Archive for January, 2014

Week In Review: January 29, 2014

January 30, 2014

Black Science #3

The other day I decided Remender is one of my favorite writers working today. He isn’t afraid to take risks, to push his characters almost too far at times. Black Science exhibits a lot of that, and by the end of this issue he finally explains some of the actual “science” behind Black Science. It’s only being divulged in trickles, but the concepts and possibilities of this book are really cool and interesting. My main struggle with this book is that I am not sure who is narrating at times, which characters I should really be following. It seems like it’s a team book, but the narrative boxes aren’t assigned to an obvious person. I’m still not familiar with really anyone, what their names are, and there may be too many of them honestly. While I would probably scoff at an entire page breaking down each character, this is one of those instances where I would forgive a page telling me who is who. I’m still into this book’s premise and I trust Remender in knowing what he is doing, I just hope that it becomes a little more focused from here on out to make it easier to follow. Grade : B

Uncanny Avengers #16

God Remender is just unflinching in his assault on the Marvel Universe, isn’t he? Either he has a plan for all of the consequences of what he is doing here, or he is just trying to challenge Marvel to undo what he has done after he leaves. Another character bites the dust here, two of our heroes are disfigured, and life on Earth seems like it’s about to end. McNiven’s art is refreshing in this book, but it suffers from some symptoms of being rushed here and there. Remender once again shows why this is probably the best comic from Marvel right now. Thanks sir. Grade: A-

Thor: God of Thunder #18

Another single issue arc from this series between “volumes” and before Esad Ribic returns in issue #19 (about time!), this is another “young Thor” story where he learns a lesson. It’s nice to visit young Thor again, because he is probably more interesting than the current Thor, and there are some great comedic moments here, but as a single issue, it does move really fast, and the story seems kind of pointless if I am being honest. Mainly because the lesson Thor learned seems out of nowhere. My guess is this pertains to the next chapter in this series, but as a standalone issue, it’s too fast and not impactful enough to make me think “Oh, Thor has changed”. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t great. Grade: B-

Guardians of the Galaxy #11/ #1

I’m sorry, but the Trial of Jean Grey is a total mess already for me. The gist of what this and All-New X-Men are presenting is that the Shi’ar Empire is putting Jean Grey on trial for her actions during the Dark Phoenix Saga. It’s just very illogical, and I just don’t appreciate the coming back to that major event in this way. Wouldn’t the Shi’ar have put her on trial on one of the many times she had come back to life before her younger self was brought into the present? Someone in this book even says “Yeah, but she hasn’t done that yet” and it’s brushed off. That’s a solid point, added to the fact that nothing can be done to change the past. The Jean Grey that was actually the Dark Phoenix is dead, twice. I feel like that makes any trial pretty moot at this point. And worst of all, this detracts from the actual Guardians comic itself, which is still pretty fun, witty, and somewhat refreshing given that I’m not familiar with them as characters or a team. Keep the Guardians out of this, get back to more intergalactic shenanigans please. Grade: Bummer (C+)

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Week In Review: January 22, 2014

January 23, 2014

Only 4 this week, pickins are going to probably get even more slim as I may be dropping a few books soon. Them’s the ropes!

Deadly Class #1

Remender is one of those guys that I really enjoy. His work on Uncanny X-Force and now Uncanny Avengers remains some of what I would consider the best storytelling to come to Marvel in some time, and I have been eating up his other books as soon as I can. I wasn’t particularly in love with Black Science when it debuted, maybe because the science fiction elements seemed to actually clutter and distract from connecting with the characters. Deadly Class however, delivers exactly what I would expect from him. The pacing feels fast while also slow, very meticulous and well-planned, it feels like a much larger read than it actually is. Wes Craig’s artwork is something to behold, and I have a feeling he is just getting started. Give him five years, and he will be one of the best artists working today. The setting of 1987 seemed like a gimmick at first, but it also presents a world that is very fresh and alive, shedding the plagues of the modern day and returning to a less-cluttered world where characters are forced to actually interact with each other, rather than text or snapchat. Remender is building a world here that initially seems middle of the road conceptually (assassin school…really?), but after a very thorough reading, I very much look forward to the next issue and am holding this series to be my most sought-after of the year. Grade: A+

Avengers #24/#1 Rogue Planet

I was a huge fan of Hickman’s initial Avengers Marvel Now! run, but it slowly became too much of a monster to read, mainly tied with the huge events of Infinity and other typical Marvel flotsam and jetsam. This was a chance for me to dive back in to Hickman’s Avengers world again, and it was a pleasant swim. Ribic’s artwork was the big draw here, fueling my excitement for when he returns to Thor later this month. Hickman’s writing was typically grandiose, but it was also fairly succinct and although I doubt I will be reading Avengers going forward, this was certainly a nice little story that will undoubtedly lead to a much more annoying one down the line. Grade: B

All-New X-Men #22/#1

Every time I consider stopping reading All-New X-Men, Stuart Immonen pops back in and produces gorgeous pages that I am forced to read. Damn him. Bendis’ tendency to expand almost too much on what could otherwise be a very straightforward script showed through here, sadly, and I felt kind of like I had just read 24 pages of a simple 3 minute scene. It was frustrating because so much of Immonen’s artwork is just left without much writing behind it to give it weight. Amazing images, sure, but I’m growing tired of the considerable lack of focus. This is the beginning of a much larger story, and unfortunately it feels like it, and that story may be awesome and focus on characters again, but this title is starting to get to me just a little too much. Grade: B- (C+ without the art!)

Marvel Knights: X-Men #3

Marvel Knights delivers what I wish all mainstream superhero comics would do. Short and sweet stories handled by great teams of writers and artists. MK Spider-Man has been an absolute trip, and MK X-Men has been a fun “little” story to read, isolated from any other events going on in the Marvel universe. This story is literally in a backwater town in the South, it doesn’t get much smaller than that in terms of scale, which is refreshingly absent of space and time travelers or any threats to the world’s immediate safety. No, this is simply what EVERY X-Men book should be about, trying to prevent mutants from being prejudiced against and helping them understand their powers. It’s deceivingly simple, and it works so well, it makes me wonder why this aspect of mutants isn’t given more room to breathe. I like it as a contained, five-issue story, but it would also be so much better than any other mutant book if it were ongoing too. Grade: A-