Ant-Man, Reed Richards And Brainiac Walk Into A Bar…Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One…

comics02-04-2015

This weeks collection of new comics is a little light (on Jimmy interested things anyway) but I managed to pull together some (mostly spoiler free) thoughts on three of them.  One that I haven’t read yet but am looking forward to is Superman – Earth One, Vol. 3.  The Earth One line from DC are very oversized graphic novels that take a kind of Marvel Ultimate Universe spin on DCs top dogs.  I haven’t read the Teen Titans volume (sorry Watson), but I would recommend picking up the first two Superman volumes and Batman Vol. 1.

The New 52: Futures End #40 – Let’s face it, if you haven’t been reading Futures End for the past 39 weeks, you’re probably not going to pick this issue up either.  And that’s ok since you will be completely lost anyway.  It’s five years into the future of the DC Universe and a lot has changed.

Futures End, as well as the other DC weeklies Earth 2: World’s End and Batman Eternal, have managed to maintain a (usually) high level of quality in both the art and writing departments.  Very impressive given the amount of planning that surely went into these and their aggressive schedule.  It will be interesting to see how well Futures End and World’s End merge together as they clue up just in time for Convergence.  (Batman Eternal finishes around the same time, but I don’t think it will really have much of a tie to the other two books.)

In this issue, several of the long continuing story lines converge as Watson’s homeboy Brainiac finally reaches Earth.  As you can see from the cover, this isn’t your daddy’s Brainiac, and throughout this chapter he has little trouble with any defenses Earth can throw at him.  But no worries, he might just be stopping for a Manhattan and will then likely be on his way.

The issue is action packed as you can imagine and features almost the entire cast we’ve seen so far through 39 issues.  Speaking of the cast, who designed Wildfire?  He looks confusingly almost identical to Superman’s new masked look.  He obviously doesn’t have the S-shield, but it’s like one of those old toys you would get that would have the same plastic mold but a different paint job.  Actually, let me take that back.  In searching for an image of Wildfire, it seems his look came before Superman’s, so Supes is the plagiarizer.  Maybe Wildfire was his inspiration?

Separated at birth?
Separated at birth?

Other highlights of the issue include John Constantine standing alone against Brainiac’s minions and the return of a long retired superstar.

Avengers #41 – First things first, the cover.  Does it look familiar?  If you are a long time Marvel reader it probably does.  It is the same as Bryan Hitch’s 2002 cover for Ultimates #1.  And not an homage, it is the exact same art, just with different branding.  So, either the folks at Marvel have gotten reeeaaaallll lazy, or maybe they are trying to tell us something.

So what are they trying to tell us?  Well, much like New Avengers #29’s Beyonder cover, it is a bit of a head fake.  But the issue does focus on the affect all this incursion business is having on the Ultimate Universe and how they are dealing with it.  Apparently the first step in dealing with anything is to have a completely unnecessary splash page of Miles Morales to open your book.  It is a nice Spider-Man pin up, but Miles has zero to do with the story being told here

The rest of the issue that isn’t dealing with the Ultimate Universe gives us more information on the fate of the Cabal and their ill-fated mission to deal with the incursion from Avengers 40.  The two story lines dovetail together at the end, and probably give us the first relevant 616/1610 crossover that will lead directly into the events of Secret Wars.

It is an average issue that seems more geared towards the Secret Wars, Avengers or Ultimate Universe completists than the casual reader.

Ant-Man Prelude #1  – I’ve been a Marvel Zombie as long as I can remember, but I really don’t know a whole lot about Ant-Man.  I know the first was Hank Pym and that he was a founding Avenger.  At some point while Hank was busy with one of his other numerous superhero identities, slapping Wasp around, or creating Ultron, Scott Lang took over the role.  I know what he looks like and that he can shrink down and communicate with ants…but that is about it.  So with that in mind, given the general buzz around the Gabbing Geek offices about the upcoming movie, I thought that maybe I needed to get myself a little more acquainted with the tiny Avenger.

I don’t often read these comic book movie adaptations or preludes.  I’m not sure why.  I think it might stem from the fact that the adaptations often times come out before the movie and I don’t want to spoil the movie by reading them.  And then after I’ve seen the movie, I feel like, “yeah, I know what happens” and don’t go back to the comic.  I think another part of it is that when I sit down to read a Spider-Man comic book and Peter Parker has Tobey Maguire’s face…it just doesn’t work for me.  But I digress.

So onto Ant-Man.  Well…hmmm…ah…what was that?  I think I read it in less time than it took me to write that last sentence, and it even felt bogged down with text at the beginning.  It had Hank Pym, Howard Stark, Peggy Carter, Germans, Hydra and the Ant-Man suit.  Everything was there, but it’s just meh.  To be fair, I guess it is hard to judge this without reading part two and seeing how it all ties into the movie (if at all), but at this point I think you should save your $2.99.  Maybe Jenny will let us know how Black Vortex or Ms. Marvel is this month and you can spend your money there.

One thought on “Ant-Man, Reed Richards And Brainiac Walk Into A Bar…Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One…”

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