Monday, March 28, 2011

How To Do a .1 Issue Then Follow-Up And How Not To.

Hulk #30.1 AND #31 PLUS Uncanny X-Force #5.1 AND #6
Okay, all four of these comics are good, but one of them completely botches the whole goal of Marvel's .1 comics and the other does it perfectly. Let's examine how and why.

Hulk #30.1 AND #31
The perfect example of how to do a .1 issue. It starts a new storyline that continues into the next issue, but also makes sure to fill new readers in on the back-story without being too obvious in its exposition. Jeff Parker has been doing an amazing job on this series and Gabriel Hardman's spectacular art has only served as a compliment. The .1 issue introduces a new character without a bunch of continuity to weigh things down, and #31 continues that conflict into the next issue--making this .1 issue actually a good way to start this series.
The dialogue and plotting continues to impress, and even though #31 starts to complicate things with some other villains who have an odd back-story (something about melding with a network or something) there is still an excellent mixture of action and talk to make for a comic that I may have not liked under Jeph Loeb, but always find pleasure in with Parker and Hardman at the helm.
4 out of 5 stars (both comics).

Uncanny X-Force #5.1 AND #6
Oh, Marvel Comics, this is awkward. You see, I did really enjoy both  of these issues of Uncanny X-Force, but I think you must have suffered a severe knock on the head, or something to confuse you, because you utterly missed the reason you do these .1 issues. You see, I was under the impression the point was to create a good story that new readers can use as a jumping-on point for the series, but that isn't the case here. #5.1 is a fun stand-alone story about the team facing a past threat and then issue #6 is part 2 of a the storyline started in #5. What?
Don't get me wrong, these are some good comics and Rick Remender is an excellent writer, but I sort of think you don't realize you could have easily done a #4.1 issue before starting this storyline about Deathloks and fighting against the future. It would have made more sense, as a good bookend between the first four issues and this new plot, but no, you chose to do something that leaves everyone scratching their heads. I don't get it, Marvel, the above-reviewed Hulk did the whole .1 business perfectly, so how could you muff it up so poorly in this case? Oh well, at least the issues are both great fun with the Uncanny X-Force doing what they do best--chopping up bad-guys. I just wish things were more organized.
4 out of 5 stars (both comics).

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