A surprisingly large week for me, just getting back into the hobby.
We'll start where we left off last week with Archie vs. Predator #2.
And I'm proud to say that my fears of last week have been alleviated. Page 2 of issue #2 pays off the entire set-up from issue #1. Juxtaposition is the heart of comedy and this page proves it. The rest of the issue continues to pay it out in a very bizarre way. The Riverdale gang is thrown up against something the likes of which they are totally unaccustomed to, but rather than just freak completely out and cower in the malt shop, like maybe they totally should, they take the offensive and try to figure out just what is hunting them down. Can they do it? I'll be picking up issue #3.
Next up is Secret Wars #3. You may recall I was looking for this issue to also pay off a couple of issues of set-up. I'm not yet sold on the entire premise of Battleworld, mainly the Doom is God stuff. It just seems a bit much. BUT, issue #3 FINALLY introduces the surviving heroes from the original and Ultimate Marvel universes into Battleworld. Since they are really the only characters we have any history with, it is refreshing to have them as anchors in what has otherwise been a mad, mad world. There are some interesting revelations and thankfully enough steam to keep me going for a few more issues unless something gets really stupid. Marvel needed a save here, and they managed to eek it out.
While we are on Secret Wars related comics, the first issue of Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows hit this week. This is the only Spider-Man comic I have had any interest in for years. This is supposed to be as close as we are going to come to the real Spider-Man starring in a comic again. (for those of you who don't know, Amazing Spider-Man #400 was the last issue to star the real Spider-Man, after that Marvel just simply lost all notion of how to handle the character and spent the next 300 issues systematically destroying the character. It's like the Simpsons...) I was extremely nervous about reading this as my faith in Marvel's ability to handle my favorite character has been betrayed like my faith in Star Wars to have meaningful movies beyond the original trilogy. And despite a few bumps: the Parker child is named Annie for some reason, not May, this issue delivered a good story about Peter Parker in a post-baby era. There are rumblings that the overall story is going to take a galactic-level bent, but for at least this issue the story was kept pretty street level with Venom showing up to attack the Parker family and Spider-Man giving him a beat down the likes of which we have never seen. Being a parent DOES change you. Will future issues hold up? I'm in for #2 and I'll let you know.
Finally, we come to Princess Leia #4, the penultimate issue in the limited series. This comic has delivered every single issue. The story is tight, the art is great, and it manages to stay true to the original characters and universe. Issue #4 continues that trend and ramps up the story as we build to next issue's presumably awesome climax. If you've not been reading this, and you like the REAL Star Wars, go catch up. You will not be sorry!
One critical note: take a look at the panel below. While the art has been solid every issue, this one panel bugs me. It looks like Artoo was originally drawn thinner, more narrow (hence the hatching shade like along his backside), but somewhere along the line someone said, "he looks too thin," so someone went back in and made him thicker. He doesn't look quite rounded. He looks a bit lumpy on the back side and the inking isn't quite a smooth. It's a minor detail in an otherwise wonderful comic, so I'm not busting too many chops, but it does look off.
So those are this week's comics. All in all, a good week.