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Posts Tagged ‘Tom Brevoort’

New Thunderbolts #6

July 9, 2012 Leave a comment

March 12, 2005

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: City of Heroes?

The new Thunderbolts are New York’s only hope to be saved from Hydra!

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Co-Plotter: Kurt Busiek
Pencils: Tom Grummett
Inks: Gary Erskine
Colors: Chris Sotomayor
Letters: Albert Deschesne
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Cover Art: Tom Grummett
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Hydra’s plans become clear as the terrorist army overruns a New York without Avengers to protect it. Although may of the second-string heroes come out of the woodwork, only the Thunderbolts have the inside knowledge to save the day – because Baron Strucker has been bankrolling them from the beginning.

Considering the nature of this title, I’m really rather surprised at how many of the ongoing subplots are resolved this issue. Granted, most of then are resolved in a fashion that leaves more questions, but a lot of them are resolutions that leave more questions. Nicieza manages to pack an incredible amount of story into what’s basically an all-action issue, but he doesn’t make it seem crammed or bloated. Throughout the battle, stories and ideas are ticked off one at a time, adding up to the final package. We get the truth about Speed Demon, about Joystick, and about Captain Marvel, and despite some of the complaints I really don’t have any problem with his new status quo, although I must admit I don’t quite grasp the reasoning behind it. (There’s something bizarrely Freudian going on there, and I really hope Nicieza is planning to give us more of an explanation later on.)

Some of the stuff, such as Songbird’s actions in this issue, aren’t that surprising, but at the same time they work for her and show how far the character has come. The same goes for Mach-IV, still stuck in his old Beetle armor, but still displaying the true hero he’s become.

Tom Grummet again does a solidly entertaining job with this issue. He’s got some of the most action to draw that I’ve ever seen in a single issue, not just a fight scene but a city-wide fight scene involving hundreds of enemy agents and cameos from a lot of heroes outside of the main cast. This is the sort of thing that you usually have to see in a big summer crossover. He also gets points for a knockout cover – imagine, a cover that actually invokes the events of the issue. I’m amazed that Marvel let this get to the printer.

This book wraps up a lot of things, but there’s still plenty out there to keep us occupied. I can’t wait to see where it’ll go next.

Rating: 8/10

She-Hulk (2004) #12

June 25, 2012 Leave a comment

February 19, 2005

Quick Rating: Excellent
Title: Some Disassembly Required

It’s She-Hulk versus Titania in the title bout!

Writer: Dan Slott
Pencils: Paul Pelletier
Inks: Rick Magyar
Colors: Dave Kemp
Letters: Dave Sharp
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Cover Art: Mike Mayhew
Publisher: Marvel Comics

This may be the first time doing a review has ever almost gotten me in trouble. I’m working the sound effects for my community theatre this weekend, and since I had a little downtime (and have already seen the play five times by now), I made the mistake of reading this comic book in the booth. I almost laughed loud enough for the audience to hear me.

Here’s the bullet points – Titania, who hates the She-Hulk, has taken the Power Gem from the Champion to take her down. Forced to stay in her human form for reasons that are perfectly logical, although will take people by surprise if they aren’t familiar with some Marvel continuity, She-Hulk is trapped in human form and is forced to call in reinforcement. Lots of reinforcements. Unexpected reinforcements.

Since the first issue, the two best things about this title have been the humor and the rampant mining of Marvel continuity. This issue Dan Slott turns both of these factors up to eleven. She-Hulk goes to an incredibly unlikely source to figure out how to take down Titania, and the guest-stars make perfect sense and exist to complement her, not steal the show. There are some outrageously funny moments here – such as Hercules asking his Damage Control foreman if he can take a break to go save the city and Stu telling off not only some obnoxious characters, but taking a good-natured poke at readers who may take things too seriously.

Since this is the last issue of “season one” (Marvel has promised to bring this title back later this year, and the last page even includes a self-referential gag to let the readers know when it will be back), Slott wraps up a lot of storylines or at least brings them to a point of logical resolution, where we can accept things being left for a while. We get resolution for She-Hulk, Titania, Southpaw and the law firm. We even get a little resolution for some story threads left over from Avengers Disassembled, which tie into story elements in this book.

Paul Pelletier is at the absolute top of his game. The characters look great, the fight scenes are fantastic and the visual gags all just plain work. There are panels where your jaw just drops and panels where you laugh out loud. I’m in love with this book.

This same creative team is going to take some time off to do the upcoming GLA (that’s Great Lakes Avengers) miniseries, which promises to have a lot of the same comedic sensibilities, so you can bank on me following them there. But man, I can’t wait for this book to come back for season two.

Rating: 10/10

Avengers Vs. X-Men #2

June 18, 2012 Leave a comment

June 5, 2012

Title: Round 2

Story: Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Jonathan Hickman, Matt Fraction
Script:
Jason Aaron
Pencils:
John Romita Jr.
Inks:
Scott Hanna
Letters:
Chris Eliopoulos
Colors:
Laura Martin
Cover Art:
Jim Cheung & Laura Martin
Editor:
Tom Brevoort
Publisher:
Marvel Comics

With the Phoenix Force returning to Earth, Hope Summers seems to be the logical candidate for its chosen host. The Avengers have come to Utopia so that Captain America can ask Cyclops to turn the girl over into their custody. Cyclops isn’t having any of that, though, and this issue, war breaks out.

This issue is almost entirely action – it’s the Avengers vs. the X-Men, just as the title of the book promises. On that front, at least, it delivers. There’s a lot of fighting and a lot of property damage and a lot of hero-on-hero violence as the characters draw their sides and decide quickly who’s going to fight who. Some of this is fairly logical – Doctor Strange battling Magik, for instance, or Quicksilver heading straight in to trade blows with his father, Magneto.

The problem is still that the whole book is lacking in logical sense. Cyclops seemed ready for a fight long before Captain America arrived, and the rest of the X-Men with him. Captain America came in with an entire helicarrier full of Avengers. The thing that just doesn’t make sense, though, is why. Given the number of times these characters have worked together in the past, the notion that these two heroes would go in expecting a battle, having basically decided that negotiation is not an option, is absurd. There’s never any chance that this issue could be talked out, because Captain America comes in with his big guns and Cyclops is already waiting to throw a punch from the moment he arrives. This issue, which basically just follows the violence, is notable only for a pretty effective scene where it becomes clear exactly what Wolverine’s priorities are. Although he’s not the only character to have a foot in both the Avenger and X-Men camps, he’s probably the most interesting one, and it’s not hard to see this entire miniseries shaking out to be the ultimate Wolverine showcase.

John Romita Jr., as I’ve said before, is a strong artist, but not particularly suited for large-scale cosmic events like this one. He’s more of a street level artist, and the way the moments of big power fall flat here makes that clear.

After two issues, I already feel like this miniseries – one I hoped would escape the problems of Civil War, is simply doomed to repeat them.

Rating: 6/10

Somebody’s First Comic Book-Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #1

June 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Wondering what Somebody’s First Comic Book is all about? The explanation is on this page!

CREDITS:

Writer: Ed Brubaker
Art:
Dale Eaglesham
Colors:
Andy Troy
Letters:
Joe Caramagna
Editor:
Tom Brevoort
Cover Art:
Carlos Pacheco, Tim Townsend & Frank D’Armata
Publisher:
Marvel Comics

PRIOR KNOWLEDGE: Dude definitely has a “Captain America” vibe to him… hey, wasn’t his name “Steve” in the movie?

IMPRESSIONS: Ah, he is Captain America. Or… he was. But he’s not now… looks like he’s a super-spy, and the grandson of the guy who turned him into Captain America in the first place is in some sort of trouble, so he has to save him.

Okay, I can work with this.

The book actually gives us just about everything we need to know. It recaps Captain – um… Steve’s origin pretty succinctly, and it shows us why that’s relevant today, as there are evidently enemy spies trying to recreate the experiment that made Steve a super-soldier in the first place. The fighting is cool – whether he’s wearing the mask or not, Rogers kicks a lot of butt in this issue. It’s a trifle confusing why he’s not Captain America anymore, or why he’s just going around with no mask on and everyone knows who he is, but there’s enough to go on to make the story comprehensible and enjoyable.

But man… “Steve Rogers” has got to be the worst superhero name ever.

Really? There was somebody called “Maggot” in the X-Men?

Never mind.

GRADE: B

New Avengers (2010 Series) #24

April 23, 2012 Leave a comment

April 14, 2012

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art:
Mike Deodato, Will Conrad
Letters:
Joe Caramagna
Colors:
Rain Beredo
Cover Art:
Mike Deodato
Editor:
Tom Brevoort
Publisher:
Marvel Comics

This issue takes place between panels of Avengers Vs. X-Men #1. In that moment between Captain America calling the Avengers down to face Cyclops and their leap from the SHIELD Helicarrier, Luke Cage flashes to the day before. As his wife, Jessica Jones, returns to the mansion, the two of them get into a pretty intense discussion about the wisdom of raising a child in Avengers Mansion.

A valid argument, to be certain. The Avengers lead dangerous lives, after all. But am I the only one who thinks they should have had this conversation a long time ago? When the baby was born, perhaps, or before they moved into Avengers Mansion and Luke agreed to lead his own squad? Not only does it feel like a case of too little, too late, but even worse it removes us from the focus of the issue for a huge portion of it. I got this book because it’s an AVX crossover. Instead, I got pages of angst that don’t really have anything to do with the main story.

It gets better when Captain America calls the team together. There’s a bit of a surprise when we’re all reminded that Storm has joined the Avengers just in time for her to walk out on the team, then Cap gives one of his trademark rousing speeches. It’s okay stuff, but in the end it feels like a largely inconsequential issue.

Mike Deodato does some good work here, and that helps, but there’s only so far even the best artist can take you. If you’ve been with this series for a while it’s probably not bad. If you’re getting it just for the crossover, you can pass.

Rating: 6/10

Avengers Vs. X-Men #1

April 16, 2012 Leave a comment

April 14, 2012

Story: Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Jonathan Hickman, Matt Fraction
Script:
Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils:
John Romita Jr.
Inks:
Scott Hanna
Letters:
Chris Eliopoulos
Colors:
Laura Martin
Cover Art:
Jim Cheung & Justin Ponsor
Editor:
Tom Brevoort
Publisher:
Marvel Comics

The Phoenix Force is coming to Earth, and the most powerful heroes in the Marvel Universe are about to go to war over it. I’ve said before that I like the basic idea behind this event. There’s a natural conflict here. Captain America sees a force of globally-devastating power headed to Earth and wants to stop it. Cyclops sees a force that may well be able to reverse the devastation of the mutant race the Scarlet Witch caused on M Day. And in fact, they’re both right.

The execution, however, is very flawed. The scene with Cap and Cyclops, where all this is spelled out, is clunky and overwritten. Scott is spoiling for a fight at the outset, which I suppose isn’t totally out of character for him these days, but still feels off in the presentation.

Wolverine actually comes off best here. As a member of both teams, he’s got his own conflict to deal with… not to mention the personal relationship he had with Jean Grey and the fact that he’s seen firsthand just how destructive the Phoenix Force can be. If there’s anyone here who can legitimately seem divided, it’s him.

I’m not terribly pleased with John Romita Jr.‘s work on this issue either. I’ve always liked his work on street-level heroes like Spider-Man and Daredevil, but when he goes for the big-scale cosmic stuff, it doesn’t really. Work there are two large panels here – Hope blasting Cyclops, Cyclops blasting Cap – that feel very similar, but that both look like they could have been accomplished better. Different lines, different colors, I don’t know exactly, but they failed to excite me the way they should have.

It’s not a terrible book, but it’s a weak opening to an event that should have kicked off with a bang.

Rating: 6/10

Avengers Vs. X-Men #0

April 9, 2012 Leave a comment

April 7, 2012

Title: Prologue

Writers: Brian Michael Bendis & Jason Aaron
Art:
Frank Cho
Letters:
Chris Eliopoulos
Colors:
Jason Keith
Cover Art:
Frank Cho
Editor:
Tom Brevoort
Publisher:
Marvel Comics

With Marvel’s big event for the summer about to kick into high gear, we’re served up this prologue issue that spotlights the two women at the center of it all: Wanda Maximoff, alias the Scarlet Witch, and Hope Summers, daughter of Cable.

In Wanda’s story, she’s recently regained her senses after years (of real-time, anyway, I’m not sure how long it’s been in comic book time) of mental issues which has had her attack and destroy her teammates, her friends, and even her husband, the Vision. The Vision is restored now, though, and the confrontation between the two former lovers is anything but rosy.

Although the last panel is a bit on-the-nose (a callback to the most famous Vision story of all time), Brian Michael Bendis does a decent job here of tapping into the raw emotion of the situation. Considering everything that happened between Wanda and the Vision, this isn’t the sort of thing that can be swept under the rug or ignored. It’ll be interesting to see, as the conflict between the Avengers and X-Men heats up, what side the Vision will fall on.

In Hope’s story, written by Jason Aaron, we see the first mutant born since Wanda wiped out the mutant population in House of M forced to train. While she and Cyclops forces her to push herself, concerned about the portion of the Phoenix force she knows resides within her, Hope decides to take off and prove herself on her own.

This is a nice introduction to Hope if you, like me, don’t really know anything about the character. I haven’t read any of the X-Men stories in which she’s played a significant role, so this gives me the lowdown on her history, her powers, and why she’s important. It works on that level.

Both stories are elevated by the artwork of Frank Cho. As I’ve always said, he draws a few things very well – monkeys, dinosaurs, and women. (Not to say he’s bad at the rest of it, but those are the three categories in which he excels). This issue is very strongly focused on the ladies – besides the two cover girls, Cho gives us good interpretations of Spider-Woman, Ms. Marvel, Emma Frost and a couple of snake-themed villainesses (and villains). There’s a nice balance between the action and the talking heads stuff, and Cho pulls it all off. It’s an impressive effort.

This zero issue is a good way to kick off the event.

Rating: 7/10