Friday, March 16, 2007

This Week In Comics: Mar. 14, 2007

Civil War: The Confession
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Alex Maleev

Moving. Breathtaking. Thought-provoking. The words I can use to describe this story are endless. We get more insight into Tony's reasons for entering this conflict. Bendis lets the reader know that Stark understands that he will be seen as a villain, that if there was some way to prevent the war, he would have tried. But we see that he still believes he was right, that what he did was for the right reasons. It's a shame that this kind of emotion, that the feelings expressed by Iron Man and, to a lesser extent, Captain America were not portrayed during Civil War proper. Maleev's artwork reinforces the emotion in this book, with his artwork perfectly capturing the proper facial expressions, adding the the emotional impact Bendis' script. This could quite possibly be the best issue to be released all year.

Mighty Avengers #1
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Frank Cho

This is actually a hold-over from last week, but it doesn't matter, read this book if you can.

For a number 1, we get the proper mix of action and suspense, along with the obvious introduction to all the team players. What was even more unexpected, although appreciated, was the return of thought balloons. Rather than have the characters narrate everything they are thinking, Bendis uses the thought balloons to reinforce the characters personalities, to show how their mind works as opposed to tellings how it works. Speakig of thought processes, since this was the first Avengers team to ever be picked, it was nice to see the reasoning that went into each choice, although I'm still not sure what role Wonder Man will be playing. Schmoozy power? Not exactly clear on that one, but the other overall choices seem to work. Frank Cho handles the art beautifully, which is great because I wasn't sure what to expect considering his claim to fame is boobies, not battles.

The ending, while a little odd, definitely gives reason to come back for more. So, you know, see you next month.

New Avengers #28
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Leinil Yu

With yet another one of his books on the chopping block this week, Bendis is 3 for 3. This is a good complement to Mighty Avengers because it shows that Bendis has the ability to write two team books that are extremely different from one another. Where Mighty Avengers is a government sanctioned team, the New Avengers are in a much grittier environment. They're not living in Stark Tower anymore, and it shows. It's interesting to see that it's going to be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, for these characters to lead a normal life. You know it's bad when you can't go out and buy milk without having a cop shoot you. Yu's artwork still looks great, but due to it being high energy in nature, it looks a little odd when the Avengers are just standing around, and since this is a Bendis book, you know they'll be standing around a lot. Enjoyable, but distracting none-the-less. This is a good overall read.

Punisher War Journal #5
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Ariel Olivetti

This book is interesting. It's interesting because for the past two issues, Punisher's barely been present, yet the stories are still captivating. From the beat cop who takes "serve and protect" to an all new level to the "scumliness" of G.W. Bridge to the awesomely retarded Bushwhacker, Fraction is creating a world that shows why we need more of the Punisher. Olivetti's art is great even if it's slightly unbelievable (just look at Punisher's arms: they're frickin' huge!). Story-wise, the end ties this book into recent events in the Marvel universe, so it's just a matter of time before we see whether rumors about Capunisher are true. I think it would be cool, at leat for a story arc or two.

This book isn't necessary, but it's damn-well written. I think I'm in love.

Thunderbolts #112
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Mike Deodato, Jr.

I'm still enjoying this series, but it's starting to feel like more of the same. It's hard to care for these characters when you know, and they know, that they are absolutely despicable and don't seem to care. I understand that Ellis is trying to show that anything can be seen positively with enough media spin, but I'm finding it hard to believe that society would be this eager to accept this group of murderers as a new premier group of "superheroes." I do like the conflict between Moonstone (the team leader) and Songbird, and Osborn's "obsession" with Spider-Man, and further insight into Gargan's relationship with the symbiote, but when some of the most interesting aspects only appear "on-screen" for a page or two, we have a problem. I'm intrigued, but it may not be enough to keep me interested past the first arc.

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