Two weeks worth of reviews and they’re pretty much all Avengers related, well except for Godzilla. PULL LIST ASSEMBLE!
September 21, 2011
The Avengers Vol. 4 #17 (32pg., Ongoing, $3.99, Marvel)
Brian Michael Bendis (Writer), John Romita Jr. (Penciller) & Alan Davis (Cover)
The talking head interviews finally come to an end with this Fear Itself tie-in. I’m pretty sure that filler is what Bendis came up with out of boredom with this crossover event. Alot of people aren’t fans of Romita Jr.’s art on the Avengers but he’s great with large scale battles and there’s a good amount of them here. We finally get to see the Avengers & the New Avengers strike back against Sin and her Nazi mech forces in a big way because of the genius of a seldom-used team member. Not the best issue but a handful of awesome scenes help make up for it (see: Hawkeye & Protector). I’m excited for the Avengers post-Fear Itself and look forward to the upcoming roster changes in the next issue.
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #7 (32pg., Limited Series, $3.99, Marvel)
Allan Heinberg (Writer) & Jim Cheung (Penciller, Cover)
I really don’t care if it takes two months or more for the issues to come out. Avengers: The Children’s Crusade is the best Avengers title Marvel has right now, which is funny considering it’s only a limited series. Heinberg uses some questionable characterization but overall his story is amazing. Cheung’s art is epic and beautiful, by far the best artist Marvel has. The delays are worth keeping these two together so they can make magic happen. This issue finally starts the confrontation between the Avengers, Young Avengers and the X-Men over the fate of the Scarlet Witch. The fight starts here but it doesn’t end here and is far from over. I can’t wait to see what ramifications this book has on the rest of the Marvel Universe.
Invincible Iron Man #508 (32pg., Ongoing, $3.99, Marvel)
Matt Fraction (Writer) & Salvador Larroca (Penciller, Cover)
I’ll start off by saying I love Matt Fraction as a writer and Salvador Larroca’s art, they are the perfect team for Iron Man and i’ve been with the title from the beginning. Unfortunatelly i’m losing interest in this Fear Itself tie-in, maybe i’m getting event burnout. Pepper and Sasha Hammer’s Detroit Steel team take on Grey Gargoyle, with a very horrifying ending. Tony Stark makes enchanted weapons with Asgard dwarves to bring the fight to earth against the Worthy, expect his weapons to have a huge impact in Fear Itself #7. Huge fan of the title, just bored of the current story. I look forward to Stark getting back to dealing with Detroit Steel and the return of the Mandarin.
September 28, 2011
Avengers Academy #19 (32pg., Ongoing, $2.99, Marvel)
Christos Gage (Writer), Tom Raney (Penciller) & Billy Tan (Cover)
Avengers Academy has been one of the few ongoings with Fear Itself tie-ins that i’ve enjoyed, that being said i’m glad they will be moving on after this issue. Gage’s writing is masterful as always and he really makes you feel for the students. I’d love to see what Gage could do with the main Avengers team or maybe a West Coast team (hint, hint). Raney’s art is fantastic and I hope he sticks around for more issues. The kids make some very tough choices in this issue in their fight against Absorbing Man and Titania. The decision of one of the students will lead to major changes in the next issue, I look forward to the new roster and the schools move to the West Coast.
Eric Powell (Writer, Cover), Tracy Marsh (Writer) & Victor Santos (Penciller)
Victor Santos’s art is a little cartoony but it works for a concept as awesome and silly as Kingdom of Monsters, I love how he draws Battra. Powell & Marsh lay off the parodies as we follow Steven Woods, one of the few human characters you can root for in the comic. The Battra twins scheme to rule the world in the wake of the destruction and manage to control another monster. This issue is very light on actual appearances by Godzilla and reads pretty quickly but it sets up a HUGE battle in the next issue. Kingdom of Monsters has had it’s ups and downs but i’m happy to be along for this giant monster fueled ride.
Nick Spencer (Writer), Ariel Olivetti (Penciller) & Salvador Larroca (Cover)
Nick Spencer’s story continues with part 2 of the Palmer Addley Infection, this time with the help of Josh Fialkov. For whatever reason this story just doesn’t do it for me, which is sad considering how good of a writer Spencer is. Olivetti’s art is beautiful, every panel looks like an intricate painting. For whatever reason his art doesn’t seem to click with the story though, I think he would be better served on another title (his work on Namor is fantastic). Nothing seems to mesh well for this book, to the point that the Fear Itself tie-in issues were a nice change of pace from the main story arc. The story doesn’t make much sense and the main character (James Rhodes) is barely in the book. I just don’t see a War Machine book without War Machine lasting much longer, which is probally the only reason I haven’t dropped it from my pull list.
The New Avengers Vol. 2 #16.1 (32pg., One-Shot, $2.99, Marvel)
Brian Michael Bendis (Writer) & Neal Adams (Penciller, Cover)
Between Fear Itself, Wonder-Man’s Revengers & The Return of Norman Osborn… it’s not a very good time to be an Avenger! This is another of Marvel’s .1 books that serve as an entry point for new readers. Long time Avengers artist Neal Adams serves as a nice fill in for the issue, his work has a very classic feel to it and it works. Bendis really simplifies the story, almost dumbing it down. If anything it makes sense since the .1 issues are supposed to be a comic that a non-reader could pick up and follow the story easily. This book isn’t spectacular but it serves it’s purpose by setting up the re-emergence of H.A.M.M.E.R. and the New Avengers next story arc. Dark Avengers Assemble!
Secret Avengers #17 (32pg., Ongoing, $3.99, Marvel)
Warren Ellis (Writer), Kev Walker (Penciller) & John Cassaday (Cover)
The 2nd of Warren Ellis’s six issue Secret Avengers run. Ellis makes being a superhero secret agent fun and you’ll be glad you’re along for the ride. Each of Ellis’s 6 issues will have a different artist, this time it’s Kev Walker (Thunderbolts). Walker’s art is fantastic and i’m starting to think I should pick Thunderbolts up again. The story has Steve Rogers, Sharon Carter, Valkyrie & War Machine go to Europe to stop a villain straight out of Maximum Overdrive. It’s silly spy business and i’m loving it. An Avengers title that doesn’t have Spider-Man or Wolverine and is written by Warren Ellis? I mean come on, it really doesn’t get much better than that.
If you’re getting tired of Fear Itself like I am, I’d highly recommend picking up Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #7 & Secret Avengers #17. By far my best pulls in the past two weeks.
Next week? Avengers 1959 #1, Fear Agent #31, iZombie #18 & The Walking Dead #89.