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CSBG Archive

Single Issue Review Roundup

A collection of reviews culled from weeks worth of comic reading. It still covers less titles than Burgas usually does.

Adventure Comics #0- Ha! I totally guessed your plot twist, 51 year old story written for children! As far as the Johns written back up that serves as a trailer for the upcoming relaunch goes; it was there. I have no idea how any of this stuff fits together (including the return of a character I used to like when I was 12 from legal limbo) or why I should buy the new series. But hey, the 51 year old kid’s story was fun, so that was .99 was well spent!

Age of the Sentry #5- I haven’t read every issue of Parker and Tobin’s Silver Age-pastiche Sentry mini, but what I have has been as good as I’ve come to expect from these two. The final (hilarious) scene with the FF looks to tie things in with the character’s status quo. I’m not holding that against them, though. (Other than this, nothing since Bendis brought him in to New Avengers has convinced me he should have been used since the last issue of his first mini-series.)

Agents of Atlas #1- This was great. It not only upholds the standard set by the original mini-series, but by getting laughs out of scenes with Norman Osborn, the Sentry, and post-Alias Man Mountain Marko, I think Parker and his collaborators have earned themselves an Eisner. Not in any specific category. They should just get one for that achievement. Well, that and “Best Recap Page.” Is that a category yet? Even the back up is awesome, as they combine the team’s hinted at run in the ’50s with a guest appearance by black ops era-Wolverine (and Castro and Che). I’ll be following this one.

Amazing Spider-Man 585-586- I haven’t read all of Menace’s appearances, so there wasn’t any real payoff for the reveal there. I was initially glad that they didn’t bring Harry back just to be a poor man’s Hobgoblin. They certainly found a way to throw that good will away with the climax of the latest issue. Also, Harry slaps his girlfriend, so that’s problematic too. Does the fact that she no sells it and hits him harder make it okay? I really need to brush up on my feminism.

It is nice that the fill in artist for Romita Jr. on the latest issue is Barry Kitson. I can deal with that, despite grabbing the comic without looking at the credits and not being prepared. I’m still on board for BND, but 586 was pretty much a misfire for me.

Batman #686- Neil Gaiman does his version of “The Many Deaths Of Batman”, with callbacks that span from the Golden Age to Frank Miller’s great Internet meme of ’05. Andy Kubert does the best artwork of his career. Yeah, this is pretty great so far.

Incognito #2- A stronger issue than the first. The world and supporting cast are fleshed out a bit. Also, I didn’t see that development at the end coming. It’s interesting that this issue read a little less like a regular issue of Criminal (not that a “regular” issue of Criminal is a bad thing at all), but we appear to be headed to territory from the first two arcs of that book. It’s nice to have this in place of Criminal, even if I don’t like it as much. I am interested in where it’s going. Probably helps that I haven’t read Wanted yet (did catch the movie; is the Loom Of Fate from the source material? Or anything else?).

London Horror Comic #1-2- These are review copies, sent from the writer/publisher John-Paul Kamath. It’s a horror anthology with an interesting twist; all the stories are by the same creative team. Kamath writes, Lee Ferguson and Marc Deering provide the pencils and inks, and Matty Ryan and Hi-Fi the letters, design, and coloring.

The stories run the gamut from humorous to disturbing while still being the genre. The ones played for laughs (a superhero story that’s basically “What if the Beautiful People were in the JLA”, and my favorite of the bunch, when a vampire runs in to a classmate from high school) work the best for me.

Some of the other stories could fit in other anthologies, from the modern Tales From the Crypt to 2000 AD (especially the one about a jaded comic book writer who suffers a fate worse than work for hire), and show a nice variety of tone. Nothing here’s deathly serious, and you can’t accuse this of being gore/torture porn.

Other than a couple of wordless stories that don’t work for me at all, I find the package to generally be solid. I don’t read a lot of horror comics, despite enjoying the genre in other media, so I’m not sure how this stacks up to franchises like 30 Days of Night or anything in the zombie glut. Between the production value and diversity in these two issues, I’d say it’s worth a look for fans of the genre, even if the title doesn’t seem accurate. Do any of the stories take place in London?

Secret Warriors #1- That scene between Nick Fury and Obama in the White House? That was rad. The Fury segments are the spiritual successor to Steranko’s Fury that I’ve been wanting to read forever. That it comes from Jonathan (the Nightly News) Hickman is just gravy. I mean, if a fresh new voice is going to sell out, I’m glad that he’s making a comic I want to read. And hey, he defined the Avengers Latch Key Kid Squad slightly, giving them 1,000,000x more characterization than Bendis did in Secret Invasion (I know he did tie-in issues featuring them in one of the Avengers books, I just didn’t want to buy them).

Stefano Caselli does a good job with the art, although this would probably be my favorite comic ever if Hickman had drawn it, too. The coloring by Daniele Rudoni sets it apart from his work on Avengers: Intiative. He does have some work in the back matter that I swear I’ll get around to reading at some point.

Uncanny X-Men Annual #2- Or, as I like to call it “The Secret History of Namor and Emma Frost’s Bootycall Adventures That Thankfully Explain Emma’s Rationale For Joining Norman’s Little Club For People Who Don’t Want To Read A Story Where A Paunchy, Burnt Out Matthew McConaughey Oggles Loki’s Boobs.”

That covers the extent of my thoughts on it. Well, that and Daniel Acuna’s art was snazzy. Really liked his work on the scenes in the Hellfire Club. Sort of reminded me of a slicker Kyle Baker.

11 Comments

Age of the Sentry has been great. I also think he should have never been used after the original mini, although this series could still exist even if that was the case. Is it for sure a mini series? It doesn’t state on the cover or anything that it’s a limited series.

Agents of Atlas rocked, too.

I didn’t like how tied into Dark Reign Agents of Atlas was.

While I get that that is the best for the book’s financial futures, it sure hurts the offbeat, almost whimsical nature of the original series by tying it directly into “Major Marvel Event of the Day.”

I’ll say it: Agents of Atlas looks gimmicky to me.

I’m hoping that Atlas breaks away from the Dark Reign fairly quickly and goes off and does its own thing. (Rather like the not-cancelled-Captain-Britain).

That said, I do have a question for continuity buffs, Jimmy Woo died in the SHIELD Deltite Affair…when did he come back?

I wasn’t all that wow-ed by Agents of Atlas relative to the mini, but weirdly enough, I thought the best part was how well and rounded Parker wrote Osborn. Osborn as a “united, not a divider” was just hilarious.

“I mean, if a fresh new voice is going to sell out, I’m glad that he’s making a comic I want to read.”

I enjoyed your reviews (you should do more of them) except for that part. I’ll never understand why (In comic books, music or cinema) if a guy moves up in the world and starts getting a bigger paycheck, then he’s labelled a sell-out.

If his work continues being good, then I just have to be happy for him. And I’m excited for his upcoming Fantastic Four run.

Hickman’s hardly sold out his artistic vision here. Secret Warriors #1 was full of his trademark graphs, charts, and diagrams. And straight prose sections. If anything, Marvel should be commended for being so accommodating.

Yeah, Atlas lost me with the new first issue. No thanks, it’s not fun anymore.

“I’ll never understand why (In comic books, music or cinema) if a guy moves up in the world and starts getting a bigger paycheck, then he’s labelled a sell-out.”

Really? It’s pretty straightforward, actually. When an artist works for a corporation, there will invariably be some element of compromise to the work, for the purpose of increasing profits. That’s selling out.

But if you’ll never understand that, maybe this post was in vain.

Is Brad using “sell-out” pejoratively? I’m disappointed that Hickman probably won’t be doing more of his own work to go play in Marvel’s sand box, too, but I won’t begrudge the dude a paycheck. It sucks that writing for the Big Two is the only way to make a living in this business, but that’s the way it is. Yes, Hickman is “selling out,” but I don’t know if Brad is blaming him. I’m certainly not.

@ Apodaca:

If you take that compromise part as a given, then yes, I understand what you are saying and I totally agree.

I just don’t think that making compromises are inevitable when working for corporations. Yes, his work in Fantastic Four and Secret Warriors will be more reader- friendly, but it will still be his comics, written and planned by him. Where’s the compromise in that?

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