Iron Man #2
(p) Greg Land
I’m a bit less enamored with Iron Man #2 as I was with Kieron Gillen’s first issue, which looked at Tony Stark under a harsher light of reality and set up a potentially expansive storyline. Unfortunately, Gillen falters a bit this time with his overblown Arthurian references that had little to do with what was actually going on and proved more of a hindrance to the story. This new Extremis storyline, again, has the potential to take Iron Man to awesome new places as a character, but unless Gillen turns it back to the philosophical edge it had in the first issue, Iron Man is going to suffer. I’m hopeful, though, because Gillen has a history of building stories up to immense proportions.
(p) Mahmud Asrar
I was severely disappointed in last week’s Superboy #14 for providing literally no back story for the currently happening “H’el on Earth” crossover, though Mike Johnson’s second solo issue, Supergirl #14, adds a lot of exposition to a situation that was getting frustratingly thin. H’el seems to be a loyalist to the House of El of which Superman and Supergirl are members, though he believes that Earth is a hindrance to going back in time and saving Krypton from it’s demise. It’s a bit convoluted, but that’s alright at this point in the story — giving readers bits and pieces of the overall narrative works well as Johnson reveals H’el to be the creep he appears to be with the added twist of being surprisingly eloquent and empathetic. The other big bit of information involves Superboy himself, as H’el has deemed Kon an abomination worthy only of a swift death, something which Supergirl sympathizes, but can’t help but feel is wrong.
Wonder Woman #14
(p) Tony Akins
There’s a lot going on in Brian Azzarello’s Wonder Woman, and I’m loving ever minute of it — Wonder Woman is trying to convince her psychotic half-sister, Siracca, to become an ally in the fight against Apollo and Hermes, the children of Zeus are still bickering about how they should proceed in their era of rule, and the Big Bad Dad has managed to make it out of his 7,000 year-long purgatory. Azzarello obviously has big plans for Diana, and this issue feels like an organic shift into a new era for Wonder Woman that’s obviously going to include the gods of New Genesis weighing in on the current situation concerning Mt. Olympus. Wonder Woman #14 cements this series not only as one of the best ‘New 52’ titles published each month, but it also shows how much love Azzarello has for the characters he’s responsible for. Wonder Woman, as a character, has gone through a lot of controversy over the years in regards to the quality of her stories, the general mythology that surrounds the Amazonians, and her place as DC’s biggest female character, so it’s nice to see Azzarello really taking her seriously and turning Wonder Woman into one of DC’s most critically lauded series.
Iron Man #2