Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sketch Reviews (November 10 2011)

"Autumn's Here" by Hawksley Workman is the song of the moment. Just like it is every year around now. I miss baseball.

Batwoman #3: Gorgeous. The writing is getting better, too. A little more suggestive than before. But, damn, that art... [****1/4]

Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE #3: The action bits were good, but this felt like stalling for time somehow -- maybe too much exposition. 'Part three' syndrome strikes again! [***1/4]

Journey into Mystery #631: Rather good writing. I like the way Loki fits into this new Asgard. And, probably the best art Whilce Portacio has done for this comic in his short time aboard it. Still not good in a lot of spots, but much more consistent throughout and didn't entirely ruin the issue. [***]

New Avengers #18: Just fucking get on with it. Norman Osborn gathers his new Dark Avengers and I couldn't give a fuck. Why? BECAUSE IT MEANS NOTHING. We don't need to see any of this. It's something about Bendis's writing that I've grown to hate: his inability to just get on with the story without showing every minute detail that went into the story happening. Just have the new Dark Avengers show up and assume they're on the team because Osborn recruited them -- how else would they get there? This wasn't interesting or insightful or anything. It was a complete waste of 18 pages before those final two pages, which were the only needed pages. Everything that came before was filler. Also: Barney Barton? What the fuck? (Wow, having looked the character up, he's real... and sounds pretty awful. At least Max Cash was interesting...) [*]

Point One #1: Oh, Marvel... Marvel, Marvel, Marvel... I've been fairly on board with what you've been pushing since Civil War. That event may have been godfuckingawful, but it was interesting and got me into a lot of your stuff and I've been a keen reader for years. That seems to be changing. 2011 was not kind. Fear Itself was just as godfuckingawful as Civil War except it lacked the interesting ideas and hook. (No, really, what was it about?) And, now, we have Point One (a horrible title named after a horrible initiative that you keep claiming is a success even though no one else can figure out the criteria for what makes it a success in any way, shape, or form), a preview comic, basically, that sets the stage for 2012. If this is any indication, 2012 will be even worse than 2011. Granted, most of what we see here either doesn't apply to the next big event or is something we've known is coming for a while. The Ultron stuff at the end was unnecessary since we've known that there's a big Ultron story coming since the first Avengers arc... and, then, since that 'point one' issue of Avengers... and this 'tease' added absolutely nothing. No context, little content -- what was the point? Showing off how effects can deliver two entire pages of 'shaky cam' art that looks like shit as a result? Great idea! Get Bryan Hitch to draw seven pages for you and, then, make two of them look like they were printed incorrectly. So, that's seven pages wasted. I don't really care about the Scarlet Spider, so those pages were just lost on me. That they were overwritten with horrendous narration didn't help. The Nova/Terrax/Phoenix bit felt like it was meant to have a purpose and didn't accomplish anything that the 'It's Coming' teaser didn't already... except show that there's a new Nova and he responds to the death of an entire planet with the phrase 'epic fail.' Better get used to hearing that phrase, Marvel. Fuck, better make it the catchphrase of 2012 if this comic is any indication. Okay, there were some things I liked. The mutant stuff looked great, but I couldn't care less about the story. The Doctor Strange thing has lessened my burgeoning enthusiasm for The Defenders following Fraction's Comics Alliance interview. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't good either. Is there something about working in the Marvel Style that makes writers suddenly cover pages with narration? It's like a fucking Stan Lee disease or something... I kind of dug the fire and ice twins story until they broke out. It went from intriguing and a little mysterious to pretty fucking goofy with the turn of a page... and I paid six bucks for this. Fuck me. [*]

Punishermax #19: You know, Frank Castle has a pretty awesome head of hair for a man his age and the amount of stress he lives with. Decent issue that only really got going near the end. The stuff with the Kingpin being isolated and perceived as weak was smart. [***1/2]

The Unwritten #31: The active nature of the story really worked up until the end when Lizzie is all "But Tom's only been doing magic for, like, a day! What if something goes wrong?" and then something goes wrong. Still, this is promising. [***1/2]