I've been able to rewatch Age of Ultron more completely recently, which has stirred up some thoughts, so be prepared for that later this week. In the meantime, one of today's books is explaining some mysteries about its cast, the other took a much darker turn than I was expecting.
Henchgirl #9, by Kristen Gudsnuk - That memoir she's reading causes so many problems. People should never publish stories of their lives while they're still living.
The Butterfly Gang seems a little out of sorts. One guy is leaving to become a private investigator, they don't seem to have many good schemes lined up, and Coco's back to being rude to Mari because Mari wouldn't listen to her backstory. Of course, now that's she's been evilfied, Mari tries burning the hideout down, with no success. She has a confusing and unproductive conversation with Fred, then is turned away from the gala dinner celebrating her superhero parents, since they basically pretend she doesn't exist. Then they're taken hostage, and Mari saves the day. By blowing up the crazy villain by dousing him in his own gunpowder and lighting it. Then she fights a bunch of cops who try to arrest her, then Consuelo gets revenge by capturing her, but Mari escapes from the police van (with some help from a mysterious stranger) and returns to town.
That was an somewhat unexpected turn. Mari not only killed a guy, but was completely indifferent to him killing his hostage. It isn't the first time there's been gruesome death - see Mr. Great Guy accidentally decapitating his reporter girlfriend with a street sign he was swinging at alien invaders - but it doesn't feel like it fits as well. Probably because Mr. Great Guy did what he did accidentally, where as Mari deliberately took the actions she did. Even if her brain has been altered, it's hard to see how this isn't going to cause huge problems for her later. Even just from an emotional state, if her friends can ever manage to figure out what was done to her and fix it. She was reduced to tears over her gang shattering Fred's body while he was in astral form, and that wasn't even her fault. Gudsnuk seems to be steadily burning all of Mari's bridges, except maybe for Fred. She's hasn't ruined things with her roomies yet, but it feels like it's coming.
The horrified look on Mari's mother's face as she's covered in the bits of Gunpowder after his explosive demise was classic. A great bit of stupefied horror, she can't even process what just happened. Plus, all the parts of him flying everywhere during the explosion. That was good. And that Mari went to the trouble of getting a fancy dress from somewhere to wear over her typical outfit before she burst in to save the day. It plays up the fact she wasn't really taking the threat seriously, but she did simultaneously want to make a big scene to get revenge on her parents for basically writing her out of existence in their memoir, but also look good at the same time, so maybe she'd get a little of that positive press her sister gets.
Wynonna Earp #5, by Beau Smith (writer), Lora Innes and Chris Evenhuis (artists), Jay Fotos (colors), Robbie Robbins (letterer) - Nothing like an old-fashioned showdown at high noon. Wait, noon? Make it 7 o'clock, I do my killing before breakfast. Actually, I usually don't eat breakfast, so let's go ahead and make it 6 o'clock. Get the day started off right.
Wynonna travels to Tombstone to have it out with the people sending her notes. Which appear to be demons in human form that were actually the Clantons, and who seem to have created some kind of time bubble with their presence, making everything like it's the 19th century, including Wynonna's motorcycle, which becomes a horse. John Henry explains his backstory, and provides Wynonna with a special demon-killing revolver that belonged to Wyatt and now we're ready for a big showdown. An issue of build-up, essentially, which is fine. It answers some questions about John Henry, explains some things to me about Wynonna, why precisely she's important. I'd have been fine with her simply having the name and making her own choice to do this, rather than it being any sort of destined thing, but it at least seems to be a destiny she embraces.
Evenhuis draws John Henry's reminiscing in the issue, which works pretty well. It's a style very distinct from Innes', linework is much lighter, more delicate. Seems appropriate, combined with the sepia-toned coloring Fotos uses for the sequence. It creates a definite distance between it and the reader, since the colors (other than the blood) aren't very bright or lifelike. The thin lines Evenhuis prefers also gives the whole thing a delicate feel somehow. I may simply be projecting that because John/Doc is sick through much of the flashback, and so he isn't in strong health, however he may appear in-panel.
As for Innes, I continue to enjoy the body language and expression work - Wynonna's surprise at her bike becoming a horse was a nice one, even the horse looks surprised - but the motorcycle doesn't look right. Wynonna seems as though she's too big for the bike. It's a little thing, but it bugs me every time I turn the page and his the double-page splash of her tearing down the highway on the bike. Maybe it's the perspective on that particular image, it doesn't bother me as much in other panels.
Also, it's an interesting tidbit Smith threw in for Wynonna that horses generally don't like her. But what the heck kind of name for a horse is 'Dick Taylor'? Although I know people who think it's weird my dad gives his dogs people names, too, so maybe it's just a matter of what you're accustomed to.