Friday, March 22, 2013

Comic Book Weekly Reflection 3/22/13

One of these days, I’ll finally be able to read that damn My Little Pony comic.  I never seem to get my hands on it or the Micro series.  However, despite that setback, I still got the chance to read a bunch of other comics I wanted to.  However, due to time constraints, no recap of the events from the comic like I do most of the time.  Just straight up my thoughts on the comic itself.

Be warned, there will be spoilers below (possibly)!

All New X-Men #9: This series continues to move along at a very slow pace towards the idea that the old X-Men from the past are needed to prevent this mutant genocide that current Cyclops could cause.  It’s very annoying on that part, especially considering we are nine issues in and barely much as actually happened in the comic outside of them arriving in the modern day.

However, unlike another comic, I do not mind this sort of thing.  We get very enjoyable character moments and dialogue bits between everyone, a new plot thread is being developed with the villain Mystique and her acquiring a new ally, the art is just gorgeous and beautiful to look at, and we get to see the team in action a bit.  They aren’t good mind you, but still it’s nice to see them act like a team in a team book.

The comic needs to speed up a bit, but currently, it’s still doing quite well and I highly recommend checking it out.  Also, like how it connects on the final page to the one from Uncanny X-Men.

Avengers #8: Now has a very similar problem that All New X-Men has.  It’s too damn slow with its plot.  I get that the writer is playing long game, just like ANXM’s writer is doing, but come on!  Get on with it already!  This comic is barely moving and has been barely moving for the past 4 to 5 issues!

This comic, unlike ANXM, does not have saving graces to make the wait tolerable.  The dialogue is completely dull here and can be overly repetitive (not like last issue thankfully).  I get it, the machine is frickin’ broken, anything else broken?  The characters aren’t really likeable or all that interesting, especially Thor and Hyperion in this issue.  Bonus points for Captain Universe making things worse with dealing with a kid who has planet destroying powers by telling him he’s a weapon and killed everyone in the area when he’s in a very overly emotional and confused state.

But what cements my problem with this issue in particular is that the Avengers… are really bad at their jobs.  At first, they tried to talk the kid down or relax him a bit considering the situation and I like that.  Then Captain Universe opens her mouth and then Hulk goes in to try to hurt him, and it all spirals out of control from there.  What eventually stops the kid from killing everyone?  Nightmask, a brand new character, who is the only one to try to be reasonable after Hullk starts smashing.

I should also point out that after reading this issue, I get the feeling the writer has really no interested in the main Avengers at all.  He’s more interested in new characters and trying to bring in the New Universal stuff than the Avengers themselves.  You know, we are buying an Avengers comic here and I expect the writer to actually care about the main characters!  New people are fine, but if you want to write about them more than what we paid for, than go make a comic about them!

Birds of Prey #18: Let’s ignore the issue with Jim Zub originally being slated to write this comic before he was removed before he even wrote the first issue and was replaced with Christy Marx.  That has no bearing on the quality of this comic (I think), so let’s just talk straight up about what’s in it.

This is a bit hard for me to talk about since I only really follow the comic in trade format.  The reason for me trying to read it now is because of the writer change.  As such, I’m not sure if this comic is an improvement over what came before.  That said, this comic, as is, is okay.  It’s not bad, but it’s not really all that amazing.  Everything about this comic feels average, from the character writing to the action to even the art.  Nothing really stands out about it so I’m probably not coming back to this until the Talon crossover in June.  Maybe it’ll be better by then.

Captain Marvel #11: This comic is was just absolutely wonderful to me.  The writer on this comic really brings our main character to life and makes her distinguishing and likeable, along with the rest of enjoyable side characters that are a part of this world.  The dialogue is also top notch with it being so natural and human that you really start getting into what everyone is saying.  Not sure about the villains with their characterization, but everyone else is great.

The story is fine and very interesting, especially with seeing how Carol deal with her situation.  Pacing is good, having enough of everything with the dialogue and action without having an overabundance of just one aspect.  It’s just a well written comic through and through.

However, I really cannot stand the art on this comic.  The people in it are so ugly and unappealing with their small faces, oversized lips, skinny noodle arms and legs, and weird expressions.  It even works against the art because you get the feeling anything someone throws a punch, they’re contorting their bodies in unnatural ways or going to break their fragile looking limbs.  The only time the art seems to work when it showing the neighbor girl (who is absolutely adorable) and the flying scenes with the motorcycle, but otherwise is quite distracting.  It’s this fact that prevents me from being able to give this comic my pick of the week, because the writing just so good.

Constantine #1: First of all, I am aware that Jeff Lemire and Ray Fawkes took over this comic when the first writer left before the first issue came out.  However, they only took over because that guy was swamped with work, so there’s nothing shady about this comic on that part.  Also, I am aware that Hellblazer was cancelled probably because of this comic.  I did not let that cloud my judgment on this comic though and wanted to judge it as is to be completely fair to it.  It was clearly doing something different than the original series was (as such, I don’t get why they needed to cancel it since it would only put a target on this comic’s back).

Despite being completely fair to this comic, it’s nothing really spectacular.  Don’t get me wrong, I did like it, which is why I said yay when I referred to it my reaction.  I put a question mark next to it though because I’m less than excited about it.  The writing was perfectly fine and I did like the stuff about magic Constantine talked about in it.  The story seems interesting enough to me and the art was perfectly fine, if nothing really amazing enough to stand out.

The rest of the stuff was rather average in my mind with the dialogue between characters just okay, the main villain for now not really fleshed out, and everything just being there.  I did enjoy my time with the comic, but I’m not overly thrilled with it either.  I’ll follow this for a while and see where it goes.

Justice League #18: This issue just focused on the team expanding their roster and feels more like a setup issue for the next.  However, that’s just fine with me because the writer on this, like with ANXM, manages to make it a highly enjoyable experience.

Lots of great character moments, especially really funny ones with Goldrush and Element Woman, really steal the show here and demonstrate why everyone who is here as a new candidate could be wanted by the league.  The action is solid and the fill in art is also really nice looking (though must the artist really emphasis everyone’s lips?).   The story, again, did not advance much and was just setup, but the main focus of the issue was the characters and it really shined through here.

Justice League of America #2: This comic was even better than Justice League for me.  It had the great characters moments and humor as the other did, but it also managed to move the plot further along while also setting up a bunch of elements and mysteries for the future issues to come.  The stuff at the beginning with the Scarecrow was really damn good.

Toss in some great art (David Finch was a lot better here than with Batman: The Dark Knight), an exciting cliffhanger, and a wonderful backup story with the Martian Manhunter, and you got a near perfect second issue in my book.  My only complaint is that Catwoman needs to zip up her jacket.  Seriously, why does she do that in this book and not in her own book?  Still, my pick of the week and I hope you guys check it out as well.

New Avengers #4: Let’s get straight to the point.  This comic is better than Avengers for the simple fact that the writer actually seems to care about characters and focuses on them.  Plus, this feels like a team book with everyone working together and you seeing why everyone is important or needed for this team.  There’s also a good turn around for our heroes at the end of the issue, deciding to put their world destroying plans on hold to fight a bigger threat.

That being said, this comic is BORING.  This is an extremely dialogue heavy book and that normally doesn't bother me.  I read dialogue heavy books like Saucer Country and The Unwritten and I get very into them.  This is not like those books because the dialogue is dull and lifeless.  It’s like being at a boardroom meeting with Ben Stein doing all the talking as he explains the important things going on.  This stuff is all key and very important, but you just end up wanting to take a nap as the character drones on and on.

There’s no action until the very end, the art is rather bland with its color schemes, and until the end, nothing really happens.  This is such a damn boring comic that I barely focus on it.  I’ll keep going with it in hopes of it returning to the enjoyable level presented back in the first issue, but man is this comic testing my patience.

1 comment:

  1. Cheers for a great set of reviews, I like how you try so hard not to prejudge a book. And as I quickly hopped off the Hickman Avengersz(zzz) books, it's interesting to hear how they're going.

    I expected to like the JLA Martian Manhunter strip more than I did, but found it rather tiresome; it was quickly obvious what was going on, so seeing it spelled out over several pages became a bit dull. The script was competent, and art lovely, but i buy team books for character interaction, not solo stuff). I'd like the League books to feature full-length stories or go to $2.99 - let Shazam and the like go into an anthology.