Moon Knight #11
Through flashbacks, we learn more of the story behind how a Jewish kid with disassociative identity disorder found his way to Egypt to die and be reborn as the Moon Knight. And in the present, Moon Knight fights his way through the over-realm to rescue Frenchie.
The biggest fault with this issue is that the flashbacks and the present don’t really have any convective tissue. Both are great on their own, and I’m definitely invested in seeing more of Marc’s backstory; but right now it feels too much like a montage as we see him bounce between his father’s funeral and getting discharged from the Marines because of his mental illness/Konshu’s influence.
The present story is more action oriented, and Marc gets some good quips in, but is overall less engaging.
It feels like the book has mixed up its priorities somewhat – the flashbacks should be the A-story.
With some help from detective Rivera, Kate escapes the hate mob and learns that mind-control is almost definitely involved. After changing into her spandex and regrouping with her new Scooby-Gang, the next steps in Kate’s investigation takes her to a beach-front collage party that’s probably hiding a cult dungeon in the basement.
First thing I want to comment on is how great this book’s pacing is. It’s standard sized, but it feels like you get a lot more story out of this issue than a lot of other books. It’s covering a lot of plot really efficiently without sacrificing any character moments or anything like that.
And character really does pop off every panel. There’s Kate’s monologue and dialogue, of course, which are completely on point. Witty, sarcastic, and more than a little can’t even. The artwork also compliments this wonderfully, continuing to highlight Kate’s own observations of the setting, and illustrating her in a style that reminds me a little of silver-age romance books, or even some of Romita Sr.’s work.
Karnak finally goes to extract Adam, and the man who finds the flaw in all things has his own flaw revealed to himself.
Karnak begins this issue shaken-up, contemplating destroying the helicarrier he’s on with a single well-placed strike before Coulson sends him back out on the mission. He’s convinced Coulson that he’s the only person capable of going after Adam because he’s resistant to Adam’s powers of temptation, but actually coming face-to-face with the kid challenges that notion.
The ending to this issue – and the arc – does feel a bit rushed. Just as Karnak seems to be on the edge of cracking, he suddenly finds Adam’s flaw and strikes it in a move right outta What’s so Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way? The ending stinger does circle back to the climax, and it’s not ineffective, but it does feel like Ellis really had to squeeze the ending to the plot in between the story having a clean thematic build-up and pay-off.
Power Man and Iron Fist #13
After the explosive three-way battle in the last issue, carefully laid plans are falling apart. Alex Wilder’s crew lost half its force in the explosion, and many of the living are dropping out of the gang, driving Wilder to find other sources of power. Meanwhile, Lonnie Lincoln brings in someone who can help him find Alex’s weakness. And Luke and Danny are stuck dealing with a suspicious NYPD, the fallout of Jessica leaving Luke, and Danny’s own self-pity regarding getting everyone involved in this situation in the first place.
First, I want to say how much I enjoy the scene of Luke and Danny sitting down with the police to straighten out their stories and inform them of their agenda going forward. It’s one of the moments that really grounds this superhero book in a real-ish environment. Luke and Danny operate largely without secret identities, so them having to work with the cops to stay on their good side feels like an organic part of their world. I also really enjoy how, despite things being really low, Luke and Danny keep each-other level. Danny prevents Luke from flying off the handle when the cops touch a nerve, while Luke doesn’t entertain Danny’s self-flagellation for a second.
Walker is starting on a Luke Cage solo ongoing later this year, and Iron Fist is also getting his own ongoing; but I hope this book still continues as well.
Ms. Marvel #15
After finding out that an internet troll knows who she really is, Kamala Khan has to adjust to living in a world where nobody can truly keep a secret. And when she follows another lead on who this troll could be, Kamala finds another surprise waiting for her.
This series has always been masterful at weaving “issues” into its plots, and this arc is no different. In as much as it’s about Kamala continuing to deal with her double identity, it’s also about living in a post-privacy world thanks to the internet, and how a lack of privacy makes certain groups – women, immigrants, LGBTQA+ – more vulnerable than others. Kamala iterates on the importance of solidarity; that trolls prey on people when they’re alone because they know they can’t hurt people when those people know they are loved.
Kamala faces a formidable threat on the superhero side as well. The virus that was used to steal her identity is also apparently capable of giving people enhanced strength and durability, meaning the problem isn’t just some computer nerd she can solve through a good punch.
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #17
Cool cover reference to Superman #1, Squirrel Girl. Also, the new costume is sweet. And it lets her fly!
Doreen attends a guest lecture by Melissa Morbeck, one of the world’s most respected programmers. Melissa picks Doreen out of the crowd, and reveals that she’s been keeping an eye on her for a while, that she can also speak to animals, and that she wants to bankroll Squirrel Girl. That’s where the new suit comes from. And Doreen immediately uses the cool new costume to stop the Rhino from stealing some shoes.
Squirrel Girl continues to Squirrel Girl. This issue includes a Cat-Thor one-page comic, some Canadian engineering history, and Doreen getting a villain to stop being evil by encouraging the goodness within them rather than just punching them out; and also there’s a bear that’s also a chef. It’s cute, it’s so good natured, and it’s frikken hilarious. By now you should already be reading Squirrel Girl, so you already know all this.