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-

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