Posted by: Brian Hibbs on July 26, 2011
Two Comics, and a Film!Let’s start with the film, shall we?
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER: I thought this was a fun and charming little movie, largely living up to the promise of the trailer. Cap, himself, is somewhat one-dimensional — he doesn’t have the drunken insouciance of Iron Man, or the charming arrogance of Thor, just a lot of earnestness — but Chris Evans plays Cap with all of his heart, and sells it well.
(If you know nothing whatsoever about Cap the character, then there might be SPOILERS below, but I’m going to assume you know the basics?)
Like THOR before it, as long as you don’t go in expecting more than popcorn fun, you’ll get it, and this time leavened with a direct moral message of how important it is to stand up to bullies.
While the move from Nazis to Hydra was slightly disappointing from a purist POV, it did allow us to get Big! Mad! Science! everywhere. It’s hecka revisionistic, but it yielded a fun movie, so all is well.
The script has a few problems: I really had a hard time understanding why Steve was staying in costume in the field, after the first time (and, heh, that scene of “early costume” Cap sneaking into the Hydra base was rendered pretty funny with that giant flag strapped to his back), and I thought they did a really bad handling the transition from ’40s to c21 — Ben turned to me immediately and asked me “What do they mean, ‘you’ve been asleep for 70 years’?” “Well, Ben, he got frozen in a block of ice for all of that time” “How, daddy?” And, yeah, it sure ain’t on the screen.
Also, as long as I’m complaining, the staggeringly multi-culti Howling Commandos kind of freaked me out, in the same way THOR’s Warriors Three did… plus, historical accuracy and Sam Jackson’s race aside, Nick Fury really should be leading them, damn it! And, uh, was Jim Morita talking into a modern operator’s headset in that scene?
But then there were the swell and fun easter eggs — did you spot the Human Torch on display at the World’s Fair? How about the Red Skull’s translation to Bifrost? That brilliant first, foreshadowing, shot of Arnim Zola? The filmmakers know their Marvel comics, and it shows.
I’m also kind of crazy excited for AVENGERS, now, which is maybe a terrible idea knowing that low expectations is one of the reasons I have dug THOR and CAP so much. Ben loved CAP, too — gave it his usual “10 out of 10!”, though he rates them: THOR, IRON MAN, CAP. I think I vote for IRON MAN, CAP, THOR, though.
Anyway, liked it a lot: VERY GOOD.
DAREDEVIL #1: Let me get one thing out of the way first: Marvel pretty much ruined Matt Murdock with “Shadowland”, and it would take a lot of hard work, time, and redemption to get him back to anything resembling a sympathetic protagonist again.
Or you could just “pull a DC” and basically just ignore all of that, and then make it such a fun and entertaining story than cynical old farts like me have their Charm Barrier broken, so we grumble and say “OK, you get away with it… this time!” (rassen frassen Mark Waid!)
A lot of the credit really needs to be given to Paolo Rivera and Marco Martin, two dynamic artists with such strong individual styles, yet who flow well from one to the other.
I’ll tell you something else, as well — I’m usually leery about letting Ben reading my current comics, there’s a ton of content that he’s just not ready for in modern comics, but when he asked if DD was appropriate for him, I assented pretty quickly. And he was ENRAPTURED by the book, reading it very closely for quite some time. Then he went downstairs and told mom all about it “…So, see, he’s BLIND, but he’s got this wicked RADAR SENSE…”)
Yeah, that was an EXCELLENT comic book.
INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #506: You know when I read the scene with Stark’s sacrifice in FEAR ITSELF, I thought “Wow, that’s a great moment”, but this issue’s fully-fleshed out version really kind of wore on me — I found the foul-mouthed dwarves to be really overdone (and that thing about “content that I wouldn’t want my son to see yet” from up above? Yeah), and then when the issue ends the way it ends, well, I just thought it was too easy. I also was really troubled with not having Tony deal with the aftermath of Paris personally. I don’t know, I kind of realized that I haven’t really liked this book at all in months (since #500, I guess?) I’ll go with a very low EH.
That’s me, this week: what did YOU think?