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Mel’s Muses: All-New X-Factor #6, Batman Eternal #1 & #2 and Superior Spider-Man #31

Nice to be back with a whole bunch of cool titles just waiting for me to pick up. With sooooo many to choose from each week, I figured I’ll just share my short musings on titles that have either just started their runs or wrapped up a storyline recently. As usual, there be spoilers ahead!

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All-New X-Factor #6. Now this is how you assemble a super team! The first time he worked on this title X-Factor was a government team, the second time they were private investigators, now writer Peter David has the third incarnation working for a mega high-tech corporation. I know we have all seen super-hero teams where no one gets along but we are talking Peter David here, one of the best writers in the biz and these first six issues were simply filled with his trademark snappy dialogue and great character interactions. Carmine Di Giandomenico’s art gives a new fresh look that I really like. You got beautiful backgrounds and the characters all have a distinctive polished look about them.

 While the cast does come with a rather large X-Men history baggage, it doesn’t slow down the story at all. The first six issues are all about the set-up as Polaris recruits the team that includes her half-brother Quicksilver, Gambit, Danger, Warlock and Doug. Believe it or not, I pretty much hate this line-up, I mean Gambit, Warlock and Doug are my least favorite Marvel mutants but Peter David has actually made me give a damn about them. I’m betting that Danger has the potential to be the breakout star in this series. Her lack of emotion and inability to understand certain human idiosyncrasies reminds me so much of the android Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Kinda makes me want to dig up those old Star Trek novels by Peter David.

If you aren’t following this new series, you can wait for the hardcover or trade that should be out real soon. Or just go grab the singles right now, it’s that good.

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Batman Eternal #1 and #2. Also out last week was the first issue of the new weekly Batman series and that means the second issue was just out this week. Yup, it’s another weekly series set to run for just a year. Not unlike their previous weekly series 52, this one features their best-selling character Batman in the title role and it promises a “massive cast of Gotham City’s best and worst”.

This new title will involve writers Tim Seeley, Ray Fawkes, John Layman, James Tynion IV and of course, award-winning and regular Batman scribe Scott Snyder. This first story arc has Jason Fabok handing the art chores and it looks like a perfect fit. He has done a ton of Batman work in the past and that dark urban style he has got going here works well in this new series.

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Now I do admit that I am suffering from a bit of Bat-fatigue and the only Bat title I got on my pull list right now is the main Batman title by Scott Snyder. This new one does look rather promising. A familiar Bat villain, mob boss Carmine Falcone (yes, he’s alive and kicking in the New 52 reboot) has framed Gordon for a mass murder and it’s up to the Bat family to set things right. Also, he’s not the only old foe returning, we caught a glimpse or mention of Deacon Blackfire from the 1998 hit mini-series The Cult. Now that was a fantastic story by Jim Starlin and Bernie Wrightson.

Anyway there’s a lot of action in this first issue which leads nicely into issue two where we slow down a little for some interesting character development and Batman doing some much needed detective work. An excellent cast of characters, great art and interesting storyline. I think it’s a good enough series to pick up considering that these days there ain’t that many DC titles I would dare recommend to friends. Sad but true.

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Superior Spider-Man #31. Well, it all ends here. After 31 issues of Doctor Otto Octavius possessing Peter Parker’s body, Parker’s finally back in control and fighting the Green Goblin’s army in New York.

In this final issue, writer Dan Slott and artist Giuseppe Camuncoli have poured their hearts and souls into a masterpiece series that will no doubt go down in Spidey history as one of the most memorable storylines of all time. Slott has already received numerous accolades for making us care about one of Spidey’s most evil villains and even a tear for his passing last issue.

But I do have a tiny bone or two to pick in this last issue. First is how an unarmed and depowered Green Goblin managed to get away on foot just cos Spidey was distracted for a few seconds. At least that’s how it looked like when I was reading it. So why didn’t Spidey or Spidey 2099 give chase?!? That just doesn’t make sense. And I’m still kinda confused by the revelation that Mason Banks is the Green Goblin. Banks claims to be the “real Norman Osborn” so when did that happen? Or did I miss something? Is he Osborn or not?

It’s still an amazing series worth collecting. Maybe Slott will explain the Banks Osborn connection in a future issue of the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man. Here’s hoping that Peter Parker will do Otto Octavious proud in his new title.

Cavalock

Melvin Yong has worked way too long in the media and advertising industry. He now spends his time with his family, writing short horror stories and playing lots of board games.

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