November 15, 2004

Uncanny (and slightly more frequent) Comic Review

Three that I picked up this week:

District X #7
I’m beginning to worry about this title. After a sterling beginning, the last issue was disappointing and this isn’t much better. This issue starts the second DX story arc, another six-parter, this one called “Underworld”. It seems to center around a colony of mutants living in the back-alleys and sewers of Mutant Town. This is not a good place to start. Haven’t the X-Books been “Morlocked” to death? Wasn’t it just about 10 years ago that Scott Lobdell wrote what he called “The Last Morlock Story”? Then again, nothing is permanent in comics. Anyway, a lot of this issue seems forced, from the marital strife between Izzy and Armena to the plot-point in waiting artist who paints the future.

New Thunderbolts #1
The Thunderbolts, a team of supervillians at first pretending to be heroes who then grew into the role, began as the one good thing to come out of a disastrous Avengers storyline, the awful Heroes Reborn. Remember that? When Marvel decided to let the Image crew revamp their superhero line? It ranged from Jim Lee’s mediocre Fantastic Four to Rob Liefield’s epically bad Captain America. Well, this relaunch of the Thunderbolts could end up the best thing to come out of Avengers Dissasembled, the Brian Bendis creation that will culminate with Spider-Man and Wolverine in the Avengers. This issue, by the fine creative team of Fabian Nicieza and Tom Grummett, is a grade-A superhero comic. The most surprising thing about it is the accessibility. While it helps to have some knowledge of the previous version, it’s not necessary. Nicieza explains everything out well, and the plot proceeds quickly. Grummett’s art, always underrated in my book, is solid. His work reminds me of both George Perez and John Byrne here.

Invincible Iron Man #1
A character I don’t like in the hands of a writer I do. I gave Warren Ellis’ Iron Man revamp (the FOURTH #1 for this never-canceled title) a try. I was pleasantly surprised. Ellis is the king of deconstructed storylines, and this one unfurls at a particularly languid pace. It reminded me of the first issue of Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men: a lot of set-up, a lot of back story, and hints of what is to come. I especially like the scene between Tony Stark and documentary filmmaker John Pillinger. It tackles head-on one of the more troubling aspects of this superhero: He’s an arms dealer. There were some continuity glitches like moving Iron Man’s origin from Vietnam to Afghanistan, and forgetting that he dropped his secret identity several years ago. Still, this story hooked me, and this title will go on my must-buy list. Adi Granov may be the perfect Iron Man artist. His computer aided work is chilly, detailed and smooth. The short appearance the Iron Man armor makes is a perfect representation of this Stan Lee creation.

Posted by Frinklin at November 15, 2004 09:17 PM
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