Sometimes, the workload runs high and reviewing every book from our pull lists can be a bit of a challenge. Other times, there’s just not that much to say about a certain issue. These are the times when it’s time for a Speed Round.
X-Men Legacy #237: Second Coming pt 12 and X-Force #28: Second Coming pt 13
Written by Mike Carey and Craig Kyle & Christopher Yost
Art by Greg Land and Mike Choi & Sonia Oback
First, Carey and Land once again piss all over any momentum, tension, and energy this story had. A few “O” faces and a lackluster arrival of Hope to the battlefield added up to yet another derailing of this otherwise fantastic story. Fortunately though, the X-Force team picked up the pieces this past week and really drove home some emotion and action. This series has NOT been without losses, and I felt this one more than most. I won’t give it away here, but if you’re looking for my take on the death, listen in to the PoP!Cast this week.
The parties involved have turned Second Coming into a rollercoaster ride, and these two issues exemplify that. 3.5 out of 5 binary strings for Legacy, 5 out of 5 TO KOs for X-Force.
Written by Mike Costa
Art by Casey Coller
I know enough to trust Mike Costa, but MAN… shit just got weird. The ghostly apparition from the end of issue two proves to be Alpha Trion, whose G1 design is amusingly if awkwardly explained away here. The dialog in this issue is quirky, but seems a bizarre fit, and the entire thing plays out like the comic book equivalent of Lost. Curious to see how this wraps up, because I’ve a feeling there will be more here than meets the eye.
3.5 out of 5 Autobots in the afterlife.
Written by Victor Gischler
Art by Paco Medina
I just can NOT get on board for this story. I’ve long railed against the X-Men in space, because that’s simply NOT where they shine. That’s not the meat and potatoes of who they are. They are more than just generic heroes, they’re an allegory for race relations. So you can imagine I might have a similar feeling about Marvel’s merry mutants embarking in a vampire-centric arc.
On top of my general misgivings about the plot, there are numerous other problems here. While I love Paco Medina’s art, he seems incapable of drawing any of the females modestly – that’s a major flaw. Not everyone’s a double d in the 616. The story seemed a bit… staccato? It wasn’t difficult to follow, but it didn’t really flow, either. It was like an hour long movie had been edited down to 45 minutes, and the missing few scenes greatly affected the flow. Also, considering the loss that a certain X-Man just suffered in X-Force this week, the team doesn’t seem too shaken up here. Oh, and that’s the final thing… WHY DID THIS COME OUT BEFORE SECOND COMING WRAPPED!?
2 out of 5 cool exploding gimp vampires. You’re gonna haveta win me over big time with this story, and so far, it isn’t happening.
Written by Chuck Dixon
Art by Alex Cal
Art by Robert Atkins
I love GI Joe, but the main series from IDW has had its ups and its downs for me. I’ve complained things have been a bit too sci-fi in nature, wanting something a little more grounded, along the lines of what Devil’s Due had been offering. As I begin to accept the much more 80’s cartoon vibe of this book, I have to admit it’s growing on me, and this issue in particular may be one of the best. Part of the problem, so far? The book’s very much been about Cobra, not GI Joe. So much time has been spent developing Destro’s relationship with his employers cum captors, that we haven’t had a LOT of time to really get to see the Joes in action. This issue fixes that, and Alex Cal gives us not only some intense moments to drive the plot, but also a nice cheesecake moment via Cover Girl.
GI Joe #20 gets 4.5 out of 5 gigantic subs. I sincerely hope this is leading where I think it is. Cobra Island, here we come!
GI Joe: Hearts and Minds #2
Written by Max Brooks
Art by Howard Chaykin and Antonio Fuso
Another dual tale of Joes and Cobras, this time featuring Firefly and Tripwire. I’ll say this… IDW knows how to make me care about Tripwire. I already loved Firefly, but damn, Brooks sure gave us a great look into his psyche, here, as well. If Ironhide is living the Lost life, then Firefly here ought to be in an upcoming season of Burn Notice! Both stories both read and looked great, and I’ve said it before, I’m NOT a Chaykin fan. Still, this all comes together beautifully.
Hearts and Minds #2 gets 4.5 out of 5 fatal smoke breaks.
Written by Ron Marz
Art by Kenneth Rocafort
I know I’m a week late. I was moving. Sue me! This book was fantastic. Rocafort will ALWAYS be one of my favorite artists, ever since I first saw his work on Madame Mirage. This is one of the few folks in the industry who can and will draw varied body types (unlike the afore mentioned Mr. Medina) and who draws them WELL. It’s not just that, though… look at the backgrounds. Look at the villain. This man has range. Add to that Ron Marz taking a character and a team I’ve never cared enough about to ever have read about and making them interesting to me? Total win.
5 out of 5 well-placed butt shots. Seriously, Benes, you could learn a thing or two about how to work a logically placed ass-shot into your books.