Post-apocalyptic stories seem to dominate comics outside of Marvel and DC lately. They each try their own take, this time being less fantasy/sci-fi and more mafia-esque political drama (though still with immortal supersoldiers to provide the sci-fi element). Perhaps Lazarus would’ve been fine without my weariness toward the subject. While it provided plenty of attempts at tension, I never felt the suspense it seemed to searched for, nor was I wowed by the occasional martial arts or gunfights. Everything was competently crafted, but not outstandingly so.
The premise, (that Beast brought the original X-Men to the present so that adult Cyclops can feel bad about his current situation) certainly seems to be a thinly-veiled commentary on the sad state of the modern X-Men timeline. Bendis handles the original X-Teens reacting to their future selves quite well and their interactions feel genuine, especially the Beasts. I did find it odd that Angel was basically ignored, but perhaps that’s a seed for future events. As someone who hasn’t read any current X-Men in quite some time, it was easy to jump into, despite all their convoluted recent history. I always enjoy Immonen’s art and he continued to deliver.
After the lack-luster first volume, I had given up on Green Arrow, especially with how many good New 52 comics were flying around. But I was assured that after this latest team change, including Jeff Lemire, it has improved substantially. And it certainly delivered on that assurance. It rebooted his lame sidekicks, included some proper villains, and restyled Green Arrow with a more mysterious, driven nature, and not just as a lesser batman. The excellent art also greatly aided the comic’s return to my good graces.
I love Thor tales without much interaction with the rest of the Marvel universe. Normally that means stories set during Old Norse viking times. But this series found a way of taking mythology and thrusting it into a universe-wide space opera. It uses a simple folklore-like structure, but what truly drew me in was its exploration of a sort of pantheon of pantheons, wonderfully demonstrating how sci-fi and mythology can coexist. It weaves its three different timelines back and forth for maximum intrigue and suspense.
The dialog in this book is painful. There was definitely some throbbing in my temple as I read it. It’s like middle school fanfiction you’d find on some internet forum. But the story works just fine, and there are some great moments when no one is talking. Also, Doctor Fate was one of my favorites from back when JSA was still a thing, so I was looking forward to his return, which didn’t disappoint.
I’m normally against short story collections by an assortment of creators, but Mouse Guard managed to frame them well. I enjoyed about two-thirds of the tales, but my favorites were those that most closely related to the style and plotting of main series, which kind of defeats the point I suppose. I enjoyed BPRD’s Guy Davis and his story about bats, and decidedly did not enjoy a wildly divergent cartoonish tale. Most fans will find something to like, but not a significant addition to the series.