Captain America #617: It basically really sucks to be Bucky Barnes right now (as opposed to all those other times when it’s been totally awesome). He’s still locked up in the Gulag as punishment for having been brainwashed and reprogrammed as a Soviet death machine. Sure, blame the victim. On top of that, he’s being forced by his evil ex-Commie keepers to battle obscure Russian supers like Ursa Major in some Shawshank-style fight club. Meanwhile, Black Widow and Sharon Carter are spying all over the place, trying to prove that Bucky didn’t go rogue and kill a bunch of innocent people (just guilty ones) while he was Winter Soldier, and Steve Rogers is protecting the Justice Department from some murderous Titanium Man-looking character. So much activity! I’m just getting started on this week’s comics and I’m already worn out.
Power Man and Iron Fist #4: P-Man and the Fist are still trying to figure out who killed that Crime Buster guy, even though the dude was apparently a jerk and had a really stupid name. They’re at some fancy gambling party at p-p-p-Pokerface’s undersea casino (just go with it), where P-Man just finished fighting a bunch of creeps with playing cards for faces (just go with it) and Fist just got attacked by Noir, a mysterious shadow lady who might actually be a teenage girl who dresses and speaks like a 1920s flapper (just go with it). The casino springs a leak, as underwater establishments are wont to do, and the duo are rescued by Luke Cage, the original P-Man. In the midst of all this, Rand Corporation Executive Director/I Guess Danny’s New GF Joy is possessed by an evil mask that is apparently haunted by the spirit of a medieval Cirque du Soleil performer. Iron Fist is all like, “WTF, Vic, you didn’t save her?!” and P-Man is all like, “I’m running away! You’re not my real dad!” and man, there’s so much drama going on. Oh, and some white supremacists show up. Yup. Honestly, I have no clue what is even happening in this storyline anymore, but I like Iron Fist enough to soldier on.
Avengers #12.1: All you need to know here is that Ultron is back and we’re all fucked.
Secret Avengers #12: With the help of Beast and Co., Steve Rogers travels deep into John Steele’s psyche to find out why the guy is such a massive prick. Turns out, it’s because he was kidnapped/brainwashed/possessed/somethinged by the Shadow Council back in the heady days of WWII, while Cap was off fighting a giant demon worm with the Prince of Orphans. I guess if I were Steele, I’d be pretty pissed about that, too. Now Steele is teaming up with Steve for some sweet, sweet revenge.
Secret Avengers #12.1 A wannabe U.S. Agent steals some very classified documents and leaks the names of hundreds of government/Avengers informants inside various evil agencies. Steve is pissed (Steve is having a rough week), lots of people are going to die, and all Ant-Man can talk about is trying to get into Black Widow’s shiny skin-tight pants. Also, there’s totally a reference to Runaways, my favorite underappreciated and on-indefinite-hiatus series, which made me smile.