Monday, October 31, 2005

Comics Reviews for October 26, 2005

These are late, and shorter than usual, because I'm busy getting ducks in a row for a project I'll be embarking on tomorrow (and you can read about that in the next post. But, here they are.

Amazing Spider-Man 525 - "Rage (The Other, part 3)"
By Peter David and Mike Deodato, Jr.

David delves pretty well into Aunt May's character here, giving her some of the best scenes she's gotten since "The Conversation." Her dramatically ironic scene with Tracer is suitably tense and enlightening. David also throws in the best Spider-Man/Wolverine scene in quite a while, turning their relationship and stance in the Avengers and looking at it in a way we haven't considered before, but in retrospect is completely obvious. Deodato's art is up to its usual standards, but overshaded in several spots. Sadly, Peter's flip-out at the end came off as too unbelievable, and the overall foreshadowing for "The Other" is too vague to capture my interest but too present to ignore. I'm still on the fence on whether or not I'll pick up Hudlin's month.
Grade: B

New Thunderbolts 14 - "Made Perfect"
By Fabian Nicieza and Tom Grummett

Kudos to Fabes for making what seemed like a throwaway guest shot into the catalyst for the second year's ongoing storyline (and what a catalyst it is; gotta love that patented T-Bolts shock ending). The fight itself has some creative uses of powers from both teams, and the script makes it clear enough that the T-Bolts have rigged the fight, and that the entire experience leaves such a bad taste in their mouth, so that the Avengers' loss is easy to take. Oddly, my favorite part of the fight was the sideline event, Joystick and Spider-Woman's battle at Avengers Tower. The more inside Joystick's head I get, the more intrigued I am, and that's pretty impressive for a character who's basically a castoff from the most hated Marvel plotline of the last twenty years. And go ahead and add Nicieza to the list of writers who writes a far more interesting team with this Avengers lineup than the man who put them together in the first place.
Grade: A-

Young Avengers 8 - "Secret Identities"
By Allen Heinberg and Andrea DiVito

I pretty much predicted the plot of this issue after last issue's cliffhanger (right down to the scene between Cap and Faith Bradley), but that doesn't prevent the execution from being a worthwhile endeavor. Oddly, the best scene comes between Jessica Jones and Ant-Man's widow (still refusing to aacknowledge that awful codename of Cassie's). The fight with Mr. Hyde is pretty cool, too, and DiVito manages to pull a nice riff on the style of the current artist of Teen Titans that hits an impressive thematic beat. And Vision Mark II is the new hotness. I am a little concerned, though, that the team's bleeding members something quick. Hopefully, this isn't going to be a trend, and I also hope we'll see Eli again in some capacity.
Grade: B+

Legion of Super-Heroes 11
By Mark Waid, Barry Kitson, and Dale Eaglesham

This is the weakest issue since the relaunch, and it's not hard to see why: Waid violates almost all of his series promises (done-in-one stories, focus on only a few characters) to move parts of the war plot ahead, and the result is a mishmash of scenes that don't come together to tell much of a story. The moments themselves are good (particularly Brainy's on the last page), and there's all sorts of wicked cool sci-fi ideas thrown around, but the net product isn't much more besides "Tune in next month, when we resolve all this." It almost makes me wonder if the arc was stretched an extra issue on Waid and he was forced to use this issue to fill up space. The backup doesn't help, as I have no idea what Waid was going for here; this may be one of those stories that means a great deal to the writer, but leaves the audience scratching their heads. I can't help but be disappointed, and hope that this doesn't continue next issue. It does look pretty, though.
Grade: C+

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