Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Marvel Year (4/14/2009)

I took a bit of a break from reading Marvel Digital Comics. No reason, really, I am just lazy about maintaining 'features' I start.

Here is what i have read recently, as well as a comment here and there on the service itself, etc.

X-Force #1-4 - Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost(w), Clayton Crain(a) - I really don't like the art in this comic. It just isn't something that works for me. I think the art is kind of cool for a cover or a poster, perhaps, and am not suggesting that the art is bad, just that it is not a style that works for me with this comic. The four issues I read, while not perfect, were WAY better than I thought they would be. I really enjoyed this book, and especially like the team dynamic and the character portrayal we get in it. Wolverine being protective of his teammates with regard to their relative humanity and innocence compared to his. It was really good in that regard. The plot is pretty cool as well. There are a lot of surprising developments in it. I look forward to reading more.

Cable & Deadpool #1 - 7 - Fabian Nicieza & Mark Brooks(#1,2), Patrick Zircher (#3-7) Covers mostly by Rob Liefeld. - I liked this more than I thought I would. I have made no secret of the fact that I just have no love for a certain stable of characters in the Marvel Universe. In fact I plan to say that again in a minute. Neither Cable nor Deadpool have ever done anything for me until recently. I liked Deadpool in the Hulk vs Wolverine animated feature that was released recently. That made me want to read more with him in it. At least Deadpool is sort of funny. Cable is one of those very 90's type creations that seems to have every power, and a design that seems to include everything any 10 year old might consider 'bitchin' Glowy eye, metal arm, big guns, tk, telepathy, teleportation(maybe) just lots of powers and lots of stuff that doesn't seem to go along with anything. Granted, he doesn't have Blood or Dead or Death... in his name, but he does have a name (maybe 8 names) that doesn't seem related to anything either. This was a fairly fun, not entirely mindless run of issues. The story is about a church that wants to use a virus to turn everyone blue... yeah... but regardless, there is something unabashedly comic book about that, and there is lots of action and banter and interesting twists and turns, and a sort of buddy dynamic, if your idea of buddy dynamics is trying to shoot each other constantly. It mostly works, and I enjoyed it and will read more to see if it develops.

X-Calibre #3-4 - I read the first two, and posted about them in a previous post . These next two were OK, and while again, it wasn't terrible, and I imagine people that dig the setting probably liked this a lot. After reading this, and thinking about it a lot, I really just can't love Age of Apocalypse, Apocalypse, or anything even related to Apocalypse. It turns me off and shuts me down. It all looks the same to me, generally has a self-indulgent feel to it, and is all about edginess and enormous hair. The edginess isn't real edginess, either... It's generally more of that ten year old boy stuff I mentioned earlier.
X-Men Omega #1 - I read this because X-Calibre #4 told me to read this for the conclusion. I am not saying it is impossible to write really good stories that make these characters compelling, I'm just saying it must be really difficult with how little of this stuff actually pulls it off.

Astonishing Tales: One Shots (SpiderWoman) - I thought I covered this previously, but who knows. Jonathon Greene, Fiona Staples - I liked this a LOT. It's a nice little story about Jessica Drew on the job in LA, and it reads well. It moves quickly, and most importantly!!! the art is BRILLIANT. For the record, I thought the art was brilliant before I saw the artist's profile picture. She is absolutely stunning, but while there are lots of pretty people out there, there are way less who are really talented artists, and she certainly qualifies. Here is my favorite SpiderWoman pic possibly ever. The art makes this in my opinion, and I don't know why she isn't drawing every comic on the shelf right now. There is a great style to her work, but also some realism. SpiderWoman's costume actually bunches up in places an actual garment might bunch or wrinkle... There is humanity in her Jessica Drew. It's just perfect stuff in my opinion. The picture to the left is cut to not show dialog or spoil anything, but to get the full effect of the image it is best to see the whole panel I think.

Marvel Digital Comics
- Smart panel can still be pretty wonky. It is not uncommon for it to take you to the next page without showing you the rest of the page you are on.

No real new issues or problems with anything. It does at least seem like they are working everyday to get more stuff online, so that's good.


John said...

If you want to read some great, funny Deadpool stories, look for his Joe Kelly-penned solo issues or Gail Simone's issues of Agent X.
Nathan Christopher Charles Dayspring "Cable" Grey-Summers Askani'son is a bit similar to what a ten-year-old would come up with: He's built like a brick s@#$house on steroids, he's got powers like Professor X and Jean Grey but stronger, cool glowy eyes like Cyclops, a metal arm, guns that belong on a tank, a sweet-ass spaceship that lets him teleport like on Star Trek, no moral compass and a bad attitude. And pouches. SOOO many pouches.

I still love the Age of Apocalypse X-over (and was very excited when Marvel put all the issues together in four TPBs) largely because of the things that separated it from a typical crossover. First and foremost, it had a beginning, a middle and an end. With such a definitive structure in mind, it meant that the things they did to characters would actually have lasting repercussions (only for as long as the universe lasted, of course.) The fun factor was mainly in seeing how the characters developed in a totally different environment (Juggernaut a pacifist monk, Cyclops a pawn of Sinister, Beast an amoral mad scientist, etc.) not unlike a typical episode of Sliders (or, later, an issue of Exiles.) The other thing that impressed me was the crossover's scope, and the fact that pretty much every tie-in played an important part in the story without it feeling too forced (okay, maybe not X-Universe, but it's awesome enough on its own.) Basically I'm saying that AoA is great when you judge it as Marvel's biggest "What If?" story, and succeeds in that regard far better than successors like House of M.

Anonymous said...

Fins twittered you. http://twitter.com/fionastaples/statuses/1531989762

Talkin Bout Comics said...

@John - Thanks for the recommendations, and also for providing some perspective and context regarding AoA. I really did like Juggernaut as a pacifist monk.

If I can keep it in that context, I will try giving it more of a chance at some point.

Re: Fiona Staples - I will absolutely die if anyone takes my comment on Fiona Staples as diminishing her talent in any way. It sure wasn't intended to seem shallow or anything. I guess I don't comment on how lovely male creators are when I review their works...
so.. um...
Matt Fraction has rugged good looks in that 'too cool for a comb' sort of way, and gives of a bit of a rock star vibe while still being super friendly to kids at cons.

Hopefully that balances things out. I'm not sure I feel all that balanced at the moment...