Posted by Caroline
We’re shaking things up a little bit here at Fantastic Fangirls. Our regular Q&A feature is going to move from Thursday to Tuesday, in part so that we have some more time at the end of the week to talk about what’s new in comics! In this column, I’m not going to include anything I consider a significant spoiler, but bring up whatever you want in the comments!
I thought this would be a good week to launch a semi-regular Fantastic Fangirls new comics report, because Marvel and DC are each releasing a new Number One issue of a series with a female lead. Unfortunately, Marvel’s Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D has only been released so far as a motion comic on iTunes. My laptop has a bad relationship with iTunes and I’m pretty sure by the time I get this thing to play, I won’t feel like writing about it. If you are curious, you can read Jim Mroczkowski’s review at iFanboy. It’s my experience that Jimski is right about most things, and even when I think he’s wrong, he’s really amusing. So I’ll steer you over there while my computer is taking 70 minutes to “Initialize QuickTime types,” whatever sort of diabolical scheme that signifies. Personally, I’m pretty sure that I’ll be excited about a comic by Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev, starring Jessica Drew and Abigail Brand, when the day comes that I’m actually able to read it. If nothing else I’ll get the print version of the book when it comes out in September.
I had better luck getting a copy of DC’s new girl power book, Batgirl #1, and somewhat to my surprise — I had never heard of writer Bryan G. Miller or penciller Lee Garbett, and I didn’t know much about any of the characters — was utterly charmed by it. I don’t mean that to sound like I the book is cutesy in any way. It’s set very much in the dark, violent world of Gotham, and the story makes no bones about the compulsion that attracts the heroine to the vigilante life. (I’m not going to name the identity of the new Batgirl here, because that could spoil the story for some people — though the comments here are fair game.)
The sensible grownup in me knows it’s a bad idea for this girl; as a superhero comics fan who knows what kind of havoc the stories can wreak on young heroines, that goes double. But as Batgirl lies on her bed and daydreams about cartwheeling around in skintight leather the way Snow White dreams about the day when her prince will come, I completely understand the part of her that wants to leave “normal” behind. This is one of the most engaging first issues I’ve read in a while, certainly the best introduction to a character who was entirely new to me. I’m really hoping the quality keeps up, and that DC and the fans keep supporting this book.
In lieu of the Spider-Woman review I’m not going to get to, observations on a few other new titles:
X-Men Legacy #227: One of the laws of the Marvel Universe states that, if Rogue and Ms. Marvel are found within a hundred miles of each other, they must have a knockdown dragout fight. That’s understandable because Rogue and Carol Danvers have a long, often unpleasant history. What I didn’t realize was that this rule applies even when the Ms. Marvel suit is being worn by someone else. So Moonstone and Rogue fight here, just like in the last issue, and I’d be complaining about this except that it’s awesome. Mike Carey’s writing on this title has really picked up since Rogue joined into the cast. If you’re intimidated by the Utopia banner on the book, don’t be. It’s basically just a fun fight issue, the emotional beats are easy to follow, and if you’ve got the slightest interest in Rogue, you should be following this series.
If you want a book to intimidate you with continuity, though, never fear! Mighty Avengers #28 was about fifty percent incomprehensible to me, anyway. (Quicksilver and US Agent are fighting some previously unknown Inhuman in China — for some reason?) Still, the other fifty percent, is the kind of thing that’s like crack to Marvel fans. Cassie Lang assembles the Young Avengers to take revenge on the Scarlet Witch, who’s really the god Loki who’s now female. But the Young Avengers don’t know that, and like thirty-three percent of the team thinks the Scarlet Witch might be their mom, which leads to a couple scenes that actually made me cry. And then [spoiler character] shows up on the last page and if you remember what happened in Avengers Disassembled, you know what’s about to hit the fan. Otherwise, you’re looking at this comic (justly) going “WHO THE HELL ARE THESE PEOPLE AND WHAT ARE THEY GOING ON ABOUT?” Some comics are just going to be for the fans, and if you don’t want to go nuts you have to be okay with that. Me, I want the real Scarlet Witch back, but in the meantime, I’ll take this.
So those were my notable titles for the week. If you have thoughts about any of these, or if there’s anything new that you’re digging, let us know in the comments!
Posted by Caroline Pruett