Haul Thoughts: Ozymandias, Gambit, Defenders and Archer & Armstrong

Before Watchmen – Ozymandias 02 – At what looks like the 25% mark for this entire Before Watchmen event, Ozymandias seems to be the best book of the bunch. The gorgeous artwork from Jae Lee certainly doesn’t hurt; check out the scene below for the proof. Time fer some action
As Ozy’s backstory continues to be explained, the issue ends with Adrian’s first encounter with The Comedian. The Comedian, who to this day bothers me. I know he’s supposed to represent a real world, grim n’ gritty war hero and that’s fine. But the unexplainable costume (no consistency as to when he’s in it and when he’s not) and the gigantic plot hole regarding his identity (why do some people seem to know who he is, whether in or out of costume while others have no idea?). Also, he’s just machine-gunning criminals? If this is supposed to be “super heroes in the real world” I would think the authorities would have problems with that. And quicker than you can say “glowing blue dong” yes, I know, Dr. Manhattan etc etc. I didn’t see it WAS the real world, just more real-world-esque than say a DC or Marvel. SO. Back to where we were…at this juncture I’d say, in order of “is it worth reading or not” I’d say that it goes Ozymandias, Silk Spectre, The Comedian, The Minutemen, Nite-Owl.

Gambit 01 – Even more embarrassing than buying this book is admitting that I liked it. It’s less super-hero-y (or as Gambit himself says, less “tights & fights”) and more chaotic-good, criminal/thief oriented. Which I’m all for; if I want spandex and face punching I’ll read AvX. I can see this having an fairly solid initial run of 6-8 issues before it falls off the rails completely & then it’s just playing cards, trench coats & mon ami’s from then on out. But I’ll read a few issues of Gambit breaking into the Long Island homes of super-villain artifact hoarders, like so: What do you see

Archer & Armstrong 01 -BOOM Valiant nails it again. Where are they getting these people from? These books are so good. This might actually be the best book of the four released during the “Summer of Valiant” ramp-up. There was a sly call-out to Gilead, The Eternal Warrior (one of Armstrong’s equally-immortal brothers); who was the third? I can’t remember; was his name the Eternal Enemy or something? After opening with some biblical-annihilation shenanigans, the book picks up at the creation museum (?!) where Archer was raised, which features Darwin the Chimp, star of the “Junk Science Follies”. It turns out that Archer is a brain-washed religious extremist & martial artist of the highest caliber. Good combination. Moving ahead, Archer is NYC bound, where he nails what Manhattan is all about: DEFINITELY true Then like any young man who finds himself in NYC for the first time, he ends up at Hogs & Heifers in the Meatpacking District (first bar I went to in NYC too) where he quickly meets Armstrong, the poet-bouncer. Archer thinks that Armstrong is the Anti-Christ and promises to kill him but in short order finds both of them taken prisoner. The mystical device Archer used to find Armstrong is taken and the book ends on an interesting twist. I’m definitely down for a martial arts buddy comic and you should be too.

Defenders 09 – Right, so this came out last week and while I was writing this post I just saw that Defenders just got cancelled. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO(deep breath)OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. So upsetting; they better finish this arc off. It’s a bit of a moot point now, but you should really go seek out this book & it’s back issues. It’s funny, clever, weird, the arts great, the writing is super strong, what more could you want? The Silver Surfer has Aspberger’s, She-Hulk has a big ass sword, Namor is a dick, Iron Fist is Iron Fist…and the most intriguing thing about this book is the little phrases and slugs that accompany almost every page. Sometime it’s a blurb for another book, other times it’s oddly dire prophecy like “The Universe Will Break” or “Everyone You Love, Dies”. By itself, whatever. But knowing, somehow, all of these weird phrases and tid-bits are going to (hopefully) tie-in and then pay-off is awesome. I would say I can’t wait for that to happen but I doubt it will now and if it does, it’ll probably be rushed. Drag. Defend@!

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