Archive for February, 2014

Week In Review: February 26, 2014

February 27, 2014

It’s a Remender-splosion week with 3 books by the man. I’m also going to change my grading system here, more akin to the Uncanny X-Cast’s method of Buy, Borrow, Pass.

Black Science #4 (Image)

Black Science is a book that I am still on the fence about if I am enjoying or not, but this issue certainly pushes it more into my “enjoyment” pile. My main issue with this series is that it has taken a while for me to really get to know the characters, and it sort of jumped right in. I think this can work, but it really took until #4 to suss out the details. For one thing, a character dies in this issue, which means I can focus on other characters more (even though the character who died was probably more interesting than some of the ones who survived). A lot of these characters aren’t really getting a lot of face time, and because there is so much running around and trying to not get killed, it’s hard for me to feel much allegiance yet. However, I do remain hopeful that this book will get better, so I will keep on keeping on here. BUY

Uncanny Avengers #17 (Marvel)

Ragnarok Now. What the hell did I just read?! Not in a “Ugh that was absolute garbage!” way, but in a “What could possibly come next?” way. Even though the events of this issue are clearly not going to permeate throughout the rest of the Marvel universe, the fact that Remender is going this far with this title, bending the rules and almost breaking so many of them, really makes me admire what is going on in this title. Usually, with alternate timelines and alternate universe and time travel in Marvel, it’s very easy to be dismissive and frankly uninvested, because you just know there is a way to “fix” things. And even though the stuff happening in this issue will clearly be “fixed” at some point, I honestly don’t know how Remender will do it, and it’s actually interesting. I don’t know how, I don’t know why, but he has managed to get me intrigued in a Marvel story. Well done sir! BUY

Vandroid #1 (Dark Horse)

Tommy Lee Edwards is a very talented artist. I’ve long been a fan of his work on the mini 1985, and I think he has a great talent. His writing is being explored in this Vandroid title, and it falls a little short with me. That’s not to say it doesn’t have potential, but it feels a lot like Bruce Campbell’s The Man with the Screaming Brain from years ago; a failed indie film that pays a little too much homage where it needs to provide more originality. I get that Vandroid is a play on crappy 80’s synth-laiden sci-fi/horror movies you might find on cinephile’s “Top 100 Best Worst Movies” lists, but it doesn’t really take off in a way that leaves me wanting more. The plot is basically a Troma version of Robocop meets Terminator directed by a crappy John Carpenter wannabe, but with a little more camp. I might pick up the next issue just to see where it goes, but it’s definitely a weird book. I do appreciate the mythos they are trying to build, you should definitely check out their website for a fun little trailer and soundtrack snippet. BORROW

Guardians of the Galaxy #12 (Marvel)

Exactly two things happen in this book, which really should have been in the All-New X-Men book because the Guardians were barely in this one. One, young Scott has a moment with his dad, which yes (as the book itself addresses) we have already seen before. Two, Jean Grey begins her trial. This story is stupid. This story isn’t interesting. This story doesn’t need to exist. The cover of Gamorra and Jean beating up some guards of some sort (which doesn’t happen in the book, sorry) just drives home how absolutely ungrounded this arc is. It makes no sense and makes no effort to appeal to logic or reasoning. I love the art by both Pichelli and Immonen (blended almost seamlessly) but everything else here is treading water and has not impact on character or story. PASS

Deadly Class #2 (Image)

Where Black Science is obviously created and written by Rick Remender, Deadly Class seems to be more of the passion project at the moment. It just drips with obvious personal struggles and leftover teenage angst from Remender (and perhaps Wes Craig’s) high school past. This book actually READS, as in I feel like I have inspected every page and panel with time well spent. Most comics I feel cheated by, able to kind of blindly glaze over and pick up without investigating too much in the words or art. Deadly Class makes you have to sit down and focus, and that pays off. Beautiful art and coloring, obviously smart writing, and a soundtrack playlist at the end to boot (which I always loved about Rob Schrab’s Scud back in the day), Deadly Class deserves your attention. BUY

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Week In Review: February 12, 2014

February 13, 2014

Thor: God of Thunder #19

I waited through that last arc for both Ribic to return to Thor (an absolute must) and for us to get out of the more fantasy-based universe and return to Earth. Both of these things happened here, but the story somehow fell a little flat. Thor courting a new “girlfriend” is fun, sure, but it’s becoming more and more apparent that the entire God-killer/God-bomb story was almost a fluke, as Thor just isn’t all that interesting in the modern age. His young and arrogant self is fun, and his surly older self is ripe for introspection, but his current era version is almost too plain, too controlled, too perfect. Thor needs to be conflicted, he needs to be challenged, but he is too much of a Superman at this point to be interesting. The art is beautiful as always with Ribic, and the last page was a knockout that got me drooling, but all in all I’m not sure how much faith I have left in this title. Grade: C+

All-New X-Men #23

Just a lot of treading water here. Waiting for the trial to begin, characters are meeting, not really doing all that much except joke and make looks at each other. Typical X-Men universe events, especially once they leave Earth. When will the Brood show up? Are we going to see the M’Kraan crystal? Who cares?? It’s great to see Immonen back here, but really it’s just more filler with no real punch behind it. I want out! Grade: C

Winter Soldier #1

This book straight up revisits the year 1966 when Shield and Nick Fury were in full swing. Spies, espionage, witness protection, and then you throw evil Bucky into the equation, it’s a great revisiting to classic comics with a twist. I was happy to see original Nicky here having a fun time with spying, I hope he sticks around. The premise that is setup by the end of this issue made me only wonder where Remender will take things next, and I trust he will do right. One of the few instances where I welcome double shipping, because I’m hungry for more. Grade: A

Marvel Knights X-Men #4

What Brahm Revel has been able to do in this stand-alone series is great. He’s trimmed down the characters to a minimal amount, able to focus on actually having the characters deal with the situations they find themselves in. It’s very personal and intimate, which you don’t normally get with the big two. There is a lot of dialogue here, the pages are slow and steady, and the pacing is spot on. Revel’s little run here really delivers want I want from an X-Men book right now, and I love the darker tone of the MK title and I hope he writes more Marvel stuff in the future. A definite up and comer here. Grade: B+