly! I really want a Christos Gage Hercules series!

The other part of this book was equally well handled, and by that I mean the letters page. First off, the book has one. Second, it deals with real issues, okay a singular issue of late – the sexuality of characters. Third, while some of the letter writers are far from my favorite people, the responses to those letters are dead on, neither insulting or dismissive, but very heartfelt and honest. All of which makes me actually want to read the entire letters page.

6) Marvel – Uncanny X-Men #13


7) Marvel – The Invincible Iron Man #518

This issue hits one of my sore spots right at the start. In the last issue we were left with the appearance of a mysterious new Iron Man. This issue, we find out in the recap text that it was James Rhodes in the new suit. Why was this revealed here and not in the story?

The recap page at the beginning of the book should be for just that, recapping what has gone before. It should NOT be used to reveal information that was lacking in the frikkin story! This is just plain LAZY writing.

That aside, I do like where this book is going, or at least where I think it’s going. I’ve hated the extremis armor since it was first introduced. The tech is too advanced for a book that is supposed to be set in modern day. It’s so far beyond anything that science is currently capable of that it is for all intents and purposes magic. I was glad to see it being removed from Tony. I hope it is gone for good.

I also like what is going on with the Mandarin, and the story in general. I just wish it would GET MOVING already! Anyone who has read this blog will know that I’m not a fan of the current style of comics where even the most minor story takes at least six issues to tell. Unfortunately this book is a prime example of that, and suffers as a result.

8) DC – Justice League International #10

Aside from some rather clunky dialog, I enjoyed this issue, and this series in general. It’s been one of the few ‘New 52′ books that feels like a regular super-hero comic. While there has been nothing about this title that raised it above an average grade, it was generally fun. I will be sorry to see it go.

And that’s about it for tonight. I should be back again next week with more quick reviews from the Top of the Pile.


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