Invincible 59. By Robert Kirkman and Ryan Ottley. Meet Powerplex, AKA Scott Duvall. He's an ordinary guy who works at the Pentagon, has a wife and kid at home, and has sworn vengenance on Invincible after his sister died in collateral damage caused by an Omni-Man and Invincible. Now THIS is how you do an origin story. The emphasis is on the motives, not the powers. (He's an energy absorber, which is really a tangential part of the story, until the very end.) As previous posts show, I'm a big fan of Invincible, and this issue is exactly why. Invincible, in this issue, at least, is practically a guest character; the story belongs to Powerplex, and his quest for revenge. Who's to blame? Great stuff.
Amazing Spider-Man 587. By Marc Guggenheim and John Romita Jr. Well, they're trying. Since the Spider-Man reboot, there's been an emphasis on making new villains and new characters. And frankly... it's not really working. Freak, Jackpot, Menance, Peter's new roommate, new love interests... none of them are really that interesting. The stories themselves are pretty good, but the new characters just don't click. So when there's an issue like this one that focuses on the new characters, and their involvement with the Spider-Slayer subplot, and a story that's less than stellar--Spider-Man goes to jail, only we don't get to see the most interesting parts of the story because they were told in a one-shot last year--and the result is kind of blah at best, and boring at worst. I suppose that's the one good thing about a bad Spider-Man comic these days--wait a month, and it's a whole new story.
In other news, I just caught a few episodes of the Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon show. I love the voice actors they've gotten for it, and the stories are pretty good too; a lot of really well-orchastrated fights and some nice high-school level drama. Plus, for whatever reason, I can't get the song out of my head: Spectacular, Spectacular, Spider-Man. Spectacular, Spectacular...
Uncanny X-Men 506. By Matt Fraction and Terry Dodson. Emma faces a moral crisis, Colossus faces a less troublesome grey area (he busts up a Russian slave ring dealing in female former mutants), Scott welcomes them to the school, and Beast and the mad scientist team travel to Japan. First, I'd like to say it's nice to see the Dodsons drawing Emma again. And not just because they're gifted in sketching Emma (which they are); it brings back fond memories of my tranquil childhood, reading Generation X. It's funny to think that Chamber is the only male member of that team still not dead. Anyway, Fraction delivers a good issue, but it feels repetitive. The school expanding to take in mutant civilians? Gee, we haven't seen that since... they opened up their gates right after the original decimation. And we haven't seen Beast assemble a team (and over multiple, dragged out issues, to boot) to reverse the effects since... well, right after that. It really feels like Fraction's going somewhere new with these stories, but at the moment, somewhere new feels like something old.