Sunday, May 13, 2012

Quick Reviews

Avengers Assemble #1-2 by Brian Michael Bendis & Mark Bagley
The movie-lineup roster of Avengers goes up against a group known as the Zodiac.

GOOD: Bendis & Bagley are consistently amazing together. Bendis writes a story that easily teams the movie lineup of Avengers without making it seem forced and while making that story actually exist in the mainstream Marvel Universe continuity. Mark Bagley effortlessly delivers page after page of fantastic artwork (what else is new?).

BAD: Nothing yet.

VERDICT: It’s a little lighter in tone from the other Avenger titles on the stand which makes it stand out to me. It might be a new fan’s gateway to the Marvel Universe. It’s a fun read and I look forward to picking up the trade paperback.

Amazing Spider-Man #683 by Dan Slott & Stefano Caselli
Spidey and the Avengers go up against the Sinister Six and come up short.

GOOD: Spidey punching ‘Al Gore’ and the many cool gadgets in his armor.

BAD: These aren’t fair criticisms since this is part 2 of an arc I don’t have part 1 of. I didn’t know how Spidey got armor or how Doctor Octopus is holding Earth hostage.

VERDICT: I will get this TPB. The Avengers vs The Sinister Six with Doc Ock dying? Dan Slott usually doesn’t disappoint and I bet, in context, this issue will be great when read with part 1.

Avengers Academy #27-28 by Christos Gage & Karl Moline
Chase’s psychic connection to Old Lace is active but the team saw her die. The Runaways’ search for Old Lace takes them to Avengers Academy and to another dimension. But if Henry Pym and Tigra have their way, the juveniles of the group will be taken away to be raised somewhere safe.

GOOD: I’ve loved the Runaways since their first appearance. While they pop up in books around the Marvel Universe, the stories vary in quality. While the story might first appear pretty standard, when Henry and Tigra argue with the team about taking Molly & Klara away, Reptil suggests Nico use magic to make everyone there understand everyone else’s point of view. This leads to the last 10 pages of #28 packing a lot of emotional impact and giving each team a deep connection one another. And I love that Old Lace is back – she’s all Chase had to remember Gertrude by. It’s a great story and one all Runaways fans should read.

BAD: I’m not generally an Avengers Academy fan so at first I only cared that the Runaways were in it (though between this and X-23’s appearance, Avengers Academy has been pretty good and might deserve a serious look).

VERDICT: I’m absolutely getting the TPB volume that includes this story.

Supurbia #1 by Grace Randolph & Russell Dauterman
A neighborhood of superheroes, secret identities, and scandalous secrets.

GOOD: Great introduction to all the various characters who skew their archetypical roles (like Batsu, a Wonder Woman-like warrior who is serious, deadly, and raising three normal children).

BAD: Nothing yet.

VERDICT: I think it’ll be worth getting a few more before deciding on getting the TPB. I like regular superhero books but I also like a little soap opera drama and, in the absence of Noble Causes, this book is poised to take its place.

Fairest #1 by Bill Willingham & Phil Jimenez
Ali Baba, Prince of Thieves, discovers a bottle but instead of a genie, it contains a bottle imp. When the imp promises to locate treasure, he directs Ali Baba to a camp full of goblins where he must wake a sleeping woman with a kiss.

GOOD: A few Firefly references were very welcome. A good, solid story that was very entertaining.

BAD: I quit Fables long ago – that means I got bored of it. But this book is good which means I might have to re-explore Fables. And that could be expensive.

VERDICT: Good story + Adam Hughes cover = I’ll pick up the next few issues.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #6 by Scott Lobdell & Kenneth Rocafort
When Red Hood is hurt on a mission, a mysterious orange woman helps him recover. This is the story of how Red Hood meets Starfire.

GOOD: Great story and dialogue. A fun first meeting between 2 heroes that doesn’t start out in a misunderstanding where the two fight each other which is a nice change of pace. The story really dives into who these two are people and how they relate to their pasts.

BAD: I was initially pretty irritated at the first two issues of this series. I thought Starfire was badly written and severely mishandled. I was obviously mistaken.

VERDICT: It might be worth picking up the first TPB of the series to give this series a fair look. It might be that I’ve overlooked a fantastic title (it wouldn’t be the first time).

Daredevil #10 by Mark Waid & Paolo Rivera
The Mole Man empties a cemetery looking for the body of a woman he once knew. Unfortunately for him, one of those bodies is Matt Murdock’s father.

GOOD: Good story that stays true to Matt’s core values, emphasizing justice and law over revenge.

BAD: For a guy who commands all kinds of fearsome creatures, Mole Man is mostly alone. And his fighting skills are almost Daredevil-level? WTF?

VERDICT: I’ve been hearing great things about this title and this story suggests I should pick up a few more issues and give it a chance.

The New Avengers #24 by Brian Michael Bendis, Mike Deodato, and Will Conrad
The Avengers #25 by Brian Michael Bendis and Walt Simonson
The Avengers & The X-Men are about to have throw down in a big way. These two issues delve into life right before everything hits the fan.

GOOD: Good stories.

BAD: It sucks that a lot of the Avengers/New Avengers tie in issues don’t have much to do with the main event. If it starts with the Avengers about to go at The X-Men or in mid-battle and then cuts away for some side adventure that has nothing to do with the event on the cover, it’s irritating.

VERDICT: I’m a huge fan of both titles and will still get the hardcovers, I just wish during the actual events, the stories were more about that event. Actually, I wish Marvel would take a year off from ‘events’ and get back to telling stories.

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