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Captain America Reborn #2
This issue, we follow Cap on his trip trapped in time, and see all the plans progressing in the present. Cap relives his own origin and sees a couple more points from his past, discussing time travel theory with Prof. Erskine as he tries to figure out a way to get himself back to the future. Meanwhile, Ares & Venom trounce Bucky and the Widow, Falcon & Vision are looking for them, Reed Richards examines Sharon while being a complete dick to Pym (man, I really hope Hickman redeems Reed during his upcoming FF run...) and discovers something strange in her body, Norman recruits Crossbones and Sin for a special mission (and I think reveals the point to Red Skull's whole elaborate plan, which was really pretty obvious the whole time and has been done numerous times before already), and later Normie reveals to the public that Sharon was the second shooter and calls for her capture, and issues an ultimatum to the Widow to convince Sharon to surrender or be responsible for the deaths of 2 Captains.
I thought Hitch's art looked better this time around than last issue, back to his usual high standard, and the story moves along much more coherently here as Bru's moving all the pieces into place. I still don't think I'm going to be fully immersed in this mini until Steve gets back, but I did find myself much more interested here than last issue, so that’s a good thing. I liked it.
War of Kings #6
I could talk about the story a whole bunch, but here's the gist. Black Bolt fights Vulcan and annihilates him. Crystal 'ports in with Lockjaw to save Bolt, she uses her powers to render the Terrigen inert but they're still inside a huge bomb. The Shi'ar choose a new Majestor on Chandilar. just as Crys and Bolt are to 'port out, Vulcan regenerates himself and attacks, ripping Bolt out and the bomb goes off in the space between Kree space and Shi'ar space, tearing a hole in the fabric of space and time through which Bolt and Vulcan are obviously lost, not dead (as everyone believes). I could tell you more, but those are the high points. And they probably don't do justice to what's between the pages.
But that's because this is one of those comics you need to see to fully appreciate. Because as good as DnA have been on Marvel Cosmic, as good as WoK has been, it's their partner in crime Paul Pelletier who deserves the lion's share of the praise on this project. Because while the story really is what matters most at the end of the day, comics is still a visual medium, and BOY does he bring the visuals here. Whether it's the slobber-knocker fight between BB and Vulcan, the insanity of Vulcan, the grim determination of BB, the shock on the Inhumans' and Ronan's faces when Karnak questions Medusa, the heart-rending sadness of the Inhumans on Crystal's empty-handed return, the desolation of Chandilar, the vastness of space, the massive wake of destruction of the inert T-bomb, or and the heavy heart of the newly-chosen Majestor, Pelletier just makes this book sing. And it is a beautiful, BEAUTIFUL song. Marvel Cosmic continues its hot streak, and in one week we get to see one last installment of what's been a helluva ride. I loved it.
Doom Patrol #1
This wasn't bad. I've never been a big fan of any rendition of the Patrol, but I'm fairly familiar with the originals. Giffen here sticks pretty close to their default personalities, and ratchets up the craziness a bit. I love their base of operations, I like the role he's given them of strike force, I like the idea of different all-new all-weird threats each issue, and I really like the introduction of the priest in this issue to act as a sort of counselor to this group of freaks. The characterization's pretty good, the action's heavy early, the art from Clark is among the best I've seen from him, and the Chief is thoroughly unlikable, which he should be in his "I know what's best so screw you" kinda way, including apparently allowing and not caring that one of his troops got killed, another left behind to get killed, and another unbeknownst to the rest got infected with some bad stuff on this issue's mission. I didn't love it, but I liked it a little more than I expected.
The backup, on the other hand, will continue to drag 4 bucks out of me willingly every month. If you were a fan of the JLI, if you wee a fan of Giffen/JMD/Maguire's Defenders mini, if you're a fan of the Metal Men, or if you're just a fan of "fun" superhero comics, you will love this. It is fantastic. Maguire's malleable faces are perfect for this group, JMD's sense of humor and breadth of characterization is perfect for these characters, and the whole team's sense of goofy fun is perfect for the group. Doc Magnus's neighbors want him out, Tina wants his body, the Metal Men just go along for the ride in a battle against Zummazumma the walking wooden idol, and poor Copper can't get no respect. It's funny, it's cute, it's everything you'd expect from this offering; I LOVED it.