This is the smallest week of the year for me, in terms of number of comics I’ve received. It happens. Still, there’s some good comics, that might normally be just under my radar. Maybe one of these is what someone is looking for!
Iron Man #18
I was a huge fan of Gillen’s run on Uncanny X-men, which is why I’ve stuck with him after a rather bland run on Iron Man. That is, rather bland until now. This issue, at long last, is firing on all cylinders.
In the previous arc, we met Tony Stark’s brother, Arno. Arno was genetically modified, and was hidden until Tony took out the AI alien robot that would’ve, well, done to him what he instead did to the decoy Tony in the last arc. (It’s more than a little creepy that the Starks adopted a son to be a decoy, and that nobody seems to have a problem with that. But anyway.)
And we start off in the Glorious Future. Tony and Arno have used the technology from the meddling alien AI to construct a technological paradise, ala Terminator 2. There’s Space Elevators, how cool is that! But it turns out that incorporating alien technology you don’t understand into your tech backfires, and things go really maximally poorly, until we pan out to see that this is a very detailed simulation.
Arno is smart enough to repeatedly say, Let’s not use the alien tech we don’t understand. Tony is too much of a technocrat, though, and just can’t bear to give up the treasure trove here. It’s very weird, given that Tony rolls with the Guardians of the Galaxy and has access to advanced alien tech as a matter of course.
But putting that aside, it was a really neat issue, that hinged on Tony’s advanced ego and lack of concern about the downsides of the crazy risks he always takes. More like this, please.
Captain Marvel #17
In recent issues of this and Avengers Assemble (both written capably by Kelly Sue DeConnick), Captain Marvel has basically had her memory rebooted. There’s still the same core personality underneath, but her databanks have been emptied, or something. Now she’s trying to get on with her life.
The city has decided to roll out the red carpet for her after she saved the day in the last big crossover event. This really rubs our newest villain the wrong way, as she’s bumped from a planned feature in the local news magazine in favor of our superheroine. Unfortunately for Carol, she’s severely mentally deranged. Even more bad luck, she’s got tech that’s capable of hacking into drones, and crashes Carol’s big award ceremony.
The best parts of the book, though, is with Kit, Captain Marvel’s biggest fan. (She’s the little girl on the cover over there.) Throughout, they talk about Captain Marvel Training with Carol and Kit. Eventually, Carol confesses that she doesn’t really know how to teach that sort of thing anymore, and Kit pretty much says, “No, silly, nobody knows more about Captain Marvel than me. I’m here to teach /you/!” And that is both adorable, and awesome.
As a character, Carol is driven and not very sentimental. But somehow this doesn’t stop the book from having a huge heart.
The Movement #6
Gail Simone is most known these days for writing Batgirl, but she’s also got this little title going. Launched in conjunction with The Green Team, DC did a little nod to current events, with explicit references to the 1%/99% dichotomy of Occupy Wall Street. Well, six months later, The Green Team is scheduled for cancellation, and The Movement is starting to hit its stride.
The heroes of The Movement are not the shining, glorious warriors of the Justice League. They’re street level, dealing with things like corrupt police, an uncaring and paranoid government, the worst of inner city violence, racism and sexism, and all the dark things that lurk around the American consciousness, that the more established parts of society tries to pretend doesn’t exist.
The heart of this issue is a showdown between Katharsis and Tremor. The team had captured two corrupt cops who they had caught on camera sexually assaulting a woman. Much like a dog chasing a car, it was really unclear what their end game was once they caught them, and Tremor took it upon herself to let them go. Katharsis, a former cop herself and really not okay with police corruption, goes crazy on her, and there’s a fight, until, and this is the brilliant part, the team leader breaks it up and sends them out for Ice Cream. No really. And it pretty much works, in a believable way, and I really want an ice cream sundae now.
Meanwhile Mouse meets up with some actual bad guys, and is severely beaten, if not killed. This is a darker series than most, the kind where punches actually hurt, and wounds don’t heal by the next page. The heroes of the Movement are real underdogs, not supposed to win or even be here. It’s been a little uneven, but Simone is starting to find the right voice to pull this off, and I hope DC gives it a chance to become a part of the DC Universe that lasts long after the movement that inspired it fades into history.