While my backlog of back issues remains horrifying and only increases, I did pick up some new books as well: of the new Valiant (which is funny, because, honestly, I still haven’t opened a single Valiant book, short of two trades of Solar, which lost the rights back to Gold Key then to Dark Horse and I don’t even know anymore), I got Rai #3 and Armor Wars #2. On the Marvel side of things, Captain Marvel (v8. EIGHT. Fuck!) #5, Nightcrawler #4 and Spider-Man 2099 (v2) #1.
I sacrificed CM v7 #3 on the altar of “read the damned book” already. I’m not sacrificing #3 in v8, too, so I’m not caught up (and I haven’t read 1 or 2 yet, anyway).
Nightcrawler started at just the right time for my return to reading–Claremont is helming, which many find a questionable positive, with pencils by Todd Nauck (who I’ve never seen before, because artists seem to come in even shorter waves…). I read 1-2 belatedly, caught 3 shortly after release and #4 today happily. Claremont is writing Claremontian Nightcrawler. I cannot be happier with the approach he is taking to this book. I didn’t loathe his return to X-Men as much as many did, but this, this is what we were looking for. Or should’ve been. It’s kind of appropriate for me, too–I wasn’t reading when Nightcrawler died, but I did duck in to read the story it happened in. But here he is returning to the world and unfamiliar with its changes–as am I. I’ve definitely paid very little attention to what’s going on with mutants (I missed everything from House of M on, to be honest, though I read bits and pieces here and there). The attitude here, though, is closer to what it was some years ago–I’m reminded (happily) of the short-ish-lived Gambit ongoing, which I quite enjoyed. It’s more dense than a lot of modern stuff, which I’m very happy about, and it’s leaning heavier on character and emotion than snark and wit–it’s focused heavily on Kurt himself, and on the various sections of his life–or at least the two major ones: the circus he grew up in and the X-Men, with that focus clearly aiming us at looking over his shoulder outward, never from any of them looking inward at him. This is comfortable and happy as such things go, I have to say.
Of course, I say that, and then move on to Spider-Man 2099. This is Peter David, after all. But one of PAD’s best traits is his ability to shuffle snark and humour with real pathos (The Death of Jean DeWolff remains my number one favourite Spider-Man story, bar none). But this is issue one–albeit of a character PAD wrote for 44 issues in the 90s (out of the 46 it ran for). I never read it, because at eight years old, the notion of another Spider-Man was weird. By 96, it would’ve been off-putting. So the idea just never worked for me. Even at that age, the excesses of the 90s, while occasionally tempting, were often worthy of rolled eyes. That, and I didn’t have money. So I never read any of it (I also didn’t know who David was, so, there’s that, too–didn’t go by writers or artists, at least not by name). It’s a light, straightforward story, but it’s good. There’s some interesting interaction between Liz Allan (it’s Allan? I just Googled this and apparently everyone always spelled her name wrong as Allen…) and Miguel (O’Hara, the titular character), and the sprinklings of a plot forming. It rushes headlong into things happening without trying to jam too much in, and not holding back so much as to be unsatisfying as a single issue. I saw “meh” reviews mostly, but I’m good with it. It’ll probably (sigh) be added to my pull-box.
Which is already going to add X-Factor (I don’t know why I’ve been pretending otherwise).
Definitely, on the scale of enjoyment, a light year from fucking Daredevil 51-55. Fuck that shit.