Odd week. Three books that seem to be "introspection" issues, plus one character, that I can't ever recall seeming so evil. Spoilers, spoilers, spoilers, spoilers, spoilers, spoilers, cha-cha.
Cable/Deadpool #35 - Well, it's nice to see something backfire on Cable. He did a little hoodoo on Wade's brain, so now Wade keeps seeing people he's killed. Honestly, there wasn't as big a variety as I expected. Or maybe I just don't know what to look for. That's probably it.
Wade's a little down on his luck after Cable basically pantsed him in Rumekistan last issue, and the mental problems don't help much. They ultimately lead Wade to do what he normally does... well in pretty much every situation. Meanwhile, Cable has to deal with the fallout of his and Domino's relationship, as it causes problems in his cabinet. Page 10 give us some very nice facial expressions, which was just part of an overall very good job by Reilly Brown. The reactions of your average New Yorker to Wade's face, the fact Wade eats green beans(?!) while watching Maude reruns. Seriously though, the Bea Arthur thing needs to stop. Wade may be digging younger Bea Arthur (maybe), but all I'm picturing is Golden Girls Bea, and I don't need that in my skull. That aside, 4.6 out of 5.
Ms. Marvel #10 - Nope, she still hasn't earned "Warbird". Yet. Getting closer though. Carol continues her battle with Alternate Reality Carol (who besmirches the name Warbird). Rogue and the Beast keep trying to assist, especially Rogue, who clearly wants to help Carol to make amends for their past history. Except Carol doesn't want the help, puncuated by her kicking Rogue hard enough to break some ribs. Way to be. Then she contemplates killing Rogue, which is Alternate Carol's ultimate goal (one of them, anyway). There's some more fighting, and Ms. Marvel saves the day, but she's not feeling so hot about it. She even considers leaving. How she'd accomplish that, seeing as she needs air to breathe, I'm not sure, but hey, Nova could always use the help.
Like Mike Wieringo's art, as usual, except for his Beast. However, I thinks that's beacuse I'm not a huge fan on this more "beastly" Hank McCoy. Plus, I think he used a coyote head as a general reference. Or maybe a Great Dane. It looks distinctly dog-like. 3.8 out of 5. By the by, who's responsible for this version of the Beast? It happened in Xtreme X-Men, which was Claremont, but Beast switched to New X-Men immediately after, so I'm guessing Morrison. It's more fun to blame him anyway. Gets more people in a tizzy.
The Punisher #42 - Well, it's the conclusion of a Punisher arc, and you know what that means - time for people to die. OK, so that's most Punisher issues, but it's usually the right people dying in the finale. Frank finds Zakharov, still paralyzed. The general gives Frank some helpful intel, and Frank sends him on his way, before continuing his own path. There's a nice two-page spread in that part, as Frank starts to go out of his mind. I know, we're talking Frank Castle here, but it's like with Deadpool, "out of their minds" is a relative term.
Frank is found, does some of the standard "Frank Castle is a unique specimen, and not likely to be duplicated" conversation that tends to pop up in these stories, and gets down to business. "Business" involves taking care of O'Brien's loose ends, which he does with his usual grim efficiency. As to the art, I still enjoy it, and I hope Leandro Fernandez and Dan Brown enjoy depicting blood and gore, because the last page provides a nice oppotunity for it. So next month is the "Punisher versus widowed mob wives". Should be interesting. 4.2 out of 5.
Shadowpact #8 - So, three weeks into December, I've finally tried a new DC book. This is the third introspection issue, as Ragman tells us about himself, how he got his last name, how he got the cloak, so on and so forth. The Congregation proves to be well-meaning - if completely imbecilic - even calling the police to help all the bystanders blinded by their foolishness. How nice, I'm sure Tony Stark would love these dumbasses.
Meantime, Ragman is... elsewhere, dealing with the unhappy inhabitants of the suit. I think I see Ty Cobb in there. Little disturbing that he might earn redemption. Yeah, that's not very nice of me. Too bad, Cobb was a jerk. There's one of the imprisoned who doesn't try to get any shots in, who actually helps Ragman out, and tells him a few things he didn't know about that suit. Probably the best part is he gives Rags a little boost, a sense that his job isn't such a horrible deed.
Also, I know the book's had issues with artists. I'd say McManus would be good, if they could keep him (and he can keep to a monthly schedule. C'mon people, no excuses! Don't make me use the next book's artist as an example to chastise you with!). I certainly like his art this go-round more than the last time I remember seeing it (GrimJack #29, I think. Gaunt's head looked squished). Anyhoo, I'm in 'til at least #12, provided it lasts that long. 4.1 out of 5.
Ultimate Spider-Man #103 - May I present the artist used to chastise? Mr. "I Draw 18 Issues A Year, Bitches!" Bagley! Let's get some tangential stuff out of the way first. The X-Men are mobilizing, Aunt May is getting treatment, Sue's working a theory on Richard Parker, and now to the good stuff.
Octavius is behind all of it. It's the typical "You're too valuable to shadowy government organizations to be rotting in prison, so we'll let you out to perform illegal experiments for us" deal. Page 6, the looks on Peter's face, especially panel 4, it's like horror mixed with rage, and it's just awesome. Nick Fury's acting like a jerk, so at least some things are constant in the universe. The Fantastic Four - sans Sue - are befuddled by the situation. Nobody can maintain control, as Pizza Face Peter Parker flips out, and gets zapped, and Octavius just stands there enjoying it. And the reason he enjoys it so much, is that all this chaos is just a bonus. He just wanted to be a researcher again, to do his work. That he completely #$%^ed up Peter's life? Pure icing.
And that's the point where Peter... I don't know. "Grows up" doesn't seem right, but he certainly seems to understand how things work in the adult world, and what you have to sacrifice long-term, to get what you want short-term. And if it just so happens to make Octavius angry? Once again, that's pure icing. Amazingly, against all odds, I am completely freaking hooked on Ultimate Clone Saga. Horrifying, isn't it? 5.0 out of 5.