Don't you hate it when a dream tries to tell you something important, but you can't remember the specifics? Last night I dreamt of a soda machine that sold Mandarin Orange Slice, but I can't remember where I was when I saw it. Of course, in the dream I had a job (which I wasn't doing), so it may simply not be time for me to find that particular machine. But someday.
I'm going to try and shorten the reviews. I know I've said it before, but I'll try and hit the major plot points and leave the editorializing for later in the week. Cross your fingers, and keep yourselves on guard for spoilers.
Annihilation #1 - And away we go. Things appear to have come together since Annihilation: Nova #4. Richard Rider has assumed the John Conner role against the Annihilation Wave, and most of the players from the other series are here (excluding the cast of Super-Skrull). We've got Gamora, Ronan, Drax, Cammi, Firelord, Stardust, some guy who called himself "Starlord", the whole crew.
Meanwhile, we've apparently already missed the Surfer/Galactus versus Aegis/Tenebrous fight, as we get it in flashback. Let's put it this way, Thanos is happy with the results.
Not bad for a start. It felt like it set the board well, there's a few gaps left to be filled in later, and some mysteries to answered later as well. I'm not disappointed 3.8 out of 5.
Warbird #6 - I'll say this first, if you were thinking about buying this to see Carol and Captain America discuss their differences, forget it. That discussion comes in flashback, and it lasts about one page. We already know how she chose, so it's probably not a big deal.
Carol, Wonder Man and Julia Carpenter, Spider-Woman 2, Arachne, whatever, meet up with Tony Stark to get their marching orders. Julia is to go after Fortress Keeper's favorite The Shroud, which is a bit odd given Stark says he took out an entire squad single-handedly the night before. Then maybe Wonder Man should go after him, hmm?
But Simon and Carol are going to be busy criss-crossing Brooklyn looking for. . . Arana! Wow, combine that with Carol capturing the Prowler at the start of the issue, and the anti-registration group is really scraping the bottom of the barrel.
So, Prowler gives SHIELD some info on who warned him they were coming after him, but only after they threaten to throw his wife in jail with him. Yup, fair and balanced, that's the Marvel approach. His information makes the plot contrivance of Arachne going after the Shroud work, while Carol and Simon run into Arana at a fast food joint, setting up next issue's beatdown of a young hero whose only crime will be trying to stop a robbery in front of Warbird and Wonder Man. A little disappointing, because I really thought we'd get a good discourse about the pros cons of registration, but it boiled down to a couple of sentences whether or not you should follow all laws, or only those you think are just. Of course, that is probably the whole crux of the argument, but I'd kind of like to see if debated more heavily. If that don't bug you much, you'll rate it higher than me 3.4 out of 5.
Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #2 - See Spider-Man humiliate the Shocker for the fourth(?) time. See Foggy Nelson advise Spidey that if he wants Shocker to stay in jail, he should actually take him to the cops, instead of leaving him webbed to a lightpost. This leads to Spidey conversing with Jean DeWolfe, who advises him of another criminal that needs to be stopped, that the cops can't arrest, that's right it's the new guy gunning for the Kingpin, the Ultimate Kangaroo! Dear God, help me survive. At least he doesn't seem to be sporting a Claremontesque accent (no "Oi!" that I can recall). Jean gives Webs the address, Webs goes, he waits, man gets thrown out window, Spidey gets involved.
Hey it's Ultimate Jerk. . . I mean Ultimate Daredevil! I'd swear Millar wrote this guy. I mean he stops attacking the Kangaroo to hit Spider-Man - twice! - for daring to help. What an ass. Then Ultimate Punisher shoots a rocket at everyone. Yep, he's escaped from prison. Or been released, I just know the warden didn't want him in his prison after he killed three men with his lunch tray. And Ultimate Moon Knight shows up! Yes, he's out of his coma, and escaped from the hospital by leaping across rooftops in a green t-shirt and tighty-whities!
You didn't need to know that last part, did you?
People are arrested, people are killed, people are sad, vigilantes are making offers to other vigilantes, some of it felt kind of cheap, but all in all, not bad. And I'm curious to see how the events in this resonate in upcoming Ultimate Spider-Man stories. 4.3 out of 5.
Ultimate X-Men #73 - So Xavier and Fury have realized something is up with Magician. When the team gets back to the mansion, they confront him. The revelation that he's been lying and tricking people doesn't go over well, and surprisingly, Cyclops takes the first shot. Pretty soon, everyone gets involved, and they're all trying to keep him busy until Xavier can shut his powers down. Except he knocked Xavier out. Free-for-all!
Yeah, uh, "free-for-all" doesn't work very well for the X-Men, and things are looking real bad when a certain - possibly crazy, possibly possessed by an ancient force - someone shows up, looking to brawl. And Dazzler's not in her hospital bed anymore. Aw Kurt, I know you're hard up with no girlfriend, but come on! I'm joking! I'm sure it's all explained in the Annual, which I will review when it comes out. But really, that's it. I'm sticking with my assertion that this is Proteus, or at least, that's he exerting some influence from within this kids' head. Having a hard time grading this. Wasn't a bad comic, wasn't great, just seemed to be there to get things to the point at the end, and what actually happened along the way was incidental. Except maybe the part where Magician likes Kitty (seeing as she was the X-Girl that was hitting on him, when Rogue and Storm where in the same plane). Um, let's call it 3.5 out of 5.