Age of Ultron #7: Things are starting to get insane as he head into the home stretch of Marvel’s big crossover event. Wolverine and Sue Storm went back in time last issue and killed Hank Pym before he could create Ultron and return to the present this issue to find things drastically different. There are armored men calling themselves “Starkguards” patrolling the Savage Land, where it seems like a majority of the past Marvel events took place. Heading to NYC, Sue and Logan are ambushed by The Defenders, who include Nick Fury calling himself Colonel America, Cable, brown costume Wolverine, The Thing, The Hulk, Wasp, Star Lord and Dr. Strange. After a battle across the city, the time traveling Wolverine and Sue are defeated and they have traded one dominant technological ruler for another as Iron Man appears with a swarm of drones, and all the other heroes seem to answer to him.
Indestructible Hulk #7: Hulk and classic Thor battle the frost giants in this issue, as Dr. Melinda Leucenstern is forced to shut down the portal Bruce Banner and his team used to travel to Jotunheim when a frost giant tries to come through. On both sides of the portal, everyone quickly realizes that the portal is a working time machine and the frost giants replace one of Bruce’s team members with a giant in order to get at the portal and invade Earth. The art style was changed in this issue and it feels like a throwback to the more sketchy style of classic Marvel comics, which kind of works as Bruce/Hulk are back in time.
Mars Attacks #10: The second arc of the over the top violent and hilarious Mars Attacks! series wraps up with our trio of human survivors managing to reprogram one of the Martian robots, which destroys all the Martian forces in the area but there’s a survivor who goes on a suicide mission to stop them from building a transmitter to send the plans for a weapon that can stop the invasion once and for all to any available defense forces. The invasion isn’t halted in this arc but the humans are one step closer. The ultraviolence of the classic card series is fully on display and I can’t wait for IDW to bring back Dinosaurs Attack! this summer, which should be just as violent and ridiculous.
Iron Man #9: Tony teams up with the robotic bounty hunter Death’s Head, who previously tried to kill Tony in an alien gladiator arena, to hunt down the architect of the recent genocide of the Voldi alien race, the robot servant 451. In a twist Tony probably should have seen coming, 451 already paid Death’s Head much more to deliver Tony to him and reveals the shocking fact that Howard Stark had interactions with 451 when Tony was a baby. Not much action happens in this book but Death’s Head is a super awesome character, so it cool to just spend an issue with him and Tony bantering and the twist is great as well.
Shadowman #0: A zero issue of the excellent Shadowman book follows the origins of the series’ main villain, Master Darque. Much like Thanos Rising and the other recent explorations of the villains, this does a great job of fleshing out the character and giving you a look into their insight. Darque is especially interesting because he could have been an incredible force for good if not for the insanity and betrayal of his father. It’s also revealed that he has a sister who shares his power.
Swamp Thing #20: Under the influence of Scarecrow’s fear toxin, Swamp Thing’s powers are running rampant across Metropolis, pushing Superman to the limit to try and contain things. He finally goes to confront the source and saves Alec by burning the toxin out of him with his heat vision. While under the influence of the toxin, Alec is taunted by a vision of himself as human, showing him what he gave up to become the fully plant Swamp Thing. Unlike Animal Man, which I’ll get to in a bit, Swamp Thing is handling it’s change in creative team without losing a step.
Animal Man #20: I don’t know what the hell was going on in this issue. It wasn’t particularly confusing but it didn’t follow Animal Man/Buddy Baker at all, instead focusing on a powerless superhero/celebrity, Chaz Grant aka Red Thunder. It’s trying to parody the internet fueled celebrity culture that we currently live in but none of it’s points haven’t already been made in much better material and the end makes no sense as well, as Buddy gets a call that he’s up for an award for acting? The first issue post Rotworld was a great issue but hopefully they can get into the effects of that event like Swamp Thing has in the next few issues.
Detective Comics #20: A fantastic wrap up issue to the Emperor Penguin arc that has been occurring since at least issue 13. Ignatius Ogilvy took over all the assets and power of the Penguin and was putting a plan into place that fully revealed itself this issue, he’s created a deadly combination of the Man Bat serum, Venom and some plant based organic armor from Poison Ivy to turn himself into a powerful creature that utterly destroys Batman in their first fight. Suprisingly, Batman is rescued by the Penguin and together, they are able to take down Ogilvy and he’s sent to Blackgate Prison, while Penguin decides to give up his attempts to compete with Bruce Wayne in charitable causes and go back into the shadows. The Death of the Family arc kind of overshadowed the Emperor Penguin story, but when you realize how long they’ve been seeding and building up Ogilvy’s plan, it’s a fantastic pay off.
Green Arrow #20: The battle between Green Arrow and the assaasin Kommodo comes to a head in the graveyard where Oliver Queen’s father is buried in the latest issue. An action packed duel in the graveyard ends with Kommodo losing an eye but getting away and Oliver rescuing his friend Naomi, who he believed was killed when his company, Qcorp, was blown up by Kommodo. Oliver heads off into the desert to find the mysterious Magus and he may have to push himself to another level in order to get answers.
Thanos Rising #2: The exploration into one of the most dangerous and important villains in the Marvel universe continues as a teenage Thanos begins to conduct gruesome experiments on the various animal life on moon of Titan and eventually, moves up to his fellow Titans. Thanos tries to fool himself by saying he’s doing these killings for scientific reasons but he eventually accepts that he does it because he enjoys it, thus moving one step closer to becoming the genocidal madman we know he becomes.