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My Country ‘Tis of Thee: Hibbs starts on 4/4

Brian Hibbs

A couple from this week, then:

52 WEEK 48: The inevitable comes true, though the cover obviously telegraphs it. Ultimately, I tend to think this is a mistake — there’s few enough strong supporting characters in the world that MOntoya becoming a mask isn’t the choice I would have made; but it does work well within the context of both the story, and her own personal arc. I was a little annoyed that “Gotham burns” (Again?!? How can ANYONE in that town afford property insurance?), and there’s also something a little strange about Robertson’s art, with it’s big open page gutters — at first I thought “is he drawing on the wrong sized paper or something?”, but no, many of the pages have a full bleed out to the side. It’s a weird stylistic choice, and one that distracted me a lot in the first half of the issue. I also think it would be cool if Kate actually dies, since that would be absolutely unexpected, though she’s in the COUNTDOWN ad so probably not, huh? Anyway, quibble quibble quibble, but I still thought this was VERY GOOD.

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER SEASON EIGHT #2: Yeah, that rocked. Really rocked. And was properly dense, too — unlike last issue, this felt nearly like a complete TV episode in itself. There’s an awkward transitional bit at the end there where it cuts away from Amy and Xander for a minute, but when it cuts back it’s away from Xander’s beat. But other than that? Letter perfect. My only question: I’m not sure I understood the Giles scene in the beginning? Where is he in relationship to Buffy? Not in the same place? But he’s training a larger number of the slayer-ettes then Buffy seems to have around her? Muh? Anyway, an easy EXCELLENT.

I am STUNNED how well the book is selling, also — our As-Big-As-CIVIL-WAR initial order lasted us 12 days (CW was about 6 weeks or so), we got in the Largest-Single-Reorder-of-a-Comic-That-We’ve-Ever-Placed for the second printing, and we’re halfway through THAT pile already. #1 is easily my best selling 32-page comic in the last 10 years or so — we’re not quite back up to where we were in the SANDMAN days, but if we keep selling 3 or 4 copies a day, like we have been lately, we’re going to get damn close…

AVENGERS THE INITIATIVE #1: It is competently done, but there’s not really any sympathetic characters here (except for maybe Cloud 9, but I think that’s more from pity than actual interest), which is a pretty big problem, I think, for an ongoing monthly. Even the situation isn’t sympathetic — people being taken against their will to a training camp, and, when something bad happens, its covered up. This is supposed to be America? I was also kinda shocked there’s a scene of “here is your mask, you will NOT use powers without wearing it” for two reasons: a) that seems pretty counter-intuitive to the High Concept of having an accountable nationwide super-hero task force — I’d think things would be largely the opposite, that all recruits would be issued a visible ID card with a “badge number” they’d hvae to display openly at all times. If I were an American citizen in the Marvel Universe, I sure wouldn’t be up for my government handing out MASKS; b) it is immediately undercut a few pages later in the “training room” where not ONE of the seven characters involved wears a mask. I was also deeply bothered by the “we’re confiscating your weapon” scene. Take the same scene, and instead of Never-Heard-Of-Her-Girl, cast, say, Iron Man in that spot. Still feel comfortable with it? “We’ll just be taking this incredibly powerful tech from you. We’re the government, you can trust us.” I usually enjoy Slott’s work, but this is really a badly thought-out opening sequence to an ongoing *Avengers* comic. As a mini, this might have been the right way to go (and, it got “upgraded” to ongoing when Marvel got the numbers in), but as a “Hey! Buy me for the next five years!” I’d take a serious pass. AWFUL.

OMEGA FLIGHT #1: Wow. I can’t even BEGIN to imagine a world where a sovereign government (not on the brink of collapse, or coup, or otherwise facing direct and imminent extinction) would just blithely hand over the reigns of its single most important military asset to a foreign government. I mean, isn’t this pretty insulting to Canadians? Especially having a jingoistic nutjob like the USAgent being the first recruit? And the very idea of Mr. I-nuked-Canada-once being draped in the Canadian flag and forced on the team seems, I don’t know, beyond insulting? Walter’s portrayed as a completely ineffectual, out of touch loser, and there’s not even the courtesy of an explanation of how he survived his previous dashed-off death. But, really, the problem is: this portrays Canada as America’s 51st state, with all of the due accord being #51 comes with! I am super-curious to hear what a Canadian thinks about all of this, because I’m kind of reading this with my jaw dropping that anyone at Marvel thought this scenario was a good idea. Maybe the best way to read both this, and AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE, are as horror stories. AWFUL

What did you think?


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