All-New X-Factor #7-12: Change of Decay

When you’ve been reading superhero comics for decades, many of them start blurring together. It’s easy for creators and readers to settle for the usual supervillain challenges, where costumed, powered characters duke it out without much real-world connection. But after a while, when you’ve read more than your share of those stories, it all becomes familiar and boring. That’s why I was so surprised and pleased to see what Peter David was doing with the recent run of All-New X-Factor, […]

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I’d Like to See More of Radiance, From the Invaders

I’ve decided to catch up on my Marvel reading. I have a 120-comic backlog, since I haven’t read any since March, which was before the launch of the new series people are recommending (such as Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk). (Before you ask, I just got busy with other things.) Imagine how pleasantly surprised I was to discover, in my first batch (proceeding alphabetically), a cool new character I hope to see more of. Radiance first appeared in All-New Invaders #6, […]

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Goodbye, X-Factor — Series Ends With #262

Peter David’s run — and the title itself — ends on X-Factor with the recent #262. I found the series an entertaining read, combining heroics with old-school soap operatic complications as a diverse group of characters tried to work together in a superhuman detective agency. I particularly liked the personalities David gave the cast. I didn’t talk much about the recent storylines, because once you get into demonic wars and such, it’s hard to identify a good starting point, and […]

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I Miss Amadeus Cho

While reorganizing some comic boxes from the move — I should copy and paste that phrase to use over the next two years — KC found a good memory for me. Amazing Fantasy (Volume 2) #15 was cover-dated January 2006. According to the text page in the back, it was created to “revisit, revamp, or recreate… idle Marvel character names.” The lead story in the anthology was the introduction of Amadeus Cho, by Greg Pak and Takeshi Miyazawa. Given the […]

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Criminal: The Last of the Innocent

Many many people have had the idea of doing an adult take on Archie and his gang, but few have executed it with so much skill and insight. Criminal: The Last of the Innocent uses the familiar characters of the gawky boy, his dopey friend, the girl friend who wanted to be the girlfriend, and the desirable rich girl in a noir-ish tale about murder and reinvention. Plus, with contrasting visuals of dark present day and brighter, simpler pages that […]

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Patsy Walker: Hellcat

This paperback is my latest lead exhibit in the argument for collections being better reading experiences than miniseries. When the five issues of Hellcat were running monthly, I had no idea what was going on. Writer Kathryn Immonen wasn’t hand-holding the reader (refreshingly), so I quickly got lost with the time gap between issues. Reading Patsy Walker: Hellcat all at once, I was impressed and entertained with a story about Patsy in Alaska, helping find the missing heir of a […]

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Kabuki: The Alchemy

David Mack brings his long-running series full-circle in Kabuki: The Alchemy with a mind-bending conclusion. Kabuki, formerly an assassin, has escaped from the institution where she was being kept in Metamorphosis and is seeking the mysterious friend who helped her, a woman she’s never seen. But as the character says to the reader early on, “All you need to know is that there is a scar on my face, I’m starting a new life, and I have a friend who […]

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The Incredible Hercules

Based on reader recommendation, I tried The Incredible Hercules, and I’m glad I did. Now I have a superhero title I can follow and enjoy. I started right when the title changed, with #112. (Previously, the series was The Incredible Hulk.) That issue through #115 are collected as Against the World. Written by Greg Pak (whose work I loved in the already-forgotten Warlock) and Fred Van Lente (Action Philosophers, Comic Book Comics) with art by Khoi Pham with Paul Neary […]

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