Danger Club #1-3 by Landry Q. Walker, Eric Jones, and Michael “Rusty” Drake
The story picks up a few months after all of the adult heroes have gone to fight evil and haven’t returned. Assumed dead, Apollo, the most powerful sidekick, has started recruiting people for a team he’s leading and he’s killing people in his way. At least he was until the non-powered, Kid Vigilante stops him permanently.
The title’s first three issues are interesting and the art is fantastic. While the introductions to the characters themselves are sparse and you only get a little taste of people’s histories with one another, the story takes you through things like Kid Vigilante pulling the plug on his brother’s life support. Unfortunately, without a context, the story is a little hollow and leaves you no one to really root for or anything to care about. It seems like ‘Lord of the Flies’ but with superhero sidekicks.
Since it turns out the president of the United States, himself a retired super-hero is really behind the reason the heroes are missing, it might be worth sticking with to get to know the characters better and see if there’s anything more to this story than just the action…but we’ll see.
Amazing Spider-Man Annual #39 by Brian Reed, Lee Garbett, and John Lucas
When a Horizon Labs experiment takes Peter out of the time stream, he gets a peek at what life without him would have been like. As he jumps to different places in his history Quantum Leap-style, he is forced to relive.
This story is sort of a jumbled-up, uninteresting time-travel story. The story of life without Peter Parker should be told but I would have preferred to see a life where Uncle Ben and Gwen Stacey were alive and happy but Norman Osborn controlled most of New York (like Lex does in Metropolis). I’d love to see a Peter Parker that no one knows or remembers trying to be a normal human being in that time-period before Dr. Strange and a team of Avengers came to rescue him from the time-stream. I’d love to see a Peter trying to decide whether or not the world was better off without him. That seems like a better conflict and would have more emotional resonance.
Instead we get a choppy story that ends with Uncle Ben telling him he’s proud of him (how many times have we seen that?) and breaks no new ground.
X-Men #29 by Victor Gischler & Will Conrad
Pixie and Spider-Man along with a group of Skrulls take on another Skrull who has taken a young boy hostage and is trying to escape into space.
What can I tell you – there were a ton of heroes on the cover of this book and very few were actually inside. So I judged the book by its cover. Not a great story (granted I didn’t read the previous part of the story) and I’m again reminded why I stay away from this title. For all the times that a character like Pixie looks up to Spider-Man and gets to meet him, half the time I’m disappointed that Spidey couldn’t inspire them more.
Trio #1 by John Byrne
Rock, Paper, Scissors. That’s who the Trio are. Ignore the similarities to the Fantastic Four because every comic book company or creator comes up with heroes that at least bear a passing resemblance to an existing superhero in either power, origin, costume, or attitude. I usually get the first three issues of something before I read them so I can give the title a fair shake but this is John Byrne so I dove right in and found the water gone and replaced with air. So as I lay at the bottom of this pool, broken and bloody, I curse John Byrne for tricking me into reading this mess.
Avengers Vs X-Men: Versus #3 by Jeph Loeb, Ed McGuinness, Dexter Vines, Christopher Yost, Terry Dodson, and Rachel Dodson
I know – I reviewed the first issues and I was less than flattering about one of the fights (Thing vs Namor). But I saw one of my favorite characters, Magik, up against one of my favorite Avengers characters, Black Widow and had to make the purchase.
I’m going to start with the Thing vs. Colossus fight. You so rarely get to see Colossus fight anyone of his power level and I don’t think Thing has fought him since his power has been augmented. But in an all-out fight with the Juggernaut, Thing loses and should lose.
Now, the Black Widow vs. Magik fight was AWESOME. Black Widow is an expert fighter, spy, and marksman but Magik is a spellcaster with access to a host of abilities and practically grew up under the tutelage of The Danger Room and the many battle-hardened X-Men who trained with her. And you get to see Magik use all of her abilities – this is Magik at her best.