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Published on January 13th, 2014 | by The Prodigy

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What’s In My Bag Issue #12

By Mike Seibert

In each issue of What’s In My Bag, I recap and review three individual single issues from my bag of recently read comic books. The order listed is not necessarily by preference. Also, be advised that minor spoilers may abound, but are generally in reference to previous issues only or other happenings that may relate to the issue being reviewed.

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 Star Trek #21 (IDW)

 (From Comixology)

“The hit ongoing STAR TREK series picks up right where this year’s blockbuster sequel STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS leaves off! Don’t miss the all-new adventures of the crew as they go boldly into the unknown, in a story overseen by STAR TREK writer/producer Roberto Orci!”

 On the cover, this series now carries the subtitle: AFTER DARKNESS. I’m not sure how long that will stick, but I am really liking how the IDW continuity weaves the movies into the overall narrative. Theoretically, there are enough stories, either through adaptations of classic Trek episodes, or new tales, to keep this series running until the next movie.

There’s a bit with Spock near the close of this issue that leads me to believe that a retelling of Amok Time is coming…

 Even with a rotating cast of creators, this book seems to have hit its stride and I really enjoy that this issue refers to both the Into Darkness movie, as well as the previous issues of the comic; creating one consistent continuity. It all fits and it all works fluidly without straining credibility.

 If there is one weakness of this book though, it is the artwork. Unfortunately, the various artists fall into that trap common to licensed properties, in that they struggle too hard to capture the actor’s likenesses. In most instances, the efforts are less than successful and the renditions of the characters are distracting. I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t really have to have a Captain Kirk that looks just like Chris Pine (as dreamy as he is). Even worse, is that occasionally design details are incorrect. These errors, like with some of the ships, are even more distracting that the poor likenesses.

I’ve always felt that licensed books should be comic books first and adaptations second.

However, Tim Bradstreet’s (Punisher) covers are amazing. His slightly gritty and photo-realistic style lends itself very well to a licensed to book like Star Trek. He nails the likenesses, but also captures a great “comic book” feel.

 Star Trek remains close to the top of my read list and is recommended for any Trek fan.

Iron Man #10 (Marvel NOW!)

 Back in issue #3 of What’s In My Bag, I was a bit harsh on this book. While I’m still a little lukewarm on the more cosmic direction of this book, I’m not exactly disliking it as much as I did at the launch. I’m not really a fan of Dale Eaglesham’s (JSA, Villains United) artwork either, but it is serviceable here. He’s a reliable fill-in artist whose style fits in with the established look and tone of the book.

 This is the beginning of the Secret Origin of Tony Start storyline that adds yet another layer to Iron Man’s already somewhat convoluted origin. I’m all for a good retcon, but this feels a bit unnecessary. But I have to admit my delight in seeing Howard Stark having an adventure. It has a good Avengers 1959 (a mini-series from 2011 by Howard Chaykin that features a team of “Avengers” from that era) feel to it.

Also, the character of Recorder 451 is growing on me. It’s hard to go wrong with a robot with evil intent with an intelligence to match…that isn’t Ultron…

 Iron Man still isn’t my favorite Marvel NOW! book, and I still hate both the Godkiller and black and gold modular armors, but this new storyline has got me interested…

All Star Western (Featuring Jonah Hex) #20 (DC)

 (From Comixology)

“The future collides with the past as the time-traveling Booster Gold causes problems for Jonah Hex. In the backup story, a never-before-seen Stormwatch team takes the spotlight!”

 For me, this title is the most consistent of DC’s New 52 line. The creative team of writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, along with artist Maritat have been together since before issue number one, and are absolutely killing it month in and month out. It’s sad, and speaks to the issues with the New 52 in general that this is any kind of record. You can count on one hand the DC New 52 books that have maintained the same creators from the beginning. It’s also great that a general book like a western can have relative success in today’s modem comics climate.

 Again, as I wrote about this book in issue #1 of What’s In My Bag, I really like the connective tissue between this book that occurs in the late 1800’s, and the modern day.

We’ve now seen that dynamic taken a step further with the addition of cult-favorite time traveler Booster Gold to the mix. Having lighthearted characters bounce off of the surly Jonah Hex keep the book interesting. If the book was just all Hex all the time, then it would become stale after awhile.

 I’ve also really enjoyed the backup features in this book. The current Stormwatch story is working for me, especially with the inclusion of my favorite new character, Doctor Terrance Thirteen. It’s hard to go wrong with a steampunk super scientist who isn’t above engaging in old-timey fisticuffs; the “put up yer dukes” kind. Hilarious.

 While I haven’t heard any cancellation rumors for All Star Western, I’m sure this isn’t DC’s best-selling book. Give this book a shot and keep it going! Stay tuned for future issues that will see more time travel. Yes, Jonah Hex is headed for modern day Gotham City!

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Like what you’ve read? Be sure to let us know using the comments below. Didn’t like it? Even better! Just be sure to leave a comment and start a conversation.

Any and all feedback is appreciated!

You can Follow Mike Seibert on Twitter @Seibert_Mike and use the #whatsinmybag


About the Author

BJ Shea's Geek Nation is always looking for contributors. If you have watched, read, or played something that you think Geek Nation would like to read about, send your review to BJgeeknation@gmail.com and your review might get published!



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