100th Anniversary Special: The Avengers (September 2014)

100th Anniversary Special: The Avengers

Marvel really let James Stokoe do an Avengers comic? He sets it in 2063–a hundred years from the first Avengers comic (identical to the thing Paul Pope did with Batman: Year 100 but who’s counting)–and sets this team of Rogue (immortal thanks to Wolverine somehow), Beta Ray Bill (immortal because he’s a god) and Dr. Strange (immortal through incarnation) on an adventure. Well, some of it is just them going to check up on Tony Stark, who’s brain is now in a giant Iron Man building.

It’s crazy, crazy stuff but it isn’t until the end of the issue where Stokoe’s actually visionary. The future setting, the odd cast–those are just Stokoe standards. He’s not trying anything new here, he’s just bringing some eclectic enthusiasm to a commercial comic.

Except his resolution with the guest villain. Stokoe makes a profound observation about superhero comics–Marvel or not, Avengers or not–with it.

B+ 

CREDITS

Writer, artist, colorist and letterer, James Stokoe; editor, Jon Moisan; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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The Mice Templar Volume III: A Midwinter Night’s Dream 2 (January 2011)

The Mice Templar Volume III: A Midwinter Night's Dream #2

Glass is having some real problems with cliffhangers in Midwinter, if this second issue is any indication. After not just going through the main plot, but also introducing the supporting cast back from the previous volume, Glass quarantines these first two issues (for protagonists Cassius and Karic, anyway). He’s moved the players from point A to point B and now he’s ready to get started again.

It’s like a soft reset, with the ground situation now changed. It feels like a combination of treading water and contriving trouble.

There’s still a lot of strong material in the issue–some fantastic action art from Santos–and Glass’s character moments are excellent. He’s just all over the place. This issue it becomes clear Cassius hasn’t been the protagonist these first two issues so much as subject; his lost love has a whole lot more going on and self-awareness.

Hopefully things will get started now.

B 

CREDITS

Consequences; writer, Bryan J.L. Glass; artist, Victor Santos; colorist, Veronica Gandini; letterer, James H. Glass; editor, Judy Glass; publisher, Image Comics.

Deep Gravity 1 (July 2014)

Deep Gravity #1

Deep Gravity is missing something rather important–a hook. It’s a sci-fi series about people working on a different planet, mining its resources and bringing them back to Earth. The explanations all sound scientific, but it doesn’t seem to actually be scientific, so the hook isn’t it being “hard science” sci-fi.

The protagonist is some guy who goes to the planet to talk to his ex-girlfriend. It’s a three year trip so he’s dedicating six years just to talk to her again. Their relationship is fairly lame so it’s not a hook either.

Then there’s the art, from Fernando Baldó. This other world is some crazy mostly ocean place where plants and animals are the same thing. Apparently. Except none of the designs are particularly good. Baldó’s got a lot of issues with people, places, things. So the art’s not the hook.

So far Gravity’s painfully mediocre.

C 

CREDITS

Writers, Mike Richardson, Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko; artist, Fernando Baldó; colorist, Nick Filardi; letterer, Nate Piekos; editors, Shantel LaRocque and Scott Allie; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

The Fury of Firestorm, The Nuclear Man 14 (July 1983)

The Fury of Firestorm, The Nuclear Man #14

Until the silly eighties toys show up at the end–the villain rides around in absurd tank–it’s a decent enough issue. Well, the villain–Enforcer (Conway remembering his old Spider-Man days perhaps)–is lame, but some of it might be the art. Broderick starts the issue strong and then loses his grip by halfway through. This time it’s worse than bad faces, it’s goofy bodies and so on.

But the issue itself isn’t bad, Conway’s initial plot–Ronnie and Martin getting the newly unemployed scientist a job at Ronnie’s burger joint–works. He just keeps adding on to the plot until the issue is bloated. He doesn’t give anything enough time and keeps throwing in hints at future subplots.

The action finish–that tank–is silly and poorly conceived. All this action in a confined space cuts down on action possibilities for Broderick.

It’s a rather problematic issue.

B- 

CREDITS

Enforcer; writer, Gerry Conway; penciller, Pat Broderick; inker, Rodin Rodriguez; colorist, Gene D’Angelo; letterer, Adam Kubert; editors, Nicola Cuti and Conway; publisher, DC Comics.

Low 1 (August 2014)

Low #1

Low is a gorgeous comic. Greg Tocchini doing sci-fi. It’s just gorgeous, especially the double page spreads.

Unfortunately, it’s clear from the first few pages of the comic writer Rick Remender is not bringing the same caliber of work. Instead, he’s writing a derivative, wordy, knock-off of “Lost in Space,” only set underwater.

The issue opens with lots of marriage banter between the narrator and his upper class wife. He’s just the guy who drives the ship–in this case, the ship is the bubble city humanity survives in. He wants to teach the daughters to drive, the wife doesn’t. I didn’t think Remender was so cheap he’d use tragedy to endear the reader to the family in the first issue but I was wrong. Remender’s a really cheap writer.

If it were just bad dialogue or dumb plotting, the art might make it worthwhile. But not both.

D 

CREDITS

The Delirium of Hope; writer, Rick Remender; artist, Greg Tocchini; letterer, Rus Wooton; editor, Sebastian Girner; publisher, Image Comics.

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