Reading Pile: 2/16/13

Uncanny X-Men, Batman & Fantastic Four

Uncanny X-Men #1- I’m still oddly perturbed by how much Bendis seems to fit the X-Men right now. I’m also entertained by how the x-world is shaping up right now and how Cyclops is getting a somewhat decent shake. I comprehend the general hating on Scott from the fanbase, but I don’t agree with it in general. Anything that actually gives an opportunity to expand on his character as he’s experienced all of these changes has a certain appeal to me, so I’m hoping it pans out. The surprise ending of the issue is pretty obvious from the first couple pages, but it actually holds some promise of an interesting sub-plot. Also, considering I haven’t really enjoyed Bachalo’s art since the days of Generation X, I found him to be a pretty good fit for the story. He cleaned up his work a bit and told a pretty straightforward story without going crazy with his layout experiments. Overall, despite the $3.99 price tag for only twenty pages of story, I felt this was an entertaining first issue. B+

Batman #17-I feel like DC overhyped this event so much that they took a good story, built it up like it would be earthshattering, and then just delivered an ok Joker story.  There was nothing about this that really made me think it was worth the forced crossover at all, and while it was an amusing take on the Joker I pretty much just consider it the Lionsgate horror movie version of the Joker. It’s the ‘Hey, Snyder is really good at writing serial killers, let’s have him do the Joker’ version. The problem is, it all sort of comes as second best to the Morrison version for me. The face removal doesn’t do much, because the Morrison version had the movie scars introduced and editorial quickly found a way to plastic surgery his face back to the norm. All this does is give us a cool toy.  It’s not that I needed someone to die or something to really change; I actually prefer that it is a good story. I’m just bothered by all the over marketing and flashbang DC gave us about this when nothing really came of it in the long run. B

Fantastic Four #4- Despite this being a long term story with one cohesive direction and plot, I really like that every issue has stood by itself pretty well as just a fun adventure story. The family aspect is still strong in Fraction’s storytelling, so it feels like he has a pretty good handle on what the FF is all about. Of the Marvel Relaunch titles, I am still constantly surprised and happy by how much I am enjoying this run. A-