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Everlost_MI
08-13-2006, 10:49 AM
Welcome to week thirty-three of Evil Avatar’s Weekly Comic Book Reviews.

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Remember, these are NOT spoiler-free reviews.




Week Thirty-three:
Evil Avatar's Weekly Comic Book Reviews – Year 2 - Week 33

New X-Men Vol. 2: Imperial TPB
Reviewed by: KefkaTaran (Philip Kollar), Associate Editor / Podcast Host
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Grant Morrison
Pencilers: Frank Quitely, Igor Kordey, and Ethan Van Sciver
Inkers: Frank Quitely, Igor Kordey, Prentis Rollins, Tim Townsend, Danny Miki, Rich Perotta, Scott Hanna, and Sandu Florea
Colorist: Brian Haberlin and Hi-Fi Design
Letterer: RS & Comicraft’s Saida T!
Editors: Pete Franco and Mike Raicht
Price: $19.99 US/$22.50 CAN

http://www.evilavatar.com/images/thumbs/comics/newxmenimperial.jpg

Constantly referenced as some of the best comics writing ever done on Marvel’s prominent mutant superhero team, Grant Morrison’s New X-Men led the X-Men and the Marvel universe into a brave new future where slowly but surely homo-superior outnumbered homo sapiens. Much of Morrison’s work now remains undone due to the events of House of M, but this healthy run stands as an indisputably important piece of X-Men history.

Most comic book historians point to the first volume, E is For Extinction, as the best in the run, but for my money, Imperial really shoves things into high gear. With Professor X left reeling from the last arc and the super-powerful new villain Cassandra Nova revealed (now starring in Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men), the X-Men and the Shi’ar Empire face a major tragedy.

Perhaps the biggest or at least most surprising success of this book is that despite the huge variety of inkers and pencilers listed up there (including EvAv interview veteran Ethan Van Sciver), the book manages to maintain a solid feel. While the art isn’t amazing, it flows well and works for the big action of the book.

Morrison’s dialogue is as good as it’s ever been, but what he really pulls off with the book’s storytelling is more impressive. Morrison does what is required to create a truly classic X-Men story: he diligently dodges the convoluted X-backstory while staying true to the well-loved characters. You don’t really need to know anything about what the X-Men have been through going into this (besides the first volume of Morrison’s run), and the main characters used are so iconic that you already know who they are. The slightly more obscure new mutants that Morrison uses are explained and well-developed in the book itself.

Bottom Line:
I’ve heard hardcore X-Men fans say that X-Men is an acquired taste, which would explain why they kept reading those books even during the terrible ‘90s runs. If that’s true, Morrison’s turn with the mutants in Imperial joins the likes of Byrne and Claremont as one of the most likely gateway drugs into further X-Men reading.

Rating: Worth the money and time. (4 out of 5 EvilEyes)
http://www.evilavatar.com/images/icons/e4.jpg


She-Hulk #10 (An ongoing series)
Reviewed by: Everlost_MI (Brian K. Nichols), Editor in Chief
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Dan Slott
Penciler: Rick Burchett
Inker: Nelson
Colors: Avalon’s Dave Kemp
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Cover Art: Greg Horn
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Price: $2.99 US/$3.75 CAN

http://www.evilavatar.com/images/thumbs/comics/shehulk10.jpg

The post wedding bliss of Mr. and Mrs. John Jameson comes to a screeching halt as Alistair Smythe’s triggers John’s curse of the Man-Wolf. As this occurs, Pug confronts the two newlyweds with information that Jennifer/She-Hulk and John are suffering from a massive dose of Starfox’s love/lust powers. Things go from bad to worse as John begins to transform into the Man-Wolf and helps expose Pug’s true feelings for Jennifer seconds before the newly transformed Man-Wolf takes a bite out Pug. Of interest, the Two-Gun Kid mentions to John early in the issue that he has a special bullet that he’s saving for the right occasion. Finally, Stu ends up as a mess on the carpet because he deduces that Artie Zixis is actually RT-Z9 the recorder robot for the Living Tribunal.

Dan Slott has created a witty script that’s matched by excellent characterizations and various storylines in this issue. The artwork by Rick Burchett and Nelson matches Slott’s script demands for remarkable facial expressions and body language during the dramatic sequences. The cover by Greg Horn was a great nod to the various sensationalized entertainment/news magazines.

Bottom Line:
The issue is a solid chapter in the She-Hulk saga as the various plots are beginning to bear fruit. Unfortunately, due to this issue being in the middle of a storyarc it’s not easily accessible to first time readers. This shouldn’t turn new readers away, as this issue should spark enough interest to search for the previous issues and trade paperbacks.

Rating: Worth the money and time. (4 out of 5 EvilEyes)
http://www.evilavatar.com/images/icons/e4.jpg


Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #2
Reviewed by: Everlost_MI (Brian K. Nichols), Editor in Chief
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Mark Brooks
Inkers: Jaime Mendoza with Mark Morales, Victor Olazaba and Mark Brooks
Colorists: Laura Martin with Larry Molinar
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Raplh Macchio
Price: $2.50 US/$3.50 CAN

http://www.evilavatar.com/images/thumbs/comics/ultimatespideyannual2.jpg

This issue deals with the Ultimate universe death of a corrupt Jeanne De Wolfe at the hands of the Punisher opposed to the 616 universe death of honest De Wolff at hands of the Sin-Eater. The main plot of the issue revolves around Spider-Man, Daredevil, Moon Knight and Punisher crossing paths in their quest to track down the thug named, Kangaroo. De Wolfe puts Spider-Man on the Kangaroo’s trail after she was instructed to do so by the Kingpin, who’s she happens to be involved with professionally and romantically. The issue ends with Daredevil offering Moon Knight an opportunity to join a team of superheroes to take down the Kingpin.

The Pulp Fiction like narrative was a nice change of pace from the typical storytelling that Brian Michael Bendis has used in the ninety plus Ultimate Spider-Man issues. The Ultimate Universe twists on the standards characters and situations were enjoyable as was the small tip that Foggy gave the Spider-Man as to why the Shocker keeps getting let out of jail. The dialogue was snappy and the character development was quite strong. Mark Brooks’ strong artwork rose to the occasion and was able to nail every action sequence and drama panel. If the powers that be at Marvel wish to keep the style that Mark Bagley has used in the Ultimate Universe series, they should look to Brooks to step up.

Bottom Line:
This was an action packed issue that deepens the history while creating an interesting setup for the Kingpin and the various heroes. If you’re an occasional or regular Ultiamte Spider-Man fan, this issue belongs in your collection.

Rating: Worth the money and time. (4 out of 5 EvilEyes)
http://www.evilavatar.com/images/icons/e4.jpg

Savok
08-13-2006, 11:21 AM
Why the fuck does DD end up in everyone's god damn annual?

Also Joss Whedon is god.

Deadend
08-13-2006, 11:26 AM
Why the fuck does DD end up in everyone's god damn annual?

Also Joss Whedon is god.
Because DD is the new Wolverine.

Savok
08-13-2006, 11:34 AM
At least until Joss makes him sing karaoke or something.

Sazime
08-13-2006, 12:57 PM
How the hell did Joss get into this conversation?

It's nice to hear something about Morrison's X-Men run. I like him as a writer, and I have never picked up his X-Men titles. Guess I will now. :)

Kefkataran
08-13-2006, 01:00 PM
Sazime-- If you can stand reading an X-Men book, I think you'll enjoy Morrison's New X-Men run. Just start at the beginning, and it's pretty accessible even if you haven't read any X-Men stuff previously.

Glad to see She-Hulk finally getting some review love. She deserves it!

InstaPete
08-13-2006, 01:10 PM
I don't understand any of the love for Dan Slott. The She-Hulk I've read has been pretty standard, not awful, but not particularly interesting. Same for the GLA and Thing series. Maybe I'm missing something?

Also, did I hear he revealed in She-Hulk that the Hulk has never killed anyone? Cause that's insane.

Kefkataran
08-13-2006, 01:33 PM
I don't understand any of the love for Dan Slott. The She-Hulk I've read has been pretty standard, not awful, but not particularly interesting. Same for the GLA and Thing series. Maybe I'm missing something?

I think most of the Slott love comes from the fact that his books are more fun than the over-serious stuff we get everywhere else and also that Slott does fast, witty dialogue well. There's been some down issues here and there, but normally it's all great.


Also, did I hear he revealed in She-Hulk that the Hulk has never killed anyone? Cause that's insane.

That was mentioned, but that's not a new Slott thing. That's always been the thing in the main Marvel u (and one of the reasons the Ultimate U makes a bit more sense when you think about it realistically).

thecrazyd
08-13-2006, 01:43 PM
I just went to the shop yesterday for the first time in about a month. Here are some short reviews for books you guys probably already read a long time ago.

Cassanova #2 - My favorite of the bunch. I liked the first, but this cements the book as a future purchase.

Loaded Bible: Jesus vs Vampires - Not bad, but not what I was expecting. I thought it would be funny, seeing that it is Jesus fighting Vampires, but it was pretty straight forward.

The Escapist #1 - It is hard to tell from this what the series will actually be like, but I enjoyed it. I'll pick up 2 sometime.

JazGalaxy
08-13-2006, 03:54 PM
How the hell did Joss get into this conversation?

It's nice to hear something about Morrison's X-Men run. I like him as a writer, and I have never picked up his X-Men titles. Guess I will now. :)

Morrison's run was epic, and quite frankly, all the Xmen material you need to read in your entire life. He pretty much *does* Xmen. A few people can come in and toss the salad up a little bit, like what Whedon is doing, but basically Morrison nails it.

The Xmen story has basically been derailed for hte purpose of making it last longer, and that's what makes Xmen as a whole stupid, in my opinion. The idea that it's a school for mutants to learn about their powers, but they have a roster of, like, 10 students out of thousands. And how come learning about your powers always means learning how to fight? How come every "mutation" is some kind of offensive bio gun? Morrison takes all that and makes it make sense, and then goes from there. Can't reccomend it enough. Especially from the "this has been building from the first issue and you didn't notice becuase i'm that good a writer" suprise ending.

bone_matrix
08-13-2006, 04:20 PM
I like the BCB site, but I can't ever seem to find what I'm looking for. I'm interested in this New X-men, and the one previous, but can't find it. Anyone have a link, or tell me what I am doing wrong?

Sazime
08-13-2006, 04:22 PM
Morrison's run was epic, and quite frankly, all the Xmen material you need to read in your entire life. He pretty much *does* Xmen. A few people can come in and toss the salad up a little bit, like what Whedon is doing, but basically Morrison nails it.

The Xmen story has basically been derailed for hte purpose of making it last longer, and that's what makes Xmen as a whole stupid, in my opinion. The idea that it's a school for mutants to learn about their powers, but they have a roster of, like, 10 students out of thousands. And how come learning about your powers always means learning how to fight? How come every "mutation" is some kind of offensive bio gun? Morrison takes all that and makes it make sense, and then goes from there. Can't reccomend it enough. Especially from the "this has been building from the first issue and you didn't notice becuase i'm that good a writer" suprise ending.
I think the X-Men are the red headed step children of the Marvel U. Until now, the Avengers and F4 have known a trouble free and well loved existance with humanity. Now they're finally getting some of the hate that ALWAYS gets put on mutants.

Kefkataran
08-13-2006, 04:23 PM
I like the BCB site, but I can't ever seem to find what I'm looking for. I'm interested in this New X-men, and the one previous, but can't find it. Anyone have a link, or tell me what I am doing wrong?

More than likely it's just not up on the site. BCB only has stuff on their site that they currently have in stock. That said, if you e-mail Keith (or PM Kish on this site), chances are they can order it in for you. :)

bone_matrix
08-13-2006, 04:27 PM
More than likely it's just not up on the site. BCB only has stuff on their site that they currently have in stock. That said, if you e-mail Keith (or PM Kish on this site), chances are they can order it in for you. :)


Damn, that makes so much sense. I thought I was just being a complete idiot. Well, I think I'll wait until it is in stock, as I don't have a lot of cash, but was going to impulse buy. I'll check back later. Thanks though.

Kefkataran
08-13-2006, 04:33 PM
Damn, that makes so much sense. I thought I was just being a complete idiot. Well, I think I'll wait until it is in stock, as I don't have a lot of cash, but was going to impulse buy. I'll check back later. Thanks though.

No prob. I'm hoping to do some work with Keith in the future to make sure as many of my reviews as possible are in-stock (or orderable online) when the review gets placed up. Hopefully that will be happening in the future.

Spigot
08-13-2006, 07:16 PM
I was very tempted to pick up that She-Hulk based on the cover art alone. Given that I haven't read anything but the first trade, I'm glad I didn't. I'll just wait till I get caught up on the trades and by then they'll have this issue's arc included in the next one (I hope).

Slott gets much love for the reasons Kef mentioned. It's a much lighter approach to the usual grim and stoic heroics that we tend to read in comics. GLA was fantastic for being a complete and utter spoof of Avengers. BTW, I hope all fans of the GLA read Cable & Deadpool #30 (the Civil War tie-in). Waaaay too funny.

Kefkataran
08-13-2006, 08:19 PM
I was very tempted to pick up that She-Hulk based on the cover art alone. Given that I haven't read anything but the first trade, I'm glad I didn't. I'll just wait till I get caught up on the trades and by then they'll have this issue's arc included in the next one (I hope).

There's three Dan Slott trades out already!

Spigot
08-13-2006, 08:26 PM
There's three Dan Slott trades out already!
I know. I have the first one and loved it. They have the third one at the shop but not vol. 2. I still have the last two Transmets to pick up before I start getting other trades.

JazGalaxy
08-13-2006, 08:50 PM
I think the X-Men are the red headed step children of the Marvel U. Until now, the Avengers and F4 have known a trouble free and well loved existance with humanity. Now they're finally getting some of the hate that ALWAYS gets put on mutants.

and Spiderman, yeah.

"A little consistency is all I ask!"

digitalErich
08-13-2006, 10:14 PM
Loaded Bible: Jesus vs Vampires - Not bad, but not what I was expecting. I thought it would be funny, seeing that it is Jesus fighting Vampires, but it was pretty straight forward.
To contine 'teh d's' thread jack, I really liked this comic. I wish it was more than a one shot. I shot the author an email with my compliments and asked if we can expect an ongoing or more stories in the Vs. line of books. He thanked me for the compliments, but dodged all my real questions so I have no idea if we'll ever see any more. He did like my suggestion for Moses vs. Black Beard, though.

Kefkataran
08-13-2006, 10:34 PM
I shot the author an email with my compliments and asked if we can expect an ongoing or more stories in the Vs. line of books. He thanked me for the compliments, but dodged all my real questions so I have no idea if we'll ever see any more. He did like my suggestion for Moses vs. Black Beard, though.

Moses v. Blackbeard is gold. Also, hook us up with an interview. :p

Sazime
08-13-2006, 10:41 PM
There's three Dan Slott trades out already!
I need to catch up too. That and my new found love of Peter David will definately help me spend money.

Funny thing is, I think Marvel has the bulk of great writers right now. Brubaker, Ellis, Slott, Jenkins and David are all great. DC is doing well, but man, I don't think I'm nearly excited about their writers.

Kefkataran
08-13-2006, 10:44 PM
I wouldn't downplay DC's talent. Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid, Grant Morrison, Gail Simone, Brad Meltzer, and practically everyone doing work for Vertigo -- they've still got some major heavy hitters, even if they're not as well-publicized as some of the guys Marvel has. Also keep in mind that while Ellis is certainly on a Marvel-focused swing right now, he's still got Desolation Jones and Planetary over at DC (though Planetary's almost finished).

Deadend
08-13-2006, 10:49 PM
Yeah, Marvel has got the best writers right now, they also have a major variety in artists so they can almost always match an artist to a story. DC has a few great writers, mainly Morrison in my mind.

Even though I think Warren Ellis is not doing his best work at Marvel, but maybe it's just because he and other people's characters do not play well together, as he doesn't so much as write intersting stories, as he writes intersting characters.

Yeah, Marvel has the best writers at the moment, they have so many brilliant stories right now, where even if Bendis is seeming to burnout from writing too much, everyone else seems to be great. This is probably comics period dominated by writers, as the 90s was dominated by Artists who also tried to make stories.

Kefkataran
08-13-2006, 10:50 PM
I seriously think you guys are downplaying DC. I'm loving a lot from both camps, but DC has just as many brilliant stories coming from just as many great writers as Marvel right now, in my opinion. But yes, this is definitely a writer-centric time in comics, which is GREAT for us.

Deadend
08-13-2006, 11:23 PM
I seriously think you guys are downplaying DC. I'm loving a lot from both camps, but DC has just as many brilliant stories coming from just as many great writers as Marvel right now, in my opinion. But yes, this is definitely a writer-centric time in comics, which is GREAT for us.
Well, I think DC is doing great things with their very strong editorial group and combined universe. But I feel that right now, most Marvel books have better stand alone stories. DC has a much stronger overarching world, which is amazing.

I think this period of time will be remebered as one of the best times in comics, unless things keep getting better, like maybe comics sell more. But Writers are doing great and getting the focus, and the artists are almost all doing a great job of everything. This almost seems to be the Real Golden age of comic books. Everything, every concept, every experiment over the years is all being used together in harmony. Both writing and art are so much better than they have been at any time in the past 90 or so years of comics that it is almost insane.

Just try and go back and read a Stan Lee/Kirby Daredevil story, or even a Frank Millar one, they do not compare to the Bendis run. Let alone comparing Superman then to All Star Superman. It's the same evolution that movies have had. But the strange thing about comics is that the only major changes have been better paper and coloring, the rest has been artistic evolution.

Sazime
08-13-2006, 11:34 PM
I seriously think you guys are downplaying DC. I'm loving a lot from both camps, but DC has just as many brilliant stories coming from just as many great writers as Marvel right now, in my opinion. But yes, this is definitely a writer-centric time in comics, which is GREAT for us.
Yeah, you're right, DC has some great writers too (which is all the better for comic fans), but I guess what I was trying to say is that I like the writers that Marvel has right now MORE. :D

But don't get me wrong, I love what Waid, Johns, Morrison and Meltzer are doing right now. I don't think I've been reading anything of Rucka's. (?)

thecrazyd
08-13-2006, 11:37 PM
To contine 'teh d's' thread jack, I really liked this comic. I wish it was more than a one shot. I shot the author an email with my compliments and asked if we can expect an ongoing or more stories in the Vs. line of books. He thanked me for the compliments, but dodged all my real questions so I have no idea if we'll ever see any more. He did like my suggestion for Moses vs. Black Beard, though.
See, I didn't think it was bad, just not what I was expecting. I would totally pick up Moses vs. Black Beard.

Kefkataran
08-14-2006, 05:37 AM
Well, I think DC is doing great things with their very strong editorial group and combined universe. But I feel that right now, most Marvel books have better stand alone stories. DC has a much stronger overarching world, which is amazing.

I think that's a good way of putting it. Pretty much in agreement. It's worth giving some kudos to Marvel for the strength of their Ultimate U, but part of that is due to limiting themselves to a certain number of Ultimate books per month. The consistency of the DCU right now along with the number of books they put out is pretty staggering.

I think this period of time will be remebered as one of the best times in comics, unless things keep getting better, like maybe comics sell more. But Writers are doing great and getting the focus, and the artists are almost all doing a great job of everything. This almost seems to be the Real Golden age of comic books. Everything, every concept, every experiment over the years is all being used together in harmony. Both writing and art are so much better than they have been at any time in the past 90 or so years of comics that it is almost insane.

Man, I've been saying this since I started reading comics a year ago. This is the new golden age. I have no doubts. Comic sales are on the rise, and I think that will only continue as long as the big two (not to mention all the great indie folks) keep the amazing talent they have going.

I don't think I've been reading anything of Rucka's. (?)

While I love Rucka a lot, I'll admit that he can be hit and miss. That said, Checkmate is the greatest hit of his DC career, ever, period. You should be reading it. :)