Weekly Hit (and Miss) List: 10/11/2011

by Dan Bertwell

The Weekly Hit (and Miss) List is a rundown of the best and worst things I read this week regardless of their original publication date. It doesn’t have to be new – just new to me.

THE HITS

Action Comics #2 | DC | Grant Morrison (w), Rags Morales (a)

I’m not a huge Superman fan and just picked up a copy of Action Comics #1 on a whim during my lunch break. If it keeps going the way it’s been going, Grant Morrison will have written my two favorite Superman stories. I loved All Star Superman a couple of years ago and the first two issues of this book have been amazing. I feel like the difficulty with writing Superman is the seemingly limitless nature of his power level. He has received so many power-ups over the years that he has become too God-like to relate to and to put into danger. Morrison and Quietly absolutely hit a homerun on All Star Superman by focusing on a hero who learned that his solar-based powers had given him terminal cancer. Morrison and Morales are taking Action Comics down another path. We are dealing with Superman when he first arrives on the scene. He can stop bullets and leap tall buildings in single bound, but he cannot fly and he can be knocked out. He’s cocky and flawed and interesting because the danger is very real and he is imperfect. I recently read some of the earliest Superman stories from the late thirties and the similarities between those stories and the current ones are prevalent and wonderful. Superman, originally conceived as a strong (but not omnipotent) man committed to protecting the downtrodden is returning to his roots and is in great hands right now.

X-Men: Schism #5 | Marvel | Jason Aron (w), Adam Kubert (a)

This mini-series had its faults and I’m not certain that I would put it squarely in the “Hit” column if I was reviewing the entire thing rather than just this last issue, but I definitely felt like I got my money’s worth with this one. It begins with the stunning cover image, a Wolverine/Cyclops fight with dramatic lighting provided by the hand of a Sentinel, hovering over them and about to fire (which is on my short list for Cover of the Year when I give out the “Dannies” in December). The book moves past the reasons Wolverine and Cyclops are fighting and brings the reader directly into the action.  Unlike many big event books, I get the feeling that the next few years of X-Men will change quite a bit coming out of this series and the new direction for the X-Men books is both exciting and new (just like the Love Boat). If a mini-series event is meant to change the status quo and get readers excited for the change, Schism, and this issue in particular, was a definite hit. BUY IT

THE MISSES

Ultimate Comics X-Men #1 | Marvel | Nick Spencer (w), Paco Medina (a)

I checked out of the Ultimate Universe some time ago, but picked up the Ultimate X miniseries earlier this year (mostly because I will buy just about anything that Art Adams draws). I enjoyed that series but didn’t love it and feel the exact same way about Ultimate Comics X-Men #1 (it doesn’t roll off the tongue the same way “Ultimate X-Men” did, does it?). I don’t mind not knowing who many of the characters are, and there were some genuinely surprising and moving moments, but ultimately I just didn’t care all that much about what was happening. I wasn’t certain if I would stick with it, but the last two pages did make me decide to come back for more. I’ll probably stick with the first arc, but can’t say if I’ll continue after that. The book is OK and has a lot of potential, but I just wasn’t feeling it.

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