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Old 01-20-2011, 05:58 PM   #1
wktf
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The Mighty Reviews 1/20/11

Dawg’s Review

Amazing Spider-Man # 652
Marvel Comics
Written by: Dan Slott
Drawn by: Stefano Caselli

I would be lying to everyone if I said I wasn’t excited to read this issue when I picked it up last night. This comic book has been pretty terrific lately and I think I have just come to accept that while “One More Day” sucked and ruined a lot for me, I love Spidey too much to let him go as a fan. Marvel has come along way with the Spider-Man book since the break-up of the marriage between Peter Parker and Mary Jane. They have somehow managed to tell stories that are so good, that you can almost let go of your hatred of what “One More Day” did. The last thing I will say about the current status quo before I lavish praise and adoration to this week’s book, is that, I still can’t help but long for the marriage days, every time MJ is on panel. I promise, I am trying to let it go though…

Okay I feel better, and with that out of the way… WOW! I cannot tell you how long I have been waiting for an artist like Stefano Caselli to land on the book. His style is a perfect match for this character and his supporting cast. His panel work is amazing and his art leaps off the page as you almost forget to read the panels in favor of staring at his pencils.

Dan Slott was obviously meant to write Spidey and out of all of the other “brain trust” responsible for Spidey’s last few years, it was always his arcs that I seemed to favor. Now we have him full time on the book and it just feels right.

So Peter Parker has hit the big time. He’s got himself an incredible job that pays more than he would ever need for just using his big brain. Because of this Pete has been able to BUY his own apartment and not sponge off Aunt May anymore. He is now also a card-carrying member of the Avengers, and he has a new girlfriend to call his as well as still having Mary Jane as his confidant and best friend. One could say that life is great for Peter.

In this issue John Jameson: The son of Pete’s long time boss and nemesis Jonah Jameson is getting ready to fly into space for a mission. The team responsible for the experimental new shuttle is the think tank that Pete works at. Pete senses something strange with the mission and can’t shake it. It turns out yet again that his spider-sense was right as old foe Alistaire Smythe and his new spider-slayers show up to settle the score with J. Jonah Jameson and his entire family.

The mission is set to abort as the attack begins, but Smythe has rigged the launch to happen anyway, and there are explosives on board set to blow everything to smithereens.

Pete is Jameson’s only hope and he hurls himself onto the launching shuttle with hopes he can de-couple the bomb on the shuttle from the cabin. This feet is not without massive trouble along the way, because even as Spidey miraculously gets past the rocket booster fire, and g-force of the shuttle, Mac Gargan the Scorpion is there waiting atop the shuttle in case he shows up.

This is Spidey at his best. You get the scenes where he’s with his supporting cast and then you get the scenes with Spidey doing what he does best… Being Marvel’s flagship hero and facing impossible odds. This comic was done right and it is my pick of the week.

Wktf’s Reviews

Thor #619
Marvel Comics
Written by: Matt Fraction
Drawn by: Pasqual Ferry
Cover by: Pasqual Ferry

Pasqual Ferry does draw some pretty pictures. There’s no getting past that. And, coupled with Hollingsworth’s coloring, Thor projects the grandeur of the finest animated shows, or even better. But the art is still cartoony and lacking in depth and substance, also accentuated by Hollingsworth’s incredibly bright colors. Sadly, the art isn’t the only thing about the Thor title that’s lacking depth. Which, of course, brings us to Matt Fraction’s story and script.

As so clearly depicted on the cover, for those who missed the ending of the last issue, Odin has returned from the dead. Oh, wait. I’m sorry. My bad. According to the intro to this book Thor, “by smashing the casket of Odin…frees the All-Father from his eternal sleep in limbo.” Did anyone else read The Death of Odin storyline where Odin DIED in battle with Surtur. Then was cast into space on a Viking vessel and immolated in a traditional Viking funeral pyre? If you didn’t then you’re not alone as, apparently, Fraction didn’t read it either. Why does Odin have a casket for Thor to crack if he was burned in pyre? And is this the Odin/Thor relationship we’ve known over the last several years. Once Thor grieved so sorely over his beloved father’s death and shared a poignant moment later with Odin when, as Thor slept the Odinsleep, his spirit journey to the land of the dead to reunite briefly and memorably with his father. But here Thor is too quick with venomous insults for his sire who, in turn, dismisses Thor with as callous a “shut up!” as Thor delivered to Baldar in Fraction’s first issue.

It’s too hard for me to get involved with or even care about the larger story here. I fear Fraction and Ferry have jumped the shark with this book. It’s bad enough that there’s no explanation for the return of Odin. Loki simply reborn with no explanation (Thor's lightning brought him back? But, he no longer had the Odinpower and even Odin can't restore the dead). And this Thor and Odin bear no resemblance to the characters we love. This series is a train-wreck and a half. The creators are simply taking too many liberties and rewriting past events to serve their needs. Pretty pictures alone do not a good comic book make.

Batman: Streets of Gotham #19
DC Comics
Written by: Paul Dini
Drawn by: Dustin Nguyen
Cover by: Dustin Nguyen

This issue brings us chapter four of The House of Hush arc. And it’s title, “The Reason for Hyenas” should give you a sense of who the featured character as if Nguyen’s most awesome cover (and, man, I love that can he’s sporting…I hope DCDirect makes a prop from this image) isn’t a dead giveaway. Got to admit, I just don’t care too much for the Hush character. Never did. But anything written by Dini, especially anything Batman, and drawn by Nguyen gets my (Holding the Line at) $2.99 any week! So, yeah, Tommy Elliot’s up to his old tricks again and is working pretty hard to recruit other nasties of Gotham’s underworld, such as Dr. Death, to aid in his cause to destroy The Batman.

But as Hush brings on his latest recruit we’re treated to a grisly side story of another of Hush’s associates, the diminutive Mr. Anthony Marchetti, about his first encounter with The Joker. Traveling back in time for his story, Marchetti relates to how his crooked and corpulent uncle was abducted by The Joker, the trouble he went to in order to save him, and the…well, yeah, grisly, experience that followed. An experience that’s never left Marchetti’s memory and created some form of solidarity with Hush based on his own prior encounter with The Joker.

Nguyen’s art, always a treat, is particularly strong this issue. Making great use of shadow and motion, Dustin gives us a Gotham that’s at once both familiar and foreboding. And, even in the darkness where Batman and Catwoman are able to steal an intimate moment, there’s menace lurking just the same. Dini’s expertise at plot weaving and integration as well as scripting and storytelling work as deftly as ever here to yield a Batman story that’s little more than a set up for the eventual payoff but which delights, entertains and even makes us wince. For my money, this writer and artist are the best Batman creative team on the market today, making this the best Batman book you’ll find from DC.

Victorian Undead: Sherlock Holms vs. Dracula #3 of 5
DC Comics
Written by: Ian Edginton
Drawn by: Davide Fabbri & Mario Guevara
Cover by: Ryan Sook

Anyone who’s been paying attention to the comic book trade press knows that Dynamite Entertainment will be coming out with a Lone Ranger/Zorro crossover (of sorts) story in March. Stories that combine popular characters from different genres are always fun in my book. I loved The Sever Percent Solution, a movie written by Nicholas Meyer (the same guy who directed Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn) which teamed Sherlock Holmes with Dr. Sigmund Freud (okay, so, fair enough, Freud’s not a fictional character). Pitting Sherlock Holmes against Dracula is a fantastic concept considering both prowled the streets of London around the same time. However, it’s also not a new concept. If you like fun and easy fiction I recommend the Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula novel written by Loren D. Estleman. It’s surprisingly faithful to Stoker’s novel and places Sherlock Holmes and Watson in the path of the Count and the vampire hunting crew of Dr. Seward, Prof. Van Helsing and Jonathan Harker. This DC comic book is not quite so faithful to Stoker’s story but is a really great read nonetheless.

The first issue of this series belonged to Holmes and Watson as they traced a series of murders that led them to the famous fictional wreck of the Demeter, the ship that carried Dracula from Varga to London. In the second issue Holmes and Watson crossed paths with Van Helsing’s crew and discover each other to be working toward a common purpose, though Holmes and Watson are not as educated about their quarry as their counterparts are. With this issue everything really hits the fan and the story ratchets itself up quite a bit. As Holmes entreats Van Helsing to educate him on all they know, we are quickly but cleanly taken back to Harker’s horrific experience at Castle Dracula as well as the fate of poor Lucy Westenra. We also learn here that that this story deviates from the Dracula tale we know. Dracula’s designs are no less grand here, the desire to resume empire building of his vampire nation, but Mina Murray who survived the vampires predation in the novel is not so lucky here. And Arthur Holmwood has surprisingly turned traitor out of his love for his fallen Lucy. And Dracula’s three wives whom we’d expect to have stayed behind in Transylvania? Well, that would be telling.

I’m unfamiliar with the creative team here but they’ve woven a first rate Victorian horror and detective story. The sense of dread is palpable. The art is both well defined and moody. The story, while intricate is not at all confusing and really brings the reader deep into the middle of the unraveling of all the machinations that have led to this harrowing point. And to that last note, the cliff hanger at the end is one of very real and serious danger to our heroes. Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula has been a great read up to this point and this particular issue certainly gets my pick of the week.
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Old 01-20-2011, 06:08 PM   #2
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Thanks Joe I think i will jump back on the ASM bandwagon. Not familiar with the Artist. What style are we talking here?
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Old 01-20-2011, 07:13 PM   #3
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wktf, I didn't pick up this issue yet. But I see where you're coming from. I too fellowed how Pete and MJ fell in love throughout the years, and it was very natural for them to get married. And then of course the whole OMD and OMIT was such a slap to the face. I don't know if this is true, but I heard there is a third part that Joe q will be doing sometime in the future. I think Dan Slott is pretty good as writer, though I found it insulting when he used the marriage as a punch-line in the first issue. That for me was strike one.
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Old 01-20-2011, 07:25 PM   #4
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Re: Thor 619

I sadly agree with you Joe. It really surprises you the liberties that Fraction took(in comparition with JMS & Gillen runs).

Some of the characters(the main & most important) sounds so out of character.
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Old 01-20-2011, 08:40 PM   #5
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Joe, did you read Sherlock Holmes vs Zombies?
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:02 PM   #6
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Joe, did you read Sherlock Holmes vs Zombies?
I completely missed that, Mike. Is it out as a trade?
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:05 PM   #7
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Thanks Joe I think i will jump back on the ASM bandwagon. Not familiar with the Artist. What style are we talking here?
Robert and Ryu, in the credit where credit's due dept, the Spidey review was done by the fearless Dawg.

But, Robert, to answer your question, the style of this artist is a little nondescript. I'd say he's a cross between J. Scott Campbell and Terry Dodson, oddly enough. I much prefer Ramos' art from the prior arc.
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:15 PM   #8
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OMG Thor #619 is one of the worst comics i've read in years.
Odin and Thor don't even sound like they have for years and lil Loki sad.
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Old 01-22-2011, 12:15 PM   #9
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This Thor storyline is the worst that I can remember in a very long time. I don't care what happens, I just want it to end!
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Old 01-22-2011, 12:49 PM   #10
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This Thor storyline is the worst that I can remember in a very long time. I don't care what happens, I just want it to end!

Great news!

It will end in Thor 621 and then Kieron Guillen will take the book with 622 but now as Journey Into Mystery 622.


http://www.comicbookresources.com/?p...ticle&id=30375


Now I'm worried with Mighty Thor!

Will Coipel be enough to save this new book?
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