Saturday, 24 October 2015

Comic Reviews, October 2015

More very personal and subjective gut feeling reviews of stuff what I've read of late. Long story short: Secret Wars is increasingly disappointing.

Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps

Some Kellys and a Lopez
4 issues

Started off pretty well with a kind of mystery about a ship and a nice touch that none of the flyers know what a star is, but fizzled in the last two issues. Ends with the lady Blackhawks just sort of flying off. A couple too many pilot characters in the main cast to track, with the non-Marvel Modesty Blaise one weirdly jarring. The character of Rhodey from the domain-next-door was pretty much wasted, spending most of his time in the barracks, and the art just wasn't clean enough for a series about sexy aerobatics. A bit disappointing.
Also, I hate the weird bit-of-hair-poking-out-the-top costume.

Planet Hulk

Sam Humphries, Marc Laming, Michael Del Mundo (covers)
5 issues
A great concept - gladiator Cap and his pal Devil Dinosaur trek across gamma wastelands and get into all sorts of scrapes. Decent enough art inside, and rather lovely green-soaked paintings for the cover art. Probably goes on at least one issue too long though, and the weird twist with Doc Green doesn't sit right at all. Good shots of Steve and Devil curled up together for the night, and Devil's letters page in issue 2 is a riot.

Ultimate End

Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Bagley
4 issues (so far)

Not bad. Getting old hands Bendis and Bagley to write the Ultimate Universe's (kinda) swansong was a smart move, and Bendis does what he does best with the dialogue - the Tony & Tony scenes are marvellous with one recovering alcoholic berating his unrepentant alkie counterpart. Only problem is that it's written like a big Earth-616 vs Earth-1610 crossover comic in itself, rather than the weird post-merge bottle story that it actually is. Not the creators fault as such, though this would have been better placed as the genuine 'countdown to Secret Wars' series and released some 9 months ago.

Squadron Sinister

Marc Guggenheim, Carlos Pacheco
3 issues (so far)

Really liked this at first, with naughty old Hyperion, Nighthawk et all waging their war of expansion across Battleworld, but 3 issues in and I'm beginning to tire of seeing them repeatedly snap the necks of beloved characters from obscure old Marvel series, whether it's Captain Savage, Spitfire (she of the Troubleshooters), St George or the Yankee Clipper. Not to mention the sad demise of the Frightful Four. Hypes and Nighty are just too darn powerful and evil. Why doesn't Doom nuke them from on high or drop a couple of dozen Thors on their heads? I really want them to die. Fingers crossed they go down at the hands of Malibu's Ultraverse or even better, Strikeforce Morituri.

Secret Wars

In Battleworld, the Fringe Cosmic is all the rage
Jonathan Hickman, Esad Ribic
6 issues (so far)
My dissatisfaction with the writing style of Jonathan Hickman is a matter of record, so I will add little more here, save to point out once again that he seems incapable of giving anyone but the Spider-Men a personality (see a nice exchange between Pete and Miles in issue #6) - it's like they've parachuted Bendis in just to pen the Spidey scenes. As for Ribic's artwork, it is perfectly reasonable, but there are scenes in issue #6 where it is impossible to tell Sue Storm from her daughter Valeria - same face, same hair, same outfit, and to make matters worse, the dull villain Black Swan is sporting the same heavy blonde fringe. It must be Doom's Will or something.

Why? Why do I keep buying them?

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