I’ve been downing comics at horrifyingly high rates thanks to Marvel Unlimited (which probably means I’ll never do part 2 of my Exiles “review”. During the experience I’ve been getting opinions and thoughts and wishing I had more money to support all of the good books that came out or that are still coming out. But one thing I’ve been coming up against while in my binges is when pages stop readers in a bad way. When the elements of the page don’t come together it is problematic so I am gonna talk Wolverine and the X-men and King City at you.
It can be rough out there trying to break into the comic industry. It is all about knowing people, doing good work and in the long run spending lots of money. That last part is the tough one because of the economics of the system. Paying for convention tables, paying to print work, paying for hotels, paying for travel, paying for food and even paying for other people’s work because you need to stay up to date on comics – it can suck.
[Spoilers Ahead For Jason Aaron’s Wolverine Run]
I grew up around Wolverine and was never a super big fan of him. My friends liked him on the X-men but it was that Sega Genesis game that made me not care for him.
In a game where you got to choose between Wolverine, Gambit, Cyclops and Nightcrawler he was the weak choice. He was the guy who you had to take risks to use. He was the guy who hurt himself when he used his power. He didn’t do awesome kicks and teleport around. He didn’t get to throw cards and use a staff. Even Scott Summers had his optic blasts – but Wolverine you had to run in there. You had to risk everything and punch guys and you had to hide to heal to punch more. That game made me like Gambit and that is a pretty astounding task – though I always liked Nightcrawler the most before.
This week’s Graceland is late because there was a weekend sale at the LCS, and since I’m broke what with the holiday spirit, I had to pick my books up on Saturday. But whatever, you’re not paying to read this, and I’m not paid to write this. Read on chumps!
This week, Ziah gives out awards to each comic totally unlike that other place that won awards and is super great. Anyway, Ziah did this because there were a lot of great things out this week, and he didn’t want to only give a best award. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Except turkeys. I guess it’s kind of an unfortunate holiday.
I have been busy preparing for a vacation, so this is part 1 of the reviews, and I’ll do part 2 later.
AvX #9 Written by Jason Aaron, drawn by Adam Kubert, colored by Laura Martin
-“I think I… might have helped a bit. Did I…?” –Spider-Man.
Really, it’s about time we had another good issue; despite some little bits of nice writing and mostly great art, this event has been pretty mediocre. Luckily for us, we get the first actually good issue since #6, as Jason Aaron takes us back to something just about every Marvel fan can appreciate: Spider-Man outclassed completely, and then triumphing through force of will. Sure, it’s not as good as #33, but then again, what could be? Anyway, Spider-Man is awesome, and the nice Adam Kubert art helps make this pretty good. I’m just excited that this stupid event is almost over, and we can get to such exciting titles as: Avenging X-Men, Uncanny Avengers, Avenging X-Force, X-Avengers, and The Avengers and the X-Men Team Up.
Action Comics #12 Written by Grant Morrsion, drawn by Rags Morales, CAFU, Brad Walker, Colored by Brad Anderson, Gabe Eltaeb
-“This gun shoots psychic bullets- a guilt that will consume your mind! A fear that will never let you rest!” –Adam Blake, the first Superman
I’m really enjoying the crazy ideas Grant Morrison is packing into almost every page, but I don’t think I’ll be missing him when he leaves the title after #16. It’s not exactly high criticism to say that comics are better when the art is on par or better than the writer, and while Batman Inc has Chris Burnham, Action gets… three artists. In one issue. One 20 page issue. And 4 inkers. This was a rush job, and it shows, but despite all of that, Morrison writes incredible dialogue (I had so much trouble choosing the above quote) and brilliant story arcs; the last few pages had me grinning like an idiot. My point, anyway, is that I’m looking forward to a Morrison less contained by the rigid Nu52 monthly schedule, working with a great artist that doesn’t feel rushed to deliver pages at the expense of quality.
Animal Man #12 Written by Jeff Lemire and Scott Snyder, drawn by Steve Pugh, colored by Lovern Kindzierski
“Then it possessed my body, but I grew a new one and I killed it.” –Animal Man
I guess I’m cooling on the Lemire’s non-self drawn work; I was considering dropping Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E, before the writer switch, and now even Animal Man has started to feel stale. Maybe it’s that the whole Rotworld arc and accompanying build-up has just felt overlong instead of the epic adventure it seems to be trying for. Maybe it’s that even though we’ve seen Buddy Baker in almost every issue, I haven’t felt like he’s really having a character arc. Regardless, I guess I’ll give it till the end of the Swamp Thing crossover, seeing as how the art for both titles is really good.
Space Jam of the Week
Daredevil #16 written by Mark Waid, Chris Samnee, colored by Javier Rodriguez
“We really underestimate that guy. The pain and fear he had to overcome just to function…”- Ant Man
Now this is EXACTLY what I want from a comic. Mark Waid, in TWELVE PAGES, has gotten me to like Ant-Man more than 30 years of comics. That is incredible. Add in some of the best Matt and Foggy interaction with phonemonal art from Chris Samnee, and you’ve got one hell of a comic. The only problem? There’s still no appearance of Mike Murdock. I know Waid has read DD #25. It’s impossible not to be reminded of it when reading the new series, so every issue I keep waiting for him to show up. Still an amazing comic, even without Matt’s twin brother who wears sunglasses and calls ladies “dolls”.
Defenders #9 Written by Matt Fraction, drawn by Jamie McKelvie and Mike Norton, colored by Dommo Aymara
“THE AMERICAN WAR PIG IS DEAD BENEATH THE HEEL OF AGENT PUSSYCAT OF HYDRA!” –Agent Pussycat of HYDRA
Dial H #4: written by China Mieville, drawn by Mateus Santolouco, colored by Tanya & Richard Horie
“She’s a mage of nothing. She coulda helped me with this. But she said she needed to conserve her energies. So she did nothing.”
This reminds me a lot of the Grant Morrison/Richard Case Doom Patrol, which is high praise coming from me, as that is my favorite Morrison comic ever. Like Doom Patrol, Dial H has a huge density of ideas; crazy talking villains that we only learn about months after they’re introduced, fantastic phrases and names that make you wish you thought of them, and an artist willing to draw all manner of crazy things. Like Doom Patrol, I don’t understand half of the comic, and probably won’t until about 6 more issues down the line, but I am enjoying the flow of it.