Thursday, 23 August 2012

Weekly Round-Up 23/08/2012


A nerdy high school student visits a laboratory with his class, only to be granted superpowers. Sound familiar? Well this time, it's Peter Parker on the outside looking in, as one of his demonstrations inadvertently creates a new hero by the name of Alpha! However, that is where the similarity ends, as Alpha quickly goes off the rails and uses his newfound powers for all the wrong things! What was initially touted as Spidey's first sidekick, soon becomes an in-continuity What If story. With no pretense of a secret identity, Alpha uses his abilities to do what we all would - make money, impress girls, make fools of jocks, etc. This was a fun opening chapter to a story that I'm sure will have dire consequences for our favourite wall-crawler. The bigger Alpha's profile gets (and his ego at that), the more attention he attracts... 8/10


This series has always struck me as the odd one out among it's Green Lantern brethren. The premise of all the Lantern Corps uniting as one sprang out of Blackest Night, where it was used most effectively. At that time, the team consisted of only the most high profile of Lanterns, whether it be Hal Jordan, Sinestro, Carol Ferris, etc. These were the proverbial cream of the crop. However, this ongoing series has basically been surviving on scraps, as all those other characters are busy elsewhere, giving the impression this is strictly the B-team. To my surprise, it wasn't as bad as I expected. As their first year draws to a close, so does their conflict against the almighty Invictus. But that isn't the real narrative meat of the issue. Instead, we finally find out who stole all those Lantern rings way back in Issue 1 and just what they hoped to achieve by sending them to Kyle Rayner. These reveals are far more satisfying than any random slugfest with a musclebound villain. The issue ends on an ominous note, leaving me dying to know what role this team will play in the DC universe going forward. 7/10


This book is a mess, plain and simple. Whether it be the plotting, telling an insane story about States succeeding and Texas threatening to nuke the rest of America. More so, the art varies wildly from page to page. One reveling in realism, another boldly stylised, as if it were straight from a cartoon. In a year where "The Avengers" is pulling in a billion dollars worldwide, how does the series that inspired it flounder so badly? Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention quite how ugly the redesigned costumes of Captain America and Iron Man are. Both are clunky and cumbersome, which is the last thing you'd expect icons to be wearing. This book reminds me alot of Squadron Supreme post-JMS. It's ugly, directionless and missing the magic that made it a must-read in the first place. This is the reanimated corpse of a once great series. Avoid at all costs. 1/10


Despite falling smack dab in the middle of AvX, this arc has been more of a side story about the Phoenix Five (still intact at this point) taking down long-time foe, Mister Sinister. It's actually rather handy the focus of the event isn't on this adventure, as it would undercut everything the main series was putting across. While the combined might of every single Avenger struggled to make a dent in one of the Phoenix Five, Mister Sinister keeps ALL FIVE captive for an entire issue. Admittedly, there's a panel that proves the Phoenix is too powerful to contain, but to have such an unstoppable force...stopped, is a little strange. The majority of the issue falls to the remainder of Cyclops' Extinction team i.e. Psylocke, Storm, Magneto and Danger, as they plot to sneak their way into Sinister's castle and liberate their comrades. The teamwork on display is fantastic and even with all the ulterior motives flying around, these are combinations that work. Infact, this issue features my favourite Psylocke moment ever, bar none. I've never liked the character before, so to hear myself laughing out loud at her antics was a complete surprise. I'm positively begging for that to be her new catchphrase. It'd rival "it's clobberin' time" and "flame on". 8/10

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