This week in Comics (12-4-09)

This week the comic reviews will be delivered on time because I don’t have friends or family to get in my way, just finals that I should be studying for, but who cares lets get to the funny books.

Thor #604

Written by Kieron Gillen

Art by Billy Tan

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Kieron Gillen has some pretty big shoes to fill. Everyone knows my loyalty to JMS and I support his decision for leaving Thor in the wake of another big Marvel event. Though I knew Thor wouldn’t be the same without Straczynski. So now we can all focus our attention to Kieron Gillen the new guy, so did he ruin everything? You have some big shoes to fill Mr. Gillen, but they sure do fit nicely. That’s right, Kieron Gillen wrote a great issue of Thor. I am still very disappointed from last week’s Giant-Sized Thor Finale, which was neither Giant-Sized nor a finale and was no way for Straczynski to go out. Kieron Gillen managed to pick up the pieces of JMS’s story and put them back in place. It’s not like JMS leaving Thor ruined the book, its just Gillen can finish the job because JMS outlined everything and all that’s left is to settle the score with Loki and Dr. Doom. In terms of writing, I think Gillen is taking the characters into the right place (battle against Dr. Doom), although I don’t think that Gillen has the grasp on character dialogue that JMS did, but that’s to be expected. As for the art I think that Billy Tan did a pretty good job too. Tan doesn’t have the stunning architecture or landscape artistry that Olivier Coipel did, or the ability to capture emotion and action like Marko Djurdjevic did, but Billy Tan does a good job keeping everything together. The main problem here is that I don’t like the way Tan draws Dr. Doom’s mask. I was so in love with the way Djurdjevic drew Dr. Doom’s mask that it’s hard for me to accept anything else. I liked this issue, but it may be a little early to say that this story is done in Kieron Gillen’s direction, because it is still in Straczynski’s direction, but Gillen is doing a good job of wrapping things up so far.

8/10

Siege: The Cabal #1

Written by Brian Michael Bendis

Art by Michael Lark

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Marvel’s evil illuminati have returned to discuss their evil plans. We all knew it eventually had to happen; Osborn’s goblin side is starting to nag about him about losing his power if he doesn’t exercise it. So Osborn decides to head off to tell his crew about his new plans. I am happy that Taskmaster has taken the place of Namor and the White Queen, because Namor didn’t fit in too well and White Queen would have been a good member if it were 20 years ago. So Osborn tells his Cabal that we have to after Namor for his betrayal. Doom doesn’t want any part in it because he has a deal with Namor going on. At that point Osborn brings out his secret weapon and all hell breaks lose. As usual we don’t get to see who Osborn’s secret weapon is, all we get is more teasing in anticipation for siege. I expected worse from this issue from the assumption that it is just a set up book for Siege but it sets up things nicely. It gives you an idea of what is going to happen and how everything is set in motion. Michael Lark delivers the goods in terms of visuals, a gritty atmosphere to represent the tense moments; I felt it was a nice touch. Dark Reign is coming to an end and it starts here.

8/10

Dark Avengers Annual #1

Written by Brian Michael Bendis

Art by Chris Bachalo

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If you have been wondering what happened to the new Captain Mar-vell since he left the Dark Avengers this is the place to read. Unfortunately there isn’t much to say about this issue. It’s merely Captain Mar-vell on the run from the Avengers and meeting a beautiful stranger along the way. The dialogue is good but the overall plot could be brushed up a bit. As for the art, I’m not a big fan of Chris Bachalo so that doesn’t help it too much. In all honesty you could save your $5 for something else like the 37 tie-ins for Siege.

7/10

The Marvels Project #4

Written by Ed Brubaker

Art by Steve Epting

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So the story of Marvel’s golden age heroes continues in the 4th installment of The Marvel’s Project. In this issue we have several threads just waiting to be tied together, Dr. Erskine working on his human enhancement project, John Steele meeting Nick Fury and his howling commandos, the Ferret in search of the superhero murderer, and Nazis on American soil. But the most interesting development in this issue is our first encounter with a sickly young man by the name of Steve Rogers, who is willing to risk his life in order to help his country. I’m falling in love with Steve Rogers all over again, his dedication, and his frustration with his attempting to help the US as war edges closer. Even a sickly teenager Steve Rogers is admirable, even if he is but a mere speck of the hero he will eventually become. Stories like this are always great to read, because you know how they end, but they still hook you with new developments in between. Ed Brubaker still has an immense talent for digging up things from the past and crafting them for a modern audience, while Steve Epting delivers wonderful art that we were so fond of during their run on Captain America. A hero will be born soon, most likely next issue so read this book.

9/10

Supergod #2

Written by Warren Ellis

Art by Garrie Gastonny

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For those of you unfamiliar with this new series it is about a recollection of how the human race created artificial gods and how they destroyed the world. In this issue we are introduced to Maitreya the Chinese God, Malak the Iranian God, and Jerry Craven the American God. New gods are introduced, but more interesting in here is that they are being used as weapons, and better yet we see them rebelling against their creators. This book is starting to change from a Sci-Fi thriller, to more like a horror comic, and I’m not saying that’s bad thing because the atmosphere is changing and getting a lot darker as gods invoke their wrath upon the world. The impression that I am getting from the Supergod series is that it is a metaphor for modern religious struggles. In fact the looming issues are most likely going to be a reenactment of the crusades only with gods doing the fighting instead of people fighting for gods. The art from Garrie Gastonny continues to impress me in every way, and you have to admire Warren Ellis the twisted visionary that he is.

9/10

Go out and read some comics, and take away all that stress. I am going to go study for the 4 finals I have next week. Wish me luck.

– Matt Dunford “your comic book guy”

Matt_Dunford

My name is Matt D, I'm like no other. I'm a 6" half black, half white brother. And when I say white, I don't mean pink, I'm about as white as white out ink.