Comics Load: Axe and Ye Shall Receive

Summer is just around the corner, and you know what that means: big, epic cross-over events! Plus, a whole slew of comic book movies. Are you excited? I can tell. I can feel your excitement buzzing through my computer. But that could just be the shoddy wiring in my house. Be sure to let us know what you’re reading or what you’re looking forward to this summer, either in the comments section below or over in the Comics Forum. Now, sit back, relax and enjoy the Load!

Chance‘s Load image

image Amazing Spider-Man #658

While reading this issue, it finally dawned on me why I don’t like the Fantastic Four: they’re creepy. Like hella creepy. I know their PR people would have you believe they’re the “first family” of superheroes, but they really come off more like a cult of weirdos. Trust me, I’ve been there. As a geeky loner, I’ve encountered my fair share of bizarre cults looking to fill their ranks with the disenfranchised. And, believe me, I’m disenfranchised, but I’m not that disenfranchised. If I were Peter Parker, I’d hand them back their Heaven’s Gate jumpsuit and get the heck out of there, before they ask me to wear a blonde wig and let them set me on fire.
image Axe Cop #2

You guys told me to pick this up, and I obeyed, like some brainwashed cult member (see above). Well, I’m glad I followed orders, because I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun reading a comic book. It is completely nonsensical, barely linear in its storytelling, but full of outrageous and hilarious flights of fancy and barely constrained imagination. There is barely a plot here, but I realize this is why other children never wanted to play with me; I sort of demand a coherent story and believable character development, even in my childhood playtime. Still, it’s a tremendous amount of fun to read, and I can’t wait to find out what crazy stuff happens next, and if Super Lion Pig returns.
image Birds of Prey #11

Catman and Huntress? I had no idea. I have to applaud Catman, and not just for his gorgeously sculpted abs. Elaborate plans to convince loved ones not to love you anymore rarely work, but he manages to pull it off, which gives me hope that the next time I get dumped it will be because the guy just wants to protect me from whatever irredeemable qualities he may have. Huntress is being a tad hasty, though, in my opinion. How often does a bod like that come along, especially in Gotham? I think I could put up with some criminal activity and murky morality for that level of hotness.
image The Boys #53

This book has always cast a suspicious eye on the superhero genre, but never has the commentary been so razor-sharp as in the recent flashbacks to Vought’s first foray into the world of super soldiers. When the government awards contracts to either the lowest bidder or the most corrupt, no one wins. Sound familiar? Vought’s failed attempts at armor and weaponry, then V-infused actors playing superheroes, only succeed in getting the real heroes (the soldiers) killed. This issue is text-heavy, but it’s a vibrant and sobering read and kind of makes me hate superheroes a little bit.
image Daken: Dark Wolverine #8

Is there any reason for Daken not to make sweet, sweet psycho love to Gambit? What’s Gambit saving it for, anyway? Banging Daken will be almost like banging X-23. I mean, they share some DNA and physical traits/attributes, right? Go for it, Gambit. As for the rest of this issue, this book seems to be falling into a pattern. There’s a set-up, then Daken double crosses someone he had a deal with, then double crosses whoever helped him with that double cross. It’s getting a little predictable, which is why I say, “Bring on the hot Daken/Gambit man sex!”
image Fear Itself #1

When you look at the history of pop culture, a lot of supervillains are born via the tragedy of bad skin. Almost all of Batman’s foes have severe cosmetic challenges. You can’t tell me Skeletor is very happy about losing his face. And while Lex Luthor has lovely skin, he’s really let the hair loss thing get the best of him. So, I’m not surprised that this big event in the Marvel Universe is being perpetrated by poor Sin, the Red Skull’s daughter, who looks like she fall asleep while sunbathing…on the sun. So, let this be a lesson to all of you. Take care of your skin or you’ll end up destroying the world.
image Red Robin #22

People are always trying to save my soul, especially handsome, young clergymen, so I can relate to what Red Robin is going through here. When religious zealots come at you with swords or bombs or adamantium rosaries, it’s tempting to just give in and join their prayer circle. Tim, however, realizes he’d rather see Gotham burn than be forced to listen to contemporary Christian rock. I’m hoping this story arc doesn’t end with Tim finding some sort of renewed faith in religion. I’d rather not pay $2.99 a month to read Touched by a Red Robin.
image Superboy #6

Speaking of being touched by Red Robin…Conner has a heart-to-heart chat with his buddy, and it totally took me back to my college days. For some reason, confused straight boys loved to tell me their problems and ask for advice…and back rubs. Conner fills 20+ panels bringing us up to date on his break up with Cassie (which must be mentioned in every issue), his disillusionment with being a Titan (has anyone ever not been disillusioned being a Titan?), his boredom in Smallville (even the cows hitched a ride out of town years ago) and his general feeling of ennui. Tim, of course, does what I always did in these situations. He strokes Conner’s ego. Now, how about that back rub?

Brian‘s Load image

image Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #5

Can this comic get anymore ridic? I mean, suddenly Iron Lad pops up and zaps the kids to the past; they find Cassie’s dear old dead dad; they all run from the (still dead) Jack Of Hearts; and then suddenly the Scarlet Witch is back to her old self, sporting her old costume and she remembers everything? Gee wiz, that was easy! The last 4 issues lead up to this? This book is both the most rushed and slow-moving comic of all time, which is saying a lot, because normally rushing and being slow don’t go hand in hand. (Unless you’re getting boned, that is.)
image Fear Itself: Book One #1

All set up, no pay off. That’s what this first issue is all about. Lots of heroes, lots of “Watch out, here comes something reaaaaaaaaally scary!” and then nothing. No cliffhanger ending, no reason to really pick up this first issue (or I’m guessing the series) unless you’re a die- hard Marvel fan. (And yes, I realize it’s just the first chapter in a longer storyline, but couldn’t they have at least tossed in something to grab the reader: a shocking death or sudden plot revelation?) I did, however, love the artwork by Stuart Immonen. So that’s something, right?
image Jimmy Olsen #1

Now, this comic is the very definition of fun! From start to finish, it was what old school comics used to be: a deeply humorous and witty thrill ride that keeps you guessing, while marveling at its pop culture-infused dialogue and soaking up its numerous plot turns. The book left me exhilarated and spent. I miss comics like this. Seriously, pick this up for a good time. (It won’t ride you hard and put you away wet like some random from Craigslist will).
image Spider-Girl #5

Hey! Didja hear that this book just got cancelled with issue eight? Now, you might think because I’ve been on this comic’s case since issue one—again, she has NO spider powers, so how can she be called Spider-anything!?—but, to be frank, I think I’m going to miss it. I loved to hate this book. And I usually support any and all comics starring a solo female hero, no matter how sucky. So I’m sad to see another Marvel Heroine bite the dust. Poor Spider-Girl. See ya in the 25-cent bin!

Thanks for reading!

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