So I seriously contemplated stopping writing this post because this week saw two X-Men, two Avengers and a Captain America book not make the list. I wondered whether I had become too cynical or so specific in my own tastes to really be of worth to others. Of course that is ridiculous because ultimately it is about recommending the best books out there, and inherently that will be subjective. You can read from my reviews that I have passion for the books I write about and if I feel nothing for them then I struggle to say anything. Despite this I do owe you some explanations as to why these books fail to interest me, so here we go.
Uncanny Avengers was completely reasonable but I have such little interest in Synapse as a character. There has been such little exposition and as to her rapport with her grandfather? I care even less about it. This appears to be the emotional hook of the book together with the nostalgic leanings towards Cable. I understand Stegman’s characteristic style but his characters all seem to be multiply jointed and look odd. There is not enough quality within this comic to warrant recommendation despite it being perfectly competent. All New All Different Avengers was a fine comic with a rather youthful band of heroes fighting Warbringer and the Chitauri. I say youthful but it really is all change as you have Thor, Cap and Spidey as completely different characters to the old Avengers together with the teenage Nova and Ms Marvel. Add in Iron Man and you have a quite a pleasant group of Avengers, they have yet to find their personas outside of childish bickering. There is much to be done character wise and Kubert is solid physically but his action sequences are difficult to follow. Once again a reasonable comic but there just isn’t enough for me to like it. Captain America is written by one of my favourite writers in Nick Spencer, and this issue is dedicated to the premise that Sam is still a werewolf. I admire that but the story was a little incoherent and the plot strands do not link up in a sensible way, as of yet. On the one hand we have a narrative on a new Falcon who was genetically experimented upon, the other a super villain who’s turn to evil seems to be an unfortunate set of circumstances, and the another a set of bad guys who appear to believe in anti-immigration and anti-socialism, all the while Cap is sitting tied up as a werewolf. There are just too many themes that are far from unifying even though it is likely to be quite socially political. Still not a terrible comic. All New X-Men is focusing upon the X-kids and the arc finished with a younger version of the classic Scott Summers wrapping it up speech. It was quite sweet but relatively obvious that his friends would come to his rescue and he would realise his importance in the world. Hopeless writes the youth exceptionally well and for that reason the book is solid. Bayley is a solid artist but struggles when it comes to so many different appearances and faces. This first arc ended fine but there was nothing special about it. Extraordinary X-Men really missed a beat with the characters it has at its disposal. For a start the Sinister aspect of the story was pointless and served to act as a divide between Inhuman and mutants. That fails on a conceptual level because mutants have always fought for equality, never for their own independence. So there was never a moment you would imagine an X-Man ignoring an Inhuman in trouble, could you ever imagine Xavier condoning that? That is all perfectly fine as it led to Storm performing a Cyclops-esque speech which we have all heard far too many times. The single aspect that bothers me is that Logan and Jean have a dialogue that does no justice to their respective personalities. Its all too simple and sweet when you have a man that has loved Jean forever and murdered everyone he ever loved. His desire to look after Phoenix should be paralleled against his failure to be able to perform the task. She never died in Old Man Logan so his fear of losing her should be paramount. There was some exposition in the previous issues but this relationship should be respected more than to offer a single final page of which half boasted some romantic jokes. It is not good enough. Ramos is doing some lovely work on this though. So there we have it. I would be grateful for any comments on these issues in case I am missing something but Marvel may have taken some strides in social equality but the actual comics are just not that impressive. Okay lets talk about some good stuff!
Extraordinary X-Men #5 – THMLDLMCR0IP
All-New All-Different X-Men #3 – THMSBUKQK5RL
The Uncanny Avengers #4 – THMSZHINI8JE
Sam Wilson Captain America #5 – THMARDHS1FMU
All New X-Men #3 – THMDM0JTDSWN
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 – THMKEE9DLUK6
Black Knight #3 – THMPZUNN0ETJ
This was simply fantastic, conceptually and in execution. The idea of a yearbook of stories with different artists is a brave one but when each story is well thought out and excellently drawn, you are left begging for more.
There is something about Aaron’s writing that pays the appropriate amount of respect to all his characters. It has been a while since Loki became integral and many people have done him proud, and Aaron follows suit. Jane is a brave and impressive as ever and the image of her falling without Mjolnir is so very upsetting.
This book was not the same without Del Rey but it was still pretty decent. Marco Rudy is exceptional as an artist and his unique page layouts amongst realistic art is always a joy to look at. The story was suitable mythological and magical thought had a different feel to the first issue. I wonder how well this will progress with different artists.
Even though I despair at superhero guest stars such as Dr Strange, this was a well written issue. Taylor is writing the new status quo teen X-23 well, and her clone compatriots are genuinely quite unique people. I am really enjoying Lopez’s facials.
This issue served as a standalone story about Vivek and it was brilliantly done. Ellis is incredible at character exposition at times and this was him at his best. The story was disturbing and refreshingly novel making it a joy to read. Never mind that Shalvey and Bellaire provide the perfect artistic complement.
This is such an oddball book about a kid losing faith in his parents with his paranoia being validated. Tyler Jenkins in incredible on the art and colouring with a scratchy effect but the faintest of colours providing surprising amounts of emotion and tragedy.
Amazing how I can criticise Lemire on X-Men and yet he can produce some excellent character work and relationships like in this book. I think there has always been disparity between his mainstream work and creator owned. Nguyen is unbeatable at watercolours at his best and this book is testament to that.
There is a purity to this book that cannot be denied. Huck is the shining light in a world of depravity and cynicism. It is classically Millar in its heavyhandedness but it does work as a story. The art is exemplary in its ability to draw Huck as a simple but beautiful person. It does not need the surprises and twists it is starting to deliver.