Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sketch Reviews (January 26 2012)

Smaller week, but that's a nice change of pace.

Captain America & Bucky #626: I really liked last issue, the first done by James Asmus and Francesco Francavilla, but this one left me cold. The best parts of the first issue were when it focused on the replacement Captain America and Bucky. This issue seemed to languish, focusing on the modern day stuff where everything is very typical superhero comic. They finally found an area of Marvel history ripe for exploration and it's glossed over? Francavilla's art is nice, of course. Not sure how long I'm sticking with this, especially with the change of focus coming up. [***]

Secret Avengers #21.1: I love how the membership of the team of 'classified' when every ad for the new creative team shows the members of the team. I get it, that's not the team yet, but still... All in all, a good issue. Remender has a nice take on Hawkeye that reminds me of the old Cap/Hawkeye dynamic. I'll want to see a 'regular' issue before I make any final judgments on sticking with this comic. Right now, it stays. [***1/2]

The Ultimates #6: Another quiet issue. And that's good. A lot happens in quiet issues like this. The opening scene where Fury is trying to get Steve Rogers to come back is great -- it isn't to be part of the Ultimates, it's just to convince the president that attacking the Children of Tomorrow is suicide, that they need to accept that the Children are a superior force to such a degree that the only way to move forward is to ignore them and try to go on. It's such an unusual 'status quo' for a superhero comic. Throw in some great scenes with Tony Stark, the new Captain Britain, Reed Richards and the Falcon, and Hawkeye trying to rewrite the rules of the game and this continues to be one of my favourite comics. It pushes my personal buttons. Brandon Peterson does some decent work, but I can't wait for the full return of Esad Ribic (though, where was Dean White?). [****]

The Unwritten #33.5: The 'origin' of Madame Rausch and it's... pretty fucked up. Vincent Locke returns to help out on the art. This was an issue that I wasn't really into at first, but it won me over by the end. Not many comics can pull off these half issues that fill in gaps... but The Unwritten can. I'll miss them when they're gone, I think. This world is so rich that there's always room to explore the mixture of fact and fiction. [***3/4]

Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine: The trade came out yesterday and reading it was something I did this morning. I had heard a lot of good things and they were all right. Jason Aaron is quite good at delivering weird, 'awesome' stuff without it being empty and there just to be there. Granted, the villain of this story lends himself to random awesome like this, but... hey, who am I to complain? I didn't really buy how much the two dislike one another at first. That fed into the story and lent itself to something of an emotional arc. Once again, Spider-Man finds some measure of happiness and it's taken away from him. Probably the best 'astonishing' comic I've read from Marvel -- the first that seemed to really grasp the point (or, the point Marvel has been trying to make in the press) about the line. There may have been a lot of references to things that longtime readers would understand, but this was a very basic story that mostly presented the two heroes in a way that matches up with the movie versions. If you haven't given it a read, it's worth tracking down. [****]