My Week in Comics: December 23, 2011

The Christmas weekend is upon us, and Santa thought to bring me not one, but four awesome comic books to review this week! Oh joy! What did I get myself into this week? Read on to find out!

Supergirl #4 has the Maid of Might trapped by the billionaire evil genius Mr. Tycho, and a last minute save might mean her salvation...or something much worse!

The book is still on slow-burn, but I love how organic it's all coming together. We're seeing Kara slowly grow into the Supergirl she's meant to become, and all the emotional beats needed are there to see her through. Michael Green and Mike Johnson are naturals at writing Supergirl, no doubt about it, so much so that I'm wondering why they haven't written her sooner! The star of the show, though, is Mahmud Asrar's art. His Supergirl is young, beautiful and powerful, and you can see from his dynamic and exciting pencils that Asrar was born to draw superhero books. It's safe to say that Supergirl #4 is one of the better-looking books this week!

Supergirl is blessed with a creative team that really works, and this ish is proof positive of it. This ain't so great as a standalone issue, but as part of an ongoing narrative, it's one of the better issues the book's had. This gets a 4 out of 5.

Wolverine's wetworks team winds it down with a done-in-one in Uncanny X-Force #19. In the aftermath of the harrowing Dark Angel Saga, the team deals with the fact that there's a teenage clone of Apocalypse walking around. It's nature vs. nurture at its weirdest!

Rick Remender used the issue to tie off some loose ends and plant the seeds for juicy future plot points to develop. Teen Apocalypse being honed to become a superhero is a stroke of genius, and I love how Remender makes parallels to him and a certain super man. Not everyone agrees though, and it's interesting to see whether Teen Apocalypse will grow up to prove them wrong...or right!

The book is also full of fuzzy warm and sad and tense moments, from Betsy and Warren's heart-to-heart to Wolvie's touching plea for Age of Apocalypse Jean to stay. Remender shows that he knows how to write compelling drama, and the book is the better because of it. I do take issue with the fact that the revelation of their wetworks team is met with a stern telling-to instead of the freak-out I was expecting. A secret that big and that bloody should have been given the gravity it deserves. Robbi Rodgriguez steps up for Jerome Opena and Esad Ribic on art, and though his cartoony style might not be your cup of tea, he's got the storytelling chops to complement the story wonderfully. All in all, it's a good issue that wraps it all up nicely, but with a little space for you to peek at what's waiting inside. This gets a 3.5 out of 5.

Daredevil's gone snowblind in Daredevil #7, where Matt and a bus full of blind kids get into an accident and are left to fend for themselves in the middle of nowhere. The Man Without Fear has faced all kinds of deadly threats...but is he prepared for a threat like this?

I've been harping on and on how Daredevil is a great book, and I'm sorry but I'll say it again: this is a great book. It might lack the fun superheroics of previous issues, but writer Mark Waid is a master at turning a story as simple as Daredevil stranded in the middle of nowhere with blind kids into this tense, emotionally charged look inside what makes Daredevil tick. Waid's story doesn't feel forced, doesn't feel hokey or anyything, and it's made all the more better with Paolo Rivera, Joe Rivera and Javier Rodriguez's triple tag-team on art. These people how to do atmosphere, piling on the windswept snow in this ish and often making you feel as blind as the kids stuck in it. Great, great stuff.

If you haven't been paying attention to Daredevil yet, this is as good a place as any to start doing so. Great writing and gorgeous art, you can't ask for anything better than this. Daredevil #7 gets a 4.5 out of 5.

And so we come to Wolverine and the X-Men #3, a book that's, pardon my language, fucking awesome.

I've never read any Jason Aaron stuff before this series, and from what I can tell he's writing to my specific interests: mainly, mind-blowingly awesome and fun ideas that encapsulate what comic books are all about. So Krakoa is attacking Wolvie's school, the teachers and students are fighting for their lives, and their only hope is a punk named Quentin Quire? It's a recipe for disaster, but it's a disaster perfectly orchestrated by Aaron to showcase these characters in the most awesome light possible. Pardon the haters, but Aaron actually made me like Quire. After that revelation, anything is possible!

And you know what? This book proves that anything IS possible. And that's why I freakin' love this book. Even Chris Bachalo steps up to deliver a knockout punch of awesomeness with his dynamic art. You often can't tell what's going on, but Bachalo makes it so crazy exciting! And then you get to that big splash page of Wolverine, claws bared and with the entire school behind him, snarling at the Hellfire Brats to "Stay the hell away from my school." and all of a sudden you're catatonic, your brain unable to process the image. It's that good.

I'm still freaking out as I type this! If you open up the dictionary to the definition of awesome, you'll only see a picture of Wolverine and the X-Men #3. This is what comic books are all about. I cannot recommend this book, this series enough! This gets a well-deserved 6 out of 5.

Wow! If this isn't a good week in comics, I don't know what is! Got any comments? Suggestions? Exchange gifts over the holiday weekend (kidding...or am I?)? Leave me a comment below and let's talk about it! Thanks for reading and have a very Merry Christmas!

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