Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rant Reviews--5 Fear Itself Tie-Ins AKA Get Your Snark On

Fear Itself hasn't been very great, and most comics that tie-in with it are dragged down in quality, so of course I want to engage in the ever-so-fun activity of reviewing comics that directly relate to the event. Yes, I'm going to be a smart-alec in my reviews of these.
Avengers Academy #15
Everyone makes dramatic grimaces in this issue.  Whether it is because they are upset about sending the Young Avengers into battle, have to fight the Absorbing man (both those frowns come from Hank Pym) or are sad because they killed the Nazi pilot of a machine mowing down innocent people, everyone seems to be frowning this issue. Their frowns mirror my own from reading this issue because what really happened other than some pointless fighting, melodramatic dialogue about how it isn't just important to survive combat, "but what comes after," and an in-story advertisement to pick up another comic to see what Speedball is up to? What else really happened? Not a lot. Hence, my joining everyone in dramatic frowns. Plus, Young Avenger Mettle, you're going to freak out because you accidentally killed a Nazi to protect actual decent human beings? Whatever. I'm doing my big cut of Marvel Books with my kinda-sorta break-up and Avengers Academy tends to be stronger so I'm keeping it and it isn't in much danger of being cut, but man is Fear Itself hurting it.
2 out of 5 stars.

Thunderbolts #160
This issue starts out sucking with the Thunderbolts doing the lame, "Hey, let's try and reason with one of the hammer-possessed folk!" bit, and it's Juggernaut because finally a Thunderbolt comic tying in with Fear Itself that has him on the cover has him in it. Just wait though, because the comic did suck, but then gets kind of cool when they go into his mind and the art shifts into weird hieroglyphics representational of Juggernaut's thoughts and psyche. Unfortunately, this is only 4 pages of the whole comic and everything else is just people flying around Juggernaut trying to gently encourage him to not smash things, or running away as he does aforementioned smashing. Therefore, that cool bit bumps this up to purely average. I'm keeping Thunderbolts for now despite my purge of Marvel books, but it's a bit iffy.
2.5 out of 5 stars.

Ghost Rider #1
Johnny Blaze is happy because he no longer is the Ghost Rider, he got rid of the curse! Wait, what's that, you don't know how that happened? Weird, this is the first issue so you think we would see how that happened and...oh wait, there was a #0.1 issue that set all this up and which was quite honestly the real first issue. Marvel in their infinite genius decided to do things this way, so now people who thought that #0.1 issue was ancillary are screwed. Anyways, the new female Ghost Rider just sort of appears for the first time ever, and smacks around the big baddie of this Fear Itself event, Sin. Then, for no apparent reason when the ghost rider has the opportunity to just kill Sin and end this lame event she tries to pick up Sin's hammer and changes back into a human, with Sin then...just walking away.

Also, Johnny Blaze is confronted by Mephisto and told he may have DOOMED EVERYONE by getting rid of his Ghost Rider curse! Oh no! Wouldn't it be nice if for once a hero could do something without it having world-altering consequences? Sometimes it seems if a caped crusader buys a sandwich it either threatens the human race or somehow sets into motion a new big event. I wonder if either comic company have a plan for that, call it, "The Sandwich Gauntlet," or, "Crisis on Infinite Sandwiches." Anyways, the comic is $3.99 but we get a bit more than 22 pages with a back-up showing how we got the female ghost rider. There isn't much to her it seems, other than that she is angry, I guess. Rob Williams is doing an absolutely incredible job on Daken right now but is also writing this, and with my dropping of a bunch of Marvel comics, this is one of them--not that I got very far, a #0.1 and 1st issue. At least it looked decent.
1.5 out of 5 stars.

 Heroes For Hire #9
What do street-level heroes have to do with a huge mega-event spanning the world? Not much, but this comic knows that and smartly focuses things in on the super-villain break-out at the Raft and actually uses the events of Fear Itself to create a new hero and further the over-arching narrative that has carried this series about who the mystery person is setting up a criminal empire. The one thing that bugged me is how a certain character can pop up at the end of this comic when in another comic he was shown swimming away from The Raft. Yeah, this actually wasn't bad though and I don't have anything mean to say even if this lacked the awesome level of some other issues. My one snark-free review. This book is in no danger of being cut. It wasn't before and continues to be safe.
3.5 out of 5 stars.

New Avengers #14
This was bad. First, it is worth noting the cover of this comic has the Thing on it yet he doesn't appear once in the comic itself. The comic I just reviewed, Heroes For Hire, actually has an appearance by Ben Grimm, so perhaps he was too busy over in that comic to actually pop up in the one that features him on the damn cover. What else is wrong with this issue? More of those annoying, Reality-T.V.-style scenes of heroes talking to a camera or invisible person or something featuring Mockingbird bitching about how she should be dead and needs to make being alive count. Then, Spider Man whines some more about Victoria Hand being the New Avengers liaison as he has been doing since about the first issue.

What else happens? Some more reality-style talking, a bit of fighting the Nazi robots and the Avengers Tower collapses in the distance as Mockingbird vows to kill the Red Skull, which will be kind of hard as he is already dead. Now, his daughter who also now has a Red Skull, you could kill her, she's causing all sorts of trouble, her name's Sin and she's annoying and I wouldn't mind someone killing her off. It would end Fear Itself and we could stop all these tie-ins. Then I could breathe a sigh of relief and start reading all the new DC comics that are coming out this September. Seriously though, I'm dropping New Avengers and the main Avengers book (which is only marginally better) like two hot rocks, even if the cover for the next issue has Squirrel Girl. Then again, this issue had The Thing on the cover and he didn't appear at all, so for all I know Squirrel Girl won't appear in New Avengers #15, it'll turn out to be a one-shot about Doctor Doom doing his laundry and discovering that warm water makes his cape shrink.
1 out of 5 stars.

One comic that was above average, everything else wasn't too hot. That is what Fear Itself does to comics. Well, New Avengers already was bad and Ghost Rider is so new who knows how it will be after Fear Itself. Yeah, this was painful.

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