4 Color Weekly
Delayed a bit this week due to a late ship date and a bunch of books to review. Anyway, let’s do this.
Avengers – The Children’s Crusade 01
writer – Allan Heinberg, artist – Jim Cheung
Finally! After a few years away from the characters he helped create, Allan Heinberg returns to the Young Avengers. And it really is about damn time too! Other writers have used these characters, mostly in the last few years of events, but they just didn’t “feel” spot on. Here, Heinberg returns to show us what these characters are really like and why the first series was such a success. Jim Cheung is back on pencils as well which is as it should be. This issue sets us up with a nice introduction to the overall plot of this series, namely finding the Scarlet Witch. Again, about damn time! I don’t know for sure if Marvel has been waiting to let Heinberg tell this particular story or not. If so, bravo to them. The only complaint I have with this issue is Cap being in the Steve Rogers’ costume. Not sure if this is on purpose or not but it is jarring to see, especially in a week that sees the Steve Rogers solo title debut. Ah well, a stellar issue that hits on all fronts.
writer – Brian Michael Bendis, artist – Alex Maleev
Oh hey Brian, there you are. Fucking A, this is the Bendis that helped restore my faith in comics. I feel off the comics bandwagon for a long time. And then one day at a shitty telemarketing job, my friend Rich handed me some books to look over between calls. They were mostly independent books, Hate and things like that. But it got me thinking about how much I missed comics. So i ventured to a local shop (A+, R.I.P.) and picked up a few books from Image and a Wizard mag. Wizard had a highlight on this little book called Powers that seemed interesting. I headed to the shop and picked up issues 1-4 and fell back in love. I then went and got everything Bendis I could, and still do. He is great. There are plenty of haters but for me, he gets it. Especially when he is working in this type of setting. Scarlet is a return to form for Bendis. It’s dark and gritty and fucked up and real and insane and everything a good comic should be. This is like Goldfish and Fire and Jinx. It’s brilliant. And Maleev continues the fine artistic path he blazed on Daredevil. Their run on DD was nothing short of fantastic and I hope this book continues that journey. The issue itself does what a good number one should, introduce the character and the plot. A simple summary would be a badass chick doing badass shit. It’s deeper than that and I’m sure Bendis will peel back the layers slowly and naturally. It’s what he does best. This isn’t like Avengers or Spidey. This is O.G. Bendis, my Bendis. It’s about time.
writer – Andy Diggle, artist – Billy Tan
Another month, another event. This time out we get a “street level” event starring the alleyway characters of the Marvel U. Diggle does a decent job here setting up the premise of the story. I haven’t been reading his work on Daredevil, I have it in the pile though, but I didn’t feel lost. Everything I need to get me into the story is here. Daredevil is in charge of the hand. Bullseye is back to acting like a bad guy which includes blowing up a city block in Hell’s Kitchen. Bullseye comes to attack Daredevil. At the request of the big three, Cage and Iron Fist go to talk to DD. There’s a fight. DD flips a Frank Miller storyline and leaves us with a cliffhanger. Not the greatest issue by any stretch but I’m in. Probably for all the ancillary books as well even though they “aren’t necessary.” My one big knock here is Billy Tan’s art. It isn’t bad, I just don’t love it. There is something about his work that always feels slightly off to me.
Steve Rogers: Super Soldier 01
writer – Ed Brubaker, artist – Dale Eaglesham
Picking up right where he left off with the main Cap series, Brubaker continues to be the best Steve Rogers writer in the history of the medium. He absolutely nails the character each and every time. Here we get an intro to what is shaping up to be an excellent spy series. I’ve wanted a Nick Fury book for years but I guess this will have to take its place. Dale Eaglesham is spot on as always and provides exactly the right work for this story. There really is nothing left to say about a Brubaker penned Steve Rogers story. Just get it.
Thor: The Mighty Avenger 01
writer – Robert Landridge, artist – Chris Samnee
Going into this, I had no idea what to expect. Therefore, I had no preconceived notions about the book or its creators. That being said, I liked it. A re-imagining of Thor, Landridge does a fine job of showing him to be a noble if not slightly odd warrior. Jane Foster works at a museum and gets caught up in a fight Thor is having with some security guards. A few pages later, Thor is in another fight with an awesome surprise villain, I won’t spoil it, and Jane is there again. She helps Thor back to the museum to look at the Norwegian exhibit and it is there we get our cliffhanger. I’m not sure if the story did enough to grab me though I’ll give it at least two arcs to make up my mind. The art on the other hand is great. Chris Samnee does a fine job in a style I will from now on call realitoon. Get it, like a reality cartoon. It really is quite nice and as this was my first exposure to his work, I was nicely surprised. Overall, I’m not wowed but I do love Thor. Hopefully this picks up a little going forward or I don’t see it lasting very long.
writer – Victor Gischler, artist – Paco Medina
First things first, this will not sell as many copies as the last X-Men number one, not even close. It is nineteen years later and well, the market just isn’t the same. Most of the same characters are present though minus Emma and Nate but I digress. This is the start of the big X-Men vs Vampires hullabaloo. And honestly, I could not give a shit. Sure, I like the X-Men, and I like vampires. Do I need them to cross over, not exactly. What I need is some good old fashioned mutant stories, something the X universe hasn’t been able to provide for years. The books are basically unreadable at this point and that’s with some phenomenal talent attached. This book looks to set itself apart by focusing on a new threat. My main issue here is that this is basically the same team as in the other X titles. The issue itself is decent, not spectacular. It gives a good introduction to the vampire threat and has Wolverine kill a few things. Jubilee is here for who knows what reason as she is one of the most worthless characters ever created. The art is nice if a bit sloppy in places. Overall, this will get two arcs like every other new book. If I’m not in by then, I will continue to wait for the next great X-Men team (which by the way would be Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, just saying)