Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Watcher Don't "Duck Face"!

For about a year now, I've been haunting my local comic shop Heroes Haven and trepidatiously re-entering the world of "modern comics," particularly the "Big Two."  My problem is this: how does one in good conscious buy comics from the two companies that don't seem to give a shit about their long-time fans?  I guess the answer is to just do it and remember that you're not so much feeding a machine, but keeping writers, artists and local comic book shops in business.  Having said that, I picked up my usual stash this week and, with the exception of DC's "Stormwatch," I'm pretty happy.

First up, "Indestructible Hulk" #7.  In this issue, we learn just exactly why Thor shows up wearing his awesome costume and not the assimilated movie tie-in today's readers are accustomed to.  It's a pretty good story by pen man par excellence  Mark Waid and master Thor artist Walt Simonson.  Why is Hulk wielding the Mighty Thor's hammer, you may wonder?  The answer's pretty cool as well as amusing.  Maybe it's just me, but the coloring in this book reminds me of Simonson's days on "Alien Legion."  Yep, I'm that old.
After Chris Claremont left the X-Men back in the 90s, I swore I'd never read another X-Book, but "All-New X-Men" has made me eat those words.  Brian Michael Bendis, a writer I'm really not fond of, has found a way to capture the plot structure and dialogue of the good ol' Claremont days, although I'm not particularly fond of how Wolverine is handled in the book.  Issue 11 is one of those great "who will betray them" kind of stories that I won't ruin it for anyone.  I love that Shadowcat has a major role in this title as she's always been a favorite of mine.  The art's great, easy to follow and consistent, but I'm curious as to why the colorist has decided to use so much red in the book.
My current favorite "Big Two" title is "Nova," the comic I didn't want to like.  Visually, the book is stunning, mixing photo images with Ed McGuinness's quasi-anime style.  The story is fun and kid-friendly.  I'd have no problem with letting my son read this comic, which I'm surprised he hasn't picked up yet considering how much he loves (shudder) the "Ultimate Spider-Man" cartoon, in which Nova appears regularly.  The difference between the two Novas and the reason I love this comic so much?  The comic book version of Nova isn't a dumb-ass.
The above image, taken from issue three, was doctored up by yours truly.  I can't help myself sometimes.

Leaving the "Big Two," we venture over to Dynamite and what has to be the best comic going for my money, "Masks," the book that combines many of my favorite "Golden Age" public domain heroes into one book with a plot worthy of teaming them up.
"Masks" #7 (sadly of only 8) brings us to the identity of the mad mastermind behind the threat of the "Justice Party."  Here's a little warning to would-be madmen, when you say things like, "Sometimes I think the whole world has gone mad, and I'm the only sane one left," you're probably nuts and might wish to seek professional help.  Aside from a little blurred art here and there making it a bit difficult to tell what's going on, the book is top notch.  As stated above, this title only has one issue left, but I'm hoping for more stories from them in the near future. 

Not a bad haul this time around.  Money doesn't grow on trees, so I like to spend it where it does the most good, which brings me to DC's "Stormwatch."  I picked it up when I heard Jim Starlin was taking over as the writer, but just can't get into the characters.  I think I'll be putting my hard-earned three dollars a month down on another title soon, perhaps one of the other Dynamite books, but the question is: which one...?


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