Sunday, July 5, 2009

Comic Book Day 07/01/2009

Reviews-Marvel Divas, Batman and Robin, Echo, Agents of Atlas, Destroyer

Marvel Divas #1 - I am going to claim that I held off on posting this until Comicsgirl had posted her review of it. I am not going to worry over whether or not that is the whole truth. I respect her opinion, and appreciated where she stood on it prior to it's release, when it was getting a lot of negative comments based on the cover that seems to exist in a completely different universe than the comic itself was supposed to.

I read this comic and thought it was cute and funny. I don't think I watched an entire episode of Sex and the City... ever, so I can't compare it to that. When I read this, especially with the cancer plot, I thought it's Adamantium Magnolias, or Marvel Beaches, or... etc. You have a group of strong women, who all have their quirks and weaknesses, etc., and when they get together I imagine they love each other's company, and talk about whatever they are thinking about at the time. It is a bit heavy on the lamenting about men side, but that doesn't make it unrealistic. I bet you, there actually are groups of single young women who talk about their love lives and ogle people in bars, etc. when they get together. The only two page spread in issue #1 that doesn't feature talking about guys is the two page spread where one of the characters tells her friends she has cancer. It fails the Bechdel Test. Does that mean it's evil? Nope, of course it doesn't mean that. We are seeing a group of women with a lot in common who hang out in a sort of support group for each other. I bet a lot of people could put together a 23 or so page comic where every page has a reference to men or women or football, whatever. That doesn't have to be a statement about all people of that gender, it could just be the specific people, or the editing you choose to do.

I think this comic is written really well, and maybe drawn even better. Aguirre-Sacasa's writing is sharp and funny, and Zonjic's art is distinctive and expressive. It is the opposite of everything the cover is.

I am pretty sure that isn't the point, but entertain this idea for a moment. The cover shows the 4 women in their sexy super-hero fanboy wet-dream poses and costumes, every one of them with gigantic round boobs, arching their backs at least slightly, and looking fierce or dripping sexuality. One might say that's how they are viewed, or what people might think is their purpose, etc. You open the book and you are looking at them in their' real lives'. These are flawed but pretty women more realistic features and no great propensity to try and put their butts and their boobs on the same side of their body. These are women who get annoyed at the a-listers, and cry together when they find out one of their friends is ill, and who enjoy a good time together, etc. I think it's a contrast that should make some people ashamed of the way they look at the world, and others just nod. Just because there was no irony intended doesn't mean it isn't there.

This isn't exactly my thing, but I am probably not the exact target for it. I will most likely get the whole thing if I have the funds for it. I really like the art, and want to see how the rest of the story plays out. $3.99 an issue is pretty steep, though.

Agents of Atlas #7 - Still a fun and excellently written book. The art is pretty cool. The style is interesting, but still has a bit of beauty about it despite being a bit dark.

Destroyer #2 & 4 - I finally got issue #2 of Destroyer. I had read issue 3 already, and two is great and does give me more setup information for #3. I enjoyed it a lot, even out of order. Issue 4 definitely has less blood than 3... The Red Cross has less blood than issue 3. Issue 4 has a terrific battle with a big slug like worm thing, and a LOT of human interest, interaction and family dynamic. This title really excels at showing us the humanity of a superhuman character. There is a feeling of realism and humanity in this that you don't always get in super-books. The art and color are perfect as expected, Walker and Staples deliver beautifully in the action scenes as well as in the human drama sequences. I will almost gladly pay 3.99 for the final issue of this mini.

Echo #13 - At 3.50 this now looks almost like a bargain. Another great issue. I sort of feel we had some forward progress taken away from us in this issue, as we were very close to a potential meeting between Julie and Ivy, but we got a sort of deus ex machina to pull her away. I hope it serves more of a purpose than just that. I guess it shows us her humanity and her priorities. We also get a bit more Pam (Julie's Sister) in this issue, and a cool development with Dan Backer (the giant bearded guy we met earlier on in the series). I am enjoying this series, but really wish we got more of it at a time.

Batman and Robin #2 - This is extremely good Batman comics. Someone else way better at comic reviews pointed out how cool it is that Quitely is drawing very recognizable Batman, with all the standard batmanishness about him, and yet he does it consistently in a way that lets you know without a doubt that the guy in the suit isn't Bruce Wayne, isn't the guy you are used to seeing in the suit. I am also loving Damien as Robin. I also also kind of love Robin having a Robin of his own. Damien is an obnoxious and headstrong brat, but when you see him and hear him, and know his pedigree, you kind of believe his hype. This kid isn't just a bratty obnoxious kid that needs people to bail him out (although he is, and does), you really get the feeling that he means business and his overconfidence may really be merited. It really looks like they are doing this comic right... and hey, it's only 2.99... a bargain!

1 comment:

Eden said...

Marvel Divas was good but not great. I don't think it was meant to be great though. I liked it enough to pick up the rest, sure, but I don't think it's good enough to overcome everyone's initial reaction to it.

If Marvel hadn't dug themselves such a big hole with the cover and then a deeper one with Joe Q.'s comments later, I think people would've read it and thought, hey, this is cute. And it is cute. But I think on top of everything, people are perfectly justified in reading it and feeling it's a little condescending.

It's too bad it turned into such an "event" because it's really not that kind of comic. It's not going to be everyone's thing. I just wish Marvel hadn't screwed up so badly on it.