My Week in Comics: October 8, 2010

We've got some new additions to the pull list this week, which is a good thing. Even though I've been cutting back and weeding out the boring and weak, I still love supporting good comics out there. But I digress. It's time for the most verbose comic reviews around! What have I got myself into this week? Read on!

In S.H.I.E.L.D. #4, Leonid tells Leonardo da Vinci what's been in my mind ever since the series started.: "Stop. Just stop being so cryptic and tell me what's going on...tell me the truth."

Thankfully, this time they did exactly that.

The last few issues of S.H.I.E.L.D. read like writer Jonathan Hickman rattling off wild ideas and concepts to no one in particular, ideas trying hard to seem important to some as-of-yet nonexistent continuity. It's a good thing then that Hickman gave us this straightforward ish, tying up some of the wildly loose ends while still introducing some intriguing surprises. We find out that Isac Newton, the head of SHIELD, has been using the resources of the organization in devious and cruel ways to gain knowledge of the Five-Point Understanding. Now, he comes face-to-face with Leonardo da Vinci while Leonid discovers a terrifying secret shackled underneath the Immortal City!

To be honest, I wasn't feeling the last three issues, but I just love what I read here. When Leonardo da Vinci nonchalantly tells Leonid something to the effect of 'BRB, just gonna be the first person to go into space!' before flying off in a winged contraption to play midwife to a celestial giving birth in our sun, it just blows you away just how crazy it is and how much it seems to make sense at the same time.

Dustin Weaver's pencils have been hard at work in this series, and in this issue he gives us more of the same awesome art. His sprawling panoramic scenes and attention to detail gives SHIELD the kind of scale it deserves.

Part of me thinks this would have been more epic and easier to digest in a regular schedule instead of SHIELD's bi-monthly schedule. But as a single issue, there's a lot to love about S.H.I.E.L.D. #4. I give this a 4 out of 5.

I was recommended Freedom Fighters a couple of days ago, and I liked what I saw, so I went and grabbed Freedom Fighters #2 this week. Best decision ever!

Last issue, the Freedom Fighters (Firebrand, Human Bomb, Ray, Black Condor, Phantom Lady and good ol' Uncle Sam) came face to face with the Renegades, ancient beings wielding the powers of nature itself. Now they're in for the fight of their lives, with the fate of the free world hanging in the balance!

I love how this issue is heavy with action, something I've missed seeing in comics these days. The Freedom Fighters went all out with these formidable forces of nature, and it's a sight to behold. But it's not just mindless fisticuffs; writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti make great use of the action to highlight who the Renegades are and what they're capable of, as well as giving us a glimpse of the Freedom Fighters' team dynamic. All that AND they get to advance the plot underneath all that fighting! That's some damn good storytelling right there.

Adding the proverbial sugar on top of this awesomecake of a comic is Travis Moore's art. He's proven he can match Gray and Palmiotti's superhero writing with pencils that are crisp, creative and dynamic. It's been a while since I've seen a comic worth every centavo I paid for. Freedom Fighters #2 is a solid 5 out of 5.

Uncanny X-Force #1 continues the tradition of cutting a bloody swath across the mutant corner of the Marvel U., and it's looking so damn fun.

We're looking at a new X-Force team, lead by Wolverine and composed of Psylocke, Archangel, Deadpool and Fantomex. Their mission: kill Apocalypse. Here in their first outing, they discover a mysterious cult who wants to revive the ancient mutant, nbt what they see there could lead to them biting the dust first!

Whoever chose to stick Fantomex and Deadpool in this motley crew should be given a medal, because this book reads like a guilty pleasure. Rick Remender plays off Fantomex's British playboy persona with awesome results, and his Deadpool is a hoot to read. Both of them add a surprising bit of spice in the midst of brooding, gruff guys like Archangel, and it makes for great reading.

Jerome OpeƱa's realistic art is a refreshing change from Clayton Crain's hyperstylized dance of violence. It's gritty and grounds the story in the here and now, and it's all the better for it. I love his wide, cinematic shots and sense of action. This here's good stuff!

Uncanny X-Force has some guts to say they're going to kill Apocalypse, but you know what? I can't wait to see if they're actually gonna pull it off. A great first issue with everything newbies need to get themselves hooked. This one's a 4 out of 5.

This is a great week in comics for me, probably one of the best I've had. All the comics I got this week were worth my hard-earned money, which is saying a lot. Let's hope next week brings some miracles!

Agree? Disagree? What do you make of SHIELD? Send a comment my way through the comment box below and let's talk about it. Thanks for reading!

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