Four Color Weekly
posted by GW Dan
Lighter week this time around but some really good stuff. Here we go…
Avengers Academy 02
writer – Christos Gage, artist – Mike McKone
Issue two of Avengers Academy hits this week and builds off of the decidedly average debut. Gage does a good thing here by focusing the series on Finesse. Her character seems to be the one most ready for expansion into the Marvel U proper. While the overall idea that this group of teenagers are seen as the most dangerous of Norman Osborn’s recruits still doesn’t really work for me, Finesse does seem like she could cause a problem or two. The rest of the team needs to be filled out going forward but I think Gage realizes that this will be her book. And bravo to him because she is a very interesting character that could prove to be a major player if handled correctly. McKone does a fine job on the art, as he always does, though there isn’t really much to do. I’m hopping we get some action soon before this book gets bogged down in teen angst and melodrama.
writer – Andy Diggle, artist – Roberto De La Torre
Part two of Shadowland hits and steers the event in the right direction. Diggle takes a moment after the mini-series debut to flesh out the characters and their place in the world. Foggy is particularly strong here and serves as our voice to Daredevil. DD becoming distanced and walking a fine line between good and evil is nothing new. I can’t think of a modern DD writer who didn’t try it. However, with DD setting up the Shadowland in NY, and kicking out his friends and family, I get the feeling that this time things will go a little differently. Diggle does a good job setting up the pieces for the continuing story and dropping a teaser that has become cliche in recent DD stories but nonetheless gets me excited every time. De La Torre continues the grittiness of recent DD artists and that’s just fine with me. It is a style that works well for the tone and the setting. Hopefully this book shows the direction the series is headed. If so, Marvel should have a very good event on their hands.
Invincible Iron Man vol. 5 28
writer – Matt Fraction, artist – Salvador Larrocca
If we are being honest, I haven’t kept up on my Iron Man reading. I don’t exactly know why either. I love the character. I love the writing. I love the art. I guess I just trade wait too long for this series. That being said, this issue is pretty solid. In Tony’s quest to rebuild his life his company is taking a new shape. No longer a weapons developer, Stark Resilient wants to bring energy to the world. To do this, Tony needs a new team of workers and he interviews them here. He also flies to Japan and has a brief run-in with the Hammer heirs. Most of the issue is talking heads but it works. Fraction is so good on Iron Man that even an issue that has no action is still a high quality book. The art continues to improve as Larrocca refines his already excellent work. Simply put, another solid issue from a consistent team.
Vengeance of the Moon Knight 10
writer – Gregg Hurwitz, artist – Juan Jose Ryp
Issue ten sees an explanation of Moon Knight on the Secret Avengers. It’s an odd match to be sure but it works and this issue really drives home why from Moon Knight’s perspective. I like what they have done to Moon Knight recently. He has always been a solid character with way too many issues. They simply weighed him down. Bendis or Millar could have crafted an awesome story playing with the multiple personality aspect of Moon Knight but why bother? Now, writers have a much clearer path to telling good stories without the crazy baggage. The story itself here is pretty crazy in and of itself. Pirates, the Glove of Astria, a completely mental sea monster, all here. But it serves as Moon Knight’s self realization as to his placement on the team. Hurwitz does well with minimal dialogue between the team members. The story really shines in the art department. Ryp does violence and gore the way of Darrow on Hard Boiled and it is brilliant. He is perfect for this title and I hope he never leaves. Next month crosses with Shadowland. Should be a good time.
writer – Grant Morrison, artist – Tony Daniel
OK look. Here’s the thing. If you need to be out a two part story to fill in the gap between two separate stories that concluded close to two years ago, those original stories didn’t work then. Batman R.I.P and Final Crisis were simply not good. Make no mistakes about it, Grant Morrison is a talented writer. He has no place near superheroes though, especially Batman. The RIP story was a joke without an ending. Final Crisis was a convoluted mess, and I do like Johns work quite a bit. However, the current run of Batman has no business filling in the gaps. If it wasn’t important two years ago it certainly isn’t now. The issue itself is average at best. Morrison offers nothing new to the overall picture because we know Bruce died in Final Crisis and is coming back in a few months. Therefore this issue is just flat. The dialogue between Alfred and Bruce is good but otherwise this is a pass. Daniels’ artwork is among the most inconsistent in the industry. His Bruce here does not maintain the same body throughout the book’s pages. Overall, not worth your money.
writer – JMS, artist – Eddy Barrows
If you had said to me that a comic about Superman walking across America Forrest Gump style would blow me away I would have said, “depends on who’s writing it but probably not.” And I would have been very wrong. This month sees issue one in JMS’s year long Grounded story arc. In this arc JMS is going to examine what it is that makes a hero. There will be some political insight, as there already was this issue, some social insight, as there was this issue, and damn fine character work, as there was this issue. Superman may very well be the perfect choice for this type of narrative and bravo to JMS and DC for allowing it to happen. After years of some pretty mediocre Superman stories, we are going to be reminded or maybe realize just exactly why we love this character as much as we do. In this issue we see Superman making a stop in Philadelphia. And he mostly talks. That’s really about it. And it really, REALLY works. I loved it and am on the hook for more. Barrows does a nice job with the emotion of the story. Admittedly, there isn’t much in the way of panel to panel story-telling. It’s mostly talking heads. But he does well and serves the narrative. Overall this book just works. The next issue can’t get here fast enough.
That’s it for this week. Too much going on to get to anything else. Will update when I get a chance.