Last Month in Comics – March 2016

9 days late, but whatever.

By this point, all of these comics have been reviewed by other people. Who cares, though? You can never have too many reviews of things.

Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill: Alpha 001

Main Cover by Jesus Saiz (Photo Credit: Marvel)

I bought this comic for two reasons: the cover and the reappearance of Bucky Barnes. Despite my issues with the Man on the Wall trade, I’ll never not be a fan of Bucky Barnes showing up to kick it with Steve.

In Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill: Alpha 001, Bucky Barnes is looking for something, and taking out a few S.H.I.E.L.D. bases along the way. This, of course, means that Steve Rogers is now on the case, but Bucky has a revelation for his  former partner. Meanwhile, Sam Wilson also gets a revelation of his own, and Maria Hill learns a new lesson about why pseudo-government organizations need oversight.

While I don’t expect myself to really bother with Avengers Standoff until it’s a trade, I liked this comic for what it was. I liked watching Maria Hill be smug about her shadiness right up until it blew up in her face. I even liked the Rick Jones reveal, even though I hate Rick Jones.

Speaking of Rick Jones, y’all couldn’t have just let him die? Like seriously, why is Rick Jones still a thing? I thought Amadeus Cho’s ascension to new Hulk meant the complete end of Rick Jones?

I just really don’t like that guy.

Captain America: Sam Wilson, #7

Cover by Alex Ross (Photo Credit: Marvel)

So this particular comic is the 75th Anniversary issue of Captain America, and it’s mostly focusing on Steve Rogers. Both Sam and Bucky have a few pages to themselves, and with each other, but Captain America will always be synonymous Steve Rogers so that’s what we’re getting.

In this issue of Captain America: Sam Wilson (2015), the Avengers Standoff story is furthered. Bucky and Sam team up to find Steve, who is out looking for Kobik, the human personification of the Cosmic cube. Crossbones and the Red Skull make appearances, then we get to spend sometime with stories based on Steve Rogers’ time as Captain America.

For an anniversary special, I think this particular issue was well done. Steve was close to death, secure in the knowledge that his legacy would live on with Sam. It’s nice that he returns to full strength, but I would have been perfectly fine with that kind of sendoff.

One moment that I hitched on was when Steve Rogers was naming the people who had carried the shield in his absence. Steve talks about Bucky and Sam, but he doesn’t name the others. He references the fact that there were others, but you get the feeling that Steve doesn’t think that those other guys really mattered. I mean, they weren’t his two best friends/ partners in crime, so what’s the point, right?

I’m just saying, it’s the 75th anniversary. The least Steve could have done was name the others.

Cyborg #9

Cover by Dan Panosian (Photo Credit: DC)

In this issue of Cyborg, we’re still waiting for the government to take Vic’s armor, but now he’s brought the Justice League in to help him out. Shazam and Cyborg face off.

One of these days I’m going to actually like Cyborg. It’s not a bad storyline, to be honest. The whole idea of the government dissecting him to reverse engineer his tech is terrifying, but I’m not connecting with this character like I’m supposed to. I don’t know what it is, but I’m nine issues in and still not caring.

I feel like I would have been more interested if Cyborg had been having moments with the Titans and not the Justice League. I personally don’t care for Justice League Cyborg, I care about Teen Titan Cyborg. I love that he’s friends with Shazam, but I would have been happier with him talking to Billy Batson, Dick Grayson, Kori, Gar, and whatever Raven’s real name is.

I guess I just want Cyborg with his original team. I want more interaction with other DC characters, but I want it to be much more organic that what is being given to me. I don’t even know which Batman that’s supposed to be. Is it Bruce or Dick?

I’m still here for Cyborg. Even if it takes me fifteen issues, I’ll eventually understand.

The Discipline, #1

Cover by Leandro Fernandez (Photo Credit: Image Comics)

I’m pretty sure I picked this up because two of my homegirls recommended it to me. I have no idea why I’m reading it, but I’m already reading Insexts. One more Mature comic won’t kill me.

From what I can tell, The Discipline is an alien-type being that uses sex to awaken a power that can defeat a demon-like creature called The Stalker. The Discipline’s current target is Melissa Peake, a great talent living an unfulfilled life. Melissa just wants to get some type of satisfaction, all of this power stuff is extra.

I am intrigued. I don’t quite know what’s going on here, but I am definitely interested in seeing where it goes. I think there’s something to how Melissa’s replacement could have been her sister, and I wonder if the connection is her mom.

In any case, I will probably be adding this title to my pull list.

Patsy Walker, AKA Hellcat! (2015) #1-4

Patsy Walker, AKA Hellcat! #1 Main Cover by Brittney L. Williams (Photo Credit: Marvel)

I’ll be the first person to admit that the whole reason I bothered to get into Patsy Walker, AKA Hellcat! was because of her appearance on Jessica Jones. I thought that their friendship was very endearing, and I liked her backstory, not to mention her possible hero’s journey that may come.

In the first four issues, Patsy is fired from her job as an investigator for Jennifer Walters (She-Hulk) and kicked out of her storage space. She is able to bounce back with a new roommate, but it in the process of acquiring said roommate that Patsy comes up with the idea of a Temp/Job Placement agency for the recently powered and de-powered members of society. Unfortunately, in order for this to happen, Patsy must first gain the money to start said business, all while fighting a former friend for the rights to an old comic that her mother had written and based on Patsy and her old friends.

So, just like in the show, Patsy Walker is a former teenaged icon turned superhero. I am honestly loving every second of it.

I like this comic because it’s really fun and very easy to get into. Patsy is very quirky and likable, and it’s so nice to see this host of female super beings rolling through this comic. Listen, I love Starfire to death, but she’s not making the same kind of friends that Patsy is.

I like that there’s so much of a connection to the older comics. This series does not shy away from what has gone on with Patsy before. I’ve never even read the old stuff, but you can get the gist of the bearing that is has on what’s happening  here.

I also appreciate the reader letters in the back of the more recent issues. The only other comic that I know to do that is The Totally Awesome Hulk. I don’t need every comic to do it, but I think it adds a nice touch to the ones that do.

Insexts #4

Cover by Ariela Kristantina & Brian Valenza (Photo Credit: Goodreads)

So I remember why I got into The Discipline now. I was told that I would like it since I read Insexts. Currently the only commonality is the sex and the body possession, but I’m here for both comics ,and I am the last one to judge.

In this issue of Insexts, we’re still dealing with the crazy sister-in-law, but she’s being very quiet. A new candidate for Lady Betram’s husband’s murderer has shown up, so, of course, she wants to meet the guy. Lady Bertram and Mariah later track who they think is the killer to a meat market, only to find out that he isn’t the killer, but he is basically a werewolf.

I like that the doctor is now on Lady Bertram’s side, but what I don’t like is how I can’t remember her name. Like, seriously, everyone calls her Lady in this issue, and I’m too lazy to reach for the older ones.

In any case, I’m still waiting to see what’s done about the sister-in-law. I want to say she’s also the new creature, but I think that that might be a little too convenient.

We’ll see sometime this month.

Jughead (2015), #5

Cover by Erica Henderson (Photo Credit: Major Spoilers)

Archie took a bit of a hiatus last month, but they were nice enough to keep Jughead #5 on schedule. I’m pretty sure I would have thrown a fit if they haven’t. Afterlife with Archie‘s main writer is also the main writer for Riverdale (the tv show), and I know for a fact that that comic has been on hiatus for a few months now.

In this issue of Jughead, the gang tries to get to the bottom of Principal Stanger’s plans. They make a trip to Sunnyside and manage to encounter their gender-bent doppelgängers. They do end up finding out about Stanger’s plot, but not before he can hit them where it hurts. This month’s classic Jughead strips focus on Jughead and Reggie’s eternal struggle.

For someone who’s supposed to be Archie’s rival, Reggie seems to always be ready to fight Jughead on sight. Now, I am not against these altercations, but, if they’re going to continue to always be the case, shouldn’t the title of Reggie’s classic comics be changed to Jughead’s Rival Reggie? I’m just saying.

I appreciated the use of Rule 63 because I think that it shows Archie Comics’ commitment to continued cultural relevance. The Archie Comics Universe is literally full of characters to choose from, but I feel like the joke was current, organic, and well-placed.

I was almost not on board with the Super Teens/ Ultra Teens clash, but the ending reveal was actually pretty good. Here’s to hoping that Jughead does get his revenge on Principal Stanger, because he’s really not a great guy.

Limbo #4 & #5

Cover by Caspar Wijngaard (Photo Credit: Image Comics)

As I am very much likely to do, I’ve ben reading this comic for five straight issues with no idea what the hell was going on. Has that ever stopped me? Not at all.

In these recent issues of Limbo, Clay manages to get away from the Thumb, only to get caught up with a monster summoned by the fishmen. We find out that the person he was originally working the case for has literally been pulling the strings the whole time. His roommate (because I’m always forgetting names) makes the journey to free him, only to be caught up in traps of her own. And we finally get to know some more about Clay’s past.

I really thought that this was an on-going series, but it looks like it’s going to be a mini. Or maybe they have long term plans for it? I don’t know, I’ve just noted two integral characters talking about how the game is almost over.

What I’ve noticed though, is how the set up for this story is similar to the movie The Book of Life. Two immortal beings make a wager about the life of a mortal, and they both eventually start to get involved to ensure that they win the bet. They’re also lovers. I don’t know if that’s a big thing in Mexican mythos, but I only need to see it one more time before I start looking stuff up.

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #5

Cover by Amy Reeder (Photo Credit: Marvel Comics)

I used to get mad every time I read this comic because I could absolutely feel Lunella’s frustration with her teacher, her parents, and her peers. So it was nice to see this arc end on a relatively happy note.

In this issue of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Lunella takes a stab at being “normal” and finds that she really doesn’t like it. The Killer Folk continue to raise hell while the Terrigen Mists continue to ruin lives. And Devil Dinosaur is locked up in a museum until Moon Girl breaks him out. Such is the life of a superhero. though.

If the whole Terrigen Mist thing could just go away, I think I could be happy. However, it just occurred to me that until Lunella is hit with it, she really doesn’t have a super power. Like, yes, she has the gene, but it’s not activated. It’s not like the X-gene, where it will manifest, at some point. The Inhuman gene actually has to be manipulated to make itself known.


Niobe: She is Life, #1

Cover by Ashley A. Woods & Hyoung Taek Nam (Photo Credit: Stranger Comics)

I heard Amandla Stenberg was getting into comics, and I told myself that I’d pick it up if I ever saw it. Sure enough, my comic book store just happened to be carrying it.

In Niobe: She is Life #1, we meet Niobe Ayutami, daughter of Andrek VII. She keeps running away from home because of a crime she apparently didn’t want to commit. She somehow manages to come upon some kind of training camp where it’s mostly boys, and they don’t like her. It’s all very fantastical.

Now, you all know I’m a big fan of supporting comics despite not understanding what’s going on, but I don’t think that that’s going to happen with Niobe. I don’t get it. I won’t say it’s not for me, but there’s definitely nothing keeping me here. I’m also five months behind on the hype of it, so they probably have a ton of fans as it is.

As it is, I wish Ms. Stenberg and co. the best of luck. I just won’t be continuing to follow in this venture.

Power Lines #1

Cover by Jimmie Robinson (Photo Credit: Image Comics)

I don’t know what possessed me to pick up this comic, but I recently joined a Facebook group for one of my favorite podcasts – Podcast Fandom – and the admin said it was pretty good. I don’t always agree with Nina Perez, but she hasn’t steered me wrong yet.

In Power Lines #1, D-Trick is making bad life decisions with his friends somewhere in the Bay Area. In the process of these bad life decisions, he manages to tap onto a mystical power that may have had something to do with Native Americas who had once lived in the area. Unfortunately, so does a racist old white lady.

Listen, I don’t like gang bangers as much as the next guy, but the level of ignorance going on in this comic is phenomenal. Like, I probably only like one character because he was the least horrible, but everyone else can exit stage left.

The jury’s still out on whether or not I’ll continue with this comic. I might need to read some other people’s opinions on it.

Spider-Man (2016) #2

Cover by Sara Pichelli and Justin Ponsor (Photo Credit: Marvel Comics)

So here’s the Spider-Man issue that got everyone talking. The Spider-Man issue that had everyone suddenly caring that Brian Michael Bendis is a white man writing a black character. Somebody needs to sit dude down and tell him exactly why we care about these things. I don’t have the words for it.

In this issue of Spider-Man, Miles and Peter have a bit of a chat in the midst of fighting a demon. Miles manages to save the day, but not before some citizens figure out that the person behind the mask is very much a minority. So Miles has a moment, and then he goes to face his grandmother.

First of all, how old is Miles’ grandmother supposed to be? And does he get his last name from his mother or his father? I’m so confused here!

I did not appreciate the cops pointing their guns at Miles and Sam. If Bendis is going to tackle race issues, I think he needs to have conversations with people who could better explain the delicate situation he has found himself in. Otherwise, this could go bad quickly.

As far as Miles not wanting to be Black Spider-Man: he should have thought about that when he picked a new costume. And, if he doesn’t understand why people would care, I hope someone will enlighten him in a later issue.

Starfire #10

Cover by Amanda Conner & Paul Monts (Photo Credit: ComicBook Round Up)

So, for some reason, the cover that DC was advertising wasn’t the one that was actually sold. Everyone seems to have the one I’m showing, and it doesn’t look to be a matter of variants. It seems like DC might have just pulled a scene from February’s issue and stuck it as the banner for March’s comic.

In any case, in Starfire #10, Atlee’s underground city is attacked within minutes of their arrival, but Atlee is initially the only one capable of defense. Thankfully, Starfire is able to heal and help defend Strata, but it comes at a price. Later, Stella is able to take part in the Rebirth ceremony.

I like Starfire. It’s not the most involved read, but it’s generally entertaining. Nobody ever really takes my Kori seriously, though, so it was nice to see her take out an army by herself.

I do have a question, though. What’s the point of introducing Sol as a potential love interest for Starfire, if we’re only going to turn around and give him to his partner, Rae? Like, what was that about? Is Dick Grayson coming back?

I just want good things for Koriand’r. It’d be nice if I was given that.

We Are Robin #10

Cover by Lee Bermejo (Photo Credit: DC Comics)

Time and time again, I wonder why people bother to stay in Gotham. Every time you look up there’s a problem going on with Gotham. I’m beginning to wonder how they still have a sizable population. The only place worse than Gotham is Arrow‘s Star City, and there needs to be a fund set up to get people out of that place.

In We Are Robin #10, the Robins have disbanded, whereas the Jokers seem to have gained new numbers overnight. Smiley starts a new reign of terror, whilst Shug-R tries to get the band back together, if only to stop him. Riko works out her anger issues, while Izzy and Dre try to work through their parental ones. Dax and Dre actually try to get some work done, but it doesn’t seem to be enough.

I never liked the idea of the Robins disbanding, and everything about the Robin Law pissed me off. However, I never expected it to be permanent. I would also like to not see another one of them killed. I don’t know about the writers, but my Robins are not expendable.

Also, you can tell that Gotham is a town used to having killers roaming the streets all the time. There’s been a Joker Venom epidemic, a Robin War, and now a whole new killing spree, but this town just keeps on ticking like it’s nothing. Like, why even go out if you know there’s a killer on the loose?

Gothamites are bold, and very resilient.

The Totally Awesome Hulk #4

Cover by Frank Cho and Sonia Oback (Photo Credit: Marvel Comics)

I never thought I’d get here: the end of this list. I really might have to go back to doing This Week in Comics. This list is getting horribly out of hand. We’ll see what happens.

In The Totally Awesome Hulk #4, Amadeus gets caught up in, and then broken out of, Lady Hellbender’s prison. We finally find out what happened to Bruce Banner, and how it was exactly that Amadeus got to be the new Hulk. And finally, we got to see Hulk and She-Hulk beat up some monsters.

First off, I’m super happy that the Hulk has found a new host that actually cares to bond with him and not constantly try to kill him. The whole reason that I liked Planet Hulk and World War Hulk was because you never have to deal with Bruce Banner. It’s literally just the Hulk having adventures and contemplating life as he comes to terms with the fact that his human side is trash. Yes, I personally think that Bruce Banner is trash because of the way he treats his alter ego, and I am happy that someone else got that power.

Also, I like that Spider-Man and She-Hulk are spending some time in this comic, but it really make me wonder how these comics match up chronologically. Like Spider-Man has shown up in The Totally Awesome Hulk, but then the Hulk showed up in Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur while he was still supposed to be hanging out with Spider-Man and She-Hulk. And, as far as I know, She-Hulk is supposed to be lawyering in New York in Patsy Walker, AKA Hellcat! So who’s timeline is right?

Does Amadeus meet Moon Girl before or after his comic starts? I’m assuming before, because he just puts Devil Dinosaur in a cage and then leaves. But does that mean that Mile’s run of Spider-Man is starting at the same time as Amadeus’ dealing with Lunella? And at what point in facilitating a lawsuit for Patsy Walker does Jennifer Walters decide to go Hulk-wrangling with Miles? As far as I know, all of these things are supposed to be happening in the same universe, but they don’t seem to be matching up.

Listen, I love cameos and crossovers as much as the next comic book lover, but I still need them to make sense, and a solid timeline would really help.

In any case, thank you all for once again joining me on my journey through last month’s comics. Hopefully, this month I will either be on-time with my end of the month write up, or breakup this up into a bi-monthly segment. I’ll figure something out.

If you would like to keep up with me and my adventures in appreciating the many different types of literature, please be sure to subscribe to this blog. If you just want to chat with me about these particular comics, make sure to hit me up in the comment section.

All images courtesy of Aftershock, Archie Comics, DC, Image, Marvel, and Stranger Comics.

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