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« Comics: February 2012 | Main | Comics: April 2012 »

Comics

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

X-Factor #233 - So... ok. This was good. Mostly talky, which seems to be David's strong point, but the anti-mutant militia scenes were good too. I didn't love the art; the splash with Polaris in the middle of the book looked especially weird somehow. But overall, i'm liking this a lot better now that we're out of the alternate dimensions (for now).

New Mutants #39 - Being much less reserved here: this was great. I love the art, especially Warlock. I love an issue written from Warlock's perspective; it may have taken the idea just as far as it could possibly go (it felt a little thin at times) but it was a nice one-issue thing. The weird swampy Ani-mator and the gross-out body merging makes for a
different sort of plot as well, but it's really the character interactions (and the continuity mining!) that make this book great.

Thunderbolts #171 - It's odd how both here with Songbird and in X-Factor with Siren I learned that both "sonic scream" characters also apparently have the ability to cast Charm Person. I actually think it'd be better if they both had unique powers that didn't cross over into Venus of Agents of Atlas territory, with Siren's powers being a direct audio assault, Songbird being trippy hallucinogenic sound-to-light stuff, and Venus being the seductress. But i guess in Siren's case, at least, well, her name is Siren and it was also a way to differentiate her from her father. I dunno. Feels like a bit of power creep to me. Anyway, i guess that's not directly relevant to either issue; i'm only commenting because just learned about it. On to the issue itself. Dr. Dorcas doing mad scientist stuff is cool, and i guess it's more power creep for Songbird. I always liked the idea that she was using Klaw's technology, but it's nice to make her self-sufficient. I imagine there will be complaints that her capture situation was somewhat exploitative, but i think it was handled well and she came out of it looking strong (the mollusk-man licking her feet might have been a bit much, but it was also worthwhile from a creepy gross-out perspective). Surprised to have a Songbird solo story but it's a break from the evil Thunderbolts' Cross-Time Caper.


By fnord12 | March 28, 2012, 9:43 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link



I'll take twelve issues of Kirby over eight issues of any artist today

Interview with Marvel talent scout C.B. Cebulski. Interesting problems regarding the state of the industry:

CEBULSKI The way that we look at it now is that the production cycle of comics has changed. It used to be Romita, Kirby, Ditko, all those original guys. Comics came out monthly. They were fast enough. It was a job for them. It wasn't really art. They were getting a paycheck.

MINTZ
And they had wives helping them.

CEBULSKI
Yes. And they would put out monthly books. It was on the newsstand. Now what's changed is, what sells a comic is not just the character, but it's the writer and the artist. The retailers are getting the Previews, which is three months in advance. They're able to place their orders on who wrote it, who drew it, what the storyline is. And because of that, because of the Image guys, basically, in the 90s, there's such a focus on the art and the artist, that they start taking more time with their art. So there's only a dozen guys, six guys from Marvel that I know of, that can do a monthly book. Everyone else, it takes them six to eight weeks to draw one comic book.



By fnord12 | March 27, 2012, 10:13 AM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link



Wonder Woman Converse

Ooh!


By min | March 26, 2012, 12:05 PM | Comics | Comments (0)| Link



SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Avengers #24 - Well, i think everyone should be happy with this issue. First, everyone's hated ninjas are treated like a joke by everyone involved. Second, AIM and Osborn's ability to mimic the Avengers' powers is tied into AIM's super-adaptoid project, which gives it some old school cred. Third, for those of us whose bad memories had us wondering if evil Ms. Marvel and Madame Hydra were the same person, at least we see in this issue that they are two separate people (standing behind Osborn in the flashback with Dr. Washington) (although i still don't remember who the other woman is supposed to be). And if all of that doesn't do it for you, at least this issue wraps up the Osborn storyline.

Captain America #9 - I love Davis' scrawny Steve Rogers. He looks hilarious. Beyond that, i don't feel like this was a particularly great use of Machinesmith but it was nice seeing Sharon Carter on a solo mission.

Avengers Assemble #1 - This felt kind of like a preview issue with not even a fully established plot, but i like Bagley drawing the Avengers, and i like that the Hulk will be a part of this series. It doesn't bother me that the only logic behind this particular line-up is that these are the characters in the upcoming movie. It bothers me a little bit that Iron Man and Thor are acting like they've never seen a Taurus of the Zodiac before, but i'm not a big fan of the Zodiac, so maybe they aren't either and they've blocked their past encounters from their memories. Also, isn't it odd that there's a "Hawkeye costume designed by Bryan Hitch" credit on the title page? I mean, if you're going to start acknowledging individual creator's contributions to the Marvel properties, this rather generic costume seems like an odd place to start. I hope this trend continues and it eventually gets to Millie the Model proportions, where the Hulk walks on panel and there's a little narration box saying "Hulk's pants designed by Jack Kirby, NY" (e.g.).


By fnord12 | March 18, 2012, 10:57 PM | Comics | Comments (0)| Link



SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

OMAC #7 - I haven't been reviewing this on the grounds that Wanyas has been deluging me with DC comics, but i just wanted to say i'm glad Giffen's back on art. P.S. i pretended the animal men were Kirby's New Men.

Winter Soldier #3 - I wish the art wasn't a big pile of mess, but i liked the reprogrammed Doombot and i appreciated the real Doom making short work of Bucky. Next issue promises "Gorilla madness!" so we'll see how that goes.

Villains For Hire #4 - Abnett & Lanning tried to trick me into liking Paladin by disguising him as Scourge, but i wasn't falling for it. This was nicely wrapped up, but the overall concept was a bit disappointing. When i read a book called Villains For Hire, i don't want it to really be Heroes Pretending To Be Villains Hiring Other Villains. But, again, it was well written and i hope Abnett & Lanning wind up on another book.

Avengers: The Children's Crusade #9 - All right, so all my whining about the Vision seems to have been premature. I think. "So we'll ask Tony Stark to build us a new Vision - with the old Vision's memories. The young old Vision. Our old Vision." That twisted my head around a little bit, but in the end it seems they decided not to do that, so Young Vision was destroyed before the Vision was rebuilt in Bendis' Avengers, and they have nothing to do with each other. Thank you. Beyond that, it seems confirmed that the Scarlet Witch was possessed by an outside force and controlled by Dr. Doom (i'm not clear what his motive was) when she wiped out all mutants, even if Cyclops (who seems out of character even for how he's being written nowadays) doesn't accept it. And for when all this takes place, it's after Steve Rogers is back in the Cap costume but before Spider Island, the return of the Human Torch, and some Sentinel attack in X-men. Seems workable. As a "return Scarlet Witch to status quo" vehicle, this was ok, but it really wasn't a great story, honestly.

Avengers Academy #27 - This, on the other hand, was great. Gage has a good handle on the Runaways, and he throws in Devil Dinosaur as well. What more can you ask for? Well, i guess i didn't love the new artist but that's the new Marvel budget for you, apparently.

Hulk #49 - This was an intriguing issue and a good set-up for future stories with the Eternals either here or elsewhere. And if the Eternals want to reduce the number of Hulks running around, i'm in complete support of that, as long as when they're done with the purge they leave Parker on a book.


By fnord12 | March 14, 2012, 7:01 PM | Comics | Comments (5)| Link



ROM: A confession

I've been perpetuating an error over on my Timeline project. It was an innocent mistake at first, but i still do it even though i now know it's wrong, and i'm not sure i'm going to fix it.

The error: writing the name of Rom, Spaceknight, in all caps. ROM.

I've known that his name was based on an acronym. Fun fact: "The toy was originally called COBOL (after the programming language), which was later changed to "Rom" (after ROM, read-only memory) by Parker Brothers executives". And I always capitalize my acronyms on that site. SHIELD. MODOK. FAUST (Fully Automated Unit of Structural Technology, clearly).

So, ROM.

I guess i should have realized it was kind of odd that his name, in-story, stood for "read-only memory". All the other Spaceknights had names that were descriptive of their powers, like Starshine and Firefall and Terminator (if Marvel ever wants to bring back ROM Rom despite the copyright issues, they should alter his armor slightly and call him Neutralizer).

But since comic books are always lettered in all caps, i never saw anything to challenge my assumption. Until somewhere along the way, i started to get a sneaking suspicion that it was wrong. Then i started getting confirmation. First on other websites. Then some comments on the letters page, which is not in all caps. Willfully ignored it for a while, but now i have to face facts. And i'm not sure i trust MovableType's Search & Replace function enough for a delicate operation like this. So i'm probably going to leave it as-is for a while, and continue to do it for consistency. Until it bugs me enough to change it.

Speaking of ROM Rom, can you believe that in all the years my friends have known me, they've never gotten me the original action figure? What the hell? It's only a $240 starting bid.


By fnord12 | March 12, 2012, 5:36 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link



No option for whoopie cushions and X-ray glasses?

It's rare that you see Spider-Man at his day job: Marketing Analyst for Marvel Comics. But here he is swinging around town with his briefcase and, instead of doing the hard work of actually doing some demographics analysis, soliciting direct feedback from readers.

I would totally play Faboom The New Computer Game, eat Crunchy Cookies, and watch Exciting Movie of the Year.

I don't think he lasted long at the job considering his rather expensive method of arriving at the office.

My scan of this ad comes from a book i bought used. The accompanying form was partially filled out, but i guess never actually clipped and sent in.

Sometimes i think i'm the only person on the internet who remembers those vacuum cleaner ads.

By fnord12 | March 11, 2012, 2:25 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link



Anne Frank in Mormon Heaven

Clearly everyone reads through all the Webcomics we have in our little drop-down on the side nav so this isn't necessary, but min thought i should link to this one specifically.

If you don't know why this is funny, see here.


By fnord12 | March 9, 2012, 2:59 PM | Comics & Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Avengers by the numbers

Since all i got this week was Avengers #23 and New Avengers #22, instead of a regular SuperMegaSpeed Review, it's a good opportunity to settle this "Are Bendis' Avengers books any good?" question. We'll do it mathematically.

Here are the raw numbers:

Avengers #23 starts off with a drag-racing tribute to Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill! Or maybe Judas Priest's video for Heading Out To The Highway.+2
Hammer/Hydra has technology to re-create the Avengers' super-powers, which is a genie that you can't put back in the bottle.-3
AIM's Beekeeper costumes are drawn in a way that makes them look gigantic and ridiculous.+1
Storm was added to the Avengers only to immediately get captured and do absolutely nothing.-1
The nuanced respect that AIM scientist Dr. Washington has for Tony Stark.+1
Bendis makes his pet character Quake the one who rescues the Avengers.-1
Vision is returned to the Avengers only to do absolutely nothing.-1
I still don't understand how there are now two separate Visions running around and everyone knows that this one is the revived original instead of Young Vision.-1
The Red Hulk threatens to eat Dr. Washington.+4
Ninja cliffhanger.-1
Pretty good art by Daniel Acuna.+1
Nice art by Mike Deodato.+2
Dark Avengers redux.-2
I can't remember if Madame Hydra is playing the role of the evil Ms. Marvel or if it's someone else. Or if there's both a Madame Hydra and a Viper on the team. If it is the same woman, how did she get super-powers and how does she change her hair from black to green from scene to scene? And if it's not her, who the hell is it?-2
Luke Cage's "regression" to "angry black guy", which I think is totally justified based on the fact the Osborn is deliberately pushing his trigger buttons.0
The Skaar switcharoo.+2
Bendis writes snappy, believable dialogue that is funny and fun to read.+2
Bendis writes dialogue that is interchangeable, with every character having the same voice so it doesn't matter who says what.-2

So there you have it. Add it all up and the two books squeak by with a positive 1 rating. You'd have to go back as far as Kurt Busiek's run to find a similar high score, and an even longer slog to anything decent prior to that.

The numbers don't lie, folks. Bendis' Avengers are good.


By fnord12 | March 6, 2012, 10:05 PM | Comics | Comments (4)| Link



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