This week in comics 12-19-09

Winter break is good and wonderful I am glad that I get to enjoy my comic readings undisturbed by school. So without obligations my reviews are much more in depth, though my lack of interest in most books has caused me to lighten my comic load, and hopefully you have too.

The Brave and the Bold #30

Written by J. Michael Straczynski

Art by Jesus Saiz

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A beginning, middle, and an end have always been the most important components to crafting a beautiful story. However it is often very difficult to have a beginning, middle and ending in a single issue comic and have the story retain good quality. Despite the odds J. Michael Straczynski has continually provided great stand alone stories time after time with The Brave and the Bold. Issue #30 is about a team-up between Green Lantern and Doctor Fate as they debate the idea of fate against free fill. The set up to The Brave and the Bold has always been directed toward continuity free storytelling, however there is a reference to Justice League International #7 which could be hinting that this issue could tie in with the events of that occurred there. Despite whether this book affects the continuity or not it delivers the goods on everything that makes a story great. There is conflict, internal conflict, and the book is dialogue driven and a good amount of action. Straczynski’s use of characters in The Brave and the Bold have always been complete opposites of one another, but I think that the team up of Doctor Fate is about as far from the spectrum as one would imagine. Green Lantern represents willpower, while Doctor Fate represents an inevitable destiny. The dialogue that these two share with one another is nothing short of marvelous. The artwork by Jesus Saiz continues to amaze, showing everything from character emotion to alien architecture. If you haven’t been picking up The Brave and the Bold is strongly urge to, this is easily among the top 5 on-going series at the moment, and it’s one of the few comics today that is still at $2.99 so that is a big added point to get you to read.

9/10

Captain America: Reborn (Part 5 of 6)

Written by Ed Brubaker

Art by Bryan Hitch

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Let me just start by saying that Captain America: Reborn could be the most poorly executed resurrection story of all time. Last July when it was announced that Captain America would be returning, there was a mixed reaction between fans. Some wanted him to stay dead, and some wanted him to return. But regardless of what your opinion on him dead or alive, we were interested in the story. However Marvel really should have made an effort to keep certain spoilers out of other books before they are announced in Captain America: Reborn. So far a resurrected Captain America has made appearances in Dark Avengers Annual, New Avengers Annual, and in last week’s issue of Invincible Iron Man. Reborn was supposed to be Marvel’s book to take on Blackest Night but its been spoiled by other books. Now let me address the issue rather than the politics surrounding it. After reading this issue I went to my bookshelf and picked up my hardcover of The Ultimates and then compared it to the art in this issue. Then I really had to question if the same guy drew them both? As soon as you open this issue you see Captain America standing in a rainy city, but what really catches your eye is Cap’s chainmail. The chainmail isn’t even drawn on, you can easily tell that it was added in from photoshopped and just looks ugly. The art in general looks very flat and one dimensional, and since this issue has a lot of fighting going on that can be very distracting. There is an image of a fight scene at the Lincoln Memorial where you can’t tell whether the columns or the Lincoln statue are in different depths because it looks so flat. I know Hitch can deliver good artwork, but I have to say you won’t find it here, you have to read The Ultimates if you want to see Cap looking his best in action. I’m not sure whether to pin this on Hitch or to the colorist, but it’s not good and there is way too much mixing of penciled art and digitally added art, which is never a good combination. As for the story its come down to the fighting, and nearing the end of the story. But as I mentioned earlier the ending has already been spoiled so there isn’t much to talk about. This could have been Marvel’s winning book but it has been botched big time.

6/10

Dark Avengers #12

Written by Brian Michael Bendis

Art by Mike Deodato and Greg Horn

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If you were faced with a man who could disassemble your atoms what would you do? Surrender? Good idea, and apparently H.A.M.M.E.R agrees too. There are things in this issue that I liked and things that I don’t like. I don’t like the three pages that were drawn by Greg Horn and I think Deodato could have done a much better job, especially on page 8 because that scene doesn’t take place in the mind of a crazy man, but rather the reality of a crazy man. I do like that there is a conflict that makes H.A.M.M.E.R to feel powerless. I don’t like how the only emotion that the characters can display is surprised fear. I do like how you finally get to see Victoria Hand without her clothes on. I don’t like how you get to see Norman Osborn without his clothes on. Taking Osborn’s nudity a step further I they keep doing too much with his nipples. In some scenes Osborn’s nips are there and some they aren’t, sometimes he has only one, and sometimes one will be higher up than the other, very distracting to the story. Overall I feel that this story wrapped up a story that started off interesting, but as the issues went by it started losing momentum. It was an ok issue if you don’t mind seeing Osborn naked and with mystery nipples.

7/10

Realm of Kings: Inhumans (Part 2 of 5)

Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning

Art by Pablo Raimondi

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The crown of responsibility is always heavy on the head that wears it, even if the head that wears it has strong prehensile red hair. As the search for Black Bolt continues the Inhumans are met with yet another rebellion against their rule, but this time the Might Avengers have come to their aid. Why the mighty avengers have come to their rescue I’m not entirely certain because I quit reading Mighty Avengers when Dan Slott came aboard because he is a terrible writer. This issue was oddly reminiscent of why I stopped reading Mighty Avengers there are too many characters all of a sudden, too many events going on, and very little focus on what was happening before. I felt lost all the way up until the end because this issue didn’t synchronize very well with the previous chapter. I think the art was good, certainly not up to the cosmic standards that I have loved from Paul Pelletier but the drawing are bight and vibrant. This issue was a little on the forgettable side and I really want to move past it.

6/10

And that’s my opinion of the weekly geekly. Until next time.

- Matt Dunford “your comic book guy”.

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