1.18.12 Reviews (Part 2)
Uncanny X-Force #20 (Marvel): Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini kick off a story about Captain Britain holding Fantomex accountable for assassinating the child Apocalypse, with Psylocke right in the middle. Early on, I was enjoying the art, which has a sort of painterly aesthetic, referencing the Excalibur era, and the Captain Britain of decades past. The art transitions grow to be a little confusing toward the end, but it’s mostly held together by Dean White’s amazing colors. I enjoyed the elitism of Brian, Otherworld containing access to the Omniverse, and the team attempting to swap in the AoA Nightcrawler for Warren, which really disrupts the dynamic. Deadpool doesn’t have as much of his trademark humor as usual, but does get a couple nice moments, with a snapping monologue. What’s really crazy about the guy is that he has these moments of clarity, and you never know what you’re going to get. Interesting tidbit that Fantomex is an anomaly which only exists in 616. It’s not as grand as the prior highs the book has witnessed, but there’s still enough flash and complex themes at play to keep me interested. Grade B+.
Wonder Woman #5 (DC): The transition from Cliff Chiang to Tony Akins isn’t as jarring as I thought it would be, but hey, it still ain’t Cliff Chiang. The doe eyes are a little distracting, and there seemed to be some small little sharp notes here and there, and the arc break also feels odd. Did things really resolve after last issue? Is this the start of a new arc already? It feels almost as if I missed an issue, though I know I didn’t. Will the first trade really collect only 4 issues? This feels like an off place to break. Anyway. I enjoyed the over-the-top incarnation of Poseidon and the John Constantine, err, “Lennox” character, but then we dive into exposition overdrive. I enjoy the mood captured in London, the fallibility of Diana, and the general vibe of a War Between The Gods playing out among the lesser deities and mere mortals, but I don’t know, something is just missing. I appreciate the new direction, but I still don’t feel really personally hooked. I’m not sure that I can continue supporting this in singles, but may revisit it in trade format to give it another shot some day. It’s a good book, but I want to be buying great books. Grade B.
Venom #12 (Marvel): This isn’t on my regular pull list, but I picked it up for a co-worker and couldn’t resist giving it a go. I generally have liked Remender’s recent Marvel work, so it should have a decent shot. Can’t say that I recall anything from Lan Medina (any relation to Paco Medina who did some Dreadstar waaay back?), so yeah, it has a decent shot. There’s a really weird typo in the “Previously…” section, and stuff like that puts me in a really bad mood right off the bat. It’s this partially duplicated text with an “open quote that never gets closed. That’s extremely sloppy basic copy editing, matched only by the sloppy amateurish art. On the writing front, it’s an uphill battle, since I never cared for Flash Thompson, Venom Symbiotes, Red Hulk, or umm , the Merv Pumpkinhead guy, basically the entire cast of this book. It’s full of clichéd drunks, chicks, and casino thugs. The story is uhh, about a ‘roided out monster who beats up some guys, or something? And then somebody has a drinking problem, and then Matches Malone shows up, and then Red Hulk can fly? Apparently this kicks off some 6-issue crossover thing with more characters I don’t care about, like Ghost Rider, X-23, Red Hulk (again), and Venom (again). It’s basically generic, phoned in on all fronts, and not even in a really bad way that you can revel in while mocking, and have any fun with. Grade C-.