This Week in Comics: June 30 (Angel, Iron Man, Spider-Man)

I know it's been more than a month since I've done a "This Week in Comics", but I totally spaced after my last trip to the comic shop (prior to yesterday, that is), which itself would have covered three weeks of releases.

As it is, this week's trip covered both this week's releases and last week's, so I've got four books to cover, and I'll make them short and sweet, I swear.

Angel #34
For the second consecutive issue, I actually enjoyed the proceedings in "Angel". At first, the hook ups between the characters confused me, but once the whole "Illyria's pheromones" thing was mentioned, it all totally clicked. The plot with Angel and crew in the hotel was a little sparse (and something of a filler) but the soul eater makes another appearance at the end, which was cool. Also, the back-up story with Eddie the Devil and Gunn was very good for being so short.

Amazing Spider-Man #635
I thought that the "Grim Hunt" storyline would be one of the cooler ones in the ASM series in years, but so far it just seems so overloaded with characters that it makes me care less. This book is "The Amazing Spider-Man", not "Spider-Man and his Spider-Friends". The over-use of spider-powered characters has hurt the book in the past, and in my opinion it's really bogging down this storyline. Plus, I feel like this is the fourth or fifth time since the events of "One More Day" that an issue has ended with Spider-Man allegedly dead. Obviously he's not, so why bother using that trite cliche?

Invincible Iron Man Annual #1
If Mandarin is coming back to the main series, then this worked as a pretty good way to re-introduce him. He kidnaps a filmmaker and separates him from his wife, forcing the guy to make a movie telling Mandarin's life story. Only the version of the story Mandarin tells is very different from what actually happens, and the filmmaker has to decide if he wants to tell the truth, or go along with the lie with the hope he'll see his wife again. I started out really liking this, then started disliking it as it went along, then came back to liking it -- I could change my opinion so often because it was LONG. Probably about 10-15 pages too long, especially for a book that didn't actually feature Iron Man (unless you count Mandarin's interpretations of him from the past, which were admittedly hilarious). In the end, the book itself was only average, but considering the long-term implications, it was necessary.

Iron Man Legacy #3
Considering how much I enjoy the "Invincible Iron Man" series, I'm really disappointed in this series. I understand that it exists in a different continuity from the standard "Iron Man" story, but that's not the problem. No, it's really just not a well put-together book. The less said about it the better, since it's off my monthly reading list.

OK, I promise I won't go a month between these anymore. I can't promise I'll have one next week (a light shipping week in my reading world), but it definitely won't be a month. Maybe.