To my surprise, the local comic book store was open today: Echo #3, Mighty Avengers #14, Huntress: Year One #1, Fantastic Four #554, The Last Defenders #3.
I’m really glad that I took the chance on Terry Moore’s new series, Echo. The pacing of this story is really well done to give you information without revealing it all. The readers come into the very beginning of Julie’s superpowers, but not the beginning of her life. I think a lot of time, with the exception of that one person who the superhero must keep his/her superpowers secret from, most superheros’ lives start at the inception of their powers and everything else is seen as having little or no significance. Julie, however, has a ex-husband she wants back, a crazy sister, dead relatives she still morns, a best friends, and seemingly some sort of addiction that’s hinted at this issue with the box in the back of her closet. (My first thought went to sex toys, but then I wondered just why her ex would think it was bad think.) Drugs is my guess. Echo is definitely a title I’ll keep reading.
As for the Mighty Avengers, I’m just not interested that much in the Sentry. He’s superpowerful and mentally unstable. So what? Part of the problem is that while everyone, including the Skrulls are like, “we don’t know the extent of his powers,” I really don’t think that the writers know either. And if you don’t know your character’s powers, you’re probably not going to be writing a very compelling story and your character is definitely not going to work well on a team. For plotting, writers need to have some sort of future idea. Bendis did a good job with this when it came to the Skrull invasion. However, with the Sentry, it’s just like “let’s fuck with his mind” over and over again and we get nowhere. I at least thought they’d gotten somewhere when they first found him and Emma Frost went into his mind. But apparently, not. The character hasn’t grown; he still goes berserk or catatonic and will kill anyone who touches his wife and then bring her back from the dead. We get it.
Huntress is a character that my main reading of has been in Birds of Prey and I really enjoy how gusty and over-her-head she can be. I agree with whomever said (I can’t recall who) that Year One would’ve been more enjoyable years ago as we were experiences Helena’s initial changes into a true hero. That said, it seems like it will be a pretty solid origin story.
I can’t believe that I bought another Millar comic. I hate everything Millar has written. (Actually, I take that back, I really did like when he wrote that Emma and Tony conversation during Civil War.) But otherwise, I find his writing style tedious and flat at best. I think the guy has great ideas. Superman: Red Son was a brilliant idea, but poorly executed. Millar would be so much better suited to a creative director instead of an actual writer. He should be the guy who gets to see Whedon’s white board of doom or sit there with Bendis when they have to figure out how the hell to get rid of the Skrulls. Or what Slott’s really going to do with Squirrel Girl.
But when Millar’s writing, his characters become a sliver of a stereotype. He’s actually the main reason why Tony Stark is incredibly more of a douchebag than he ever was. And with the FF, Reed is more of the wacky scientist who’s an absent father and husband, Sue’s becomes way too nurturing to the entire planet, the text calls out Johnny as Paris Hilton-y, and the Thing is loud and carefree. They have no depth.
So why do I torture myself? She-Hulk. She-Hulk and the Invisible Woman, along with the Wasp, are creating a charity to help those humans whose lives and property have been destroyed by superheroes. How stereotypical or to quote Suze Orman from Women and Money (p. 50-51):
It never fails that when I participate in a women’s conference or meeting, there is one speaker who makes the point that volunteering is terrifically important for women. It is always the same message: We owe it to society to give back, and we owe it to our children to set a good example of giving back. [….] I have never once–and I mean not once–heard a male speaker make that point. Men talk about power and success and how money can create more power. Men are comfortable with that. Women are so uncomfortable with the topic of becoming powerful and successful that they have to wrap any discussion of it in the comforting blanket of volunteerism. [….]
Do men volunteer? Of course. But not in the same way. Men sit on boards, men coach Little League. Women, on the other hand, bake pies, organize the school auction, chaperone field trips. Generally speaking, women tend to take on the more labor- and time-intensive behind-the-scenes tasks. Also, the fact is that more women volunteer than men. A recent national survey reported that 33 percent of women volunteer, compared to 25 percent of men. If it’s not encoded in our DNA, then it is certainly the result of the traditional roles of days gone by. [….] Men donated money; women didn’t have money of their own to give away, so they gave time. Look at your own life and tell me if this still holds true.
[…] Being powerful is not about being selfish, but it does require that you examine your behavior and see where you may be out of balance. And when you do make the decision to donate your time and your effort, know the true worth of what you are giving.
Let me ask you, do you think the Invisible Woman, She-Hulk, and the Wasp have time for bake sales or extreme home makeovers? Good thing comic time does not work like ours.
Interestingly enough, in this same issue, the Thing, with Reed in tow, goes to his old school to talk to the kids about being a superhero, to inspire them to be great. I can’t help but think how the Thing’s being shown off as a role model and is in a one-afternoon commitment compared to the women making a long-term community commitment that will definitely take more of their time than an afternoon.
Finally, another book I picked up on the promise of She-Hulk not written by Peter David. And blah. She-Hulk might be crazy so might this other guy who I can’t recall who he even is after only reading the issue like an hour ago. And then other dude forms reforms the team with other dudes who I don’t care about. And he apparently has access to high-level S.H.I.E.L.D. files even though he’s possibly crazy. Oh, yeah, and Atlantis was destroyed. When was that again? The book’s fine when it comes to action but there’s no connection to the characters. Why should I care that they’re the Last Defenders?