Posted by: Brian Hibbs on May 10, 2013
Tags: Age of Ultron, Al Ewing, Alan Davis, Avengers Assemble, Batman and Robin, Battlefields, Brian, Caanan White, Carrie Kelley, Chin Music, Daniel Acuna, David Finch, Garth Ennis, Justice League of America, Kieron Gillen, Patrick Gleason, Paul Cornell, Peter Tomasi, Plothammer, Prodigal Sons, Rick Remender, Russ Braun, Steve Niles, Tony Harris, Uber, Uncanny Avengers, wolverine
Hi, it is me, the y’know, original founder of this blog. You might have noticed I’ve been just a little slack in posting since around Christmas time. The Season soaked up my time, then I started my new consulting business, but mostly, I needed a break from writing reviews. It happens!
I was going to start posting a few weeks ago, but that was the week where Abhay descended out of the blue for a solid week of posts, and I didn’t want to step on his toes.
This week, we welcome our newest SavCrit — the artist formerly known as J_Smitty (Yes, eventually every regular commenter will be given a seat in the big chair*), now unveiled as Jordan Smith, whose first post is directly below this one, but I felt like I couldn’t put off my return for much longer (it is MAY!), so join me below the cut, would you?
Now, I am hella hella rusty, so forgive me as I get back up to speed… and I also picked a maybe not so great week to do this, since it be a little thin on the new comics beat, but let’s see where we get how we get when, shall we?
AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #15AU: I haven’t especially been a fan of this title since it launched — I really don’t feel like it has had a point or direction of any particular value (Except, maybe, “Let’s try to capitalize on the Avengers movie 15 months ago”), and THIS issue is a tie-in to one of the most drama-free Big Crossover Events. I mean, let’s face it, “Age of Ultron” isn’t really going to have any real impact, even if they DO take away Logan’s healing (though, looking at the new Wolverine movie trailer, one assumes that that is REALLY being done to tie in with the film…), or bring Angela into the Marvel universe.
(which, by the way, is a real “WTF?!!?” moment and, honestly, feels more like a vindictive swipe at McFarlane ["Hah! I'll give it to MARVEL!"] than anything resembling a cohesive creative plan…. or, for that matter, something that any fan, anywhere was looking for)
So, one generally assumes that tie-ins to such a beast would also be inconsequential and uninteresting — and I think they mostly have been so far to date.
Not so this one, however.
Well, I guess it is “inconsequential” because nothing that happened in this comic will matter in 6 weeks or 6 months, or, probably, even be referred to in the parent book, even — but so far this was certainly the most interesting bit of AoA to date, being a look at how AoA is impacting Britain, introduces at least one interesting new character, and had a really tremendous “What If…?” status change for another major character.
AA#15au is written by Al Ewing, who is very rapidly becoming my favorite new writer, and whom I’m very much suspecting really is The Real Deal, y’know? I want to see Ewing on an original US series of his own creation because based on his doing other people’s ideas I would guess he’s got his own SANDMAN, TRANSMETROPOLITAN or PREACHER in him (if, y’know, you’re about my age, those are big big touchstones….) I thought this comic was the best Avengers thing I’ve read in a really long time, and was absolutely VERY GOOD.
ROBIN RED HOOD #20: Snyder’s run on the main title, and Morrison’s various perambulations through the Bat-mythos have largely overshadowed Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason’s title, which some months really is the best of the bat-books. I like what they’re doing here post-Damien, using the other bat-family sidekicks as stand-ins for the Stage of Grief. On the other hand, I’m decidedly uncomfortable with “Carrie Kelley” (The “Dark Knight Returns Robin”), one because she doesn’t seem even remotely like Carrie Kelley in DKR to me, two because it some how seems disrespectful to DKR, and three because bringing in a new Robin this close to the dispatch of the last one, seems like a really lousy idea. We’ll see, we’ll see, maybe they’re just fucking with us, I sure hope so. I thought (with the exception of the pages she appeared on) that this was pretty GOOD.
CHIN MUSIC #1: You’d think that 30s Gangsters and The Occult would go together like buttah, especially when you’ve got Horror-Guy Steve Niles teaming with Tough Guy Tony Harris on a new creator-owned series, but I got to tell you: I could hardly follow the who and the what and the why do I care here. Interest almost always comes from character, not situation, and there aren’t any realized characters on display here. EH.
GARTH ENNIS BATTLEFIELDS #6 (OF 6): Even though you really needed to read an entirely different series of “Battlefields” comics to appreciate the end of this issue, and even though Russ Braun’s art is a little too… flat for my tastes (though, good on Garth for loyalty and keeping Braun working), I thought this was a pretty wonderful, poignant, and moral and human ending to the story — Ennis’ specialty, really. This kind of work will never find a wide audience, but I’m so appreciative that Ennis makes sure it keeps coming out. VERY GOOD.
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #3: Three issues now, and I’ve yet to feel a moment of interest in this set-up or collection of characters — the story is so Plothammer-y that it ain’t funny, and David Finch looks like he had about an hour to draw the issue. Plus, that whole “WTF” thing didn’t really work, did it? Most of the “shocks” weren’t, or, worse, were merely rhetorical questions. Plus that they’re still shipping into May… ugh. this book may represent everything twhat’s wrong with the New52 as a whole: plothammered and ugly. But maybe I’m just cranky. Either way, I thought it was fairly AWFUL.
UBER #1: I don’t get this comic. I mean who is it for and all that. I can see (somewhat) the intellectual appeal of a story about nazi superman, but when the rubber meets the road, these are the antagonist, and, for this to work as a story, we’re required to have protagonists for whom to root. I don’t see any in the first issue (or in the #0, for that matter), and the art by Caanan White is “Avatar House Style” enough (and ugly) that that won’t be bringing me back. Avatar, trying to harness the Power of Bleeding Cool tried to convince people that the book is “hot” somehow, but it’s pretty icy cold on the real world racks (besides the coupla speculator-types that bought #0). I generally like Kieron Gillen’s writing, but I think he’s pretty much entirely missed the needle here, not just the eye. AWFUL.
UNCANNY AVENGERS #8: I truly don’t get the point of this comic either, if it’s not a showcase for John Cassaday. I like Daniel Acuna’s art fine, I guess, but he’s pretty far in style from Cassaday, and the story has felt to me like the worst excesses of Rick Remender, trying to do Big Story with characters that aren’t strong enough to support it, using obscure and uninteresting bits of Marvel history to do so. This is pretty EH for a “flagship” book.
WOLVERINE #3: If you had told me that there would be a Wolverine comic where I’d only be ordering 1 single rack copy by issue #3, and that, by Friday, it would still just be sitting there on the shelf, despite being by Paul Cornell and Alan Davis, I’d laugh at you. But here we are. Honestly, it’s not that bad — really, it is OK, so why are people just not buying this?
Right, that’s enough to start, I thinketh. Like I said: rusty. But, as always, I want to know what YOU thought….
* = Note: This will NOT be happening; don’t get your hopes up, you!