Operation: CO-M.A.C.Z. #3 – Avengers, New X-Men, Y: The Last Man, & more
By Zach Patterson Wednesday, 25 Aug 2010

In this issue of COMACZ, our heroes review new Avengers and new Captain America, along with the entire runs of Grant Morrison’s New X-Men and Y: The Last Man, and then a couple of random Bat-goodies. Also in this issue, the search for Mike, their missing 4th member….

Avengers: Infinity Gauntlet #1

Impressions: It’s pretty obvious this is supposed to be a light-hearted joke. I guess this is like an alternate reality retelling of the Infinity Gauntlet saga. Half the population disappears, but this time instead of Dr. Strange and Adam Warlock leading the way, we have a ragtag team including Spidey, Ms. Marvel, Hulk, Thing, Invisible Woman, Dr. Doom, and Wolverine (“because he’s on every super hero team”). And instead of being transported around by Dr. Strange, this team will just take the Star Rig, driven by none other than Ulysses Salomon “Ace”. The setup is thin and cheapens the whole Thanos / Infinity Gauntlet relationship. The art is cheesy and cartoony. – Andrew Verdict: Meh. It’s good for a laugh but not much else.

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #1

Impressions: The Children’s Crusade was introduced in Avengers #1 and X-Men: Legacy #526 from the perspective’s of the Avengers and Magneto. For the Avengers, Kang returns to warn them that a super hero team of their children will end the world. For Magneto, he hears that two of the heroes, Tommy (Speed) and Billy (Wiccan), share the name and looks of his two grandsons, children of Scarlet Witch. In this opening issue, the focus is on the relationship of Speed and Wiccan to the Scarlet Witch and Magneto. The threat the Avengers were warned about is subtly revealed but also sets the stage for possible redemption. So which will it be? Will the children bring about the end of the world as prophesied by Kang? Or will their actions bring about a much more stunning fate for mutantkind? I am excited to see where this goes, and hopefully at 9 issues this is gonna be the setup for something big. It does reach into very liberal comic book style resurrection territory, but hopefully it is explained well. – Andrew Verdict: Great. For those of use who never really followed the Avengers comics, this is a good platform to start on. And given the ties to other comics, it seems like this will just get better.

Batman: Dark Knight, Dark City

Impressions: This is a cool 3 issue arc from 1990 (Batman #452-454) that I decided to pick up after reading about it on the CSBG blog. The general premise is that Riddler has concocted up a particularly brutal overall series of riddled crimes that result in a lot of bodies piling up, and 4 babies kidnapped. Batman immediately sees that Riddler is acting strangely and is at a loss to figure out his motives and ultimate end game. He seems more violent, but desperately wants Batman alive and even goes out of his way to save Batman. His crimes seem random and bizarre, such as holding up a blood bank and drenching Batman in blood, attacking Batman in a cemetery using thugs dressed as zombies that rise from the ground, and forcing a baby to choke on a ping pong ball that Batman needs to remove by cutting open the baby’s throat. As the story progresses, you are fed a side story from over 200 years ago that described a demon summoning ritual from a freemason-like society that seemingly has little to do with the Batman story. However, as the story goes on, you begin to see how this has affected the Riddler and the plotlines tie together. It’s kind of a spooky weird tale, but it’s pretty entertaining viagra price in canada and completely self-contained. I think one of the coolest parts is that it deals with the idea of Gotham itself being a living thing, and it blurs the line between Gotham being some sort of ancient demon and Gotham being a living city. Some really neat ideas here. Also great covers by pre-Hellboy Mike Mignola. I would love to see cialis online canada a nice collected trade of this with some improved colors and lettering, because it’s very well done, and deserves an upgrade from the old newspaper style paper it was printed on. – Zach Verdict: These issues are cheap and widely available. It’s a great Riddler story that touches on very unique elements. Good stuff, good writing, give it a try.

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #54

Impressions: In the process of buying the above story arc, the clerk recommended I check out cialis kopen in nederland this one-off story written and drawn by the aforementioned Mike Mignola. It’s a pretty great story, and could very well be a Hellboy story. The general premise is that Batman tracks a criminal to the cemetery where he is ranting and raving about how much blood he needs to complete a ceremony, and during a struggle with the Batman, he is accidentally impaled on a gate when he falls. As soon as the criminal dies, Batman is suddenly sucked into a surreal world where an ancient black magic occultist madman. Here, the man known as Drood has waited for centuries to be revived, and over the course of the issue, he slowly changes from corpse to healthy man as he sucks the life energy from Batman. It’s a cool little story that challenges the idea of if Batman is a murderer or not, but the issue is really just a showcase for Mignola’s art. He goes to town here, with a mix of stark colors and great use of darkness. It’s a really nice story and is usually cheap, recommended if you like Mignola’s work. Also the cover is fucking rad. – Zach Verdict: Short, but fun creepy little story. Great back issue to grab for a couple bucks if you like Mignola’s work.

Captain America: Forever Allies #1

Impressions: I love the classic “comics as propaganda” idea, but the comics of the golden age and World War II definitely show their age. Thankfully Roger Stern has set out to cast a small part of this era, the Young Allies, in a more modern light. The opening page displays this updated attitude quite well: A determined looking Captain America shielding himself from a hail of bullets, five grenade rings dangling from his fingers with the grenades trailing behind him, and a menacing looking Bucky riding his shoulders firing a Thompson submachine gun while a Nazi fighter plan is crashing behind them. This miniseries splits its time between WWII and modern day, narrated by Bucky from his perspective as one of the Young Allies and currently as Captain America. The story introduces a mystery surrounding a former enemy of the Young Allies who seemingly shows up in present day America. The artwork is split up between Nick Dragotta taking care of the wartime part of the story and Marco Santucci covering the modern day. Dragotta does a great job of keeping a golden age vibe while introducing a harder, more modern edge. Santucci’s work keeps Captain America looking badass and the modern tone is a great contrast. – Andrew Verdict: Great. I can’t wait to see generic viagra canada where this goes, and it is awesome seeing golden age stuff de-cheesed.

Grant Morrison’s New X-Men (X-men 114-154)

Impressions: Over the past few years I’ve been trying to get back into cialis 20mg price in uae the X-Men, mainly just reading the big seemingly-annual crossovers (not much luck in keeping up with the multiple titles regularly). My biggest problem with jumping from the Claremont / Lee run of the early 90s into current day X-men is that I had no clue as to why certain characters were gone, some had drastically changed (Beast is a cat, what the fuck?), and who are these new big-time villains like Cassandra Nova? Fortunately Morrison’s run on X-Men created or explained a lot of the major plot points that had a significant effect on the current X-books. Throughout the New X-men run, there are several 3-6 book arcs that all add up to one big story. Its starts out with the big bang of Genosha and Magneto being destroyed by some kind of insane rogue mega-sentinel, and moves on to cover ground with Cassandra Nova trying to take over, Xavier going public about being a mutant, new students trying to take over, a new examination of the Weapon X (or “Weapon Plus” in this case) program, Magneto trying to take over, and the Phoenix force coming back. The run ends with a tacked-on four issue arc about an alternate future that has no real effect on the rest of the story (in other words, you might as well skip it and let it end on a high note). Morrison does a fantastic job of tying all the arcs together in the end to make one big complete story. While I enjoyed the story and the X-progress made in this run, I had some major problems with some of the artwork (to the point where I rushed through some of the early books because I couldn’t deal with all the squatty-looking faces). The duo of Phil Jiminez on pencils and my main man Andy Lanning on inks took over toward the end (again not counting the last tacked-on arc, which was done by stuck-in-the-90s Silvestri) and really made the books shine. A consistent art team (preferably that aforementioned duo) would have done wonders to solidify this run for me. In the end

its a great read for anyone trying to piece together the bigger picture of the modern X-Men. The overall story is great, and little moments like Wolverine and Cyclops having a drinking competition in the Hellfire Club keep things from feeling overly-serious all the time. I certainly recommend it to anyone with a passing interest in X-Men who would like a fresh story. – mig Verdict: Good.

Y: The Last Man

Impressions: Y: The Last Man is a pretty interesting 60 issue series from Vertigo that poses the idea of “what if every guy but one just dropped dead?” It’s a great concept, and actually turns out to be much less of a depressing post-apocalyptic tale than you would initially imagine. It deals with Yorick, the last man on Earth, and certainly not some square-jawed hero, but rather a bit of a loser that makes terrible decisions and generally is lucky he is still alive. As he quickly realizes how dire his situation is, he gets hooked up with a protector from a secret organization, a woman known only as 355, and a scientist named Dr. Mann. Along with his helper monkey, Ampersand, this group comprises most of the adventures as they try to figure out why Yorick and his male monkey lived while also trying to avoid people out to capture or kill them, indiaonline-pharmarx.com and Yorick is looking for his girlfriend, whose last known whereabouts are in Australia. The comic covers a lot of ground and slowly reveals hints of why every man died, and also builds up a lot of camaraderie soft viagra between the main characters. It also doesn’t shy away from the sex and violence, which of course makes it better. While the series does meander from time to time, it reads remarkably well as a long form story, and ends on an ambiguous but very cool note. In the end, Brian K. Vaughn created a world that was believable, funny, sad, and a little strange, but engrossing nonetheless. It’s also refreshing that all 60 issues were made by the same creative team. I love that it feels like one unified vision and doesn’t meander from artist to artist or writer to writer. – Zach Verdict: Definitely recommended if you want a great self-contained, original, and unique story.

4 Responses to “Operation: CO-M.A.C.Z. #3 – Avengers, New X-Men, Y: The Last Man, & more”

  1. Zach Patterson Says:

    i’ve been wanting to read Morrison’s X-Men run for awhile now. I’ve heard extremes both ways on either loving it or hating it, especially regarding Xorn. i may have to look into it once I’ve exhausted my Astonishing X-Men stuff.

  2. Eric Kennedy Says:

    This is my first time reading this feature- great work, guys! I like the team approach, here!

    I haven’t read a comic book in ages, although I still have all my old Spider Man and X-men comics… maybe I’ll go check out the New X-Men series.

    I remember when I stopped reading comics back near the end of high school, I thought “comics probably won’t be around much longer…” Glad to see I was wrong, and that it’s still alive and kicking as an art form.

  3. Zach Patterson Says:

    the 90’s were a dark time for superhero comics. there were a lot of dumb decisions, and ultimately, i think it pushed a lot of people away (and for good reason). i think in general its a lot better time to be a comic fan. if you want a nice x-men story to jump in on, i recommend the astonishing x-men trade paperbacks. there are 4 volumes that are written by joss whedon, its all self contained and very well written. i’m actually just finishing it up myself, and raub just did recently. we may feature that next time.

  4. mig50 Says:

    zpatz, the saga of xorn was pretty odd, but ultimately didn’t have any real negative or positive effect on my view of morrison’s run – it was just kind of there.

    i was really just satisfied to finally be able to make sense of all the stuff i had missed out on.

    also, astonishing is great. i highly recommend picking it up if you decide to read some comics, mr. dude.

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