Sunday, May 22, 2011

One-paragraph reviews: Spider-Man, Fear Itself, Last Mortal, Supergirl

Amazing Spider-Man #661
Written by Christos Gage, art by Reilly Brown; Marvel

I probably wouldn't have bought this issue if I had noticed that it was written by Christos Gage before leaving the store. I read the first few issues of Avengers Academy, and while I like the characters, the weak scripts and occasionally even worse art prevented me from enjoying it. I've always been a bit puzzled by the generally positive reviews of it I see online. Here, we get the same level of quality I've come to expect from Gage: an all right story, mostly bad dialogue, and scenes that somehow ring false. No complaints about the art, though.



Fear Itself #2 (of 7)
Written by Matt Fraction; art by Stuart Immonen and Wade Von Grawbadger; Marvel

I had mixed feelings about the first issue. The story was better than I had expected, but I was really turned off by the pretentious attempt at "relevance" that steered clear of any actual political commentary. In the end, although I was curious to see what would happen next, I decided not to bother with the rest of the series or crossover event. Then I started reading Journey into Mystery and was surprised by how awesome it was. Since it seems like an important tie-in, I figured I would give the main series another try. Aside from the annoying and utterly pointless soundbites from the news that occasionally intrude on the narrative, Matt Fraction seems to have abandoned any effort to connect this story to what's going on in the real world. In fact, there isn't much of a story here at all. We see various characters pick up the hammers that fell from the sky and get transformed into different beings, which is repetitive and boring. Meanwhile, the Avengers are in full crisis mode, but it's not clear exactly what they're reacting to. In one of the most unconvincing pep speeches ever delivered, Steve Rogers talks about "incident zones" and tells his troops that people will be hurt, scared and panicking. I guess these "incidents" occurred in other books. I'm not going to start buying more titles to figure out what's going on. In fact, I regret buying this one. I'm just going to stick to Journey into Mystery from now on and hope that the story remains self-contained enough for me to be able to make sense of it without paying any attention to this.



Last Mortal #1
Written by John Mahoney and Filip Sablik; art by Thomas Nachlik; Image

Nice black and white art, but I couldn't really bring myself to care about the characters or what happens to them in this issue. The hook of this series is that the main character apparently can't die, so it was a bad idea to not explore that in the first issue. As an idea, it's not really strong enough on its own to just throw it at the reader on the last page. It might work once this is collected in a trade, but for now if the goal is to keep me buying the issues, I need a little more to go on. Especially considering this wasn't much of a twist, since I already knew what the series would be about based on the promotional material. I may or may not pick up the next issue. It'll probably mostly depend on how heavy my pull list happens to be next month. I know how unfair it is to judge a book on a single issue, but unfortunately that's the economic reality I have to deal with.



Supergirl #64
Written by James Peaty; art by Bernard Chang; DC

This concludes the "Good Looking Corpse" story that Nick Spencer started four issues ago. Looking back at the full story, I have to say it was pretty disappointing. We'll probably never know what Spencer intended to do with it, but we know that he left after only one issue because his editors apparently didn't like what he was giving them. So Peaty was almost certainly following an editorial mandate here, which makes it hard to hold him responsible for the story's failure. Does it really come as a surprise to anyone that when you take one writer's idea, have an editor twist and bend it out of shape, and then hire someone else to hack out the scripts, the results are not very good? What you get is a flat, somewhat pointless story that feels like nobody's heart was really in it. Bernard Change's art is pretty good, although this last issue feels a bit sketchier than the others, and there's a lot of ugly digital blur effects (the bane of my existence) added by the colourist.



Post a Comment

  © Blogger template 'Isolation' by 2008

Back to TOP