Professor Kyle’s New Comic Reviews 2-23-2011
Written on Wed, Feb 23, 2011 by Kyle
Warning: Spoilers below
-The Avengers 10
Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita Jr. continue to follow what looks like every active team in The Avengers #10. The issue feels very similar to the issue where the Illuminati split up and search for the Infinity Gems in the first place. We have three teams seeking out Namor, Xavior, and Stark’s gems before the hood can get his hands on them. All the while the argument begun last issue between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark continues.
Bendis’ story is very similar to the last time a group went after the Infinity gems, but with a different reason and actively working against some with the advantage of having two of them we do have the sense of urgency. This issue serves to set up a very promising issue 11 more than a great issue 10.
Romita’s art has softened some from when this series began. The biggest indicator is the way Maria Hill looks. She looks far less ridged and more feminine now. Even better are the different landscapes that Romita puts out here. From underwater sea-scapes to the destroyed Xavior Institute we get some very nice places to see this all take place.
Incorruptible by Mark Waid and Marcio Takara takes it’s first steps into an actual cross-over with main title Irredeemable! In this issue Max Damage and Paradigm come to an understanding about a possible pardon for Max (Thanks to Survivor). This leads to Max telling Annie/ Headcase that she needs to walk away from things, much to here anger.
Waid is keeping this focused on the street level side of the Irredeemable world even with Paradigm’s arrival. There seems to be at least one moment at the end that might effect both books deeply, but time will tell. For now we have two of the main characters featured in the Irredeemable Annual 1 (Max and Kaidan). Which has interesting results since Survivor seems to think that Max is uneasy around Kadian, while Kaidian seems anxious to impress Max.
Takara’s art carries a a definite simplicity to it. We don’t have too much detail in everyone and thing but we know who is who thanks to shape and expression of characters.
-Invincible Iron Man 502
Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca continue into the sudden 500′s with Invincible Iron Man 501. We start fresh with dueling views of the past and future as we see early and current meetings between Tony Stark and Dr. Otto “Doctor Octopus” Octavius. With a whole city held hostage Octopus gives Iron Man a challenge he can’t walk away from.
Fraction may have stumbled onto the perfect way to address Iron Man’s usual problem with his rogues gallery, he’s filling it with Spider Man’s. Don’t get me wrong, Stark has some good baddies in the ways of Mandarin, Madam Masque and the Hammers but beyond them its more guys in suits. Then we come to the beginning of Dark Reign and Norman Osborn becomes a great foil for Tony Stark. In this issue we have Dr Octopus, Sandman, Electro and mention of the rest of the Sinister Six.
The art continues the same impressive standard Larroca has put forth so far on this series. The highlight is the page layouts and how in some cases we gets huge chunks of the back and forth between stark and Octavius on a single page.
-Action Comics 898
Lex Luthor goes up against Orange Lantern Larfleeze again in Action Comics 898 by Paul Cornell and Pete Woods.
Cornell pushes Lex further on his quest to find and understand the Black Spheres and meet the notable villains of the DC universe. Larfleeze plays his part perfectly to his past with crazy demands and a profound lack of understanding of what makes other greedy. Lex pulls some wonderful lines and moments such as proving just how valued his own workers are to him. Near the end of the issue we get a clear picture who else is influencing Lois. It’s not a major suprise, but what is surprising is that she seems to hate him instead of Lex. Does this imply she cares about Luthor somehow?
Wood’s art has been amazing for the looks character’s have had. Luthor has looked confident and arrogant the whole 9 parts so far along with real defining looks from all the other notables we’ve met so far. I feel sad to say Larfleeze is the first to come up short. Mainly seeing Larfleeze in Green Lantern he usually resembles Hal Jordan’s simple description of a demented Gonzo, but here he looks more akin to a japanese Oni mask. This is a major contract with what we’ve seen so far, but not too much of a distraction.
-Secret Avengers 10
The mystery of Max Fury and his shadowy organization deeps with Secret Avengers 10 by Ed Brubaker and Mike Deodato. Here we see the Secret Avengers face off against The shadow organization and its newest possible member, Shang-Chi’s evil, almost resurrected father. Seems overly complicated, but the action is smooth with some smart moves on Steve Roger’s part. When Captain America wants the win he gets it.
While this is definitely the end of the current arc we can definitely see there is more going on and to come by subtle things that are mentioned. Director Thorndrake mentions Shang-Chi’s father being their ‘Man inside China’ definitely gives the scope of what kind of goal he has. It looks like this will eventually lead to a heck of a power struggle between Throndrake and Steve Rogers. Brubaker’s definitely the right type of person to bring us that.
We get some very fast paced fight scenes early on and through this issue. The movements good and the shadows aren’t to heavy here. The shot of the week is Steve Rogers driving a guy into the ground in on big panel.
-Justice League: Generation Lost 20
Judd WInick and Joe Bennett give us something that has been missing for a very long time in JUstice League Generation Lost 20. Since Countdown to Infinity Crisis we have been sorely missing on key thing, and now year later we finally see the motived behind Max Lord’s struggle to gain power in the DC universe. Since Winick worked on that issue way back when it seems only fitting he give us this as well.
Winick gives us about 7 pages of forward story movement here spread along the other pages that give us details on the death of Max’s parents and how they each shaped him and what he’s done with it. A lot of the milestones of the dc history are mentioned, and its easy to see why Max reaches the conclusions he does. This issue does seem to try and humanize him, but Booster hits the nail on the head by saying he’s trying to help by “Filling Graveyards.”
Bennet’s art covers the history and tragedy of what’s happened to Max. The cramped panels that follow the scene after his father’s death give the feeling of discomfort. The final page may be a good capture to something I didn’t think we’d see.
-Ultimate Spider Man 154
The Prelude to his Spider Man’s death continues in Ultimate Spider Man 154 by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Sara Pichelli, David Lafuente and Elena Casagrande. As things come to a head with a fight between Mysterio, Spider Man and Black Cat, we see how Peter can handle something clearly over his head after he watches the Zodiac Key take down Iron Man.
I can’t stress enough that the best part of this book are the character interactions. Moments like Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane realizing their hugging out of panic and unsure who started it and Iron Man explaining that he is aware of the no-tocuhing scary artifacts rule make this story worth come back to more than most other books out there.
The artist team is continuing a pretty good stride here. It looks like we have have seen the last of the smokey effects of Mysterio’s face for a while, but with everything else going for it, I don’t think it’s an issue. Although I do want to know if it was the art team or writer who made Mary Jane look all hipster.
-Ultimate Doom 3
Brian Michael Bendis and Rafa Sandoval finally bring all the pieces together in Ultimate Doom 3. We see what’s left of the Fantastic Four, SHIELD directors Fury and Danvers, Spider Man and Girl thrown together to finally come up with a plan. Along with Dr Octopus and Rick Jones. Those last two are what really make this so amusing.
The real star of this issue and in a sense the last two series along with this one is Sue Storm. Bendis wasn’t on Ultimate Fantastic Four long, but he’s certainly brought the ground work from that issue into the spot light. The one thing we’ve seen here is how easily someone like Reed Richards could go to the dark side. Sue Storm on the other hand has shown a strength we rarely see in the original counterpart.
Sandoval had to cover a lot of destruction in a short space here, and the back to back panels served well for it. Some of the facial expressions are hard to read. Especially when it looks like someone is concentrating, but its made up for when we have a treat like the completely clueless look on Rick Jones’ face when he goes for a sample for Sue.