Comics Reviews (May 18th, 2016)
Reviews will possibly be late next week, as I’ll be traveling and may not get to the shop until Thursday.
Civil War II #0
A tremendous amount of nothing happens (par for the course in zero issues), and more to the point, the nothing that happens doesn’t actually connect directly with the Free Comic Book Day issue of this. But there’s some very heavy-handed thematic stuff at least. Ugh. And Bendis’s track record in crossovers is, to say the least, weak. This looks set to be a disaster, frankly.
Silver Surfer #4
A cute conclusion to the story arc that’s well-earned, entertaining, and drawn with typical brilliance by Michael Allred. That said, it’s not doing anything new with this character or take, hasn’t in a while, and concludes by basically reiterating the status quo of the book instead of suggesting that it has some new ideas. It’s been fun, but this feels like a good time to step away from thist itle.
A two-scene issue, with little relationship between them, which is to say very much a Bendis thing. The first scene, in which Ganke outs Miles to Goldballs, is interesting by the end, and Goldballs is as endearingly dumb a character as he was in the X-Men books, but takes a while to get going. The latter scene, in which Miles monologues a bit too much while dodging missiles, would probably have been better with a different cover that didn’t basically spoil the final-page cliffhanger. Still, it’s got a very classic Spider-Man vibe to it.
There’s an element of Ellis-by-numbers to this book that can be frustrating – dialogue like “… Why can’t I just kill all the people” or “<vastly annoyed sigh>” is funny, but funny in a way that makes you go “yep, Warren Ellis all right.” Which means that this comic lives or dies by the coolness of its ideas and/or visuals. This one’s visuals – ten pages of nearly dialogue-free fight scene that Roland Boschi does very prettily, but without much that holds the interest. Although the David Bowie cameo is fun. I suspect this will read far better in trade, though.
A quiet issue in a lot of ways, albeit one with some good character beats. And those are important for this book – so much of what works about this series is the way in which Scarlet has an entirely coherent and validly heroic worldview that is nevertheless aggressively out of line with conventional morality, and this gets relatively unproblematically presented as “the good guy.” She gets several moments to shine here. All told, this remains a book I’m deeply glad exists, because it’s tackling a story and ideas that I think need to be tackled.
Man, they’d have to reall fuck up the finish for this not to be the best crossover Marvel’s done in years at this point. I strongly suspect I’ll keep looking at Spider-Woman for at least an issue or two after this wraps. Once again, it’s an issue that foregrounds its own cast while advancing the plot, and that has an interesting spin on things. Jesse Drew is a fantastic set of motivations and behaviors, well-defined and justified but still capable of surprises. Gwen gets some great moments. The superhero mom angle is a hoot. This is just good stuff, through and through.
May 19, 2016 @ 3:56 am
Have you taken a look at ARCHANGEL by William Gibson — yeah, that William Gibson — between all the superhero comics?
The first issue looks promising. Art by Butch Guice. Got a sort of crossover thing going on where the WW2 of GRAVITY’S RAINBOW meets Gibson’s own THE PERIPHERAL.