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Posts Tagged ‘Axel Alonso’

Wolverine: Origins #14

December 5, 2011 Leave a comment

May 6, 2007

Quick Rating: Below Average
Title: Swift and Terrible Part Four
Rating: Parental Advisory

Cyber versus Daken – who hasn’t been waiting for it?

Writer: Daniel Way
Art: Steve Dillon
Colors: Matt Milla
Letters: Cory Petit
Editor: Axel Alonso
Cover Art: Marko Djurdjevic
Publisher: Marvel Comics

As Wolverine lies around bleeding, Daken and Cyber face off. (Apparently these two have some history.) The fight is made a bit more complicated, however, when we learn something about Cyber’s new host that he, apparently, didn’t know.

Sadly, “complicated” is about the best thing I can say about this fight. Daken and Cyber are two singularly uninteresting characters. It’s even less engaging when Cyber decides to start whipping around Wolverine – a character who, considering that he regenerated an entire body from a single drop of blood not too long ago, probably should be recovering from his injuries a lot faster. The inconsistencies with this character are really enormous.

Steve Dillion isn’t even enough to make this book more palatable. He’s done fantastic work on books like Preacher and The Punisher, but neither of those books really relied on the sort of more traditional superhero action this book demands. His fight scenes don’t quite work, there’s something unrealistic about the composition that weakens pages that should be much better.

This book still doesn’t work. It’s a superfluous comic for a character whose overexposure has finally started to come under control.

Rating: 4/10

Black Panther (2005 Series) #30

October 20, 2011 Leave a comment

August 26, 2007

Quick Rating: Fair
Title: Absolutely No Way To Win Part 3
Rating: Parental Advisory

Zombie Skrulls, Galactus Zombies… the Fantastic Four is in a tight spot.

Writer: Reginald Hudlin
Pencils: Francis Portela
Inks: Francis Portela
Colors: Val Staples
Letters: Cory Petit
Editor: Axel Alonso
Cover Art: Arthur Suydam
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Still in the Marvel Zombies universe, the new Fantastic Four find themselves being chased down by a zombie Skrull version of the original FF, which isn’t nearly as much fun as it sounds. As they do this, the Marvel Zombies continue their plan to turn the Skrull homeworld into a buffet, and one of them suggests they start using their new powers to the fullest.

While I’m not one of the ones crying that the Marvel Zombies are getting overexposed, I do think that perhaps they weren’t put to the best use this issue. By their very nature, the Zombies are a very dark, tongue-in-cheek concept, but some of their dialogue this issue (particularly Spider-Man and the Hulk) goes past simply tongue-in-cheek to simply absurd. The plot works well, the action works well, but the dialogue doesn’t work.

What does work is Portela’s art – his style almost perfectly mimics Sean Phillips’ designs for the Zombies from the original series, and the still-living heroes don’t clash at all with that vision.

Overall, this storyline has been surprisingly good. It just gets a bit too silly here at the conclusion.

Rating: 6/10

X-23: Target X #2

October 1, 2011 Leave a comment

January 4, 2007

Quick Rating: Fair
Title: Target X Part Two
Rating: Parental Advisory

X-23 reveals herself to her only friend.

Writers: Craig Kyle & Chris Yost
Art: Mike Choi & Sonia Oback
Letters: Troy Peteri
Editor: Axel Alonso
Cover Art: Mike Choi & Sonia Oback
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Captain America and Matt Murdock continue their interrogation of the girl who would become the X-Men’s living weapon. X-23, now calling herself Laura, manages to escape an early encounter with Cap to find her way to her “mother”’s family. Efforts to fit in at school prove pointless, but she finds a connection with Megan she didn’t expect.

This issue, at least, seems to have abandoned the bouncing-around-the-timeline technique used in the first issue, but what’s left is still just okay. Laura’s bizarre behavior can be explained by her past, but the weird things going on with Megan don’t quite sit right. What’s more, as Laura gets in more and more trouble in school, Megan gets into it for no reason. And I don’t mean she’s misbehaving without motivation, I mean she’s literally in trouble for no reason – Laura disrupts class and Megan winds up in the principal’s office too, despite having done absolutely nothing wrong. It doesn’t make any sense.

Like the last issue, the perplexing story is elevated by great artwork, but even that has its limits. Like with this week’s newuniversal, the artists gratuitously throw in a couple of celebrity “cameos” that absolutely wrench you out of the story. You can get away with that sort of thing in a humor comic, but when the book is supposed to be serious (even if the scene in question is played in a more lighthearted fashion), it really hurts to get pulled out of it this way.

An okay issue, but it’s still not making me a fan of the character.

Rating: 6/10

Ghost Rider: Trail of Tears #3

September 16, 2011 Leave a comment

April 1, 2007

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Trail of Tears Part Three
Rating: Parental Advisory

The spirit of vengeance arises in Travis Parham!

Writer: Garth Ennis
Art: Clayton Crain
Letters: Joe Caramagna
Editor: Warren Simons & Axel Alonso
Cover Art: Clayton Crain
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Garth Ennis and Clayton Crain’s tale of the Civil War-era Ghost Rider (the real Civil War) continues, as former Confederate Lieutenant Travis Parham returns to the home of his friend Caleb. Caleb, a former slave, has been butchered by a slaveowner, and his family murdered with him. Now, Parham must return to the place where he once glimpsed Hell to take with him the power of vengeance.

This story really is engaging – a true story of horror and revenge, which is how Ghost Rider works the best. Travis Parham is a welcome addition to the mythos, and his story is hands-down one of the most powerful stories ever told with this franchise.

Clayton Crain’s artwork is fantastic – dark and horrifying, bloody and grim… absolutely perfect. His design for the Ghost Rider of the 1860s is considerably different than the usual look for any incarnation of the character, but it’s simple and powerful.

This has been a great series so far, and I’ve got every faith in Ennis and Crain to deliver a great story at the end.

Rating: 8/10

Ghost Rider (2006 Series) Annual #1

August 27, 2011 Leave a comment

November 13, 2007

Quick Rating: Average
Title: The Eleventh Hour
Rating: Parental Advisory

A new player enters the war between Ghost Rider and Lucifer.

Writer: Stuart Moore
Pencils & Tones: Ben Oliver
Colors: Jose Villarrubia
Letters: Joe Caramagna
Editor: Axel Alonso
Cover Art: Ben Oliver
Publisher: Marvel Comics

This self-contained story fits in during Ghost Rider’s hunt for the broken pieces of Lucifer’s soul. When a man that’s been around for a few thousand years encounters a piece of Lucifer, he sees a change to rejoin the everlasting war between Heaven and Hell – and the Ghost Rider is his key to doing it.

This isn’t too bad an issue – certainly better than the recent issues of Ghost Rider’s own series. The problem is one of relevance – the days of throwaway annuals are (or at least should be) over. These days, we expect an annual to be of real significance or to knock out one heck of a story. This does neither. Oh, there are some hints here that some of these story threads will be picked up on later, but that’s not really enough to latch on to.

Ben Oliver and Jose Villarrubia’s artwork is quite strong. It’s not quite dark enough to make it out to be a horror title proper, but it’s distinctly different from typical superhero artwork, which is important here.

This wouldn’t have been a bad standalone issue of the comic book (and it easily could have been shortened to a standard 22 pages), but it’s not quite important enough to merit the Annual treatment.

Rating: 5/10

Punisher War Journal (2007 Series) #10

August 15, 2011 Leave a comment

August 7, 2007

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Sunset
Rating: T+

Frank’s final battle with the Hate-Monger!

Writer: Matt Fraction
Art: Ariel Olivetti
Letters: Joe Caramagna
Editor: Axel Alonso
Cover Art: Ariel Olivetti
Publisher: Marvel Comics

The four-issue flashback finally over, everything comes down to this. The Punisher is captured, trussed up like a pig, and the Hate-Monger is ready for his death… but he’s been interrupted by G.W. Bridge. Meanwhile, Clarke is making his own plans for the Hate-Monger’s headquarters.

Although I think this whole storyline probably could have been condensed into four issues instead of five, this finale really is spectacular. There’s tons of action, the Frank/Bridge relationship is developed nicely, and Clarke undergoes some drastic changes. By the end, this is definitely a different title than it was when the story began, and that’s all to Matt Fraction’s credit.

Ariel Olivetti’s artwork is still great, particularly when we see the unmasked Hate-Monger. The character has such a totally different look without his mask, and most of that is in facial expression. A comic book artist is called upon to be director, cinematographer and actor all in one, and Olivetti has shown mastery in all respects.

Overall, although this arc ran just a tad long, Fraction and Olivetti have nailed the ending wonderfully. Well done.

Rating: 8/10

Punisher War Journal (2007 Series) #9

August 7, 2011 Leave a comment

July 10, 2007

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Duel
Rating: T+

In the Hate-Monger’s clutches, Frank recalls how he got there.

Writer: Matt Fraction
Art: Ariel Olivetti
Letters: Joe Caramagna
Editor: Axel Alonso
Cover Art: Ariel Olivetti
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Still in the Hate-Monger’s clutches, Frank recalls the final steps that brought him to this state. After getting a glimpse of the Neo-Nazi’s headquarters, he begins making his move against the racist group. Meanwhile, G.W. Bridge gets a clue as to the whereabouts of the Punisher.

As good as this series is, I’m starting to feel like this story arc has gone on a bit too long. We’ve started the last three issues with the Punisher tied up and getting berated by the Hate-Monger, then going straight into the extended flashback that explains how he got to this point. As a framing sequence, it works okay, but as the end of that thread is a foregone conclusion, it’s starting to get a little tiresome. As it stands, next issue will begin the same way, except that we’ll finally have caught up with the flashback sequences. The Bridge story works a bit better this issue, actually, as we’re still heading towards an unsure end point for him.

Olivetti’s art, as always, is great. His characters are a little overly-large, almost cartoony, but somehow that fits in with the tongue-in-cheek nature of this title very well.

Fraction has done a good job on this title, but this arc seems like it’s overstaying its welcome just a little. It may be a result of the framing sequence, but it’ll be nice to move on to something new.

Rating: 8/10