I get it. The universe is punishing me. I didn’t give you guys a review last week, and now I’m presented with an impossible choice.
This week, there were two amazing books and one fantastic digital release. One was incredibly emotional; one was beyond epic, and the last was just plain ol' entertaining. That’s right, folks: it’s (Insert Dramatic Music) The Triple E!
As a result, we have our first ever tie: The Adventures of Superman #2, Uncanny Avengers #8, and Avengers #11. There is just no way I can recommend one above the other; all three are just that damned good. So this week, I’m going to try and sell you on all three. I know, it's Uncanny.
ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #2
This e-comic (book?) by Jeff Lemire hit me right in the gut. I’ve had a soft spot for Lemire ever since I read Sweet Tooth and The Underwater Welder. That man knows how to tug at the heart strings. AoS #2 is no different.
He presents us with an odd Superman setpiece: instead of focusing on the man in the cape, we center on two kids pretending to be Superman and a variety of villains. It is absolutely wonderful. It brought back so many memories of when I ran around pretending to be Batman or the Green Ranger. Lemire had the dialogue down pat. The kids play Superman in the cheesiest, 1950s-iest way possible, as befits the incomparable carefree optimism of youth.
Lemire's art, on the other hand, may be off-putting to some. His characters are all a bit distorted (picture a more coherent Picasso.) Having read his other work, I've come to love it, but it's easy to see how this would be jarring for those used to a clean look in their Super-comics. Still, for $0.99, you really shouldn’t pass this one up. Just be sure to have a box of tissues handy for when the air suddenly gets dusty after reading that last panel...
UNCANNY AVENGERS #8
This book by Rick Remender has been teetering on the edge of mediocrity. The first arc was cool, but it hasn't been the groundbreaking story I was looking for in an X-Men/Avengers team-up. As it turns out, I just needed a bit more patience.
Holy shit, there's a lot to be excited about in this issue. Thor and Sunfire save Rio in the coolest most badass way possible. Tension builds in the ranks, as Wolverine’s Uncanny X-Force chickens come home to roost. And finally, Captain America pulls off a one man Black Hawk Down. It’s an intense book. I will admit, if you haven’t read Remender’s Uncanny X-Force, you will be missing some helpful backstory. Don’t let that discourage you, though: it’s still amazing, and you are given the major points you need to know. Still, if you are having doubts, look at it this way: the book revolves around Apocalypse, Red Skull (with Xavier's telepathy), and Kang the Conqueror.
Oh, I shouldn't forget to mention Daniel Acuna’s art. His cover work has always been amazing, and his interiors follow suit. His art for the opening scene in Rio is worth the price of admission alone. Honestly, this book deserves a whole crap ton of credit for making me like Sunfire. I hate that guy.
I have been itchin' to make one of these books my pick of the week since Jonathan Hickman took the reins. I am absolutely loving this series, but I just happen to love the classic cryptic and plot-heavy storyline. If you don't enjoy those stories, it's series as a whole is not for you (at least not yet.)
Avengers #11, a bit more accessible this time, brings the story back down to earth with a hilarious casino caper in Macau. A.I.M. and some other agencies of ill-repute have all gathered at this one casino for a supposed chemical weapons deal. Enter Carol’s 6: Captain Marvel, Sunspot, Cannonball, Black Widow, Shang-Shi, and Spider-Woman all go undercover in an attempt to sweat out the seller and discourage any buyers.
This one's just too much fun. Seeing A.I.M. goons dress up in tuxes (still rocking the beekeeper look!) is wonderful. Better still, the Shang-Shi section felt like I was watching a Bruce Lee movie, except with glowing lightning nunchaku and shadow ninjas. The best part of this book was when Cannonball and Sunspot talked a bunch of A.I.M. lackeys into a ceasefire so they all could party all night. (Well, all of them except for Doug. God damn it, Doug!)
Mike Deodato was tapped for art duties this time around. It was pretty standard fare, sprinkled with moments of greatness anytime Cannonball, Sunspot, and the A.I.M. guys were on the page. I like Deadato’s work but sometimes it can get pretty heavy and muddy, which is exactly what happens here.
So there you have it, folks. You can see why I couldn’t pick just one. If you are low on cash, go with Adventure of Superman #2, it’s the best value this week! If you are looking for an epic story, grab Uncanny Avengers #8 and buckle up. If you need to check-out and just have some fun, Avengers #11 is your book. But no matter which book you grab, always remember: never hang out with an A.I.M. agent named Doug. That guy sucks.