Comics Reviews (August 28th, 2014)


I liked doing these as a ranked list last time, so let's do it again.

All New X-Men #31

The start of a new Bendis storyline, with all the attendant faults such as the storyline not actually starting until the last panel. I'm excited for the storyline, though.

Guardians of the Galaxy #18

This one's tough for me, as it's the retconned ending to some Marvel cosmic story I never read from a few years ago. It holds together in its own right well enough, but is fundamentally a book answering questions I've never asked, and only vaguely knew were questions, which puts a cap on how much I can dig it.

Silver Surfer #5

Well, at least they sort out the odd cliffhanger from the previous issue quickly. There's an argument to be made that we've reached some sort of limit point here of how much plot you can get away with in a single issue. This is mental to the extreme, in the sort of way that when Grant Morrison does it, it gets accused of being self parody. What's strange, though, is that this is paired with a plot that's taken five issues to get to what's obviously the premise of the book, which is the Silver Surfer and Dawn traveling the cosmos. So we have a book that's weirdly balanced between a ridiculous excess of ideas and a slow burn. It's something I may eventually conclude is brilliant, but at the moment it's just sort of odd.

Original Sin #5.4 Thor & Loki: The Tenth Realm #4

Al Ewing continues to execute a perfectly competent and interesting Marvel Asgard story. Some great Loki in this issue, and it feels like it's building to an interesting new status quo for this corner of the Marvel line, although this is still very much a Marvel fan's comic.

Avengers #34

Whatever concerns I may have about Hickman's pacing, and they are many, I remain interested. There's a lovely, properly good Captain America scene here. The eight month jump forward seems like it's sure to screw some of Hickman's plot arcs, but I want to see where he's going with it. I remain mildly skeptical of Hickman as a creator (note that I did finally just drop Manhattan Projects), but I can see the appeal, and I hope this story works.

Cyclops #4

A character piece by Greg Rucka, and as good as you'd expect from that descriptor. Really a pity he could only find time for five issues of this. Rucka is always a treat.

The Massive #26

My irritation that this book has the white guy as its lead character and not the more interesting characters continues, as does my sense that a book that started from the premise it's setting up in its final arc instead of ending with it would have been a stronger one. Nevertheless, I really, really love what this book is doing right now. It's been an overly long ride, but I am on the whole glad to have taken it at the moment.

Saga #22 (Pick of the Week)

God's in heaven and all is right with the world. Vaughan has a really tough scene to sell here in the big confrontation between Marko and Alana, and he nails it, with a scene full of human frailty and people doing reasonable, understandable things with terrible consequences. It's all framed in a story full of momentum and a sense of growing crisis. Fiona Staples continues to be one of the best artists in comics. If you're not reading Saga, you really should be. Not every issue is the pick of the week, but no issue doesn't make a month's top ten.


Eric Gimlin 6 years, 6 months ago

Saga is one of those books that I can appreciate the craft on, but that has utterly and completely failed to engage me in practice. It's not that I haven't given in a fair try; thanks to the humble bundle a little while back I've read the first two collections.

I think it's possible Vaughan just doesn't work for me, although I really can't understand why. I was absolutely amazed by the first issue of Y and actually kept going on that until somewhere in the 30's, at which point I realized I hadn't actually read an issue in a year and dropped it.

Anybody else have someone like that? A creator who you recognize as very good, doing books that you should love based on your normal interests, who almost always falls flat for you.

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encyclops 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm having trouble getting behind Kieron Gillen's stuff, to be honest. I tried a trade of Phonogram and while I recognize a lot of things in it I theoretically dig, I just didn't see a lot of there there. I'm dutifully buying The Wicked and the Divine and while it's worth it for the art alone (always a key point for me with comics), I'm left hoping the story hooks me more once it's done introducing its characters.

I'm 100% on board with Saga, though. On balance I dig Vaughn -- I loved Runaways and I thought Ex Machina was brilliant. Y the Last Man didn't do much for me, though, except as a joke around the house ("why the last man?" my girlfriend and I would say to each other).

I know the feeling you're talking about. It's super frustrating.

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