I know you'd never know it from my Industry-driven posting (seriously? It's what I DO), but I've actually been sick as a dog the last week, and have barely read any comics at all. But I said "I'm back on the horse", and, barring the two weeks where I couldn't log on TO post here, I am , I am! So, here's 3 (or maybe 4) books, below the cut.
AVENGERS VS X-MEN #1: Rich Johnston was right, I think, when he said this book is review proof. No one is going to buy or not buy this comic based upon anything I (or anyone else) says about it, and, because it's purely an exercise in smashing the action figures together, I doubt anyone is really looking at this for an exceptional example of sequential storytelling, or anything.
Which is terrific, because it kind of sucked.
Sort of even to the point that I'm not even really sure where exactly to begin.
Well, let's start with the talent. I like JR JR, I really do... but I like him on things that are gritty and "street" and dark -- KICK ASS he's suited for, shiny-Avengers-heroes? Not so much. Scott Hanna's inks help a little, but overall, the effect here is of the absolutely wrong artist for the book.
Then you have the "Story" credit going to FIVE different people. Really? Reallly? I mean, I have to assume that something really change-up different is going to happen at some point here, because "The Avengers and the X-Men fight" hardly needs FIVE plotters. Damn, it don't need one -- even my eight year old can plot this. In fact, I asked him to tell me why they might fight, and he said, and I shall quote: "they're superheroes, they just do"
And, oh, oh, oh, the scripting. I don't know if it's that Bendis is just getting too frayed from working on too many comics, or that I've just "learned" his ear too well from reading too many of them, but his dialogue has descended into self-parody at this point. "What's going on? Never Mind. Don't care. Are we having an Avengers meeting or--?" "Guys -- we got a thing here." Damn, they all have the same frickin' voice. Even the single normal human being in the entire comic, who has a line after flying through the sky with the rubble of the Chrysler building, then is webbed safely by Spider-Man (wait, what? How?!?! 3/4 of those people should be corpses!) says "Wow. That's It. I'm moving. I'm done."
(Plus, like, destroying the Chrysler building? This is your signifier of "yeah, the stakes are real!"? Ugh)
(See, even *I* am doing the bendis voice! Man!)
I also really like that "scorecard" thing at the top of the issue that has like 20+ Avengers, including a bunch not even cameoing in the issue (War Machine?), while the X-Men side is all of 6 people.
I don't, AT ALL, get Cyclops' motivations here. I could maybe possibly understand him if it was "We don't have enough power, we need more, we can't let the humans have this", but all of that bullshit he was spouting about rebirth and shit? Are you nuts? Scott should hate the Phoenix force more than almost any other human in the universe, given that it destroyed his first love, his child, his school, and now it is going after his grand daughter, who is "the future of the mutant race". Given what happened to Jean, how could he POSSIBLY be ok with Hope getting anywhere near the force?
Also: Where the fuck is Rachel, anyway? Why would the thing WANT Hope in the first place? We've always always seen the Phoenix force go after TELEKINETIC TELEPATHS -- what does it want with a girl whose powerset is *copying* other powers, and who, afaik, is utterly powerless without other mutants around?
Hell, maybe that's what we need five plotters to explain?
So, nope, didn't like it, not a bit... but it's going to make a big pile of money regardless. I thought it was pretty AWFUL.
INFINITE COMICS #1: Free with the digital download of AvX #1 was the first of Marvel's "Infinite Comics", by Mark Waid and Stuart Immonen. I read this as well.
I have to say that I thought it was... adequate. Waid's script is filled with some fun things about moving faster than the speed of light, but there's not a single thing about the PERSON behind the suit (other than his liking hot dogs or whatever it was, but that was so generic, it literally could have been interchangeable between Spider-Man, the Human Torch, Speedball, or fifty other characters).
The art was fairly pretty (duh), but when it came to major, important things like, dunno, SMASHING THROUGH THE CHRYSLER BUILDING, it's staged in such a way you can barely tell what's going on.
As a "What happened between panels 5 & 6 on page 4" (or whatever), it was perfectly adequate... maybe even fairly decent.
But as a technical achievement? Wow wow what a dog!
Maybe, I don't know, but maybe possibly this is because I read it on an iPad 1 -- but this, rather than the "Luther" proof-of-concept where elements fairly seamlessly "floated" into place, here each new element was on a seperate page of it's own that I could LITERALLY *see* being served to me.
What this meant was that.
What this meant was that as each page would come up on the screen.
What this meant was that as each page would come up on the screen my eye automatically started to read.
What this meant was that as each page would come up on the screen my eye automatically started to read from the left again.
What this meant was that as each page would come up on the screen my eye automatically started to read from the left again until eventually the.
What this meant was that as each page would come up on the screen my eye automatically started to read from the left again until eventually the whole page was finally rendered.
Oh. My. God! COMPLETELY unreadable.
I thought "Well, maybe it's just the first iPad?" so I went to try and read it in-browser on my computer, which Marvel SAYS you can do. I followed the link PROVIDED ON THE "redeem" page. No. That takes you to a page full of press releases about previous free digital downloads. Then I spent at least 20 minutes reading through help pages on Marvel.com, and finally found a different link that the help pages insisted was direct to "all of your free-with-print digital downloads", but THAT page redirected me instead to a four page preview of AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #1 that the only way it would let me escape was if I signed in to Marvel Digital Unlimited... which is not even close to the same thing, so I closed my browser in disgust and said "fuck it".
I probably wouldn't be so disgustipated if it wasn't for the THREE (!!) pages that IC #1 had to serve me to proclaim that this was the "FUTURE OF COMICSSSSSSSSS!!!!!"
If that's the "future" of comics, comics can go fuck themselves. As much as I didn't like the "hey we're showing off by taking control of your reading experience for you!" that "Luther" did, it was a BILLION times worse in the one-page-at-a-time slideshow on the iPad. It made me want to choke to death on someone else's vomit.
The CONTENT of INFINITE COMICS #1? EH. The EXECUTION?: Pure, stinking ASS.
THE BOYS #65: While there are 3 (4? 5?) more issues left of the series, this is really the big moment everything has been pointing to since that first issue, and there's a clear Ennis-ian Nelson-style "Haw haw!" in here as everything everyone thinks is going on is flipped on it's side before the gory gory gory gory climax of it all. I liked the twist, I thought it was "fair", but this issue really REALLY suffered, I thought by being drawn by two artists, neither of whom is Darick Robertson. Russ Brown and John McCrea are just fine, but neither is the co-creator of the series, and I kept recasting every page if DR had drawn it. The version in my head is better. Still? Solidly GOOD.
SUPREME #63: It's been like ten years since the last chapter, has it? I guess that explains why I sold less than a third of what I thought I might of this unseen Alan Moore Script? What's weird is that, as a silver age pastiche, it really kind of read as if I had just read the previous issue last month. I miss the hell out of this book. I can't believe this really was to be Moore's LAST script, though, because there's clearly 1 or 2 more issues to go along this whole thought.
I quite liked Erik Larsen's art here, though -- made me think he was channeling Kev O'Neill, especially on those Suprema pages. The blurbs seem to indicate that the next issue is abandoning the silver age stuff and going back to 90s-style Rob Liefeld Supreme, and while they're earned one more issue from me for that, my instincts say I'd rather be forced to read INFINITE COMICS again.
Anyway, does this mean we can hope for a proper reprint book of Moore's runs that isn't scanned at the wrong resolution or whatever the hell the problem was with those Checker editions?
Right, that's it for me this week, see you in a day or two with the next batch of reviews!!
As always: what did YOU think?