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Single Issue (And Also A Movie) Review

by  in Comic News Comment
Single Issue (And Also A Movie) Review

I finally watched a superhero movie in another medium. So I guess this is a media review. Not a mediums. I’m glad someone in the comments section told me that I made a mistake on the plural of medium without saying I deserved violence committed upon me for not knowing the difference. Because that would have been completely unreasonable on an absurd level, wouldn’t it?

That bit of petty vindictiveness over empty threats of violence aside, let’s get to the second most popular weekly reviews on this site!

Amazing Spider-Man #573– So, despite the unfulfilled promise of a Señor Frowny Pumpkin appearance, I liked this issue well enough. It’s the kind of anticlimactic ending you really expect from a big superhero blockbuster comic these days, as most things need to be left in place for the next one. I can live with that if the story as a whole worked for me, which this one did in spite of any number of seeming deal breakers (Scopi-Venom?), but it can’t help coming off a bit flat as the final part of a story anyway.

That said, I’m always going to enjoy a Dan Slott written, John Romita Jr. drawn Spider-Man comic to a certain degree. That makes me wonder if I’m actually enjoying the comic or the names attached to it sometimes, but I think they’re actually putting in solid work here. It’s not the huge fight comic I was expecting given the delay, and it’s not as fun as Slott’s best work, but it splits the difference on the punch and zinger orgy I was hoping, so that at least means it was solid work.

The Colbert/Spidey back up story was also solid but somewhat disappointing. Reality TV’s Mark Waid hit all of Colbert’s trademark shtick there, and I liked the “delusional hero” angle of Spidey wanting nothing to do with him, so that was nice. It was mildly amusing. So, it should feel perfectly fine as a back up. I wanted more from it for some reason, though, despite the fact that I’m only a casual viewer of Colbert (I can only handle him in small doses. I think he just does the jack ass pundit routine too well). That said, J. Jonah Jameson’s hilariously stingy campaign contribution? Gold.

Booster Gold #13– I picked this up solely because Rick Remender was writing it. I just read Fear Agent volume 4, so the idea of the guy who wrote that doing Booster f’n Gold was too interesting/cognitively dissonant to not pick up.

The results were fine. Perfectly good comics. Booster doesn’t do much for me as a character unless he’s hatching get rich quick schemes with Blue Beetle (well, and he was okay in 52 I guess), so I can’t get too excited about him as a protagonist. I also have no idea who Booster’s female sidekick is here, so that was somewhat off putting.

Remender brought some of the ultraviolence from Fear Agent here (he finds a particularly nasty way to relieve Gorilla Grodd of the mind controlling starfish on his face), so that was nice, and he takes good advantage of time travel.

To be honest, I’m always down for a story where everyone’s favorite evil alien mind controlling starfish is wreaking havoc. So I’m on board for this storyline. The promise of infanticide next issue at least means there’s a certain consistency with Remender’s other sci-fi work, which I will get around to reviewing at some point soon.

Iron Man: the Movie– So, I finally watched this. And… I liked it all right. I’m not sure why I wasn’t more enthused by it. Everything was well done. The cast was pretty much perfect, the plot moved well, the fight scenes were coherent; this was pretty much everything you could want out of a superhero movie.

I just wasn’t as crazy about it as much as I feel like I ought to be, especially given how much everyone seems to love it. The fact that it took me five months to watch it on a slow Friday night could have something to do with it, mind you; I probably would have enjoyed this a lot more with a hot crowd on opening night. That post credits Nick Fury cameo was pretty rad no matter how you slice it. Also, it occurs to me that I may enjoy this more on subsequent viewings. If nothing else, I do need to see it on an HD TV.

Marvel Adventures Avengers #29– I really love Parker and Tobin’s “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in a sitcom” approach to this comic. This month’s wacky premise; Storm and Thor are on a date, and the rest of the team has to keep an angry Odin from ruining it! Also, the Cobra and Mr. Hyde hatch a scheme, with wacky results!

I have no idea if kids enjoy/would enjoy this or not, especially since kids are not a monolithic entity, as much as we try to all lump them in to one when it comes to comics. But I sure as hell do get a kick out of this book, so at least someone gets something out of it.

Secret Six #2– An internet friend of mine reccomended this series to me pretty highly, so I picked it up. And by pretty highly, I mean he would not stop asking me if I had picked up an issue yet. So, the hard sell worked there.

This was another fine if unspectacular comic. The parallel plots (Catman kickboxes Batman on a roof in Gotham while the rest of the team tries to break the Tarantula out of Alcatraz) were solid. Gail Simone displayed her trademark humor in a couple of places, it all flowed well, and we got a solid cliffhanger (even if I have no idea who any of those villains are besides Cheshire). Her take on Bane is interesting, and she also lets Batman drop his facade a little bit and show how compassionate he is, so that was nice.

Also, I really have to admire her boldness in bringing the Tarantula back. Did anyone like her when Devin Grayson introduced her in Nightwing? Before Burgas got people’s hackles up, her exploits generated the most acrimony over Nightwing I’ve ever seen. So, I mean, that’s quite a reclamation project Ms. Simone’s committed to, if she plans on keeping her around longer than a couple issues.

Nikola Scott provides solid art work. She gets a couple of fun set pieces to play with and she does well with the Batman/Catman slug fest. Solid work on that end.

This may have been a bad place to jump on to a series that’s been going on in different forms for three years now. It wasn’t bad by any means, but based solely on this issue, I’m not exactly chomping at the bit to read more. Happens sometimes.

Uncanny X-Men #503– I don’t enjoy this as much as Immortal Iron Fist, and that’s one of the two problems I have with this comic. I have always liked oranges more than apples, though.

Once I realize the inequality there (since they can only make “illusion of change” renovations to the X-Men’s status quo, while they were able to really overhaul Iron Fist’s) I can get over that.

The story has its cool elements. Pixie gets her big, heroic moment where she proves herself to the rest of the team. That was cool. The New Mutants get a nice conversation at the beginning, so that’s cool. I am also very fond of the little caption boxes that introduce the characters in each issue. Those are neat. (Can I use neat, or should I leave the Jimmy Olsen-isms to Cronin?)

That seems kind of superficial but, well, I am kind of superficial. That and it’s a mid-storyline issue, so it’s nice that anything happened at all, given the way some people pace their comics.

Oh! There’s a big reveal in there, but I can’t say I care one way or the other. I’m willing to see where they go with it, but I’m neither happy nor appalled that Scott’s old baby mama (well, they were married, so it doesn’t fit, but I did just watch that movie, and it is a funnier phrase) is back from the dead, apparently. At least it’s not his other occasionally evil, mystically powered, red headed ex.

The other problem I have with the Frubaker era of X-Men thus far is Greg Land’s hyper airbrushed art, but it doesn’t detract from the comic enough for me to actively dislike it. It’s more of a mild irritant, but I am not a fan of it at all. At least the Dodsons are showing up for the next arc. I never thought I’d be happy to see them on a comic, but here we are. (To be fair, I do like them well enough, I’ve just never been crazy about them.)

Really, I’m just happy to have an X-Men comic I enjoy reading on a monthly basis again. I am interested in where my favorite writing team in comics (although that isn’t much of a contest these days) is going with the new status quo of the X-Men being in the most tolerant place on Earth (or at least in the US of A). Although, really, the fact that Wolverine and Nightcrawler are hanging out together is enough to get me to enjoy this, so I’m not the most objective person in the world on this particular comic.

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