Annihilator #1- First thing, pick up The Thanos Imperative: Devastation #1 first before reading this issue. The epilogue of The Thanos Imperative also served as the prequel of Annihilators and you really need that issue to understand this one. Writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning jumped into the story headfirst with the Spaceknight Ikon challenging the Annihilators saying they are too powerful to function as a team. For fans of Guardians of the Galaxy, there is a backup story on Rocket Raccoon and Groot. I had been looking forward to this mini-series as The Thanos Imperative was a high point in comics last year. Unfortunately, I’m a little disappointed by this issue. Neither story grabbed me (though the Rocket Raccoon story did better). For a team called the Annihilators, we needed the team to be bad-ass. Instead the opening has the team getting beaten by a mere Spaceknight. Yes, I know the reason about the team members being too afraid to use their full power but this is the first issue of a new mini-series featuring a brand new team. That is not an opening we need!
First Wave #6- Pulp is a difficult genre to get right. Writer Brian Azzarello does it better than most and this issue show why. I found First Wave to be underwhelming so far but this last issue may have saved it. In the final showdown against Anton Colossi, all the heroes were given their time in the sun with Cheng from the Blackhawks and Doc Savage shown to be combat specialists. As with #5, there was a lot of action here. But unlike issue #5, the pacing here was perfect. The action did not overwhelm the story and Azzarello even managed to drop hints on the lack of teamwork Doc and Batman has with other members. This was an excellent finish to the mini-series.
Secret Six #31– One of the first missions in this series was the “Get Out of Hell” card the team was racing other villains to get about 20= issues ago. The card is back and the team implodes again as Ragdoll and Scandal went after each other for the card. After a few issues on crossovers, I am glad to say the Six is back! Writer Gail Simone had her hand on the pulse as this issue went effortlessly from hilarious to dark. The opening where the Six was shooting the promotional video was one of the funniest things I read in a while and then it turned with the fight between Ragdoll and Scandal (where did Ragdoll get those monkeys?). The trip to hell was a little quick but welcoming party that greeted the Six...now that was a scene.