Hahaaha, oh my. This is getting worse and worse. Rob Liefeld on a new Hawk and Dove series? I just might have to buy that. The 90s are coming … I’m getting my suspenders ready!
As I try to quell my heartache over all of the DC news this week, I offer you some blurb reviews. I didn’t realize until I was finished that they’re all Marvel. There’s a chance that’ll become more often the case in the coming months.
And also, let me clarify one thing: despite what the last issue of the newsletter said, “Suicide Girls” was damn well NOT my pick of the week. You can thank my comic shop colleagues for that loving display of antagonism and embarrassment … but I suppose I had it coming. :)
The Mighty Thor #2 – I was surprised to like this book. Given my tendency to dislike Matt Fraction’s writing, my expectations for this title weren’t very high. The main factor that convinced me to pick it up is Olivier Coipel pulling art duties, and I was right to fall for it, because he shines as bright as ever. His crisp style does the same wonders for Thor here as it did during Coipel’s run with JMS not long ago, and his representation of the Silver Surfer is seriously awesome. Story-wise, it’s nothing particularly ground-breaking yet, but entertaining enough without feeling as lethargic as I usually find Fraction to be (more on that below, unfortunately). The plot involves Thor getting hurt while retrieving the World Seed, while the Silver Surfer warns earth of Galactus’ impending arrival. So far there’s a nice split of focus between Thor, Odin, Loki, and Sif (my favorite—I bet that doesn’t surprise you), and it’s just fallen into this groove of “light reading” for me. The title doesn’t seem to cross over much into Journey into Mystery so far, which is the better book of the two, but I wonder if that doesn’t have to change at some point. I’m sticking with this and drooling over Coipel’s artistic candy for now.
Fear Itself #3 – **SPOILERS**
I knew I shouldn’t be reading this. I knew I shouldn’t have bothered, but here I am, never one to resist the horror. My warm feelings for Matt Fraction don’t extend far beyond the above Mighty Thor post, readers, because—I’m sorry—this is some lazy, dumb shit we’ve got going on here. Okay—I’m going to completely avoid all the other nitpicks I have with this issue and just focus on the one big one, which is BUCKY. Poor, poor, dear old Bucky. It’s a testament to the languid storytelling here that by the end of the issue, I wasn’t even sure if he was actually dead. I had to take to the internet and get other people’s reactions in order to know for sure what was going on. Even the incredible Stuart Immonen couldn’t save this for me, and from what I’ve read, I wasn’t the only one left confused. But, yes—it’s confirmed that Bucky is very dead. Again. And I cannot for the life of me understand why they thought this would be a good idea. So Marvel wants Steve back as Cap? Okay, fine. Let’s do it. But that is absolutely no reason for Bucky to have to die. Marvel brought him back against a bunch of pissing and moaning from the fans, gave him to Brubaker who turned him into a really great character and let the spotlight shine on him for a couple of years, won all the fans over and now they’re taking all that and throwing it away just for one poorly-constructed scene in an event book. It makes no sense. It doesn’t sell any extra copies of the book, it didn’t add anything to the scene, and it didn’t take away from how blah and boring the rest of the story has been. It was nothing. Just a nothing scene. Despite my love for the character, I felt absolutely nothing reading this. Not to mention it made no sense at all to keep him completely out of the first two books, then turn around in issue three and off him out of nowhere. WHAT? That is damn LAZINESS, Matt Fraction—LAZY. YOU MAKE KITTY CRY.
Daken: Dark Wolverine #9.1 – Rob Williams writes this issue in place of the tag team of Daniel Way and Marjorie Liu. I’m not sure if this is a permanent change or just a fill in—I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that Marjorie Liu won’t be co-writing anymore, but I could be wrong. At any rate, the title’s been a little hit and miss for me. I enjoyed most of the earlier stuff, but as soon as the crossover with X-23 happened, I got a little turned off. With that done and over now, all of the attention is rightfully back on Daken. Despite the “point one” suggestion that this is a good jumping on point to read the book, it really wouldn’t hurt to go out of your way and pick up the stuff that came before it. It’ll only give you a fuller sense of the story and a better understanding of Daken as a character. Issue #9.1 mainly deals with Daken ascertaining his dominion over … well, himself, really—who he is, what he’s about, and the fact that he’s not Wolverine. As the issue opens with one of Daken’s victims chastising him with the reality that all he ever does is destroy—never does he create anything—Daken actually takes it to heart and decides to act. How he acts, I’ll leave it for you to see, but something kind of falls flat this issue. While the story idea isn’t terrible, it’s also not particularly strong, and just feels a bit recycled. That said, the impression we’re left with is that Daken will be launching into something better moving forward. Ron Garney on art is, like the story itself, hit and miss, but I haven’t given up on this yet. Let’s see what the next few issues bring.
Uncanny X-Force #11 – The Apocalypse personality continues to cause trouble for our dear Warren Worthington in the lastest issue of what has easily become one of my favorite comics on the shelf, and it’s up to the rest of the X-Force team to cure Warren of what ails him. Unfortunately, curing him means trusting in Dark Beast of the AoA and following him back into his own time in order to procure the life seed (what’s with the “seed” theme this month?) that will temper the Apocalypse personality within Warren. The character interaction here is great, not only among team members, but also with the surprise guests that pop up from the Age of Apocalypse timeline. You know when I said that X-Men: Legacy was the best X-book out there right now, and that the rest is toilet paper? Well, at the time I said that, I’d apparently forgotten about Uncanny X-Force. This title has been oh-my-word good since issue one, and Rick Remender is showing no signs of slowing down. This is the quality of writing—character, plot, and setting—that I look for in every book I pick up each month, but only seem to get in a handful. If that. I’ll take this over the 800 Fear Itself tie-ins any day.
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.”
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.
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?
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.
This book just isn’t doing anything for me right now. Like, at all. And I’m not sure if that’s because of the writing (which isn’t necessarily HORRIBLE, given some of the truly terrible stuff out there), or because the first story arc as a whole, which I like to call “Super Blasty Magic Battle,” didn’t interest me at all. I honestly just don’t care enough about the Sorcerer Supreme or any of that stuff to be able to get into this—which is why I’m going to give it another go with the next arc before I ultimately dub it shelf fodder.
Ergo, I want to say that the problem so far lies with me and not the story … but then again, isn’t it the mark of a good or great writer that he or she can MAKE you care about something you didn’t before? I have something of a pastime of ragging on Brian Michael Bendis, and I’m honestly not trying to—it’s just that my feelings toward him are currently lukewarm, and … well … what’s he done for me lately? Outside of maybe Scarlet, the answer is: not much. I’m sure this has been addressed elsewhere in comicdom on the interweb, but the fact of the matter is—and this is a real turn off for me—that the Avengers mostly all sound the same. I really can’t decipher The Thing from Spider-Man from Jessica Jones from Ms. Marvel … because they ALL sound like Spider-Man (who is essentially useless here, by the way). I didn’t know Ms. Marvel could quip like that.
Stuart Immonen, I want to say, does some pretty cool stuff, but the most recent issue that wrapped up the first story arc was kind of a “miss” as far as the big battle scene went. Half the time I couldn’t tell what in the world was going on, and the other half of the time, I didn’t care. He didn’t make me care. He didn’t really hit me with anything at all aside from a few dramatic facial expressions and a panel of Dr. Strange with a lone tear in the corner of his eye (which comes across as cliché rather than emotional). That’s all kind of pathetic, given that a character dies in this issue. And who are we kidding with that? Look at the cover and I promise you, you’ll know who it is. Maybe my dissatisfaction toward this issue in particular had something to do with the fact that I was reading it on the commuter rail far too early in the a.m., but come on—the death scene at least SHOULD have hit me. It should have been epic, but instead it floundered.
I do want to say, despite whatever I felt was “off” about the last issue, there is a definite light-hearted quality to this book overall, which I think is what keeps readers coming back to it. It’s not heavy. Despite fighting a universe-threatening power, the team still manages to make you laugh. Victoria Hand still manages to walk around toting a fraking huge gun and cracking me up. One can argue that, whatever the book’s faults, it’s still good, clean Avengers, so to speak. And maybe in the end, given all of the other Avengers titles to choose from—that’s all this one has to be.
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Illustrated by Stuart Immonen
X-posted @ Nerd Caliber