X-POSITION: Phoenix, Upstarts & More Tear Up Bowers & Sims' "X-Men '92"
I mentioned a couple weeks ago, before I felt compelled to go on a massive rant, that I was working on a Black Widow “Required Reading” post…and as promised here we are!
I’ve been reading a bunch of Black Widow stuff in preparation for this, along with the material that I’ve already read and so these are the books that rose to the top for me. I’m sure I’ve missed some things (and I’m sure you’ll tell me) but I’ll just let you know right now I did NOT miss Black Widow: Deadly Origins, Black Widow & The Marvel Girls, and the current Black Widow Strikes mini-series, all of which I found to be quite terrible. Feel free to disagree in the comments, but please don’t assume I didn’t consider them. I did consider them and I found them disturbingly lacking. If you want something really great that Natasha is guest starring in that’s more current than the list below, I’d recommend the very good Winter Soldier ongoing by Ed Brubaker. It’s a great book with a really well written (and drawn) Natasha.
I read in the Marvel Solicits for August that apparently “Hawkeye is the breakout star of The Avengers” which I guess means he gets a shot at an ongoing title while Black Widow is relegated to that truly abysmal mini-series that’s almost over now. So Hawkeye gets Matt Fraction and the brilliant David Aja and Black Widow still gets the equivalent of bupkis. Now, I don’t know what movie the people responsible for these things saw but I have no idea how anyone would walk away with “Hawkeyes as breakout star” from the movie I saw. I like Renner very much as an actor and I have no problems with Hawkeye as a character, but there is just no damn way he outshined Natasha/Scarlett Johansson.
This is the fourth time this book has been mentioned on this blog in less than a month. Oh, the publicity!
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I got The Return Of The Dapper Men in late November at a time when my life was exploding in chaos and commitments…but I opened it anyway (how could I resist?). The originality and dreamlike beauty of the pages instantly assaulted me and I turned page after page, reading bits here and there and being stunned into silence by such a visually rich and lyrical book sitting in front of me so unexpectedly.
With regret I put it away, knowing I didn’t have time to give it the attention it deserved. Some six weeks later I sat down to read it again, but had thought about it numerous times – while working late, while writing other articles, while traveling across country, and while settling down to dream – something about it had rooted in my mind. Suffice to say that by the time I actually sat down to read it, it had a lot to live up to. I’m happy to report that it easily lived up to the expectations.
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