Friday, May 18, 2012

Week in Review 5/18/12

Avengers vs X-Men #4
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: John Romita Jr
Company: Marvel Comics
Marvel's crossover keeps on chugging with its Round 4, and while it's lost a little in the way of steam, it continues to be the first line-wide meeting of the minds that has had a cohesive story that is understandable and interesting. The "What The" factor, meaning I have no clue where they're going to go for another eight issues, is also keeping things fresh. This issue is a little on the lighter side, with much of it containing a back and forth between Hope and Wolverine. Not boring, just not as exciting as previous issues have been. Romita's art continues to be quite nice. Again, not sure if it's the top of his game work, but he's the kind of guy who's draftsman skills are honed to a fine point and he has the ability to make anything and everything pop. Plus, he gets to draw Wolverine wearing a Polar Bear as a coat, which is a good enough gag to warrant a look.

Wonder Woman #9
Writer: Brian Azzarello
Artist: Tony Akins
Company: DC Comics
Creepy. Skin crawl creepy. Azzarello hammers that idea into your head with every panel on every page as we see Diana and Hades get ready for their untimely nuptials. The whole book, from the first issue till now, is so off kilter for a Wonder Woman story that it has one of those, "Must Watch, Can't Look Away," vibes. He has created such fascinating visages of this new Pantheon of Gods and packs so much subtext and story elements that it begs to be reread almost immediately. Tony Akins, rotating art duties with Cliff Chiang, does a remarkable job breathing life into the new Underworld and the horrors that are within. I do miss Chiang, as I tend to think his storytelling is more cohesive, but I had no such problems this issue. Fantastic.

Saucer Country #3
Writer: Paul Cornell
Artist: Ryan Kelly
Company: Vertigo
Out of all of Vertigo's new books, Saucer Country and New Deadwardians tie for most creative and entertaining. Paul Cornell's blend of politics and alien abduction is so amusing and thought provoking with its subtlety and very believable and human characters. With this issue, hypno-therapy and bunnies enter into the equation and have some...Well, let's just say that the results are not what you would think they would be. Ryan Kelly continues to prove that he's one of the best in the business. His quick, vibrant lines perfectly illustrate the human factor and capture the real world so well that even though the stuff we're dealing with are out there, they're grounded in realism. Such a fun series so far.

Uncanny X-Men #12
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Greg Land
Company: Marvel Comics
An Avengers vs X-Men tie-in. Hooray! Okay, let's not get too excited. This issue sees a group of Avengers and a group of X-Men head back to the land of Tabula Rasa, an alien world full of fun and mirth. Truthfully, while I do like Gillen's upbeat nature that peeks through his writing, there are several instances that have an almost too cutesy feel to them as the battle ensues. Also, just how many times are we going to see Namor and Thing fight? The main distraction though is Greg Land's artwork. He's talented and can draw, of that there's no doubt, but his work feels like you're glancing at a field of statues. His characters have a chiseled feel, but not in a good way, and often times this makes the action flat. A mediocre outing, all told.

Saga #3
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Fiona Staples
Company: Image Comics
Three issues in and already BKV has cemented in my mind that Sci-Fi and Magic belong together like peanut butter and banana. No jelly. Don't even get me started on the whole jelly thing. Seriously though, the vast cast of characters that get screen time is amazing. They're diverse and all are shackled with their own compelling reasons for being involved in this love affair. One of BKV's best attributes as a writer is his dialogue. It feels natural and while there is an air of the Whedon-like wit, it doesn't get in the way of the heart that binds the story together. There's also that the TV people get a lot of play here, which I love, as they are one of the coolest looking races ever. That is due to Fiona Staples' elegant skills. That she's tackling everything, from the inking to the coloring, is a bit insane. I can't even imagine her having the time to breathe, but she's doing a fantastic job. Her lines are inviting and the colors that she utilizes capture the eye in all of the right ways. All I can say about Saga is this: GIVE ME MORE! 

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