Humphrey Lee has a few thoughts on a few comics of note to share with the rest of you. Take it away, Humphrey!

CAPTAIN AMERICA #698

Writer: Mark Waid
Art: Chris Samnee
Publisher: Marvel Comics

As much as I highly enjoy the overall works of this creative pairing of Mark Waid and Chris Samnee, and as much as I don’t want to be a person accused to pooping at parties, but given the recent history of Captain America, time traveling stories with the character kind of want me to do nothing but roll my eyes and groan. We’ve had “Old Man” Cap, we’ve had “pulled out of time to counteract Nazi Cap” Cap, and now we have a storyline where Cap has been put back on ice and thawed out again on the ashes of an America that has become a bombed out fascist wasteland. I mean, the book still looks gorgeous under Samnee’s pencils and story wise it does what it has to do to wash the taste of Nazi Cap out of the readers’ mouths. Cap is out there doing his best to be an inspiration piece in a world where what’s left of the populace survives by handing everything they have left over to the Elite who own every last resource, mirroring a state of the world we seem to be barreling toward without the megalomaniacal use of atomic bombs to set it all off like happens in this storyline. I get that the light shines brightest after its darkest and all that, but this seems like a storytelling trope played out one too many times to really get the mojo running for the character again despite its intention to show him at his best after the damage SECRET EMPIRE did to the Star-Spangled Avenger.

THE FLASH #40

Writer: Joshua Williamson
Art: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Publisher: DC Comics

The Flash is dead, long live the Flash! Even though we are pushing toward two years of the REBIRTH era of DC, which kicked off the “reboot” by making the splash of returning the original Wally West to the DCU, it seems like Wally and his “man out of place” plight have been brushed aside. The TITANS book proper has touched on it with his relationship with his wife-in-a-different-life Linda, but mostly he’s just stumbled around in a haze lamenting his current fate. Thankfully, though, between this issue and the second FLASH ANNUAL to hit a couple weeks ago, Joshua Williamson has gone hard in on Wally West and in a very prominent way. Much as this has actually been a pretty good run with Barry Allen, a usually pretty quiet and ho hum personality in an interesting super powered presence, Wally was always the best of both worlds in the role of the Scarlet Speedster, a character with both charisma AND an outside the box mentality to his limitless power. This about face and thrusting Wally back into the forefront, even as temporarily as it obviously will be, is a much welcomed change that I hope signals some sort of shift in attention the character gets even once the mantle of lead Flash once again falls back to poor, mopey Barry.

INCINCIBLE #144

Writer: Robert Kirkman
Art: Ryan Ottley

Publisher: Image Comics

It’s weird being here with this, the final issue of the now, what, fifteen years running INVINCIBLE saga that I don’t know quite what to say though I want to say absolutely everything. I could talk about the series as a whole and how it was every bit the wide-eyed and youthful superheroics I loved reading in my teens blended with everything I wanted out of more “adult” comics I latched onto in college. And I definitely want to talk about how fantastic it has been to watch a superhero like Invincible and even his extended cast grow so much as characters as the book twisted and turned and went to many different extremes over the last decade plus. Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about how lovely a parting issue this was, expertly encapsulating the central themes of family and character growth with wild, intergalactic adventures as the backdrop. I could easily write two thousand words and beyond about all the aspects of what made this quite often “The Best Superhero Comic Book in the Universe” for the past fifteen years, but instead I’ll keep it (relatively) short and sweet here and say that for pretty much all 144 issues that it ran, INVINCIBLE held the highest quality you could for a book in the superhero genre and that I will miss these characters deeply and hope that the impact it made on the medium is not soon forgotten.

Humphrey Lee has been an avid comic book reader going on fifteen years now and a contributor to AICN COMICS and now at MLMILLERWRITES.COM. In fact, reading comics is about all he does in his free time and where all the money from his day job wages goes to – funding his comic book habit so he can talk about them to you, our loyal readers (lucky you). He’s a bit of a social networking whore, so you can find him all over the Interwebs on sites like Twitter, Facebookand a blog where he also mostly talks about comics with his free time because he hasn’t the slightest semblance of a life. Sad but true, and he gladly encourages you to add, read, and comment as you will.