Friday, June 3, 2011

Week in Review 6/3/11

Fear Itself #3
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Stuart Immonen
Company: Marvel Comics
I'm a tad conflicted with this one.  On one hand I felt that Fraction's story is picking up steam and coming together a bit more (which is something that needed to happen), but on the other hand, the story is still very cold and has an almost antiseptic-like feel.  There is action however to sate your desire for story and Immonen does make it all pretty and "widescreen", which has become common-place since Civil War.  Seeing the Thing become one of the Hammer-Bearers and watching as Avengers take on Sin/Skadi is cool enough, though I do have a particular gripe with
the final battle sequence here.  The depiction of the action is disjointed and isn't as coherent as it could be.  Whether that is due to poor scripting or a misjudgment on the art side of things, I don't know.  Immonen usually crushes things, and the rest of the issue really does express that.  I love the little details he puts in and the way he doesn't skimp on backgrounds.  Still, Fear Itself really needs to kick it in to high gear and surprise us to keep the momentum, even with that so called "shock" ending.

G.I. Joe Vol 2 #2
Writer: Chuck Dixon
Artist: Javier Saltares
Company: IDW Publishing
One of those cases where the story really does carry the book.  Saltares' art here really does fall flat.  I don't want to sound too harsh, but there are times when his anatomy is off-kilter.  Another thing with his art that takes you out of the story are the depictions of the weapons that the characters are using.  In the other G.I. Joe titles, their weapons have a very realistic and functional look, or as real as you can get with a book that uses some pretty advanced tech.  With this issue, sadly that isn't the case though.  Many of the weapons look out of perspective and wonky, almost to the point where sometimes it looks like the characters are holding burrito-guns.  Dixon's story however, a two headed event that sees Cobra infiltrate the Pit whilst at the same time trying to kill General Hawk at a different location, are highly engrossing and intriguing.  Both of them are handled in realistic fashions and have a classic G.I. Joe vibe to them.  Like I said, check this one out for the story.  

Hellboy The Fury #1 of 3
Writer: Mike Mignola
Artist: Duncan Fegredo
Company: Dark Horse Comics
I'll be honest with you, I haven't been keeping up with Hellboy.  I know, I know... Sacrilege.  That said, this issue was simply a fantastic, beautifully rendered and masterfully scripted piece of entertainment.  Mignola quickly catches readers up to speed on what has happened to the main character (and makes you want to crawl through back issue bins to get your hands on them), and then dives into the proceedings of Hellboy versus Nimue of Merlin and King Arthur fame.  Of course there are a few twists, things that tie into the character's history, which made the story even more exciting.  Fegredo, who has been producing art so good that it knocks you on your ass for years, keeps with the tradition.  He evokes a few styles in this one, but it doesn't matter, as it is in sync with the story and every line is just about perfect.  Also, a quick tip of the hat to Dave Stewart and his amazing colors.  The way that the flashback has a washed effect to evoke the proper feel was simple but so very effective.  Now if you will forgive me, I go in seek of other Hellboy

Moon Knight #2
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Alex Maleev
Company: Marvel Comics
Wherefore art thou, oh Moon Knight of old?  Apparently, the Marc Spector that used to get super powers in the night from the moon and the Batman of the Marvel Universe decided to hot-foot it out of here.  In his wake, we have crazy insane man who happens to have iterations of Wolverine, Captain America and Spider-Man living in his brain that he can "play" as the situation calls for.  Think Dollhouse and you have the general sense of things.  As concepts go, it's a bit weird.  The execution is okay, though Bendis does occasionally fall into typical Bendis mode and throws out some schlocky dialogue that doesn't quite fit the tone.  Maleev's art on the other hand is rather nice.  There are times when he's a little backgound-light, but the action isn't static and has nice movement to it.  Matthew Wilson's vibrant colors add to the affair as well, adding a nice pop.  At the end of the day though, this Moon Knight maybe just isn't for me.  It's too bad, as I thought Bendis could really create something like he did in his Daredevil run...There just seems to be something missing with Moon Knight.

Uncanny X-Force #11
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Mark Brooks
Company: Marvel Comics
Our resident band of mercurial mutants enter into a contract with a rascally villain to save the crazed and currently blood-thirsty Archangel from turning into the thing which he hates the most.  This of course leads them straight to the world of Age of Apocalypse.  It's kind of an odd train of thought, but Remender sells it with his usual knack for cleverness and wit.  That is the basic set-up of the story, and though I was under the assumption that said world disappeared after everything changed back to the usual status quo after Age of Apocalypse Omega, it seems that I was wrong.  We see the proceedings through the eyes of Wolverine for the most part, and through his narrations, which I found to be a smart move.  It's also nice that Remender still knows how to bring the funny with his characters, especially Deadpool and Fantomex, which adds a bit of charm.  Mark Brooks, who worked on Dark Reign Young Avengers, really outdoes himself with his work here.  Everything from the splash pages of scenery to action pieces that are ladened with energy and movement screams top notch artist.  Also, he made me remember how much I loved some of the character re-designs for AoA, Sunfire's especially.  Great issue.

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