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This week in Comics (1-16-10)

The Invincible Iron Man #22

Written by Matt Fraction

Art by Salvador Larroca

A mind is a terrible thing to waste, especially if it belongs to one of the smartest men in the Marvel Universe. In the previous issue Captain America and Thor reunited to help Tony Stark out of his comatose state, however they failed and now the story continues. So when a bolt of lighting summoned from a God’s hammer going straight into a vibranium shield attached to Tony Stark’s core reactor doesn’t work our heroes decide to call in another doctor, a strange doctor. So Meanwhile Ghost of the Thunderbolts has tracked down their location and is threatening the whole revival process. In this issue I found that the more interesting details were not about what’s going on outside Tony, but rather what’s going on in his mind. Previously we found Tony digging in the desert for metal scraps, but now his mental world looks like something out of War of the Worlds. Not only is the story better in Tony’s mind but the art maker a considerable improvement as well. The landscape of Tony Stark’s mind has been crafted magnificently at the hands of Salvador Larroca. The dark purple atmosphere is beautiful and haunting at the same time, while the blurring effects work nicely for scenes of action and desperation. I think the art hits its high point when Dr. Strange starts weaving his magic. Overall I think this issue was solid as usual while the story outside of Tony is starting to wear on me, but this issue has shown that the inner mind of Tony will start detailing some intriguing stuff in the next couple issues.

8/10

Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard (Part 3 of 5)

Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning

Art by Kevin Walker

Stuck in the belly of the beast, literally. The Shi’ar Imperial Guard have found themselves in the giant floating carcass of some giant alien creature as they search the unknown depths of the fault for any trace of their would be King Black Bolt. I wasn’t very impressed by this issue for a few reasons. Inevitably there will be a belly of the beast story that will afflict any outer space themed book, but this one just feels like it was take straight out of the asteroid scene from Empire Strikes Back. The dialogue here has a few interesting one-liners, but for the most part the audience generally doesn’t care about the Starjammers and the members of the Imperial Guard that are tagging along with them, because the fans want to see Gladiator. Although Gladiator did make and appearance in this issue I felt that it wasn’t sufficient enough, but it does show his internal conflict that he has been struggling with since the becoming Praetor of the Shi’ar empire. As for the art, it’s a little bit of a mixed bag. Kevin Walker does some pretty good full-page spreads, but when it comes to single panels with characters I found them to be a bit lacking. Walker excels at drawing environments, but falls short on providing animation to the characters.

6/10

The Marvels Project (Part 5 of 8 )

Written by Ed Brubaker

Art by Steve Epting

At long last the moment we have been waiting for, the Star-Spangled Super Soldier has made his first mark in the world of Marvels. The Marvels Project has been a success issue after issue, and this one was brilliant. The story doesn’t necessarily provide a retooling or retcon for the origin of Captain America, but rather it finally gives more background information to the murderer of Dr. Erskine a story that has gone untold for nearly 70 years. You have to admire Ed Brubaker’s ability for writing. Brubaker has taken character that were forgotten since the Golden Age of Comics and made them compelling, and I have to say I like this Angel a lot more than Warren Worthington III. The scenes of Steven Rogers putting on his costume are nothing short of inspirational. The right, white and blue colors stick out magnificently in contrast with the rest of the dark atmosphere that the book has been set in demonstrating that a new bright star amid a world of darkness (man am I overdoing this). Steve Epting has wonderful pencils that compliment the storytelling into perfection, I can’t think of anyone else who could shape this story other than Steve Epting. The Marvels Project is a beautiful series and even though we all know how it is going to end, it really keeps you wanting more. Go pick it up or else you will be missing out on one of Marvel’s best limited series.

9/10

That’s all you get from me I gotta get back to studying.

– Matt Dunford “your comic book guy”