Graphic novel mini-roundup:
- Let’s start with Brian Reed’s Ms. Marvel, vol. 2: Civil War , which is primarily of interest as a Civil War book, telling the story from the “inside”, as Ms. Marvel is a government agent who spends her time rounding up recalcitrant heroes so they can be imprisoned or re-educated. The book is unusually harsh toward the titular superhero, but hey, Civil War. This is your basically competent, but not earth-shaking, title, of interest to Civil War completists or those who are hoping that this Ms. Marvel series might go somewhere interesting yet, after all.
- Mark Millar’s Ultimates 2, vol. 2: Grand Theft America continues his Ultimates saga, and wraps up basically all the active plotlines in a highly-satisfying way. It’s unusually political, in that the Ultimates work for the government and are essentially a pseudo-military force used to shape foregin policy, which leads to the interesting repercussions that are the meat of this book’s story. This is excellent work, and the (four-volume) Ultimates series is recommended highly to anyone who’s interested in dark, political, adult superheroes. I continue to be baffled as to how Millar can do such great work on this title, but such uninspiring work everywhere else.
- Finally, there’s Brian Bendis’ Ultimate Spider-Man, vol. 18: Ultimate Knights , which involves Spider-Man teaming up with a bunch of second-string heroes (Moon Knight, Iron Fist, Daredevil, etc.) to try to take down the Kingpin. This is typically well-written Bendis fare, and even 18 volumes in, Ultimate Spider-Man contines to be the superhero title with probably the highest average quality across its lifetime.