We talk a lot about superhero movies here on Everything Action, but what about the source themselves? I’ve been back into comics since getting the Comixology app on my phone and tablet and what I’m going to try to do is give you my thoughts on some of the comics I’m reading for the week. This week kicks off the big Marvel event for the year, Age of Ultron, along with the epilogues to DC’s fantastic Rotworld saga.
- Age of Ultron #1: Forshadowed in Avengers Vol. 4 #12.1 back in 2011 but postponed until now, Age of Ultron kicks off this week and follow the Marvel heroes in a apocalyptic future where Ultron, the robotic arch nemesis of the Avengers, has taken over the planet and most of the planet lies in ruin. The first issue follows Hawkeye as he attempts to free Spider-Man from the clutches of a street gang that is trying to earn credit with Ultron. The book has a very Terminator feel, which mixed with the Marvel heroes is pretty awesome. The heroes are probably at their grimmest point as far as I can remember and it seems like it could be a very cool story. The only thing is that it is most likely an alternate future or something that will not really factor in to the current continuity.
- Swamp Thing #18: This fantastic series wraps up it’s epic “Rotworld” arc, where ST’s nemesis Anton Arcane corrupts the entire planet into a horrific apocalypse of rot and decay, with Swamp Thing being sent back to the present by the Parliament of the Rot, who wish Anton defeated as much as Swamp Thing, and having to make the ultimate sacrifice to see that it happens. The series is going to continue but this issue could have worked beautifully as a series finale. Swamp Thing and Animal Man have become two of the most interesting and mythology rich books in the DC library, so definitely check them both out.
- Iron Man #7: Iron Man has been galavanting across space for the last couple of issues (he’s eventually going to join the Guardians of the Galaxy) but the events of last year’s big event, AvX, have caught up with him as he’s on trial for his part in destroying the Phoenix Force. With the help of a robotic observer/lawyer, Tony learns that the alien culture trying him has a rite of combat that Tony can use to try and buy some time while his new ally, 451, gets his armor. It’s cool to see Tony get his Spartacus on in the arena but this new space arc is a step down from the initial arc of Tony hunting down and stopping an outbreak of the Extremis technology.
- Detective Comics #18: Pretty much anything would be a disappointment following the amazing finale to the “Death of the Family” Joker arc in Batman proper and this latest issue of Detective Comics is solid but definitely rearranging the pieces and taking a bit of breather. While Joker was kidnapping the Bat family and terrorizing the city, Ignatius Ogilvy, the Penguin’s right hand, has taken steps to become Emperor Penguin and has taken over all of the Penguin’s assets and power. It’s cool that they’ve brought Zasz into the mix, as well as setting up the possible return of Man-Bat but it’s a transitioning issue through and through.
- Avengers #7: If you like cosmic stories, the new ongoing Avengers will be right up your alley as it features all kinds of intergalactic craziness, from a living universe in the form of the new Captain Marvel, to universal observation stations getting destroyed and a whole slew of new Avengers. If you are expecting the team from the movie, you may be disappointed but if you like heavy sci-fi with your superheroes, it’s definitely worth checking out just be ready to re-read each issue at least once to figure out just what the hell is going on.
- Green Arrow #18: From everything I’ve heard, the first 16 issues of the New 52 Green Arrow were pretty awful but with a new creative team and a new arc kicking off in issue #17, it’s basically a completely new book and ready for new readers to jump in. In dramatic fashion, Ollie Queen is on the run and accused of murdering the CEO of his company and his allies and secret Q-lab are destroyed in an explosion. With few supplies, Ollie has to face off against the deadly assassin, Komodo, a fellow expert in archery. The book has a great art style and it’s got a very Bourne/spy feel. It’s the perfect time to jump in to GA if you’re interested.
- Animal Man #18: Not quite as uplifting as the Swamp Thing epilogue, Animal Man finds Buddy Baker getting sent back in time to save his family the rotting abominations called The Hunters Three and the Prince of Rot, William Arcane. Buddy’s daughter is finally able to realize her full potential of being able to heal the rot but tragedy strikes the Baker family in the final panels. I haven’t been following Animal Man from the beginning but jumped on during the Rotworld arc and grew to like the character, who is able to physically augment himself with the power of any animal on the planet, and will probably continue to read the series going forward.
- Shadowman #5: Valiant made their triumphant return to comics last year, reviving many of their characters like X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Harbinger and Shadowman. Issue #5 of Shadowman follows issue 4’s climactic initial showdown with hideous, Kingpinesque demon, Mr. Twist and the new Shadownman, Jack Boniface, managing to stop demonic overlord, Master Darque, from crossing over to our dimension. The book takes great advantage of it’s New Orleans setting, incorporating lots of voodoo superstitions and stories into it’s mythology and the reveal of the potential new villain is awesome (Bond fans will recognize him).