Avenger Academy #20 - I cringed when i saw the Fear Itself banner. How can this still be going on? But it's really an aftermath issue, and quite good. Interesting character developments for Veil, although you know it's a dumb move because she hasn't made a good choice yet in this series. The Molecule Man's son is not going to be a good influence on her. I'm not 100% sold on the new status quo; what i liked about this book over Avengers: The Initiative was its focus on a smaller cast, which gave more room for character development. But on the other hand i liked how that book pretty much let Gage write any minor Marvel character he wanted and it was usually good, so we'll see how it goes.
New Mutants #32 - Ugh, Fear Itself never dies. Listen, this book had some good scenes for Dani and her relationship with Hela (and the crow-eating scene was great), but this really isn't a great setting for the rest of the New Mutants, which means they get to stand around the whole time commenting on how useless they are until Hela turns them into a bunch of Asgardian warriors. Oh, and i'm sure learning about X-Man's back story is enough to defeat anyone.
Annihilation: Earthfall #2 - OK, so i was wrong about the Magus not being in this, and Abnett & Lanning give it a really cool twist that kinda saved this issue. Because the majority of was a big 1970s style Misunderstanding Fight, except in the 70s it would be like 3 pages and this was the entire issue (of a four issue mini!)(even after the real bad guys show up!). And really, all Quasar had to do was fly down and say, "Cap, trust me! We're the good guys here and we could use your help!". In addition to Quasar you've got Beta Ray Bill, who the Avengers know as a good guy, and Gladiator, who Wolverine should trust at this point (he even says so in this issue). So i was pretty disappointed by that, especially since i can't say the fight had any really cool scenes (except, maybe, Wolverine stabbing right through Gladiator's shoulder, but i have mixed feelings about that). The fight not being interesting is probably a problem with the artwork. Which, i'm sorry, is atrocious. Everyone is hideous and distorted, and the story telling is weak. I can't tell from panel to panel what's going on in that fight. Seriously, what's happening here? (Sorry for the quick scan).
And we have to do something about the dialogue, as well. No way Beta Ray Bill uses phrasing like, "That not letting them kill anyone thing?". And Ronan should speak in stilted high-villain talk, etc. Instead everyone sounds the same. I do like Ikon, and Spidey was funny ("Is she your space girlfriend?").
Look, i criticize because i love. (And because all nerds ever do is gripe, i know). Presumably, bringing this book to Earth was about making it possible to have the Avengers guest-star in order to bring in more readers to a series that's been getting critical acclaim but not a lot of readers. I support that! But this issue is not putting your best foot forward in that regard. But as i said, the ending was bizarro enough that i'm looking forward to next issue.
I guess i'll comment on the Rocket/Groot/Mojo story too - there's no way i was going to like this, but am i wrong in thinking that this is just about as generic a Mojo story as you can get? Two issues in, and we're at the point where the characters are realizing that they're trapped in one of his TV shows and starting to fight their way out. I think the semi-recent X-Babies series, of all things, gave that basic plot a better twist (at least we can be relatively sure that no Star characters will show up here). The good news is that Rocket and Groot are such enjoyable characters that they have their moments despite the plot.
Avengers Solo #1 - Not the biggest Hawkeye fan, but i'm buying this on the strength of Jen Van Meter. And the writing was good - the mystery Hawkeye is investigating seems complex and unusual enough, and i liked the dialogue. And, of course, i liked seeing Millie the Model and Paste Pot Pete. But i have to say, if you're going to use dark colors for atmosphere, it might make sense to not have two guys in generic armored suits in the same scene.
As for the Avengers Academy back-up, if the goal is to promote their great ongoing series, why put it in a Hawkeye book, which i don't think will be selling much better than Academy, and why not use the book's actual, great, creative team? And if it's not to promote their book... why have a back-up feature about characters who have their own series? The story was fine, but it wasn't anything special, so i just don't get it.
Captain America & Bucky #623 - Wow, really? The Holocaust? I mean, it's always there in the background of any WWII era retcon book (sure maybe Cap by himself couldn't have stopped it, but add in the Sub-Mariner, two Human Torches, and the rest of the Invaders and you have to wonder). You could always say that the heroes just didn't know about it. Until now (as far as i know, this is the first time we've seen evidence that the Golden Age heroes knew about it, but i wouldn't be surprised if someone could point something else out. even so, there's no reason to keep bringing it up.). And then, after showing it, there's just some quick hand-waving and then they basically say one thing led to another and we just never got around to going back and stopping one of the greatest evils ever perpetuated. Oh well! Some Winter Soldier stories next issue! On a much more geeky note (and thanks, Brubaker and Andreyko for making me mix my little continuity concerns with the goddamn Holocaust), i'm getting a little annoyed by the narration device in this series. It's been several issues of narration boxes with Bucky talking to someone about his past. It's the chattiest i've ever seen him (and i've seen him written by Roy Thomas!). What is he, on a psychiatrist's couch, just rambling through old memories? When do we find out who he's talking to? Yes, i'm asking because i'll eventually have to add these books to my timeline project, but it's also just dragging on as a storytelling device.
So basically, i'm cranky this week!
By fnord12 | November 4, 2011, 9:02 AM | Comics
NM: so after i finished reading this, i said to fnord, "thank god this crossover's done. they can get back to having their own story." at which time, he told me they were getting sucked into the next crossover, whatever the hell it is. wtf? what is the point of them having their own book if you never let them have their own stories? gah!
Annihilation: i agree with everything you said regarding the Misunderstanding Fight. and the art that was awful at telling a story or just bizarre as shown in that panel where Ronan suddenly got shrunk.
AS: i was confused by the 2 armored guys at first, but quickly figured it out and i still had no clue what the hell was going on. the art is not good at conveying ideas. also, i felt that some of the dialogue was ambiguous. when Hawkeye tells bad armored suit guy "hey, i was just looking you up this morning", did he mean it literally or was he saying it in a sarcastic way when he actually had actively looked him up? i suppose we have to assume the former since if it was the latter, it would raise the question of "why was he looking him up".
second, Hawkeye tells good armored suit guy that this is all Hawkeye's business cause good armored suit guy left a note with his name on the body. a) there was no name, but that's the artist's fault and we've already established that they aren't any good at storytelling. b) i'm not sure how Hawkeye knew it was the good guy and not the bad guy who left the note since it also wasn't signed. "Avenge This!" could be a taunt or instructions. taunt=message from bad guy. instructions=message from good guy. and then i have to ask, if it was left by the good armored suit guy, what took him so long to engage in the fight? the bad guy attacked Hawkeye right after he left the crime scene which means bad armored guy was waiting around after he finished his assassination job. good armored guy was there to leave a note but somehow didn't catch the armored killer hanging around outside? instead of leaving notes, mebbe he should be rushing out to see if he can catch the killer.
now, my last complaint is not a point of confusion. it's a "how bad could this organization be if the best they could do was hire paste pot pete to go after them?" i mean, i think that math teacher chick plus a couple of friends could prolly just tackle him and bloody his nose a bit and that would be the end of it. if you want me to believe a scary secret organization is after people and making their friends disappear, don't make paste pot pete the assassin. cereally.