Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Rant-Reviews: Image and Marvel

Open-Up With The Text
I've read an assortment of books from Image and Marvel. These were some books I wanted to take the time out to discuss, although there is still plenty else of note from the companies (Loving me, "The Fix," for example).

Some Reviews For Your Eyeballs
The Wicked and the Divine #21
You know, the same team behind this book does, "Phonogram," yet that book has always struggled to get anywhere near the numbers this title does. That's a shame as  both books are amazing in their own unique ways, with this arc of, WIC+DIV, as it is also known, being so jam-packed with action and startling reveals it basically is one big pay-off for those of us who waited patiently throughout the (mostly) McKelvie-less, "Commercial Suicide," arc that at times was a bit slow. I didn't know we would go from, "A bit slow," to, "Mother-loving breakneck speed," however, but I'm loving it immensely. A must-read book from some must-read creators.
5 out of 5 stars.

Horizon #1
It takes the entirety of the debut issue to get to what is the apparent point of the comic--aliens are preemptively invading Earth to keep us from invading them. There are all kinds of great allegories in that idea, but the book just takes its sweet time getting us there. Before that we witness some perfectly passable art showing an alien on what is basically a road-trip, making its way to a meet-up point whilst fixing broken equipment she has. The actual concept of the story is fascinating, but I was just bored waiting for us to get there. I'll check out the 2nd issue in hopes that helps move things along, but this debut was just way too decompressed for me to get especially excited, even with that killer reveal of the comic's plot finally appearing at the end.
2 out of 5 stars.

Snotgirl #1
This has gotten immense press because the writer is someone beloved by many for his, "Scott Pilgrim," comics, Byan Lee O'Malley. The art is very expressive and by Leslie Hung who has done webcomics before but I think this might be her first work to be published (besides webcomics that were then collected)? I honestly was really ready to write this book off until the last few pages suddenly made things really interesting with a huge zag where I expected the book to keep zigging. Basically we follow the adventures of Lottie, a self-absorbed fashion blogger who has bad allergies and terrible friends. A lot of plot and story is expressed via social-media messages as illustrated in the comic, everyone is in their 20's and thinks the world revolves around them, etc. It took me a bit to realize, but those shocking last pages make it clear that perhaps we aren't supposed to like Lottie, and maybe just maybe this book is going to be a Hell of a lot darker and more intriguing than the preceding pages focused on dating-drama and fashion-concerns make it seem. Should that be the case this book has gone from a yawn-inducing story about shallow, "Millennials," to a delightfully twisted story about how one person's narcissistic obsession with being perfect can lead to violent results.
4 out of 5 stars (thanks to the extremely surprising cliff-hanger).

Moon Knight #4
With this latest issue we see the creative team of Jeff Lemire, Greg Smallwood, and Jordie Bellaire firing on all cylinders. The story continues to be mysterious but it is looking like a number of questions will be answered--or at least addressed to some degree. We soon should soon know what the deal is with this, "Other," Moon Knight running about, and I for one am greatly enjoying this take on the character with its mixture of mysticism and surrealism.
4.5 out of 5 stars.

The Vision #9
Upon reading this issue I actually went, "Okay, yeah, I can maybe see now why The Vision does some of the things it has been warned he is destined to do (e.g. attack the Avengers). Tom King has been expertly building an incredible piece of fiction here, however, and with Mike Del Mundo's stellar artwork and fantastic colors by Jordie Bellaire (whom I just mentioned as she seems to be on all the great books) I really am starting to agree with people who say this is kind of like, "Marvel's 'Watchmen'." That comparison fits in the sense it arguably could stand alone (although other comic-knowledge can help), it has a great mix of characters, and dear God does it keep you on the edge of your seat with its slowly building tension that has been starting to pay off spectacularly. The Vision went from nobody's favorite character to a fascinating character thanks to this comic with its mixture of heroics, nightmarish-horror, and deep musings on humanity and the nature of evil. I tip my hat to this entire creative team and eagerly await the remaining three issues.
5 out of 5 stars.

Conclusions To Ponder
There are all kinds of titles coming out right now in a variety of genres. I'm annoyed by how companies such as Marvel and DC keep rebooting as that harms the clearly solid titles they put out. If it takes a line-wide re-launch every 12-ish months to get something like, "The Vision," however I'll deal with it. Meanwhile with Image there are are lot of books coming out and some books are perfectly fine and others are immensely impressive, the joy is in discovering what you enjoy...or something vaguely-inspirational-sounding like that.

No comments:

Post a Comment