Saturday, August 15, 2015

Comic Book Update: “I am as far beyond mutants as they are beyond you!”

I’m going to be altering the format with which I handle comic book/graphic novel reviews from this point forward. While I certainly feel there is a benefit to seeing the visual artwork and layout of the graphic novel format within a video review, the comments sections of my YouTube videos have, over the course of the last year or so, become increasingly populated by lazy, rude, and overly demanding individuals. As such, comic book reviews going forward will be adopting a format similar to my video game and anime reviews. With perhaps rare exceptions, I still expect to review individual volumes of a longer running storyline, as opposed to the entirety of that storyline. However, when the end of the year ‘Top 5 Comic Books of 2015’ list is posted (alongside my ‘Top 5’ lists for video games and anime) it will list my best-of-the-best selections for this year as the sum of its parts – or, at the very least, the extent of what has been released before the end of December 2015. In short, my comic book reviews are not going away, they are simply seeing a format change that will be more in line with the style I have already established for my video game and anime reviews.

With that order of business taken care of, what follows is the current list of upcoming reviews. Keep in mind that I have no concrete date in mind for the posting of these reviews, only that they will be coming sooner rather than later. From the Marvel Now! line, I’m still following along with Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy, and while the latter won’t see its fifth proper installment released until later this year, I recently finished the second crossover with the X-Men, titled The Black Vortex. I also picked up the first volume of Angela: Asgard’s Assassin, as I rather enjoyed how they opted to introduce her character in the Guardians of the Galaxy run, and am hopeful that a solo series of her own can garner a solid balance between Marvel’s cosmic and fantasy realms. It certainly doesn’t hurt that she kicks all kind of ass on her journeys of self-discovery.

I also recently finished Thanos: The Infinity Relativity, the second of three original graphic novels by Jim Starlin, focusing on the Mad Titan himself, as well as plenty of other familiar cosmic Marvel faces. And I continue plugging away at the magnum opus that is X-Men: Age of Apocalypse, a series which, frankly, has no right holding up as well as it does in this day and age (it continues to blow me away, in the best ways possible). In a similar gamble to Black Science, I decided to pick up Divinity from Valiant Comics (a label with which I have no prior knowledge of), as it too dabbles in the territory of fringe science and men playing gods. Meanwhile, the third volume of Black Science is en route to me as I write this, and in all likelihood, I will power through this latest release on the day it arrives on my doorstep.

While I typically wait for the trade paperback releases of comics to purchase them, some of the current Marvel Secret Wars/Battleworld storylines proved too appealing for me to pass up, and so I am currently reading X-Men ’92, Inhumans: Attlian Rising, Guardians of Knowhere, Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies, Armor Wars (2015), and Age of Apocalypse (2015). Currently, X-Men ’92 is my favorite of the bunch, but Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies is proving a surprisingly solid read as well. I’m only one issue into Age of Apocalypse, so I can’t properly gauge that series as of yet, while Inhumans: Attilan Rising, despite being one of the more wildly inventive offerings from the bunch, has not yet left as strong an impression on me as most of the other series. Perhaps it will prove a slow burn. Either way, I certainly appreciate the fact that these storylines will all be limited runs, and that Marvel isn’t pretending that the Secret Wars/Battleworld mish-mashing of different places and times in their history is in anything but temporary. On a side note, I have been reading the main Secret Wars series on loan from a friend, and it is easily one of the better crossover events in recent history – possibly a better read than Infinity, depending on how these upcoming later issues play out. More likely than not, I’ll end up purchasing the Secret Wars trade paperback before year’s end.

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