12.29.2011

12.21.11 Reviews

Uncanny X-Force #19 (Marvel): I’m just catching up on reviews from last week, so I thought I’d jot down some quick thoughts. I was really nervous that a(nother) new artist coming on would ruin the magic here, but I’m pleased to report that’s definitely not the case. Robbi Rodriguez is a worthy aesthetic successor to Jerome Opena, feeling like equal parts Opena, Nathan Fox, and even Kyle Baker in spots with that anemic sort of emotional line. I like it! Fantomex is still really stealing the show, turning in these performances that are full of arrogance, intelligence, and wit, seemingly several moves ahead of everyone else on the chess board, as he pushes the nurture vs. nature debate in all kinds of interesting directions. I really enjoy all of the baggage from the Age of Apocalypse timeline left over from the last arc. There’s Jean and Logan, the toilet humor of Deadpool and Sabretooth, Nightcrawler and Kitty, the “new” Warren, and Psylocke actually looks Asian! There’s small character moments, like Logan giving the sword to Sabretooth, and I’m still enjoying Remender’s swipes at DC with Evan’s “super” origin. The confluence of the Logan/Beast/X-Force/Avengers/Jean Grey School conflict is bloody brilliant, and Fantomex saying “befriend girls with loose morals” is absolute gold. UXF still has it all, action, humor, characterization, moral complexity, all in a very slick looking package. This is how you do it, folks. Grade A+.

Batman #4 (DC): I don’t have a lot to say on this one, but I’m still really enjoying it. Intense action, smart writing, and relationship driven storylines amid the grandeur of Gotham City feels like the proper recipe for a proper modern Batman, and it succeeds on all fronts. Snyder finds a clever way to add something to the Batman/Bruce Wayne origin story regarding The Court of Owls, without it being some jarring retcon, all positioned within Alan Wayne’s legacy and the history of Gotham. I also enjoyed the counterpoint between Bruce’s obsession and Dick’s pragmatism. Grade A.

Wonder Woman #4 (DC): For some reason, this book felt like the front half was really treading water and not doing anything. But, by the time someone said “We will protect our Queen. To the death.” I was all in. I still really appreciate the new direction this has taken, the whole “feminine code” bit between Hera and Hippolyta, and it’s definitely pretty to look at, but I feel like a) I need to re-read all the issues in one sitting, or at least the entire first arc, in order to make a long term decision regarding my financial support of the title, and b) that if Cliff Chiang left, so would I. Grade B+.

Wolverine & The X-Men #3 (Marvel): Argh, I really want to like this book! I dig Jason Aaron so much, but some bits of this really bugged me. First off, anything that takes 3 artists, 7 inkers, and 2 colorists to complete is likely to be a muddled mess. It’s true, some of the art is just very difficult to parse, and there’s so many massive conversations taking place amid the rubble and noisy art that it just feels like a mess visually at times. I like the characters though. Logan saying “You’re Captain America, you’re allowed to do whatever the hell you want.” is a great little moment, as was the entire Logan/Cap convo regarding the future of young Quentin Quire. I feel like Aaron and Brian Wood have been chatting about how Wood’s impending Wolverine/Kid Omega series is going to fit into all of this, and that’s nice to see from a collaborative/editorial perspective I guess(?). For me, Aaron commits one of the cardinal writing sins by inserting the “trending on Twitter” lines in here. That’s’ the kind of thing that will instantly date a comic, today’s Twitter is tomorrow’s MySpace. He kinds of saves it at the end with the Matt Murdock cameo. I guess I’ll try to stick with this, but like Cliff Chiang on Wonder Woman, I feel like all it would take is a less than desirable art change here, and I’d be out fairly quickly. Grade B.

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