It was a great week for comics, but with my move to
The Walking Dead #51: Book of the week!
After the shocking Walking Dead #48, where nearly the entire cast of main characters from the first 47 issues were killed, we catch up with Rick and his son, Carl, who have been on the run Lone Wolf and Cub style, ever since.
Robert Kirkman has to be one of my favorite writers in the comic business; He has done what J.K. Rowling did with the Harry Potter series by making you believe no one is safe. After issue #50, I seriously thought Rick was dead, and the only character in the book would be Carl.
Luckily, Rick has survived his near-death experience by finding antibiotics and aspirin in the house they are both staying. You also get a lot of father-son interaction in this issue, with Carl looking after his dad, who is obviously in bad shape.
The biggest shocker of this issue starts with Rick answering a phone in the home they are staying. The woman on the other line claims to be one of fourteen survivors who were just calling numbers to see if they could reach anyone. Throughout the ish, Rick talks with the mystery woman, in a series of phone calls, about everything from supplies to his worries about keeping Carl alive.
Then, comes another unbelievable twist, Rick finally asks the women her name. She answers, “Rick…it’s me. It’s Lori.” This is of course impossible, because she and her newborn baby were killed two issues ago, so Rick starts crying and realizes he has lost it. Rick even unplugs the phone, but Lori keeps talking.
Rick asks ‘Lori’, “Is this real?” and the voice on the other line says, “Don’t be silly, Rick. Of course it isn’t.” The phone calls were just in his mind!
The issue ends with Rick stuffing the phone in a backpack, hoping in a pick-up truck they picked up from a guy eaten by zombies, and hitting the road again.
To say the least, it was an exceptional issue.
To be honest with you, I’m not a frequent reader of
This ish is actually part 4 of With Iron Hands, a storyline where an unappreciated weapons creator, Nicolas Weir, attempts to prove his genius and get revenge on Stark. Weir fuses himself into the Overkill Mind, a man/machine hybrid that can remotely detonate weapons. When Iron Man can’t succeed in separating Overkill Mind and Weir, he tries to fight him head on.
Iron Man eventually convinces Weir (in a “fight the dark side” kind of way) to separate from Overkill Mind. The plan works and Weir is set free, filled with a lot of guilt from killing S.H.I.E.L.D. agents.
Meanwhile, Iron Man and S.H.I.E.L.D. are still attempting to stop a former friend of Tony’s, Nasim Rahimov, from blowing up some nukes in
Iron Man then has to consider if Weir is worthy of redemption; Tony considers how many people he has hurt with his “iron hands.” Besides it all sounding really corny, I like how it goes outside the usual “throw him in Arkham” method, and actually shows how someone who has done something wrong in the law’s eyes, doesn’t have to be pegged for the rest of their life as a criminal.
Overall, I was really bored reading this issue. The plot jammed way too much stuff into one issue, the dialogue was flatter than Attack of the Clones, and you never really get the impression Iron Man won’t be able to solve this one.
This issue finds Cap, and his partner Falcon, hot on the trail of the fake Cap from a few issues back. The scene opens with Cap playing cards and demanding Falcon pay him in Euros. Falcon then accuses Cap of not being patriotic. Pretty funny stuff, and a good reminder why I love Ed Brubaker’s take on Cap – Captain
To illustrate my point, probably the second best Captain America writer in history, Mark Waid, was always having Cap saluting people and protecting the President. I loved Waid’s stories but I just can’t handle all that patriotic garbage. Below is a typical image from Waid’s run:
Anyways, back to #41…
Cap and Falcon find out that the fake Cap is on the run from the Red Skull and the rest of his handlers. This obviously bothers Cap (Bucky) because he was a tool of the Soviets (there’s that “Russians=bad” theme again) for 40+ years. The two of them eventually find out there is a secret A.I.M. base in
I really liked the scenes of Cap driving a motorcycle, and Falcon flying ahead, on the freeway out of
Eventually, the Black Widow, Avenger and Cap love interest, shows up with some S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and tells Cap he is needed somewhere else. The Black Widow reveals that Red Skull’s partner Dr. Faustus has betrayed him and has assisted S.H.I.E.L.D in bringing Sharon Carter home. Falcon and Co. then head to
Cap later shows up at a presidential debate and saves the Red Skull’s pawn, Gordon Wright, from assassination. Coincidentally, it is Sin (Red Skull’s daughter) trying to kill Wright – not sure what that is all about.
This issue, like all in Brubaker’s run, really delivers. It has plenty of action, Steve Epting’s pencils are fantastic (http://steveepting.blogspot.com/), we get to see Bucky grow into his new roll as Captain America, and the twist of Dr. Faustus betrayal and the possible escape of Sharon Carter, gets me really excited for what happens next!