This just in: Ziah can’t think of any stupid/clever intros. Here’s some comic reviews:
SPACE JAM OF THE WEEK
Archer and Armstrong #3 written by Fred Van Lente, drawn by Clayton Henry, colored by Matt Milla:
“WHY DON’T MY FISTS HAVE EARS?!?”
Not keeping Fred Van Lente writing at least one book a month for them has to be in the top 10 dumbest decisions Marvel’s made (right behind every single management detail that’s been leaked to the press); Van Lente’s one of the funniest and most inventive writers they had, and his absence on any of their comics is sorely felt. Luckily, I’ve got this comic to warm my black heart a little. Just about every line in this issue is hilarious; it was almost impossible to pick a quote to sum it up. Add in Clayton Henry’s expressive and dynamic art (I heard he was such a perfectionist, he actually drew in the background of the fight scene in the Sistine Chapel to correspond to whichever paintings would feasibly be in each spot).
The Invincible Iron Man #526 written by Matt Fraction, drawn by Salvador Larocca, “colored” by Frank D’Armata:
“I am going to the stars on a comet made of your ash.”
Either Matt Fraction wrote this comic a year too long, or he was playing such a long game that he needed another year, because either way, this is just an unsatisfying climax to a 5-year story. Rather than feeling like the planned second-to-last issue, it feels like Fraction’s just cleaning out all his plot threads before Marvel NOW!. Part of that blame, logically, rests at the feet of Mr. Larocca, whose art has steadily declined, either in actual quality, or at least in fooling me that it’s not terrible. This entire issue is incredibly confusing to follow, things blow up, and people die? Maybe? I don’t even know, everyone looks exactly the same, I can’t tell who anyone is when their armor is on except for Tony Stark. The coloring, too, is just terrible. In an issue like this, especially one where the artist is really having trouble distinguishing the action set pieces from themselves, the coloring would logically come in to illustrate (PUN!) how the objects are different through color schemes. In this comic, however, not only is it hard to tell any of the suits apart through the actual penciling (does Larocca even use pencils at this point? You get the idea, regardless), the coloring makes all of the suits, except Iron Man’s, blackish-gray. Lastly, and I know better writers have called him out on the whole photo-tracing for people, but c’mon, Larocca. At least draw a car that wasn’t in every goddamned Marvel ad last year.
The Massive #5 written by Brian Wood, drawn by Garry Brown, colored by Dave “Fuckin’ A” Stewart:
“The planet’s dying, Ryan. Nothing’s fair. What makes you think you’re special?”
Punk Rock Jesus #5 written and drawn by Sean Murphy:
“Sagan was awesome!”
This issue is kind of what I imagine a lot of people, including me, were kind of afraid the series would be: a kind of preachy story of a punk Jesus who’s angry all the time talking about how religion is evil, with some incredible art. Still, the writing on every other character is still so strong, and the concept so compelling, I can’t help but feel like this is a bit of a red herring. Sure, Murphy might have made a couple pages of this comic a lecture, but that’s only a problem if this is the end of Chris’ character arc. Plus, seeing as how this is only issue 4 of 6, I’m willing to put a bit more stock that Murphy won’t end the series with a main character that turned out exactly like all the pre-comic haters thought he would. Besides that, Murphy’s art is some of the most gorgeous work I’ve ever seen from him, and I can’t quite imagine that adding color to this book would only detract from it. This is just an amazing series, from Murphy’s adept writing and skillful characterization to his beautiful art, and I have faith (DOUBLE PUN) that he’ll avoid the easy way out.
Red She-Hulk #58 written by Jeff Parker, drawn by Carlo Pagulayan and Wellington Alves, colored by Val Staples:
“You want to see what superhuman is? Superhuman is HULK!”
A lot of people were complaining that this wasn’t given a real #1, and instead was just re-launched using the Hulk numbering, but that’s not quite fair. This isn’t a number 1 at all; the main character is given very little characterization, there’s more than a few references to past stories that readers are expected to be slightly familiar with, and the final page cliffhanger revolves around the reader knowing the Red She-Hulk’s personality beforehand. If we move past that, though, this is a fine issue. It’s nothing too spectacular, but Parker’s always needed some time to warm up his writing before his mainstream comics get fantastic. The art’s mostly solid, but nothing distinctive or very stylistic; it’s fine for the script, but hopefully it either improves or the comic gets a better artist. Action comics, specifically Hulk comics, largely rely on artists that are able to make fistfights exciting and fun to read, so having a distinctive artist like Kev Walker, or Chris Bachalo, or Ed McGuiness would be great.
Secret Avengers #32 written by Rick Remender, drawn by Matteo Scalera, colored by Matt Wilson:
“….Not after they feel the bite of THE BLACK ANT!”
Rick Remender just straight dropped the ball on this one; the bad guy loses because of… something, and Hawkeye goes down the highway past being a dick to being some sort of… I don’t know, a Colossal Dick. Like Shadow of the Colossus size Dick, all up on your tv screen in HD since the remastering. There’s no reason for any of the characters to not react to the bombshell of information that they get in the way that they do (see how good I do at avoiding spoilers?), but there it is. As far as I can tell, they did so because the issue was about to end. With the absence of Arcade and Taskmaster from this comic, the only good thing in it is the sweet Art Adams cover.
Uncanny Avengers #1 written by Rick Remender, drawn by John Cassaday:
“Your foul “gifts” fail as you suffer the gaze of the goat-faced girl”
If this comic was being drawn by anyone other than John Cassaday and Jerome Opena as his fill-in, I don’t think I’d read it. I care nothing for any of these characters, but damn if the art isn’t pretty. Fuck Superhero funerals. Here’s what I want at the next eulogy:
“_____ was a great man/cyborg/skrull/imposter/souless husk, and they’re gone for now. Hopefully _____ comes back before too long, and we can stop pretending to be sad”.
Wolverine and the X-Men #18 written by Jason Aaron, drawn by Alfred Molina, colored by Morry Hallowell and Rachel Rosenberg:
“Do you have any idea how many hours of television evangelism I had to watch in order to program that robot?”