BY ODINS BEARD: COMIC REVIEWS for 7-6-11.
Written on Thu, Jul 7, 2011 by Matt
Hello all and welcome to BY ODINS BEARD!! This is the in-house artist Matt speaking to you, my unshaven children. Professor Kyle’s reviews of comics will be back next week as he is working on a deep and mysterious project from the Negative Zone… or Ohio. Either way, he’s not going to be able to pick up new books till Friday, and thus I stepped up to give you the comic reviews this week.
I don’t give grades like Kyle, my ratings are explained like this:
-Buy it: Buy the F*&king book. It’s worth your money.
-Flip through it: Skim the words and look at the pretty pictures.
-Barrow it: If your buddy has it and doesn’t mind lending it to you.
-Pass it: Not worth your money and you want to know why you can’t return the damn thing for something better.
-Shit-can reader: I would rather use this as toilet paper after I’m done reading it because that’s the only value it has for me right now.
FEAR ITSELF # 4 of 7:
First up on the chopping block is Fear Itself #4 this week, written by Matt Fraction with art by Stuart Immonen. We’ve come to the middle of the big summer event for Marvel with this issue and I have to say: Captain America is dead! Long live Captain America! Last issue saw the death of Cappy (Bucky Captain America) and we open with his crushed/impaled body on a slab surrounded by Black Widow, Nick Fury and Iron Man. Mourning for this short lived iteration of Cap is kept to two or three pages before Thor walks in with the explanation that only took 4 issues to get. The Serpent is Odin’s brother and supposedly the true Allfather. He runs on fear and his worthy are creating fear worldwide to fuel him to, of course, take over the world. Fury tells Thor and Tony (Iron Man) to go get Steve Rodgers because we need Captain America and the Avengers right now. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve just seen Transformers 3, but in a total Michael Bay moment, Steve is already in his old Cap clothes and just stands up with the “let’s go” line that can only be delivered in a Bay film. The next scene is the return of the original big three that everybody wanted, complete with backlight to make them look super heroic. The scene just needed Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back” to play in the background to make it perfect.
Thor delivers the odd prophecy that he is to slaughter the serpent, take nine steps and die. This is thrown out quickly though, as Steve splits up the boys with his brilliant plan:
Thor: Take on the bad guy head on. By your lonesome. Cause you’re Thor and that’s how you roll.
Iron Man: Go to fallen Asgard and drink a bottle of wine, sacrificing your dignity and integrity to get Odin’s attention. FYI, the wine bottle label says in French “Demon in a Bottle” with a picture of Iron Man’s helmet with horns on it. Mission Accomplished.
Captain America: I’m going to parachute down to New York, join with the rest of the left over Avengers and take on the RAMPAGING MONSTERS THAT WE CAN STOP CAUSE I’M CAPTAIN AMERICA!
We end with the promise of a great fight for the fifth issue between Hulk, Thing and Thor.
Fractions’ writing is crisp in the explanations of certain things and the best moments are really the smaller chit-chats between the big three. Immonen’s art is on point for the entire issue with clean lines and facial expressions that speak volumes when words aren’t needed. As an overall story, the book is actually pretty good, but if I had one complaint, the book is paced a bit too fast.
Rating: Buy it, because it’s better than Flashpoint.
IRREDEEMABLE # 27:
Written by Mark Waid and art by Peter Krause. We have the super nuts Plutonian in Irredeemable! Finally, we have the conclusion to this story arc, as we see the Plutonian and the Lost Loons actually make it to the center of the planet! This is a long time coming, with certain things being brought to light at last. The mystery figure known as Auroran is actually a Psychic Symbiote that’s not an alien, but a tool used for the “doctors” in the mad house. So technically, he actually was a figment (partial) of the Plutonians mind. Tony (Plutonian) then makes short work of him and ends what has turned out to be an annoying plot point.
Qubit and Modeus try to get the Plutonian back to earth, minus the lost loons that are following him around as they know somehow that they will bring nothing but pain and destruction to earth. Waid writes himself a McGuffin here with one of the aliens being able to hit so hard, he punches you back in time. So in order for Qubit to stop Plutonian, he closes the teleporter to earth and wipes away the Loons’.
Except the guy who punches through time.
See where this is going?
Anyway, the end result is that Plutonian is back on earth with his new friends and the series has actually taken a good upswing. The whole appeal of Irredeemable in the first place was what if Superman had flipped out on Earth. Well, we’re now back to the premise, but he’s brought crazy alien friends with him that might be as powerful as he is.
One sad note, this is Krause’s last issue as he does the front twelve pages of art with the new guy Diego Barreto taking over the second half. I’ll miss Krause’s art as it lent an old school style to a very moderndark story. You’ve got some big shoes to fill Barreto, I hope you’re up for it.
Rating: Flip through it. Next issue looks like a nice return to form though.
SUPREME POWER # 2 of 4:
If you haven’t read Professor Kyle’s article on why you should read this series, I suggest you go do so. You can find it in the Articles category of the unshaven site under Supreme Power. That out of the way, this min-series is written by Kyle Higgins with art by Manuel Garcia. Only the second issue into this four part series and something’s are starting to feel familiar. The story of Hyperion being back on earth, but never actually ever leaving is one that we’ve kind of seen before. He ends up exiling himself to Sweden and hooking up with some random sweet blond in the middle of friggin’ nowhere! On the plus side, he grew a bitch’n beard.
Dr. Spectrum on the other hand has stepped up into the role of American Superhero #1 and even gets a sweet new costume out of it. But the crystal which gives him his powers has been acting on its own as of late. He’s starting to experience strange visions and half dreams as the alien crystal takes his body out for a drive without him knowing it.
Now I’ve said this all feels familiar before because this is the second issue and it feels like we have a lot of ground to cover in just two more issues. The beauty of the original Supreme Power series is that it was an ongoing. If the story started out slow, you could forgive it and tack it up to a slow build. But with a mini-series, especially one with a finite life of four issues, you need to speed things up a little. This issue feels like retread of the last and that’s not good. Other things lend itself to making this issue enjoyable, but the art is not one of them. It’s inconsistent with flashbacks or dreams being this nice, toned watercolor style. Which I think it great, but then flips back to this stark heavy line work on the figures in real time. I understand why it’s happening, but I think they should have just picked one consistent style and let the colorist handle the switches with color choices rather than this painted, not painted, painted look. I personally would have liked the whole series in that painted style shown in this issue. Gives a sense of widescreen storytelling that really fits what Supreme Power should be.
Rating: Pass it. Unless number three show’s good promise, Marvel might have wasted a mini-series.
THE BOYS # 56:
Oh Monkey, we finally learn where your name came from. Which makes the cover that much more………… disgusting.
We’re back with another issue of Garth Ennis and Darick Roberston’s The BOYS. I have to say that right now, Russ Braun has been the artist on this series for the most part since Robertson left to do the Butcher mini, and he kills it every time. Some have not like Braun’s artwork since becoming the series artist, calling him a poor man’s Robertson, but I disagree. While his art is very similar, his lines are much cleaner, allowing you to really feel the emotional pull and weight of the characters. He’s not as good as say Kevin Maguire with his faces; but I personally think Braun ranks right up there.
Anyway, this issue is a return to normal for the Boys as a new story arc and with Wee Hughie coming back to the fold. We get the sense that Hughie won’t take shit from Butcher anymore and there’s a confrontation verbally right away. But as soon as it’s there, it’s gone with the distraction of Butcher’s dog Terror licking Hughie’s face. From there it’s the usual of Butcher filling in Hughie on the way to talk to some low life Super while showing him disgusting pictures. I’d have to check, but I think Ennis has said that this series is only going to 70 or 80 issues. Which is nothing to sneeze at, but we keep building and building the tension between the Seven and The Boys that I’m afraid the end is going to be so anti climactic, it’s going to make me feel like I just bought Countdown all over again.
Don’t do that to me Ennis; I have a lot of faith in you and your super perversion.
Rating: Borrow it.
Lastly in an effort to give us more street credibility, we are going to have a review of Fear Itself from Angry Black Man.
Also known as my co-worker Cator.
FEAR ITSELF # 4 of 7: An ABM review……
Hello everyone ABM here and thanks to my boy Matt W. representing at Unshaven Comics I’m reviewing the latest issue of the Fear Itself mini series 4 of 7 from the Marvel establishment (i.e. Comics).
First, let me start off with what the Man did on page 1. Now here we have the Green Lantern with a glass of milk, now why let me ask does this have to be a “GREEN LANTERN” why can’t have a Black Lantern (short answer: the Man made the Black Lantern evil!) ?!? And if ya’ll notice the Lantern is a DC trademark but yet in still because of the establishment it doesn’t matter and what does this symbolize? That both of these comics have a conspiracy against US, think about it!
Alright, let me get back to this review, Fear Itself right? RIIIIIGGGHHHT!
Now, first we start if you read 3 ya’ll know we ended with Odin (that’s for who don’t know by now Thor’s daddy), throwing him down to us (gee thanks!) to fight for Midgard (fancy word for earth). Why can’t they just call it earth? So Thor lands (kind of) and wraps with someone who tells him to go to hell. So Thor’s like look man my pops trippin and now I got to deal with this? I’m out!
The next few pages is the “Serpent” OOOOOHHHHHH and one-eyed, ram wearing helmet Odin basically torturing earth, Midgard, whatever and building weapons, uh aren’t they the Norse Gods but again whatever! Psst, no brothers on these pages, I guess our struggle don’t matter, only been nearly 500 years (that’s older than Captain America), feed off that Serpent! OOOHHH BURN!
Next we got Nick Fury, Iron Man, and of course the fine comic book woman pouring out a little liquor to Bucky, can’t give away too much but he’s dead and on a table, uh yeah right. Just on the table laying there, like ya’ll can’t bury me? Uh, spoiler, they never reveal if they bury him and oh yeah no brothers, but I’m OK with that, I don’t know any brothers named Bucky.
Next, we got Thor all upset talking about War (epilogue: War http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-bA9FYB8HY&feature=related) and Nick Fury, fine comic book woman, and others realizing we need Captain America. Now remember the brothers ain’t never needed nobody for our struggle, but I digress.
Now ya’ll have to see this page with Captain America, he got his old school gangsta stance like alright fellas we about to go HAM (i.e. Google Kayne West HAM you’ll figure it out) on these whatever the heck you call em.
Now the next few pages got some plot twists for ya’ll with the Serpent, Odin, Iron Man (Although I must admit after reading the pages with Iron Man I was like what the hell and you will be too.), and of course the boy Thor, now let’s quickly examine the use of boy. Does Thor like being called boy? No, nuff’ said, next!
Now after this Thor gets dissed again and finally admits that hey everyone trippin and I’m gettin p—–d.
Now we introduce the Hulk and the Thing and that’s all ya’ll getting with this, can’t give it all away. Of course no brothers at all in this issue or any of the issues thus far, except for this brother right here. Another conspiracy from the Man! Peace out, ABM.