I celebrated Easter Sunday today in what I hope will become tradition: feasting, reading, and watching a Top Chef marathon. No trip back east to spend the holidays with the family this year. Instead, Fondy and I contented ourselves with an exceedingly relaxed afternoon. After a late lunch of sunchoke soup, grilled prawn, lobster tails, broiled scallops, and some southern style butter-mashed molasses sweet potatoes, I finished up next week’s book of the month club selection, The Big Over Easy, and did some laundry, feeling intermittent flashes of guilt for not getting back to that Atlantis script. Ultimately, I decided to take the day off, confident in my ability to complete the draft before my self-imposed May 1st deadline. Really, at this point the key players are enroute and things should move quickly. Aside from the minor hiccups of figuring out the whys and how-to’s of reuniting our heroes, and nailing down the shifting motivation behind the big throwdown, it should be smoooooth sailing. Yep. Back at it tomorrow.
Or maybe Tuesday.
So I continue to work my way through that enormous pile of comic books in my quest to find the best of the best titles that will, hopefully, restore my love of the genre. And – I have a question. Is the Ultimate line some sort of parallel universe? I mean, Wolverine is a pretty busy guy, no? Between splitting his time between both the X-Men and the Avengers, he’s also off on a multitude of solo adventures. What gives? Is there any sort of sync between these various titles?
Well, another 16 books didn’t make the cut. These, however, did…
Ultimate X-Men – Written by Aron E. Coleite, Illustrated by Mark Brooks (and Dan Panosian issue #99).
I’m surprised. The overwhelming glut of X-titles were what first turned me off comic books, so I was a little leery about diving back in. But, since I was casting as wide a net as possible, I decided to check out Ultimate X-Men. And came away impressed. Amid all the action, a number of nice character moments and – is this right? – deaths. Pretty gritty stuff.
Ultimate Spiderman – Written by Brian Michael Bendis, Illustrated by Stuart Immonen.
Didn’t love the first issue I read but liked the next couple of installments enough to put this one on the list. It reads kind of young but Bendis’s trademark humor is dead on.
Deadpool: Suicide King – Written by Mike Benson, Illustrated by Carlo Barberi.
Issue 1 of 5
One title I loved back in the day was Deadpool. The merc with a mouth was at his very best under the guidance of veteran writer Joe Kelly who spun some of the most delightfully dark humored adventures I’ve ever had the pleasure to enjoy. In this limited series, Mike Benson does a nice job of picking up the torch while Carlo Barberi’s pencils add chaotically comical layer to the proceedings. So far, so good.
The New Avengers – Script by Brian Michael Bendis, Art by Billy Tan, Matt Banning and Justin Ponsor & Chris Bachalo, Tim Townsend and Antonio Fabela.
Hmmm. Hmmmmmmmmm. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I’ve never been a fan of the magical storylines and, call me a traditionalist, but I’ve always considered Spiderman a loner and not at all a team player. And what is Wolverine doing on the team? Is there more than one incarnation of The Avengers? Scrambling to play catch-up on Dr. Strange, Norman Osborn, H.A.M.M.E.R., the Skrull Invasion (Skrulls, by the way, rank right up there with magical storylines and anything to do with the Infinity Gauntlet and/or gems), and the Scarlet Witch. Yeah, a little overwhelming. Still, as in most of Bendis’s work, the characters – particularly in their quiet moments – really shine. On the fence for now.
I’m noting a heavy Marvel presence…