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I just can’t seem to plug myself in: Graeme goes for the ones you’ve probably read already from 1/30

Graeme McMillan

Speeding through the big time books of the week, partially because I’m pressed for time, and partially because I’ve already written about two of them over at io9 this week. Yes, that was a plug.

Y: THE LAST MAN #60: While it didn’t bring me to tears like it did Diana, I have to admit to being happily surprised by this last issue. Not that I expected it to be bad in any kind of way, but I did expect some kind of last minute reversal or reveal that would cast everything that had come before in a new light, and that idea scared me; not only did I like everything that had come before, but the whole “last minute gotcha” thing would’ve felt cheap in this series. It wasn’t something built on that sort of idea-led/plot-led structure; like all of Brian K. Vaughan’s work, it’s been the character work and small details that had made the series as good as it was. So, that the final issue turned out to be a series of small, quiet, vignettes with a framing sequence that resolves the entire series in an entirely unresolved, optimistic, manner, came as an unexpected treat. That those vignettes, along with the framing sequence, manage to somehow bring the series to a close that feels right and doesn’t shortchange the entire story, makes this last issue a Very Good end to an Excellent series.

STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC #25: Maybe I’m the only person outside of Dark Horse who feels that a year-long storyline running through all of the Star Wars books is a big deal, but as someone who’d never before read a DH Star Wars comic, I have to admit: I was sucked in pretty quickly by this opening issue. As I said over at io9, it’s not just that the issue hits a lot of Star Wars tropes, but that it also feels pretty much like “Jedis do Indiana Jones” at times. John Jackson Miller’s writing manages to make this relatively unfamiliar setting (I know Jedis and lightsabers, but everything and everywhere else… Not so much) easy enough and recognizable enough to understand for first-timers, and the art is weirdly similar to a cartoonier Yannick Paquette, which is pretty enough for these eyes. I’m not sure where the overall plot is heading – or even if the quest is going to turn out to be anything more than a McGuffin that threads throughout each series – but right now, it’s fun enough that I’m not sure that I care. A high Good.

PROJECT SUPERPOWERS #0: Jesus, can someone invent a time-machine so that Alex Ross can go back in time to when he’s actually happy with the superheroes of his youth? Despite this looking like the start of yet another “heroes from the past come back to show these whippersnappers how it’s done” story (Hey, it’s Kingdom Come! But with public domain characters!), I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that… uh… it’s actually surprisingly not that bad. Highly Okay, in fact, and that’s with my complete distaste for this type of plot. As much as anything, I liked the McGuffin of Pandora’s Box and also the idea that our point of view character is a superhero who was the only one who could save the world, except he was completely wrong and instead screwed everything up. That isn’t to say that it isn’t going to turn into turgid referential and reverential nostalgia down the road, but for now…? Worth reading.

CAPTAIN AMERICA #34: Dammit, just when I thought I was getting bored of the Cap-less Cap, Brubaker goes and lets the bad guys make their move and Bucky turn out to be a more interesting character now that he’s trying to live up to Steve Rogers’ memory in a more literal way than before. Mixing pop and politics in a way that’d make Billy Bragg happy, the idea of a corporate undermining of America amuses in a somewhat perverse way, and also gives the new Captain America an enemy that he can’t just shoot (or perform fun new shield tricks) to stop… Reading this makes me wish that the whole Skrull Invasion plotline could’ve been held off for enough time for Brubaker to really play out his grand plan on a larger scale, but I’ll take what I can get if what I can get continues to be as Very Good as this. That said, if anyone at Marvel wants to try and talk Brube into taking over the regular Iron Man book, that’d be great.

Tomorrow: What was the creepiest moment in this week’s comics? The answer may shock you, as they say.

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