Mind Capsules – All New, All Different Avengers #14 and Batman #6

All New, All Different Avengers #14

Writer – Mark Waid, Jeremy Whitley
Artist – Adam Kubert
Colours – Sonia Oback
Letters – VC’s Cory Petit

Of late, Marvel has decided to continually introduce legacy characters over the last couple of years, whether it is a young Nova, another Spider-Man, another Ms. Marvel or what have you. The latest one is the all-new, unoriginal Wasp. At some point in the past, Hank Pym had a daughter with another woman and that girl, named Nadia, has recently come to America to learn and be with the Avengers and to meet the woman who influenced her – Janet Van Dyne, the first and current Wasp. So now the Marvel Universe has two Wasps to make things a little more confusing for readers and one who will soon step into her own solo title over that of Janet. That aside, we find her hanging out with Janet and Jarvis, doing a little shopping, hanging out back at Janet’s place and learning what it is to be a hero. This issue also ties into the current Civil War II crossover in the slightest of ways as Janet and company learn of the events going on surrounding Ulysses which freaks Nadia out to no end. Being a teenager and not having the easiest of upbringings, Nadia wants to fix things, to make all the heroes get along and stop fighting. Mark Waid and Jeremy Whitley deliver a decent tale, one that is a little underwhelming considering that this is supposed to be the flagship book of the Avengers line, but good nonetheless. There is no action to be had and little excitement and while it is not all that bad to have a character piece make its way into the title every now and then, it would also be nice to have some big moments – those that make you sit up and take notice and those that you can talk about with other readers or friends. As of yet, fourteen issues in, there have been exactly none. There have been some good stories, but on the whole, the book is but a shadow of its former greatness under previous writers like Hickman, Busiek, Stern and so on. What the book needs at the moment is a story that will get readers invested and one that will bring new readers to the title. At the moment, these tales may please some current readers, but overall, New Avengers, the Ultimates and Uncanny Avengers have more excitement in a few of their pages than any of the past issues in this current volume combined. Suffice it to say, this was not a bad story, far from it in fact, but reading this book feels more like a habit than something to look forward to.

3 out of 5

Batman #6

Writer – Tom King
Artist – Ivan Reis
Inker – Joe Prado, Oclair Albert, Scott Hanna
Colours – Marcelo Maiolo
Letters – Deron Bennett

Tom King delivers his best issue of the series yet as the book focuses in on Gotham Girl after the recent death of her brother. Driven mad by the Psycho Pirate, Gotham Girl now flies all over the city, stopping crimes as she goes and talking to her brother who obviously, is not there. She tells him jokes and talks about their mom and so forth, all the while slowly dying for when she or her brother use their powers, a little bit of their life drains away in the doing of it. It is a fascinating story, to literally watch a woman go mad with Batman essentially watching as she does so, helpless to do anything because he has no idea just how to help her. It is not very often that you see Batman unable to do something or help someone in need as he almost always has the answers, or at the very least is able to figure them out. In Gotham Girl’s case, there really are no answers at the moment. It is true that the Psycho Pirate could probably reverse the effects of what he has done to her, but as it stands, her madness is coupled with grief and it makes what she is feeling even stronger. With Batman being who he is, he needs to do something and that makes this the perfect end-piece to the first story-arc and a nice segue into the next one as evidenced by that finale which should get readers excited for what comes next. Ivan Reis steps on board to pencil the book making the perfect replacement for David Finch as their work is quite similar in style. Having Reis on a book is always a good thing and he draws Batman exceptionally well. The best thing about all of this is that King has finally found his stride and the writing seems more like what we are used to seeing from the man given Omega Men or Vision. The previous five issues really seemed off-kilter, but this one brings it home and will hopefully signal a change for the better in the book going forward. Now to bring on the mystery of the Monster Men!

3.5 out of 5

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