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Posts Tagged ‘Bill Rosemann’

Marvel Zombies 2 #5

October 26, 2011 Leave a comment

February 26, 2008

Quick Rating: Great
Rating: Parental Advisory

The hunger is waning… but does that mean the fighting is over?

Writer: Robert Kirkman
Art: Sean Phillips
Colors: June Chung
Letters: Rus Wooton
Editor: Bill Rosemann
Cover Art: Arthur Suydam (After John Buscema)
Publisher: Marvel Comics

When I heard that there was a second Marvel Zombies series in the works, I (justifiably, I think) was afraid it would be a derivative book that just rehashed the first one in the hopes of making a quick buck. Instead, the sequel has been a surprisingly strong title that adds a whole new dimension to the concept (both metaphorically and literally) and this last issue seals the deal nicely.

The spacebound zombies are beginning to realize the ones left on Earth discovered long ago – if they go long enough without feeding, the Hunger will eventually leave them. As the zombies come to this conclusion one at a time, they not only have to grapple with the weight of their sins, but also prepare to battle those Zombies who still seek to feed. And if that wasn’t bad enough, not all of the humans left alive are feeling particularly forgiving.

This last issue is exciting and packs a serious emotional punch on several levels. While the first miniseries was really a dark comedy – an excuse to play with a nasty little concept, but not much more – this sequel turns the whole thing on its head and makes it a startlingly effective morality tale.

The ending is about as blatant a set-up for yet another sequel as I’ve ever seen, and while that sort of thing usually annoys me, this time it doesn’t bother me at all. I want more. I want to know where this story is going to go. I want to see how this is going to develop.

This is one of the few sequels that actually surpasses the original.

Rating: 9/10

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Annihilators #4

October 14, 2011 Leave a comment

October 8, 2011

Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Pencils:
Tan Eng Huat & Timothy Green II
Inks:
Victor Olazaba
Colorist:
June Chung & Nathan Fairbairn
Letterer:
Joe Caramagna & Clayton Cowles
Cover Artist:
Alex Garner
Editor:
Bill Rosemann
Publisher:
Marvel Comics

So as it turns out, the rising of the Dire Wraiths has all been a ploy by their interstellar cousins, the Skrulls, to regain their lost dominance in the stars. Also, Immortus is attacking with an army of cross-time badasses. Fortunately, on the good guys’ side are the Annihilators, perhaps the most powerful superhero team in the Marvel Universe.

Abnett and Lanning wrap up this miniseries with a pretty impressive fight scene, and get surprisingly final about the whole thing. Even though we know there’s another Annihilators miniseries coming (there’s even an ad for it at the end) the book feels like it has a definite ending, not just a cliffhanger for the next miniseries, which I for one greatly appreciate. I’m glad they’re doing more, don’t get me wrong, but I do get tired of one miniseries after another that just feels like it exists to set up yet another miniseries. I also like how they manage to work in small character beats – Ikon’s obvious infatuation with Quasar, for example.

The artwork is only so-so. While the aliens look pretty good, the humans aren’t that great. Immortus’s giant head that appears on the splash page has truly weird proportions that make him look like a poorly-designed carnival float.

In the back-up story, the conclusion to the Rocket Raccoon/Groot tale, we finally learn the ultimate truth of Rocket Raccoon’s origins, and he and Groot have to work to free the strangest medical care facility in the universe. This story is really funny, which works for the characters, but does make it seem a little incongruous with the main story. Annihilators isn’t exactly a laugh riot, after all, and people who got this title only for the first story may find the back-up a little off-putting.

I got the book for both stories, though. And I enjoyed both stories. And I look forward to more.

Rating: 8/10

Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America #5

September 27, 2011 Leave a comment

July 1, 2007

Quick Rating: Fair
Title: Acceptance
Rating: T+

The funeral for Captain America.

Writer: Jeph Loeb
Pencils: John Cassaday
Inks: John Cassaday
Colors: Laura Martin
Letters: Richard Starkings
Editor: Bill Rosemann
Cover Art: John Cassaday, Michael Turner (Variant)
Publisher: Marvel Comics

After what seems like an eternity, Steve Rogers is finally put to rest… or is he?

Marvel has been really pushing this book hard as the next “big thing,” the next issue that’s going to have everybody talking. After having read it that big moment is… well… if you can figure it out, you tell me. Don’t misunderstand, it’s not a bad issue, it’s just that there isn’t anything in here even remotely interesting enough to justify the work of the hype machine.

Even calling this the “Iron Man” issue is dubious, as more than half the issue is concerned with Falcon’s eulogy for Cap at Arlington National Cemetery. The funeral is okay – there are several nice flashbacks to Cap’s past, all illustrated beautifully by John Cassaday. After a while, though, the eulogy starts to sound more like a roll call of everyone who felt welcome to attend the funeral.

The final scene is actually far more preferable to me. It’s even more quiet, and the few characters who appear are absolutely the ones that should be involved in a moment like this one. And I must give Jeph Loeb credit for being one of the few writers in the past several months to write Iron Man as a human being instead of a cartoon supervillain. Without giving anything away, I can only assume this last scene is the bit that’s supposed to have everyone talking, as it can easily be interpreted as Loeb putting the pieces where they need to be for the inevitable resurrection.

As funeral issues go, it’s not a bad one. It’s just not as big a deal as it’s been made out to be.

Rating: 6/10

Ultimate Origins #1

September 9, 2011 Leave a comment

June 3, 2008

Quick Rating: Average
Title: Ultimate Origins Part One
Rating: T+

How is everything in the Ultimate Universe tied together?

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Butch Guice
Colors: Justin Ponsor
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Editor: Bill Rosemann
Cover Art: Gabriele Dell’otto & Dean White
Publisher: Marvel Comics

For a long time, we’ve been teased with the promise that “everything” in Marvel’s Ultimate Universe is connected. In the many years since that universe launched, though, it’s felt less and less relevant, and now that most of the books in that line are stagnating, it doesn’t seem to matter at all. I mention this simply because now, as Ultimate Origins launches, the general malaise the Ultimate Universe is experiencing makes this book feel just as pointless.

Beginning in World War II, we see how several of the characters who would become cornerstones of the Ultimate Universe were tied together and, ultimately, how their experiences would birth the origins of the likes of Captain America, SHIELD, and even mutantkind. There’s not really anything wrong with it, but it’s simply not exciting. There’s nothing here that gets me interested or excited in the Ultimate line again.

Butch Guice’s artwork helps, at least. He does a great action scene, especially the war scenes that open up the issue. And Gabriele Dell’otto’s cover isn’t bad either.

This book feels like a victim of bad timing. If it had been released years ago, when the Ultimate comics still had the heat, it may have been something interesting. As it stands, it feels like an attempt to reignite the Ultimate Universe. The problem is, this isn’t a book that works to reignite things. The creators should have put the excitement back in the rest of the line, then hit us with this series. Then it may have felt like it meant something.

Rating: 5/10

Nova (2007 Series) #5

September 7, 2011 Leave a comment

August 7, 2007

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Together (An Annihilation: Conquest tie-in)
Rating: T+

Rich is down – can a new Nova fight off the Phalanx?

Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Pencils: Sean Chen
Inks: Scott Hanna
Additional Art: Brian Denham
Colors: Guru EFX
Letters: Cory Petit
Editor: Bill Rosemann
Cover Art: Adi Granov
Publisher: Marvel Comics

His battle with the Phalanx has left Richard Rider near death. Now, to protect Nova Prime, the Xandarian Worldmind has chosen the stranded Kree medic named Ko-Rel to possess the power of Nova and fight off the Phalanx.

It’s getting so hard to review this book, because as much as I love it, I simply can’t ignore how much it feels like another science fiction superhero title out there. I’ve said it before, but this issue more than ever it feels like you may as well give Ko-Rel a power ring and have her recite an oath before she charges up. This isn’t necessarily a fault of the writers – the Nova Corps concept has always felt derivative of the Green Lantern Corps, but good grief and Sufferin’ Shad – this is about as blatant as you can get.

So it’s probably a testament to Abnett and Lanning that, despite feeling like I’m reading a comic from the wrong publisher, I still think this book is exciting, entertaining and his all the right buttons. Chen and Hanna’s artwork is fantastic, and the story is as fast-paced and energetic as anything else on the stands. The conclusion of this issue actually had me whistling and muttering, “man, how’re they gonna get out of this one?” under my breath.

But still.

Abnett. Lanning. Loving this book. But can you please find some sort of new twist to make this concept its own?

Rating: 8/10

World War Hulk: Frontline #1

August 30, 2011 Leave a comment

June 26, 2007

Quick Rating: Average
Rating: T+

Ben Urich and Sally Floyd need a big scoop for their paper. Will the Hulk’s world war do the trick?

Writer: Paul Jenkins
Art: Ramon Bachs
Colors: Matt Milla
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Editor: Bill Rosemann
Cover Art: John Watson
Publisher: Marvel Comics

It’s been a few months since Ben Urich and Sally Floyd launched their new alternative newspaper, and they’re struggling… until a mysterious benefactor gives them the funds to stay afloat. Now all they need is a story to make their mark. Then, on cue, the Hulk arrives on Earth with an ultimatum.

The big problem with this book is that the writer is trying to do too much in one comic. There are no less than five separate storylines going on at once. You start out with a newsroom drama about a struggling paper. You throw in a mystery about who would give them the money – anonymously – to help the newspaper succeed. Then the Hulk arrives and the story shifts to being about how a reporter will cover such an event. Then we have two additional, connected stories that seem totally out-of-place, a story about an envoy from the Hulk’s Warbound attempting to establish diplomatic relations with the city of New York (the city, mind you, that they just invaded), which is further compounded by a murder mystery. And unlike the previous Frontline miniseries, this isn’t divided up among various stories in a single issue, this is all ostensibly in one story.

Ramon Bach’s art looks good. He handles the talking head stuff at the beginning just as well as he does the sci-fi/alien encounters in the second half of the book. The problem, as I said, is that there’s simply too much going on here. The book feels like it’s trying to do everything at once, and as a result, it isn’t doing any of it as effectively as it could.

Rating: 5/10

House of M: Avengers #4

August 28, 2011 Leave a comment

January 29, 2008

Quick Rating: Good
Rating: T+

Will a war destroy Sapien Town?

Writer: Christos N. Gage
Art: Mike Perkins
Colors: Raul Trevino for Protobunker Studio
Letters: Rus Wooton
Editor: Bill Rosemann & Tom Brevoort
Cover Art: Mike Perkins
Publisher: Marvel Comics

With the Punisher safe in Wakanda, he starts feeding Luke Cage’s “Avengers” information about Magneto’s plans to wipe out the remaining human forces. Meanwhile, the Kingpin’s tenuous partnership with Thunderbird’s forces snaps, and the war for Sapien Town promises to be as bloody as anything that could happen in Wakanda.

While this premise – heck, this entire universe – still isn’t one that holds much appeal for me, Christos Gage is probably one of the few writers working for Marvel that could keep my attention this long. While I still don’t feel any particular affinity for any of the characters, the situation itself is turning out to be pretty interesting. It’s something of a political chess match, with the different factions trying to make alliances or trying to fight back against mutual enemies, with everyone trying to figure out exactly who is on who’s side.

Mike Perkins’s art, as usual, is very good, particularly on the sequence towards the end where we see three different battles going on at once. He and Trevino do a great job of differentiating between the three battlefields, and they pack a lot of action into a few panels.

This isn’t too bad. It’ll never make a “favorite” list for me, but it’s at least interesting.

Rating: 7/10