I biked to school today. It's the first time I've biked this year immediately after a large snow fall. It requires significantly more energy to bike through snow than ice, although the latter requires greater concentration. I felt you all needed to know that.
On to the comics!
War of Kings Saga. By Michael Hoskin. A text summary of various past miniseries, accompanied by images taken from the original stories. It's also free, which was a very good idea on Marvel's part. More specifically, the book summarizes the Inhuman storylines of the past few years, and the X-related storylines featuring the character Vulcan. As an introduction to the upcoming War of Kings series, it's a very good summary, and making it free, Marvel is sensibly trying to get as many people as possible interested. It also suggests the focus and audience for the series; Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy are mentioned as being involved in the upcoming war, but paid a single page of attention, combined. That makes it seem like Marvel is expecting the main readers of the War of Kings to be the fans of the current space Marvel line up, rather than X-Men or Inhumans fans, who really won't learn anything new here--which is probably a fair enough assumption, comparing the various series' selling rate. If Marvel is trying to build War of Kings to compete with DC's Darkest Night story, it's probably not going to work: the Green Lantern story has been building good press for far too long, and has the extra benefit of being much more confined to two titles. But as a sprawling space epic, it's off to a good start, as the saga at least proves that Marvel is aware of the coordination needed to join all these disparate elements together.
Invincible Iron Man 9. By Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca. Tony wipes his mind to keep Norman Osborne from getting at it. His two chosen allies--Maria Hill and Pepper Potts--decide whether they want to help him. It’s a fairly grim issue, which can’t be helped, given the subject manner, and it sets up what appears to be the new status quo for the series: Tony as a fugitive, fleeing from Norman Osborne’s troops. Larroca’s art is of the fairly realistic type, which fits the subject matter here. Fraction’s also got a good grasp on Tony’s character—even on the run, he’s still exhibiting a cockiness that borders on arrogance, while at the same time recognizing his own flaws. The issue didn’t wow me particularly, but it’s a perfectly good set-up for what’s to come.
Amazing Spider-Man 582. By Dan Slott and Mike McKone. Part 2 of 2. Norman's family comes under attack from the Molten Man, but a certain webslinger shows up to save the day. One of the larger purposes of this story is to pave over more of the "Brand New Day" changes: in this case, the explanation for why Harry isn't dead. As always, these pave-overs are somewhat wince-inducing and not quite logical, but they do need to be dealt with. The issue itself is an entertaining fight scene, although it rather carefully avoids any advancement in the relationships between Liz, Harry, and Peter. Slott's trademark wit takes a little longer to get going here than usual, but it raises its usual guffaw by the story's end.
And that's it for this week. Anyone who feels capable of explaining Kant's definition of the sublime is invited (or begged) to post below.