I bought this comic on my lunch break today – then was late back to work as I sat in my car unable to put it down. It wasn’t the action, or the intense drama, or even the suspense that kept me glued. It was the fact that this was the first time in a while we got an insight into a lot of different characters who have not been in the forefront. We got to see each of their individual reasons for the sides that they chose. We got a quick view into what all our other friends have been thinking as X-Men has for a long while now been the Cyclops and Wolverine Show, with Emma Frost as special guest and opening act. And by seeing these individual insights, I was really able to sympathize with each character’s decision.
I also loved the framework that the story is told within – a savage, allegorical and primitive battle between Wolverine and Cyclops. It was cleverly conceptualized and drawn. Every few panels would be a scene of either Wolverine of Cyclops winning or losing each individual, metaphorical blow.
Most of all, I loved that this schism felt natural, yet not permanent. As the X-Men discussed their decisions with one another, there were no hard feelings or arguments. There were no fights (except amongst the kids, but I’m not counting them) or blame tossed about. We could see how much the X-Men all cared for one another and respected each other’s decisions. I liked that very much. They are on different teams fighting for different causes, yet I felt like there was still an underlying unity and respect for one another.
Curiously, we have not yet heard from Professor X, yet he is on the cover. I am very interested to see where and how his interested are vested in future issues, which will be split between Uncanny X-Men #1 and Wolverine and the X-men.
Lastly, let me comment quickly that I am a fan of Billy Tan’s art and this particular issue was done extra-beautifully. In real-time events were rather typical, but the “fight” scenes between Wolverine and Cyclops were really great. A lot of that has to do with Andres Mossa’s color.
Honestly, issue one held my attention better but this was still an enjoyable read. The premise is focused around the threat of some kind of techno-zombie. It was introduced really quickly and little information is given as to how quickly this threat it spreading, where it came from, or how the powers giving the orders to the SS know about it.
The concept is interesting. If any of these characters go rogue, they will automatically be disposed of via the micro bombs inserted under their skin. Therefore they get stuck with the crap missions, or ones that might lead to tight diplomatic spots (aka, torture). The dynamic of the squad was much more interesting than the actual threat of the techno-zombie, which felt a little forced. The final point is that this cast of characters is expendable. It is a point we understand well by the end.
I am looking to slim down on the number of regular 52s that I’ll be purchasing. This one will probably be put on the cutting block after this issue. It certainly wasn’t bad, but it was just kinda ok. I have a whole pile of other 52 #2s to read this week and I’m certainly hoping for more of a ‘wow’ factor from some of these others.
Aspen is one of those small publishers that really knows how to hit a home run. The plot of Haunted City is certainly nothing new, but I can’t say that I was ever not ready and willing to turn the page while reading this comic book.
Detective Tom Whalen works in New York City. As cops go, he’s not the best – or at least not the cleanest. (This is not a comic for children by the way. It has rather distinct references to drug usage among a generally darker plot base.) He narrowly escapes a gunshot wound to the head only to have both his department’s Internal Affairs office on his ass as well as a minor problem in avoiding Korean drug lords.
His out is an unexpected on in the form of a Priest working for a special, secret unit of the NYPD that is as old as the first buildings of New York City itself. This comic asks the question “who protects us from the unknown?” The unknown, in this first instance, refers to the Celtic demon goddess who offers her victims their hearts desires only to take their lives in the end. The bodies are left to this secret detective unit to figure out the type of mythological creature they are after.
This comic has a sort of Supernatural meets Men in Black (without the humor) feel to it. Not my cup of tea as genre preferences goes, but for what it is, it is done very well. The comic is by Peter Johnson and Michael Ryan. At $3.50, this thick comic book certainly deserves the slightly higher price.