Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Quickie Reviews (September 22 2010)

Small week for me. I bought five comics total (three regular purchases plus two more for reviewing) and only one of those isn't being reviewed for CBR... so, uh... one book to discuss here. Has that happened before? A quick check shows that it happened twice, two weeks in a row, and I did them both in a single post... Well, not doing that this week, because I have things to say.

Avengers #5: I'll get to the main story in a moment, but I wanted to start by pointing out something in the "History of the Avengers" prose piece in this issue (yes, I read those). Part of this issue's piece is some statements by people who are against the Avengers, questioning their motives and their existence. I want to highlight something J. Jonah Jameson says (I'm just going to reproduce the entire quote attributed to the character to give the complete context):
J. Jonah Jameson: A mask by definition is a lie. You put on the mask and you are lying to the public about who you really are. If you notice the so-called heroes that run around in these costumes... the more costume they have, the less trustworthy they are. Captain America has shown us who he really is. Meanwhile, this Spider-Man runs around in a head-to-toe body stocking with a full head mask and gloves. We don't even know what ethnicity he is. And he is allowed to be an Avenger? And we, as a city, as the world, are supposed to be okay with this? We don't get a say in the matter? We don't get to vote? I'm not okay with it. And I ran for office on an anti-super hero platform and I won the office. What does that tell you?

There's one sentence in there that made me stop and say "What the fuck?" aloud: "We don't even know what ethnicity he is." Wow. What does that have to do with anything? I know that would inform the character and how people react to him, but within this context, what does it matter? Why does Jameson say this? Why does Bendis write him as saying it? Is it meant to imply something racist about Jameson? Is it meant to just be another 'stupid' thing that Jameson says? Am I focusing on something that isn't really anything at all? I don't really have any answers. It's just a puzzling statement in an otherwise typical J. Jonah Jameson quote...

Another question while I'm at it: why is the Vision on the cover? He isn't in the comic at all...

I really liked this issue. The time travel stuff gets a little tiresome with young Tony Stark asking a lot of stupid questions -- isn't he supposed to be a genius... if so, he should really get with the program quicker. But, Bendis pulled the reverse off well with the future Stark and Maestro being forces for good (unless they're not). Thor versus Galactus is fantastic -- a stunning, awesome page by John Romita, Jr. I'm sure there are people picking apart the timeline map future Stark has drawn and I look forward to everyone's theories. One thing that did occur to me: in future Stark's past, Bendis never fucked up Noh-Varr... and that ruined the timeline? That's surprising.

I could see people not digging the talk-heavy nature of this issue, but I love time travel stories like this. The timeline folding in on itself was executed well -- loved the quick flashes and the possible clue with Maestro's angry reaction as the last two shots we see.

Yeah... a really good comic -- Bendis is hitting all of the beats I'd like to see and Romita is drawing his ass off. [****]

That's it. Later.