Infinite Howard the Duck

“Greetings, culture lovers.” Have you been reading the Infinity Event? I have, and it’s shaping up to be the biggest interdimensional cross rip since the Tunguska blast of 1909! I’m digging Mr. HIckman’s Opus, to say the least. I just finished reading Avengers #18, which made its way to the top of the pile via my Avengers subscription. New Avengers #9, which I picked up at Annex Comics,  is waiting downstairs, but there were just a couple of things I wanted to point out about the first Avengers full-on installment in Infinity.

1. Still the worst Iron Man mask ever. 

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2. Shang Chi has a mini-statue of Howard the Duck on his dashboard.

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There’s a lot more going on with this issue (like Cannonball hitting on Smasher), but it’s not my job to spoil the read for you.

Avengers Vol.5 Issue 11: Avengers Out of Uniform!

A.I.M. is selling the bioweapon S7…or are they? This issue features Black Widow, Captain Marvel, Spider Woman, Cannonball, Sunspot and Shang Chi. It’s nice to see a few B-Listers getting some love, but what really grabbed me about this story was that our heroes spend the entire issue out of uniform. No costumes, no masks. Civvies and a (not-so) secret mission for S.H.I.E.L.D. with a gripping plot. I want more of this–great story with just an occasional glimpse of the fantastic.

That, and A.I.M. guys partying their asses off in their tuxes & bucket helmets. You absolutely cannot have too much of that, ever.

Sunspot, Cannonball and a couple of hard-partying A.I.M. dudes.

Sunspot, Cannonball and a couple of hard-partying Beekeepers.

Dyson Sphere, Assemble! ~or~ ‘How Stark’s Sphere became Sol’s Hammer’.

I’ll keep this short. When I read Avengers #9, I was underwhelmed with the way this arc wrapped up. Back in the day, entire issues would be dedicated to a good old fashioned donnybrook, and while I’m not terribly excited by the way today’s writers are penning the pugilistics, that is not the focus of this post. Underwhelmed, remember?

~SPOILERS~

The current Star Brand and  Nightmask chosen after the most recent White Event were battling it out with Earth’s Mightiest, and then…it was over, and Manifold whooshed them away to…where? I didn’t know. Some weird honey-combed habitat. What? That’s it? WEAK!!

Flash forward a couple of days and I drop by Annex Comics in Newport ostensibly to treat my daughter to a couple of Archies, in reality to grab the latest issue of New Avengers, the only book I’m currently reading to which I do not subscribe. Got home and put it on the pile to read after dinner. When I got around to reading it, it did not take long to impress. I was happy just seeing Tony Stark, Reed Richards and T’Challa in the same Engineering Lab. That’s some serious brain-power, tell you what. Then Stark takes the other two on a virtual tour of his latest invention. Turn the page and…

BA-BAM!! Tony Stark is building a damn Dyson Sphere, with the help of “the best Shi’ar contractors precious metals can buy.” WOW. Better yet, recognize those honeycombs? Yep, that’s where Manifold tucked away the Star Brand and the Nightmask. Dang that is sweet. I have no idea what the significance is, but I think it is totally freakin’ cool. I’m very glad that I happened to read those books in the sequence that I did. My jaw doesn’t often drop…but page 4 of New Avengers #4 did exactly that. Well played, Mr. Hickman, well played indeed.

T’Challa: You’re going to weaponize a star?
Stark: I figure if our situation is forcing me back into the arms business…why not get exotic?

"Well, I like 'Stark Sphere'  but apparently the company is already using that for something else."

“Well, I like ‘Stark Sphere’ but apparently the company is already using that for something else.”

Avengers #6 and 1986. What Do they Have in Common? ~SPOILERS~

Dude…The Marvel Now! Avengers title has been good from the start. The first arc wrapped up nicely but with sinister little eggs laid for future hatching. Issue #5 gave us the origin of Earth’s first Smasher, and that was fine. I figured on more of the same when I saw Captain Universe on the cover of #6…and for the most part that’s what I got, apart from the rather….odd squabbling between Spiderman, Cannonball and Sunspot.

And then ol’ Captain Universe drops a FREAKIN’ RETRO BOMB, reprogramming Tony Stark‘s workstation to correctly translate “Blackveil’s” name.

nmasknew

Nightmask. The White Event. The New Universe. Remember the Summer of 1986? Nightmask, D.P. 7, Star Brand, Psi Force…did I leave any out? Probably, because I write this crap from memory. It’s the New Universe! This doesn’t seem to be some one-off re-hash circa 2006. This is pretty mainstream stuff! Super neato.

nu

1986 Ad for the New Universe, scanned from the back cover of Thor #371

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Scan from the cover of Nightmask #1, 1986

So this is a New White Event? Apparently. Nightmask is reborn from Ex Nihilo‘s Adam…I don’t know how that works at all (Builder’s Machine Code notwithstanding), but it’s cool. It’s really cool! Bring it on, Mr. Hickman!!

whiteeventnew

The New White Event, apparently heading for Earth in Avengers #7!

AvX Consequences TPB

 

Sitting atop the pile & ripe for cracking is the AvX Consequences TPB. In the wake of the war between The Avengers & The Phoenix 5 (and to a lesser extent, the X-Men) I see this as a

AvX Consequences Trade Paperback

AvX Consequences Trade Paperback

precursor to the Marvel Now! Uncanny X Men series. Issue one of that arrived in the mail the other day, so I figure I’d better read Consequences first. Despite a long tenure as an X-Men fan, even I’m growing weary of Scott Summers’ incessant moody whining. Will he truly be and stay a Marvel “Villain” now? Gotta put “Villain” in quotes because he’ll never intentionally harm the innocent, but I’m confident he’ll Zzark! any Hero that tries to stand in his way.

I’m just wondering where it is he’s trying to go.  Time to crack AvX Consequences!

Avengers #3 Acquired, Dilemma Dissolved ~or~ How My Pile Became Complete

Screen shot 2013-02-12 at 11.04.29 PMThe Blogosphere waited with baited breath the outcome of my dilemma. In the end, the solution I thought would be the simplest is the one that worked. I cruised into The Time Capsule this evening around 6pm Eastern, asked for help and scored a variant cover edition of [Marvel Now!] Avengers #3. My Pile is complete, and you may breathe a collective sigh of relief, replete in the knowledge that I will be reading in sequence.

Hey Howie…I GOT IT!!

The Subscriber’s Dilemma-Avengers # 4

Avengers-4-large-coverGot home the other day and Marvel Now!’s Avengers #4 was on my desk. Immediately I had mixed feelings. When I bought Avengers 1 & 2 at The Annex in Newport RI, I loved ’em, and so immediately subscribed. I subscribe because it costs less, and because it comes right to my house so that I don’t have to keep track of what is coming out when (I know it’s not that hard, but I stink at it and always end up missing stuff).

So, there it was, Issue #4, the first of my subscription issues to arrive. But I haven’t read #3. I can’t be skipping stuff and missing plot points! It’s impure! It’s not right! What will I do? The Annex doesn’t have a back issue of #3, so I only have a couple of options:

1. Buy Digital. Yuck. I like to press the pulp! This will be a last resort solution only.
2. Stop in at the Time Capsule in Cranston. This will take some strategizing, and some cash because I always feel guilty buying small amounts of stuff with my credit card from fellow small business owners. This will hopefully yield results.
3. Buy the individual issue online. Never tried this. Seems like it would be easy, but I’ll have to do some waiting. I hate waiting.

*Sigh* It’s going to be a tough haul. Until I acquire issue #3, however, #4 shall remain, uncracked, atop the pile. I’ll let you know how I make out.