3.24.2011

3.23.11 Reviews

The New York Five #3 (DC/Vertigo): Yeah, yeah, yeah, Brian Wood is a great writer. You’ve heard me say it dozens of times, and he does have his way with words here, richly populating the script with literary references, local landmarks, and biting comments like “you were always the smarter one.” There’s even a delightful little bit of fourth wall breakage from the writer regarding St. Mark’s Place, you’ll know it when you see it, but the real prize making this a destination title right now is Ryan Kelly’s art. I think I’ve seen everything Kelly has done over the years, including his own sketchbooks and creator owned titles, miscellaneous other mainstream work, and all of his other numerous collaborations with Wood, but I’m going to go ahead and say it, this is the best work of his career to date. The evidence is littered so thoroughly throughout the book that you almost miss the grandeur due to its pervasive nature. It’s there in the detail, the environments, the sense of depth, and the emotional content of the art. The full page shots are immaculate, and I like how they’re not gratuitous displays or story cheats, but organic masterpieces. Getting back to the writing, Wood gives us this portrait of young women who can occasionally come together, but are each torn in their own unique directions. He’s giving us a rare slice of reality, capturing what it’s like to be a young person learning as they go. It’s chaotic to an outsider, but critical for the actual participants. Grade A.

Uncanny X-Force #6 (Marvel): Esad Ribic continues to temporarily take over for Jerome Opena, continuing the story begun in issue 5, but needlessly interrupted by issue 5.1… got all that? It’s back to the Deathlok Nation, attempting to take over the World and trying to kill Fantomex in a move that must have something to do with his big unexpected action in the first arc. Ribic’s art has similar overall shapes and proportions as Opena’s, but much less detail and kinetic energy in the action sequences. The talking heads sequences are actually the better artistic offering, delivering a beautifully played Captain Britain “cameo” and by the end, the art was growing on me, with depictions of Logan and Brian that looked like John Cassaday had drawn some of the faces and eyes in particular. The fighting feels random, it all seems to be missing the narrative gravitas of the first arc, and none of the quippy dialogue is as effervescent or sharp. The line “one does not destroy a tool for its potential misuse” is incredibly hypocritical coming from Fantomex, considering what he *just* did. It all just feels like a random side story, one of hopefully not many, that will forever be chasing the perfection of the first four issue arc. Grade B+.

FF#1 (Marvel): Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting relaunch a behemoth title and there’s a nice balance of interesting bits with some head-scratchers, at least for this new reader. I do like the way that Hickman has managed to carve out a little “Hickman-verse” for himself amid the Marvel titles he’s currently on, including Fantastic Four, Secret Warriors, and SHIELD, by co-mingling the characters in his various titles. I like Reed’s resigned acquiescence to Johnny’s last wish. I like the back page spread that contains the type of graphic design elements of Hickman’s early work, when he burst onto the scene with Image titles like The Nightly News and Pax Romana. However, why is Sue in charge of Atlantis? Who is this odd mix of eclectic characters comprising the Future Foundation? Does this have the potential to be a true game-changer or will it peter out like all the rest? I’m mildly interested, but not quite sure I’m intrigued enough to give it another issue or two. Grade B.

2 Comments:

At 10:53 AM, Blogger Tom P said...

“one does not destroy a tool for its potential misuse” is incredibly hypocritical coming from Fantomex considering what he *just* did"

Interesting, because to me that sort of confirms my theory. Did Fantomex do what he did? He can alter your perception remember. Maybe he protected rather than destroyed after all.

 
At 12:36 PM, Blogger Justin said...

WOW.

I never considered that, Tom. If true, a brilliant bit of misdirecction!

 

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