April Reads, 2014

No Caption Provided

These are the comics I read this month, more or less in the order I enjoyed them.

I'm kind of jumping the gun with this list, but I don't think there's anything I'll be picking up next week, and it's raining anyway. If I do end up checking out UNCANNY AVENGERS ANNUAL #1 next week, I'll let you know.

Since I dropped TMNT with the departure of Ross Campbell and Ronda Pattison, and since there wasn't a new issue of Hawkeye or any books with more than one issue this month, this installment was quite a bit lighter than usual.

Still, there were these ten books that seemed worth mentioning, and actually most of them for being good, so check it out.

List items

  • Wolverine and the X-men (vol.2)#3

    Latour and Asrar continue to knock this book out of the park with both entertaining, solid characterization and exciting plot developments. I still have no complaints with this book whatsoever.

    While Latour nails the characterization of both Storm and especially Quire (maybe the most entertaining version of Quire to date), his character beats for Evan, Oya, Armor, and even the New X-men (even if it is only as the icing on the cake) give me lots to be interested in.

    And, while the use of both alternate futures and anything Phoenix related have become pretty played out in recent years, Latour manages to still make their inclusion in the plot seem organic and character-motivated, and never at the expense of solid storytelling or entertaining character moments.

    I'm love, love, loving Asrar's surface style and story pacing on this book, and between him and Latour I'm hoping this team gets a chance to stick around for at least a while.

  • Uncanny X-men (vol.3)#20

    Lots of great story developments this issue, as we learn more about what SHIELD does and doesn't know about both the X-men and the Sentinels, as well as some new character developments among the ranks of Mystique's Brotherhood. The cat and mouse between Cyclops and Hill has been one of the most interesting aspects of this book, for me, so to see them finally confront each other was pretty satisfying in itself.

    And even Bachalo's artwork (usually my main criticism of this book) was better than usual, so I really had no complaints with this issue at all.

  • All-new X-factor #6

    This series is just getting better and better for me, as Peter David yet again takes a bunch of characters I mostly have only a passing interest in and makes me interested. And Carmine Di Giandomenico's facial and figure work really give these characters both a looseness and a weight that makes even the least human of them feel organic. Great character moments, great story, lots of action, just great great great.

    Though the first two issue were a little light, each issue since has been solid; for a distinct superhero ensemble book with a great group dynamic, you really aren't going to find one better than this series.

  • She-Hulk (vol.4)#3

    Now this is the kind of issue I wanted to see from this book.

    A big part of the appeal of She-Hulk, for me, has always been how her legal practice takes her to some of the more obscure and less picked over corners of the Marvel Universe, and this issue is a perfect example of that premise in action.

    Though I thoroughly enjoy Javier Pulido's surface style and storytelling, his art doesn't really lend itself as well to large full page splash reveals, of which this issue has a couple, but that would really be my only complaint with this issue, so it seems a bit minor to me.

  • X-men (vol.4)#13

    After the last few back-up stories, I was not really looking forward to Clay Mann being the main artist in this issue, but he totally brought it this this time around.

    Something else I really appreciated was seeing Storm fully acknowledge Rachel's criticism of her leadership, as well as Psylocke's support of it. While Psylocke's lines about the Storm that gave Cyclops the finger vs. the Storm that acted as headmaster might have been a little too meta and/or on the nose, it's still cool to see the characters acknowledge what the fans have been noticing for months in a way that still feels organic in-universe. The sub-plot with Shogo's dad was something I felt dumb for not anticipating, but seems like a great way to bring Jubilee back to the center of what was supposed to be her book, as well as a great excuse for a mysterious new villain.

    And, while the New X-men are still being used primarily as supporting cast, it's still good to see them incorporated without taking away from the main cast, all of whom had solid, story moving moments this issue. Between Wood's recent issues and Latour's, they're starting to take on the role that the old gold team had as the main support team, which is itself encouraging.

    My only main criticism of this issue was that, even with two stories going on, we only got 20 pages of story. Though it was a satisfying issue overall, noticing that was one of the main reasons I didn't rank it higher on this list than i did.

  • Mighty Avengers (vol.2)#9

    Despite the completely unsurprising revelation of Ronin's true identity, the real story this issue was of Blue Marvel and his sons, which was as moving and interesting as Ronin's secret identity was pointless.

    Despite not being excited to see Land back on art duties, this issue isn't too bad looking, and has a nice sci-fi epicness all over. I have to say, Land's super hulked-out She-Hulk was actually pretty awesome compared to the bikini model he generally draws her (and most other female characters) as.

    Solid issue overall, really only ranking this low because of how good other books were this month, which isn't really a criticism at all.

  • Uncanny Avengers #19

    This was another solid issue from Remender and Acuna; solid, but not stand-out.

    It moves the plot forward with some great looking art and the necessary story developments, but it doesn't do a lot more than that.

    This story has more character overall than most alternate reality or event-style stories, but this issue still seems to be just barely doing so compared to how great the series has been in general.

    A relevant chapter in what's so far been a great story, but not an exceptional issue in itself.

  • Wonder Woman #30

    So the good news is that Azzarello and Chiang will be sticking around on this book for at least one more arc, the only downside of which is that this issue is a bit of a downtime issue that feels like it had a lot of plot points to establish without a lot of resolution or action.

    Which is fine, as it gives us a lot to anticipate going into the final arc, it just doesn't make this issue stand out as especially great in itself.

  • Amazing X-men #6

    while I'm not feeling like I'll miss Aaron on this book, I did enjoy this issue overall. The pacing was thin, as usual, but the significant character beats were there and they were solid. Honestly, if anyone missed the Quest for Nightcrawler, they could easily pick up this book up here without missing anything of significance.

    Though the issue felt light, little moments like Mystique being the only character to acknowledge Nightcrawler's change, or Nightcrawler standing between Cyclops and Havok (so they could ignore each other for his sake), still made the characterization in this issue feel solid.

  • Nightcrawler #1

    I did read Nightcrawler (of course I did), but I guess I was a little disappointed.

    Partially, I'm just not a fan of Todd Nauck to begin with, but also the story just felt pretty light. Even with Claremont writing, it didn't feel as satisfying as a Claremont book.

    I do agree that he hit the right beats, just maybe not as thoroughly as I would have enjoyed.

    Again, just really bad art though. Besides not being a fan of Nauck's surface style, the whole layout of the book felt sloppy. The scene in the Danger Room could have looked like it was anywhere, but instead it was just an empty room with 2/3 of a page just for Nightcrawler's back. I could go on, but it really tainted the experience for me.