Wow. I don't think that since I've actually had a pull list, that I've ever had a week where I dropped two books. So I guess there's a first time for everything. One title's life was contingent on how a character was portrayed, and though I'd originally said the other depended on how the current arc did, it's been doomed for the last couple of months. Believe me, there will be spoilers, so consider this a warning.
Robin #151 - I suppose that if there is an advantage to being in the comic blog community, it's that I get forewarning about upcoming developments. That's really the only way I can explain my reaction to this. I don't feel like hitting a door, or jamming ferrets into Didio's colon, or even cursing. Whether it was actually Beechen's call (which I doubt), or DC Editorial's decision, Cassandra has been marked pretty clearly as Tim's enemy, which basically says "villain". Not "anti-hero", villain. I changed my mind. I am angry enough to curse, so DC, pay attention: Damn it all to hell, you rat bastard mother killing pieces of garbage, I hope this forevermore curses your lineage to an uncurable case of genital herpes. Ok, I'm better.
So, question, does Cassandra's pistol look like it can fire twice consecutively? Because it was, once by Tim into the air, and once by Cassandra into her father. But she didn't reload, and it certainly looks like the kind of gun that would require that. Maybe that means something other than Williams should have drawn a different gun, I doubt it. What else? Well, Robin blew up some ninjas, sure they got a couple stories up an oil derrick, then knocked off by an explosion, which likely left them too stunned to save themselves, but you haven't killed anybody, right Boy Wonder? I really think I hate Robin now. Tim can apparently fight Cassandra to a standstill for four pages, which is roughly how long it took her to break Lady Shiva's neck last year. Yeah, I hate him now. Go ahead and become Batman, you little pissant.
In the "future developments" file, David Cain isn't dead, a teleporting teenager is fighting crime, Tim got Boomer's message, and the Joker is going to kill everyone without realizing it. I couldn't care less. Looking at it as an objective reader, I'll give it a 2 out of 5. As a fan of Cassandra Cain, I give it a 0 out of 5, and two upraised middle fingers towards DC. Let's move on. . .
New Avengers #20 - . . . to our next selection of dreck. Well, the threat is certainly something worthy of the Avengers, though I can't make heads or tails of it. OK, so Xorn is behind all the mutant powers flowing into "Michael". OK, I thought there were 2 Xorns, one that sucked Juggernaut, Nocturne and himself into the black hole in his skull, and the other that was Magneto in disguise, so what the hell is this about? The Sentry got his ass kicked, again, so that was nice. Most of the Avengers were relegated to standing around, or fighting zombies (I'm not joking, zombies), which is lame. Even when Ant-Man and Wasp were on the team, fighting Red Ronin, they at least got to make a token effort to attack the main threat. Luke Cage and Spider-Woman haven't done jack in this story. I know, I know, it's New Avengers, I know it sucks, quit bitching. Well, I'll stop bitching when I finish this review.
That SHIELD agent Cap requested several issues ago finally shows up. She helped, I guess. And The Sentry threw the malevolent energy into the sun, because that's how he deals with all his problems. I'm sure it sucks if you have to tell him he's behind on his electric bills. Into the Sun you go, no one must ever know The Sentry is actually. . . a deadbeat! Why I'm not sure, given it's not any worse than the fact we know he's a gigantic loser, but it makes sense to him I guess. Commander Hill was actually nice to the Avengers, so maybe she's taking my advice about not trying to out-Nick Fury Nick Fury. Or maybe she just didn't want to waste potential soldiers. Whatever. Magneto gets his powers back, but I'm doubting any of the other mutants will. Stupid, elitist Marvel. 1.3 out of 5, and farewell to thee.
Annihilation: Nova #3 - OK, I promise to try and be nice this review. Let's see, Quasar wants Nova to help him evacuate the people on Nycos Aristedes. Drax thinks that's dumb, and that they should be getting ready to fight. Cammie disses wearing a cape. Great, Fantastic Four has introduced the idea of publicists for superheroes, apparently Abnett and Lanning are bringing in the fashion critic to go along with the tailor JMS premiered. What, I'm not criticizing, merely commentating.
Nova is continuing to dither about using his power, but finally, when the Annihilation Wave reaches the planet he gets moving and helps Quasar defend the ships that will build stargates so people can flee. I'd say the impetus was Quasar telling him 'That with great power comes great responsibility', a quote Nova mistakenly attributes to Captain America, which is funny because Nova spent a lot of time around Spider-Man in the '90s (more than Quasar anyway), so you'd think he would have heard it by now. Still not criticizing!
Anyway, Nova unleashes the Nova Force to open a stargate large enough for all the refugee ships to escape through. Which, unfortunately gets the attention of Annihilus, and brings him and his main fleet into the fray. Hoo boy. At least the Worldmind seems to understand Richard well enough to know it's got a better chance of survival if it helps him, rather nag him. 3.7 out of 5, I'm not sure why it's not scored higher, it just doesn't feel like it was any better. Maybe it's leftover anger.
New Excalibur #8 - I'm not sure what to say about this, other than I think it pretty well confirms at least some of my Grand Unified Marvel Theory. Apparently, Wanda's phrase has most definitely screwed up more than just the number of people with mutant abilities on Earth. It gave an old friend a way back into their reality, namely The Shadow King, who has been nestled inside of the Evil Xavier's brain who is, in fact, from an alternate reality. Shadow King wound up there after Psylocke's death, and beat that Xavier and controlled his X-Men. How nice. It doesn't jibe with X-treme X-Men Annual, where we learned Rouge, having retained some of Psylocke's memories, was the one left to keep Shadow King imprisoned wherever the hell it was she was doing that. But, it's X-Men, and perhaps more critically, Claremont X-Men, so why am I expecting it to make sense? Don't mean that in a bad way, just in that "give in to the absurd" thing.
Any rate, Psylocke deals with Shadow King, and thus begins her journey to the Exiles. See ya there Bets! Of course, this means Captain Britain is going to be all mopey and stoic like he was before Lionheart threatened Courtney Ross. That could be a downer. The scene in the night club was fun, and Pete Wisdom using the same like holo-transmitter thing Nick Fury used in New Avengers #14, was a nice touch, especially with Peter comparing himself to said former head of SHIELD. But what did he mean "imaginary sister"? Psylocke's real, she's alive, she's just been modified by her brother Jamie to be immune to manipulation. Or does he mean she isn't really Brian's sister? I feel X-Continuity Confusion Syndrome settling in, so I better wrap this up before I get grumpy again. Um, I liked this, I'm glad they brought up Lionheart and Albion again, because it means they'll be revisited (hopefully Kelsey Leigh doesn't wind up a full-out villain like Cassandra), Michael Ryan's art is very nice, and I'm very curious to see how the heck Chamber is going to show up next month. Plus, since it's taking place in England, I think this book is immune to Civil War, yee-haw! 4.1 out of 5.