Archive for December, 2010

BUT WAIT! A Pro to Marvel’s Con

These look kind of awesome, don’t they?  While the idea of Wolverine as a Ronin character isn’t exactly cutting-edge, I’ll be optimistic about this mini if only because I’m “art drunk” off of the stunning covers.

Ronin PunisherRonin DeadpoolRonin PsylockeRonin HulkRonin Wolverine

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Marvel Event: “Fear Itself”

Do You Fear What You've Become?Marvel just announced its latest event for 2011 to follow the company’s teaser posters it’s been releasing this past week, and it appears the big news is that Marvel’s heroes will be fighting a “God of Fear.”

Ho, hum.

Here is what absolutely kills me about this if you watch the video conference—Joe Quesada and his cronies claiming that they listened to the fans when we all shouted and begged for them to lay off the stupid events already.  The fanboys (and girls) have been fed up with being milked dry over crossover after crossover, event after event, colossal hype and build-up only to be left with our mouths hanging open at how horribly bad they’ve all been.  Yes, reader—Marvel says they listened to you.  They say they took this year off from doing any events, and now it’s time to get back in the saddle.

Please.

At what point did Marvel stop with the crossovers and events and hype?  What was Shadowland, exactly?  What is Chaos War, for that matter?  Didn’t Second Coming just end?  How about Dark Reign?  Where, precisely, was the break?

Add to this, the ever so well-written press release/solicitation for the event.  Fear Itself is going to FOREVER CHANGE THE LANDSCAPE OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE!  This is THE DEFINING MINISERIES OF THE YEAR!  NOTHING WILL EVER BE THE SAME AGAIN!  ZOH MY GOOOODDDDD!!!

Seriously, Marvel?  Why even bother anymore?  Do you just re-use the same press release over and over?  Delete “House of M” and write in “Civil War,” “Secret Invasion,” “Dark Reign,” “Fear Itself,” etc. etc?Do You Fear Losing Control?

Matt Fraction even said, “We are going to be busting the doors down with the biggest story we’ve ever told.”  BIGGEST STORY EVER TOLD, guys!  Aren’t you all just DYING to run out and buy this now?  Marvel has NEVER done ANYTHING like this before!

Oh, and I seemed to have glossed over the fact that Matt Fraction is writing this.  The less said about that, the better.  Here’s what I “fear”–that Stuart Immonen’s great talent isn’t going to save Fraction’s writing.

So, there you have it.  As I sit here and bemoan this most recent of charades, pre-emptively condemning it before it even hits the shelves, I know in the back of my head that I’m still going to wind up reading it.  Not so much out of intrigue, but moreso out of an implicit need to know what’s going on, regardless of how little it matters to me in the end.  It’s pretty much why I read any of Shadowland.  And so I fall once again into the category of hypocritical fangirl who can’t seem to vote with her wallet.

At least I can call it when I see it, eh?

Stay tuned next year when I rant and wail over how horrible a comic this is, how much better it could have been done, and how I’m never reading Marvel again …

… at least until the following Wednesday rolls around.


Quick Reviews / Pull List

(I promise this came out better the first time I wrote it.  Trying to re-write from memory in the final 15 minutes of your work day is a royal pain.)

Ugh.  I don’t think I’ve read a comic in about two weeks now.  A combination of work and Christmas shopping has left me passed out on my train commutes, half-drooling onto my shoulder, but I finally managed to stay awake long enough over the past two days to read the following.

Heroes for Hire Page 1

Hello, hero. Are you for hire?

Heroes for Hire #1:  Wow.  Impressive.  I almost didn’t give this one a go.  I’d read the last incarnation of Heroes for Hire which took place during Marvel’s Civil War and really enjoyed it, but the pitch for this one felt weak.  I recall when my co-worker, Dario, read the solicitation in Previews one Saturday and dared me to guess the lineup.  “Who do you think is on the cover?” he said.  I wound up getting four out of the five characters right (Moon Knight, Iron Fist, Ghost Rider, Elektra … Punisher eluded me), and that kind of predictability killed my interest a little.  When the issue came out (last week?  Two weeks ago?), both Comic Shop Dario and Comic Shop Mark urged me to read it.  And I have to say, I’m glad they did.  The writing on this is stellar, and the opening cast is great.  I love the new, unique manner in which Misty Knight is employed—can’t you just hear this smooth, velvety voice saying “Hello, Hero.  This is Control.  Are you for hire tonight?”  Add artwork that keeps up with the script, and you’ve got an entertaining, engaging read, with an ending that should leave you ready for the next issue.

Batwoman #0:  I’ve haven’t kept up with Kate Kane despite her recent surge in popularity.  I’m not sure why, but I just couldn’t get into the character beyond a couple of issues of Detective Comics.  Considering I love the Bat verse and Greg Rucka’s writing, you’d think I’d have been all over that, but I guess there wasn’t enough time in the day, and something had to give.  At any rate, no—I’m not a Kate Kane follower … but I might have to re-think my position after this issue of Batwoman.  J.H. Williams pulls double duty here as both writer and artist, and he does so with a certain level of panache.  The artwork is breath-taking, dynamic, the way each frame moves into the next, each panel transitioning seamlessly to and from the one before, it’s hypnotic, it’s lovely.  It makes me write run-on sentences.  Against the context of the story—Bruce Wayne spying on Kate and Batwoman alike in order to prove his theory that they are one in the same—I’m somewhat enamored of this.

Superior #2:  Better than the first issue; still incredibly uninspired.  The only thing that makes this book worth picking up is Leinil Yu’s outstanding pencils.  It’s a shame they’re wasted on this.  Don’t pay attention to what the front cover says—this is not “the most important comic book since 1938.”  Sorry, Millar, but even your tongue-in-cheek is lost on me.

Daken: Dark Wolverine & X-23 #3:  Dark Wolverine felt rushed to me this month, and I remain unconvinced that Mystique can be taken down and fooled so easily.  Meanwhile, X-23 was a little deeper, and Conrad’s art seems to get better with each issue.  Overall, still reading both of these and still enjoying them.

That said, it’s time for this week’s PULL LIST!  Here’s mine—what’s on YOURS?

Batgirl The Greatest Stories Ever Told TPB
Birds of Prey #7
Amazing Spider-Man #650
Strange Tales II #3
Uncanny X-Force #3

 


BLLAARRRGGHHH

(Well, there WAS a post here until WordPress decided to be a #&%$! and lose it.)


Quick Blurb Reviews

Black Widow – This book has seriously gone down the sink hole with the new creative team.  It’s sad, too, because Marjorie Liu did an awesome job on her first arc, only to be replaced by unimaginative drivel.  I’m hoping the upcoming Widow Maker cross-over with Hawkeye & Mockingbird (another title biting the dust) writer Jim McCann will maybe breathe a bit of life into Black Widow, but I’m not optimistic.  This may be beyond saving, as Marvel had clearly already given up on it with the end of the first arc.  If the horrible front cover doesn’t give it away….

Halcyon – Huh?  What??  Reading this title’s first issue was upsetting; I’d heard so much hype and praise, and it most certainly let me down hard.  The thing is, it’s a great concept; I just find the execution sorely lacking.  Not a fan of the art, not a fan of some of the lamer scenes, and ultimately closed the first issue without any love or attachment to the characters at all.  I thought I might give this one another go next month, but honestly, I have better things to read.  Like Return of the Dapper Men.

Uncanny X-Force #2Uncanny X-Force – Now this is what I’m talking about!  Issue one got me so excited; issue two just pumped it up further.  This book is going to be a great ride, and I’m already waiting eagerly for #3.  Rick Remender is on his game—the character interaction is fantastic; the concept and execution are clever; the artwork is fitting.  Uncanny X-Force jumps to the top of my reading pile every time it comes out.
   

Other Recent Yeas:  X-Men Legacy, Amazing Spider-Man
Other Recent Nays:  Uncanny X-Men
 

X-posted at Nerd Caliber