My Week in Comics: January 30, 2009

My Week in Comics is a weekly look into my…uh…buying habits. Keep in mind that the reviews to be read here are not coming from a jaded, old comic book enthusiast but more of a wide-eyed fan of these monthly installments of yum or mush.

Time flies so fast after Chinese New Year! It’s Friday, which means it’s time for the most verbose comic book reviews around! Let’s see what’s shaking in the world of comics this week!

Cyclops gives me the willies (not the one-eyed ones) in Young X-Men #10. Aside from his secret wetwork team X-Force, Scott has hidden from the YXM the fact that there’s another mutant in their team, capable of phasing and complete invisibility (even from psychics, natch), and they’re not very happy about it. But it turns out Cipher has been lending hands in all of the Young X-Men’s adventures so far, which makes it okay…I guess. It's gonna get real creepy in the X-household. Also, a Young X-Man desperately needs a second opinion. Say it ain't so, Doc!

All in all, an okay issue that answers some nagging questions and pushes the ongoing story in new and dangerous directions. An easy 7 out of 10.

Speaking of questions, X-Force #11 answers the question of “Who the hell is Eli Bard?” with an old-fashioned love story…one that involves a mutant vampire seducing a Roman senator to sacrifice millions of souls with the promise of sex. Ah, the things you do for love. So now we know who Eli Bard is, and what he plans to do, and it’s all a bit romantic…in a vampire fetish sort of way. New artist Alina Urusov drawing the flashback scenes was a nice touch, and I’m totally digging Clayton Crain’s moody and stylized art. This gets an 8.5 out of 10.

I think it’s safe to say that everyone hates a prick, and Worldmind’s been acting real prickish lately. In Nova #21, the sum total of all Xandarian knowledge decides to fasttrack the rebuilding of the Nova Corps, and lobotomizes Ego the Living Planet (!) to turn it into a new Xandar, without even ask politely first! And he made Rich look like a raving lunatic in front of the Fantastic Four! And he took Rich’s clothes! What a douchebag. This one’s an 8 out of 10.

You know what the most poignant part of Incredible Hercules #125 is? After having their hearts crushed by unrequited love, a sulking Cho asks one question: “Pizza?” The Prince of Power’s answer? “Yeah.” And so the best buddies of the Marvel U. walk away from a vicious battle of the sexes to drown their sorrows in Pizza Hut. I wish I had a friend like that. But for now, this gets an 8 out of 10.

On the DC side, Wonder Woman #28 decks the three Wonders (Cassie Sandsmark, Donna Troy and Diana herself) in matching gold, silver and bronze eagle armors to start the beatdown on Genocide. Make no mistake…this issue brings on the pain. The moment Diana says “We’ve learned that you feel pain, Genocide…let’s explore that, shall we? Let’s make it our mission.”, you just know someone’s going to get hurt in the worst way, and it ain’t our Wondy. But alas, the dastardly Cheetah has other plans…what could it be? Well, the gorgeous art of Aaron Lopresti and an 8.5 out of 10 score says let’s find out next issue!

I could totally imagine Grant Morrison sitting in a smoke-filled room wearing nothing but his underwear, pausing only to take a hit from his bong to write the next page of Final Crisis #7. You know ganja’s involved when you have people being shrunk down and put in ice-cube trays to protect them from the collapse of the Multiverse. But in the end, I guess it all sort of works.

The final issue of DC’s mega event is a mishmash of different concepts, heroes, dialogue and universes, but what works is that everything is working towards one single common goal: to stop evil from breaking life as we know it. Whereas Marvel’s Secret Invasion had so many agendas, so many bullet points to resolve apart from the big Skrull threat knocking on their door, the heroes of Final Crisis devoted every ounce of heroism to ensure that evil doesn’t win. And that singularity of purpose is what makes this story a shade above brilliant.

While some parts of this issue become brain-bleedingly confusing and wonky (the survivors of the Multiverse in ice-cube trays being transported from one universe to another, anyone?), I get the sort of feeling that the answer is in here somewhere, and I wasn’t paying attention enough. Which makes this some sort of warning…if you like your stories not needing your brain to function, this book, this event isn’t probably for you. Final Crisis #7 was bigger than the paper it was printed on, and it was one hell of a send-off to the Universe that was. I have lots more to say about this amazing issue (the last page was the most shocking of the year!) but for now this tops at a 9.5 out of 10.

That’s it for this week! As always, if you have anything to say about the books I reviewed, or just want to agree or disagree with me that Final Crisis is awesome (it is!), then the comment box below is your best friend. My Week in Comics is up every Friday! Thanks for reading!

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