The Weekly Pull – 10/31/12

    

It was another five-week month, with our extra comics arriving coincidentally on Halloween night. Now we’ll talk about them. Including BATMAN BEYOND UNLIMITED #9, CAPTAIN MARVEL #6, WINTER SOLDIER #12, AVENGERS VS X-MEN: CONSEQUENCES #4, and STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION/DOCTOR WHO: ASSIMILATION 2 #6.

BATMAN BEYOND UNLIMITED #9 forgoes yet another sequence where we learn about a member of the Justice League (of the future), leaving us with only the three ongoing storylines. First up is finally ending the first Superman Beyond story, with the aged man of steel donning the Eradicator armor (that he just happened to have lying around in his fortress of solitude) in order to shield him from the kryptonite radiation inundating the planet. His mission: to stop the directionless rampage of a giant robot being piloted by Lex Luthor’s daughter and an apparently sentient Lex Luthor hologram.

Quick question. If the hologram is so advanced as to be able to freely answer questions (thereby passing the Turing Test), and possesses the same personality as Luthor, why doesn’t the hologram just do all the evil itself? Why go to all the trouble of having Luthor’s daughter enact the evil scheme when the hologram seems perfectly capable of acting on its own?

Not going to spoil how this ends – aside from good triumphing over evil of course. Though we’re left with the knowledge that while Superman may have won – in the process one-upping the scene in Superman Returns where he lifts a continent made of kryptonite – he’s made two new enemies. One the aforementioned daughter of Luthor who’s gained her own personal hatred for Superman, the other Officer Walker of the Metropolis super police, who became so hyped up on stolen nanomachines that he’s gone power mad.

I’m sure neither of them will come back to bite Superman in the butt. Oh wait, this is comic books. Of course they will. Also Superman gets a new day job.

Over in the future Justice League plotline, the League prepares for their inevitable battle with the Serpent. It’s time to stop jerking around, and attack Cobra (no, not that Cobra), the organization responsible for the Serpent. And they’ll need all the help they can get to do both at the same time. Unfortunately, the Earth seems curiously bereft of metahumans. It would appear after the Unlimited era of the Justice League, the numbers of superpowered crime fighters dropped off and never rose.

No wonder Metropolis needed super cops! No more people are getting mutated by radiation or endowed with arcane magic in the future!

So the battle happens, with Superman, Green Lantern, and Batman fighting the Serpent (with the help from some friends), while Barda, Aquagirl, and Micron infiltrate the Cobra base. And indeed, Micron actually gets to do things in this one, as opposed to the large amount of floating in a tank he’s done in most of his other appearances. It sure is nice that Micron isn’t a mind-controlled slave of the bad guys anymore. Or is he?

Also we get another cameo from one of Jack Kirby’s creations. It’s kind of awesome.

Finally 10,000 Clowns continues with Batman teaming up with future!Catwoman to fight off the many, many Joker gang suicide bombers blowing up Gotham. Did I mention previously that I love this story? Meanwhile, future!Vigilante breaks a dudes fingers. For Justice! It’s good to remember that the fingers are really, really effective targets if you want to pain someone into submission.

We learn the Jokerz may in fact be under the influence of drugs, and some old allies reluctantly come out of the woodwork to protect the city. All in all, a great issue, though I’d have to say as always the JLA plot is the weakest in my opinion.

In CAPTAIN MARVEL #6, we come to the conclusion of the time travel saga, with Carol Danvers and the younger version of her deceased mentor Helen Cobb traveling to the point in time where Carol obtained her superpowers and became Ms Marvel. I haven’t personally read that issue of the original Captain Marvel’s series, but it would appear they lifted dialogue from it for the sake of continuity. They even lampshade the fact that everyone involved spoke in awkward, over dramatic dialogue.

So now that she’s traveled to the point of her origin, can Captain Marvel (the current one, not the guy from the past who is also there) resist the urge to intervene? How will she react to the prospect of being able to prevent her own origin story? What does Helen have to say about all this sparklefist nonsense? And how will Carol return home? All is revealed in this very good issue.

On an artistic side, I felt apprehensive in the previous issue about the new art team. But the new style has started to grow on me. Which makes the fact that I’m probably going to stop reading this series all the more unfortunate. It’s not that I don’t like Captain Marvel. It’s just that I’d always come into the series knowing full well I have enough stuff on my plate. And thankfully, the story resolves itself in a satisfying way, without setup for the next storyline. If you’re going to stop reading (though I advise to continue for those who have the ability), now is the best jumping off point we’re ever going to get.

Next is WINTER SOLDIER #12, which is finally showing movement towards resolution of the entire Leo Novokov storyline. Or at least movement period. I’ve learned that Ed Brubaker plans to leave the book sometime around January of next year, meaning we have to be finishing up soon.

In a team up with Hawkeye, James brought home a hard drive from Leo, the rogue soviet sleeper agent, with a command from Leo himself. Barnes must be programmed using the data on the drive and become the Winter Soldier of old, before he’ll ever be allowed near Black Widow. But Barnes would never be stupid enough to let himself be brainwashed with an unknown objective.

Right? Wrong! That’s exactly what he does, becoming yet another rogue agent playing in the hands of the insane Leo.

So naturally they need to bring Wolverine in on this. Why not? The man is in every other book ever, including comics he doesn’t technically appear in. You’d think having him in here would break the artistic and narrative aestetic we’ve been building up until now, but that’s really only the case with the cover, where Wolverine stands out like a sore thumb. Other than that, he seems to adequetely fill the hole of perspective character, since Bucky went and brainwashed himself to become a ruthless killer.

Also Daredevil gets a cameo. I’m not entirely sure why, just that for some reason Daredevil needed to become important to the plot for reasons that aren’t well explained. And I like Daredevil.

Continuing our weekly epilogue of Marvel’s latest summer crossover, AVENGERS VS X-MEN: CONSEQUENCES #4 is next to last in the miniseries and thus we’re setting things up for big thing to happen in the last issue (coming next week, because Marvel wants all our money now). Tony Stark visits Cyclops on account of everyone needing to visit Cyclops in jail, looking to study the Phoenix Force’s effects on the mutant’s body. Meanwhile, Hope dives to the sunken ruins of Utopia looking for Cable’s stuff and her jet-pack. For some reason, Namor just happened to be hanging around. Nothing comes of this, except to loosely tie up his part in AVX.

Speaking of tying things up, Storm goes after Colossus, who took to isolation because of the whole Phoenix Force/Magik debacle. Speaking of Magik, she’s joined up with Magneto and that one X-Men girl who looks like a robot that I’ve never learned the name of. And further speaking of not caring to know a character’s name, that half-alien green haired chick who works in that satellite orbiting the planet has secretly been providing data to Magneto so he and his crew can stay one step ahead of the people looking for them.

Did you get all that? No? Too bad.

Oh, and remember that other mutant prisoner incarcerated alongside Cyclops? Those two sure have been developing a nice friendship. It would be a shame if something tragic happened to ruin that, pushing Cyclops over the edge. That would just be awful and capable of being a plot point. As you can probably guess, I’m seriously burned out on AVX right now, to the point I can barely care enough to mask possible spoilers.

Last for today is the series with the frustratingly long name, STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION/DOCTOR WHO: ASSIMILATION 2 #6. According to some sources, the 2 is meant to be referred to as SQUARED. But as much as that makes sense given the logo, screw that! The title is long enough!

The crew of the Enterprise and The Doctor agree to meet with the Borg in order to plan how to save the latter from being counter-assimilated by the Cybermen. If it weren’t for that long title, this series would be simply nerd perfection. As it stands, we finally learn from the Borg – specifically from an assimilated Bertrand, starfleet officer and friend of Commander Riker – how the union between Borg and Cybermen grew into a brutal divorce/war. We also learn that part of what allowed the Cybermen to so thoroughly trounce the Borg was having basically hacked the Collective, and the Enterprise needs to help restore them to full consciousness before the Cybermen finish upgrading their erstwhile allies.

How do you do that? With gratuitous time travel of course! How convenient we have a guy with a time machine on board. Also they need gold, and lots of it. Time to go back to that one water planet introduced in the first issue! Chekov’s gun is in full effect people!

Other than that – and some more fanservice – I’ve got nothing else. Onward to other things! Next time!

Do you think the Star Trek/Doctor Who crossover could get a longer name? Did anyone expect the Batman Beyond comic to last this long, or be this edgy? Should I keep reading Captain Marvel in spite of my already divided attention? Are you as anxious to see this plotline in Winter Soldier end as I am? And are you as anxious to see this massive crossover event, AVX, end as I am? Leave your comments below.

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