A Month Of Comic Books: Part 1

I’ve had to take some time away from the blog due to family matters, which have also impacted my purchasing of comic books. When I went in to pick up my stash, I had five weeks of floppies waiting for me. Therefore, I thought it would be a good opportunity to do some mini-reviews, to give a taste of what I’m buying on a regular basis at the moment. I’ll split them into three posts (because there are 24 books to discuss): today will be Mostly Marvel.

Secret Invasion #3 coverSecret Invasion #3 – I’m really enjoying this crossover as it comes out. I was already buying New Avengers and Mighty Avengers, so I had been enjoying the build up, but Bendis is doing a great job of telling a big job with a theme (the trust/identity idea, so recently used to good effect in Battlestar Galactica). Things happen in the book (Young Avengers fighting the Skrull army in New York, joined by members of the Initiative; the Skrull Queen as Spider-Woman messing with Tony Stark – or is she?) and there is a great final page reveal. This is what I want from a big crossover event, including great art from Yu.

New Avengers #41 – note that issue 42 didn’t arrive in the UK yet, so this is very old, occurring between Secret Invasion #1 and #2. This is Bendis providing back story, via Ka-zar and Shanna in the Savage Land, harking back to the first New Avengers storyline. Tan provides some nice art, even if he does suffer from having to do constant butt shots of Shanna, and Bendis makes it entertaining as well as filling the gaps.

Mighty Avengers #15 – this is also back story to Secret Invasion: namely, what happened to Henry Pym and how he was Skrullified. John Romita Jr provides some old-skool stylings, and Bendis continues putting all his pieces on the table.

ClanDestine #5 coverClanDestine #5 of 5 – I’ll do a separate review of this mini-series later, if just to prove that I was one of the few who actually read the book as it came out (sales dropped from 20K to 12K – see Paul O’Brien’s analysis). Even though I thought Alan Davis made a rare misstep in issue 4, he still brings it all together in a satisfying climax, enhanced by his beautiful artwork. He even leaves the suggestion of the next storyline – the return of Vincent – on the last page, but I can’t see him being given the opportunity to continue based on sales. What a shame.

Captain Britain and MI:13 #2 – ‘When Captain Britain died, the British felt it in their chests.’ Cornell continues the good work from the first issue, linking back to his Wisdom mini-series with the arrival of Tink and her powerful father, and cameos from the magic of Britain (the Lady of the Lake, the Green Knight, Excalibur the sword), all drawn in superlative style by Leonard Kirk. He even provides another last page cliffhanger, with the Skrulls obtaining all the magic of Britain for themselves. Now that’s the way to get people to come back for more …

X-Factor #32 – firstly, it has to be said that the Glenn Fabry covers for this book are godawful and should be stopped now. He is a completely inappropriate artist for the job and they should change cover artists immediately. The interior art is rather nice in contrast, but it is the story that is the main draw, as Peter David stays true to form by shaking up the status quo of an ongoing book he is writing. From the various changes on The Incredible Hulk (Mr Fixit in Las Vegas, combined Hulk in the Pantheon, etc.) to cutting off Arthur’s hand in Aquaman, you can expect David to do the unexpected, which he does here: X-Factor move out of Mutant Town (because of Val Cooper and O*N*E) and move to Detroit, with the last pages being ‘Five months later’. This unbalancing can have a distracting affect – you know you’ve read a good story but you feel slightly disconnected from the characters. However, I’m still reading and enjoying the book, despite the interference of recent X-crossover …

Runaways #30 – oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Well, that was pretty awful, wasn’t it? Despite the occasional flash of Whedon dialogue magic, the storyline was completely pointless and the only feeling one is left with is disappointment. And, after the hype of bringing Whedon onto the title after the departure of creator Brian K Vaughan, it takes them a year to tell a 6-issue story and completely throw away any momentum the low-selling title had. What a waste.

Next time, we’ll have Warren Ellis and the mature books, and then the other books for which I can’t find a catchy theme.

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