X-Factor #231 - I was pleasantly surprised by last issue. But after min read it, we had an, erm, disagreement on whether or not the issue was new reader friendly. Since i'm familiar with all the characters and i had a vague idea of what's going on in the series thanks to Paul O'Brien's reviews, i didn't have any problems, but min didn't know who anyone was and felt like she was dropped into the middle of a group of random people's boring conversation. Considering it had a Regenesis banner and was heavily promoted, i certainly agree that one should expect the issue to be new reader friendly. And i'll also agree that an all talk issue is not a great way to greet new readers. And that there was nothing in the story itself that introduced any of the characters or would make anyone care who they were or what they were talking about. Where we disagreed was the degree to which one should be expected to read the recap page in order to jump into a new series. Whatever one thinks of that, it should be very clear that this issue's recap page was absolutely useless. It had a jokey gag for the characters section and half of the actual recap was used to describe something in Peter David's personal life (this was true of the last issue as well, but i think at least the remaining content was helpful). The personal journal thing, and the fact that these issues are dropping readers into the series with no context, does a lot to reinforce my impression that this book is more like Peter David's Pension Fund than an actual book that Marvel cares about. Basically it's a book for Peter David to write that Marvel is happy to publish as long as his small but loyal fanbase continues to support him (i felt the same about Tom DeFalco's Spider-Girl). New readers aren't really expected. Compound all that with the fact that this issue read like a bad What If? (What if Scarlet Witch said "no more humans" instead of "no more mutants"? Sentinels would be Iron Mans and Captain America would be a Deathlok who murders unarmed secretaries!) and there wasn't even the slightest attempt to explain who Tryp is, and i really didn't enjoy this issue. And the puns! "Been a while"... "You don't have any more whiles"... "Maybe not, but I still have some wiles"? Who talks like that? Not good.
Avengers Academy #24-25 - There was some trouble getting issue #24, so thanks to Bob for pulling through. I really like Gage's ability to use disparate characters and concepts to build a really nice story. Since i'm currently sensitive to the new reader problem, i wish we could get some actual footnotes, but i think Gage is much better at introducing all these characters (he did a great job making me interested in the Sentinel-boy character, for example, and i may have to pick up his back issues). There was an art error in the Wraith War flashback, showing Storm in the wrong costume, but at least there was a flasback. I wasn't really excited by the "evil future self" storyline but Gage did a great job of making me care.
Hulk #48 - Good story. I wish the art was a little better at depicting the fight scenes. The panels where the Hulk used Black Fog to cut off the jaw of the giant fish monster should have looked really cool but instead it had me scratching my head. That aside, this has been a really good book. I'd like to see something "new" so it was somewhat disappointing to see all the bad guys get away to fight again another day, but no complaints.
Villains For Hire #3 - Meh.
Winter Soldier #1 - So i'm reading it and saying, "Yeah, this is good, but do i really need more stories about Bucky and the Black Widow doing spy stuff and fighting terrorists?". And then they hit me with Super Apes vs. Dr. Doom. So... yeeeeeeaaaah!
By fnord12 | February 10, 2012, 3:45 PM | Comics
X-Factor: That while pun was particularly bad because it only makes sense if you read it, but not if only as dialogue.
The personal info bit is an ongoing bit.
Winter Soldier: I know! Right? (not sure how to accurately punctuate my excitement here).
XF: so, fnord12 and i disagreed on this issue, as well. i actually thought this story was a much better jumping on point than the previous issue. ok, so it's basically a what if, but that makes it a self-contained story which makes it way more accessible to those not as familiar with the Marvel entourage of characters AND it was mostly action-oriented which i prefer. can't stand a group of people standing around chatting when they should be kicking ass.
but Peter David's lame puns need to go. they just keep getting worse, if that's possible.
AA: i want less evil future self and more X-23 being X-23 - an emotionally dysfunctional killing machine - because it makes me laugh.
Hulk: why is everyone a freaking Hulk? goddamn Loeb. *shakes fist*
VfH: again? the Puppet Master again?? i would have preferred if she really had decided to hire bad guys instead and was of sound mind and not reeling from psychological fallout from that thing that happened to her that i refuse to talk about. bring back afro-Misty with the chunk missing out of her hair. who wrote that? that was a good book.
WS: if you want to complain about poorly drawn fight scenes, there is no better example of that in this group than Winter Soldier. i defy any of you to accurately describe what each panel is depicting. it's just terrible. am i setting the bar too high? should i be happy that everyone had faces? is it asking to much to know what the hell is actually going on from panel to panel? it's sad, too, because Guice clearly knows how to draw. People were the right proportion. Everybody had feet. that's what makes it that much more irritating than if it were a shit artist.
the complete lack of clarity in the art pretty much made me not care what was going on in the story. the gun-toting ape didn't even save this book for me.
but, hey! Red Ghost! i haven't seen him since FF#13. how'd he survive his apes turning on him?