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Review Group Week 187 - DARK REIGN: THE LIST - AVENGERS

Discuss the latest comic book news and front page articles, read or post your own reviews of comics, and talk about anything comic book related. Threads from the two subforums below will also show up here. News Stand topics can also be read and posted in from The Asylum.

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Postby ****** » Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:10 pm

GHERU wrote:is the review group always this pissy?


On good weeks, yes. 8)

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Postby guitarsmashley » Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:18 pm

starlord wrote: Lots' of great discussion and everyone is respecting everyone elses opinion, if not agreeing with them.

This is what it's all about.

:-D


I'll take that as a horrible insult.
doombug wrote:You really are the george carlin of the outhouse. that's fucking hilarious.


doombug wrote:and yeah, Yoni called it. :drunk



I feel like a condemned building with a brand new flag pole.
- Les Paul

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Postby Punchy » Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:48 am

Got my copy of this today, the last one in the shop! Despite not getting my books until 4 days after they came out, I managed to get all of them except Adventure Comics and World Of New Krypton. Good shit.

I'll read this this afternoon, and review tomorrow morning.

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Postby ****** » Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:17 pm

I can't make myself care about anything Dark Reign related. Norman Osborne in his current watered down Ellisbolts incarnation just isn't that interesting. I suppose you could make a case for this being about the moral issues of killing, but it's not like Bendis has a new take on the subject or has something thought provoking to say, he just goes through the motions. I did like Clint and Bobbi's brief interaction, but everything else was just Bendis being Bendis and I got bored with that in Avengers books a couple of years ago.

It doesn't really matter if Djurdjevic took 9 days to draw this issue or 90, the finished product is all that matters. I think the art here was adequate and more than likely greatly helped by Mark Morales' inks. Djurdjevic's layouts aren't terribly dynamic at this point in his career, spending a year or two working on a monthly title would do him a world of good. The colors were fairly drab, you would think for an event book featuring Marvel's flagship teams, they could have gotten some of the top tier talent on this.

Story: 3
Art: 6
Overall: 4.5
Last edited by ****** on Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Victorian Squid » Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:31 pm

amlah6 wrote:I can't make myself care about anything Dark Reign related. Norman Osborne in his current watered down Ellisbolts incarnation just isn't that interesting. I suppose you could make a case for this being about the moral issues of killing, but it's not like Bendis has a new take on the subject or has something thought provoking to say, he just goes through the motions. I did like Clint and Bobbi's brief interaction, but everything else was just Bendis being Bendis and I got bored with that in Avengers books a couple of years ago.

It doesn't really matter if Djurdjevic took 9 days to draw this issue or 90, the finished product is all that matters. I think the art here was adequate and more than likely greatly helped by Danny Miki's inks. Djurdjevic's layouts aren't terribly dynamic at this point in his career, spending a year or two working on a monthly title would do him a world of good. The colors were fairly drab, you would think for an event book featuring Marvel's flagship teams, they could have gotten some of the top tier talent on this.

Story: 3
Art: 6
Overall: 4.5


:smt045

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Postby doombug » Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:27 pm

I respectfully disagree with most of the reviews this week but I appreciate that their is no real Bendis bashing in the reviews.

it's great to see.
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Postby ****** » Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:38 pm

doombug wrote:I respectfully disagree with most of the reviews this week but I appreciate that their is no real Bendis bashing in the reviews.

it's great to see.


Mostly I like Bendis. All of his creator owned work I like a lot and I liked the first two issues of UCSM even if USM I think tended to drag a bit in places.

I just think that with Avengers he was doing a character driven book in the beginning but Civil War changed it into a status quo driven book and he has been spinning his wheels and chasing events ever since.

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Postby doombug » Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:53 pm

amlah6 wrote:Mostly I like Bendis. All of his creator owned work I like a lot and I liked the first two issues of UCSM even if USM I think tended to drag a bit in places.

I just think that with Avengers he was doing a character driven book in the beginning but Civil War changed it into a status quo driven book and he has been spinning his wheels and chasing events ever since.


I recommend current new avengers to you with the new direction, clint in charge and the new art team. It's a lot different then the civil war stuff.

hated that all the avengers books became showcase stuff during secret invasion.

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Postby doombug » Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:54 pm

Amlah any clue why pitt's character has that scar on his neck by the way? don't think it was ever covered in the movie.
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Postby ****** » Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:11 pm

doombug wrote:I recommend current new avengers to you with the new direction, clint in charge and the new art team. It's a lot different then the civil war stuff.

hated that all the avengers books became showcase stuff during secret invasion.


I'll read it eventually, I like Immonen a lot.

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Postby ****** » Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:16 pm

doombug wrote:Amlah any clue why pitt's character has that scar on his neck by the way? don't think it was ever covered in the movie.


I saw it for the second time today and I didn't see anything that would indicate where it came from. The only plausible theory I've seen online is that it's a homage to Clint Eastwood's lynching scar from Hang 'em High.

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Postby doombug » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:03 am

amlah6 wrote:I saw it for the second time today and I didn't see anything that would indicate where it came from. The only plausible theory I've seen online is that it's a homage to Clint Eastwood's lynching scar from Hang 'em High.


It makes sense from where he's from and all. Maybe it was a cut scene?

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Postby Punchy » Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:49 am

Dark Reign: The List - Avengers - Untitled - Bendis, Djurdjevic, Morales and Gracia

Story - This may be an uncool thing to say, but I like Brian Michael Bendis. I think he's a great writer, he puts thought into everything he writes, he plans ahead, and he's one of the very few mainstream writers with a recognisable style, which is to be commended, not mocked, having distinctive dialogue is a good thing people. And saying this is going to make me even lamer, I even like Dark Reign. Primarily because it's being orchestrated by Bendis, and partly because it's such a great idea being executed very well by almost every writer in Marvel's stable, Bendis himself has been doing some of his best work in the two Avengers titles he writes (New and Dark), and has been subtly entwining them together, Norman and Clint's tit for tat Media battle being the most prominent example. And it is this battle of wills which brings us to Dark Reign: The List, a turning point in the Status Quo, and an escalation of Norman's will.

I've noted before how it can be quite difficult to review an Event book, simply because they are designed to make a reader forget their critical faculties and mark out like they were 10 again, and I must admit, some moments in this one-shot did do that, Ronin taking out Bullseye, Clint and Karla, BuckyCap saying he killed Hitler, and the ending... these are all great moments. But there is more at play here than just Clint Barton being a bad-ass, Bendis has stuff to say about his new status quo, and about the nature of heroism.

The plot of this one-shot is simple really, in the aftermath of the Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men crossover, all the mutants are trapped on an Island, kept there like prisoners, and this has pissed of the New Avengers and inspired Norman to begin tackling some of the other problems he faces as leader of the free world. I love how all these events are building up and flowing into eachother, it feels natural and unforced, it shows how commited Marvel are to Dark Reign, and that they have thought things out. The first 2 pages of this issue are basically a preface to this whole series of one-shots, Norman's list, and we get mentions of a few of the upcoming books, Hulk, Secret Warriors and Spider-Man. Personally I think that these one-shots are going to be great, and the good thing is, does Norman maybe have a point? Why is the Hulk just allowed to bounce around the desert? Is Nick Fury really a terrorist? Dark Reign is all about the line between hero and villain and how it has been blurred in our 21st century, post-Authority comics, and I hope The List tackles this. Plus the creative teams are awesome! Ahem.

Bendis continues to address the Line between hero and villain in the next scene, which stars the New Avengers, and continues a debate they have been having occasionally in the last few issues of the title, namely, should they kill Norman Osborn? Ronin says yes, Spider-Man says no, everyone else is sort of in the middle. This is a great back and forth, and it really makes you consider which side you're on. One thing I found hilarious was that this conversation mirrored several I have had online. Some readers have found that Bendis' somewhat kill-happy take on Clint Barton is at odds with the character's past, but Bendis acknowledges this, he has Spider-Man say how crazy it sounds, and then has Clint bring up something I myself have, about how they are on the edge, and it's new circumstances. It just goes to show how intelligent a writer Bendis is, he hasn't just thrown this together, he's thought about it and anticipated the Internet's complaints. Don't you see? You're playing right into his hands! You fools! Mwahahahahahaha. Cough.

This debate also contains a great moment where Captain America claims to have killed Hitler. I don't know where that came from, but it's awesome, I hope Brubaker or Bendis play with that in the future. There then follows a nice quiet personal scene between Clint and his wife, Mockingbird, having Bobbi back has been one of the best things to come out of Secret Invasion, and this was a great scene.

And then Clint does something stupid. Or awesome, depends. The rest of the issue is an extended action sequence where Ronin takes on Avengers Tower all by himself. This is full of great moments, as Clint takes on the Dark Avengers, first he chucks Venom (or Venmom, lame typo!) out of a window, then takes out Bullseye, who he has good reason to hate, since he's dressed up as Hawkeye these days. And his fight with Daken was very well done, he kicked him in the nuts, come on, that's just cool. And then there's Moonstone. Karla Sofen and Clint had a relationship back when Clint led the Thunderbolts, and I've been wanting to see it get acknowledged ever since she became the new Ms. Marvel, call it my one concession to continuity porn, and Bendis did a good job here, Karla has always been complex, and she actually seemed willing to help Clint before the cameras were on. And then there's Norman himself. These two have been going at eachother since New Avengers #50, so it's no surprise when Clint actually fucking shoots him. Shame about the personal forcefield. Shame about Ares too, who takes out Clint quick as his cousin Hermes, and with that, the issue is over, Ronin is under arrest.

This was a great chapter in the ongoing Saga of Dark Reign, it built on several running plot points, Norman and Clint's media war, the X-Men crossover, the divide in the New team, and went somewhere new. Is this a turning point? Norman has his list, and the New Avengers are without their leader. I can't wait to see where this is headed, how will Norman execute his List, and what are the Avengers going to do now? Bendis continues to weave these multiple threads with confidence, but there are some problems, the story does end rather abruptly, and I could have done with more information on what Norman's List will entail, but I did really enjoy this book, it contained some fantastic action sequences and character bits, and added to a tapestry very well. Bendis' dialogue fizzed well, as usual, and I thought his Spider-Man was better than usual. If you've been following Dark Reign, don't miss this.

Art - Cover artist Marko Djurdjevic makes the jump to full interiors with this issue, and he does a good job. It's not quite as beautiful as his cover work, but it's strong, kinetic stuff. To me, it felt like an amalgam of Mike Deodato's shadowy work on Dark Avengers, and Stuart Immonen's sharper edged New work, very fitting for a book which brings the 2 teams together. He even managed to make the Ronin costume look cool. I think his best work here is the shot of Clint standing on a Roof looking across at Avengers tower, a very strong image. Add to this the fact that he apparently drew all 26 pages in only 9 days, it's even more impressive, I suspect Mark Morales' inks were a big help, he's one of the best in the business. I love Djurdjevic's covers, and on the strength of this isue, would love to see what he can do if not rushed so much.

Best Line - It's either 'Security Lockdown!' or 'I, uh, I killed Hitler'

8/10

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Postby MrBlack » Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:44 am

Avengers: The List one-shot

I will admit that I have greatly enjoyed the Dark Reign event so far. It is exactly what I wanted Secret Invasion to be: a slow burn that builds up to something huge. I like seeing the bad guys actually in charge for once, and while I know that the good guys will eventually triumph, it is fun to see a full blown supervillain with such a huge amount of power over a long period of time.

Having said that, I really like the idea of the List. Norman has consolidated his power base, and he is now moving on to step two, which is taking care of the many individual problems plaguing his administration.

Clint Barton volunteers to be number one on the List.

I am not a longtime Marvel fan, so I really do not have an opinion regarding Clint's threats to kill Norman. Regardless of whether it is in character or not, Clint finally makes good on his threats here, infiltrating the Dark Avengers' headquarters and seeking Norman out.

Notwithstanding what others have said, I liked the Bendis dialogue here. I liked the fact that Bucky Cap was not necessarily against killing Norman, but that he wanted to insure that it was the right thing to do and that Clint had an exit strategy (and yeah, I thought "I killed Hitler" was hilarious). I liked that Spiderman was so dead set against it. I liked the dialogue, okay!

The fight in Avengers Tower was pretty well done. Clint credibly took out three Dark Avengers, again demonstrating that he is a badass. It ended the way it should have. Clint is good, but there was no way he was taking down Osbourne alone.

The story as a whole was entertaining, but it did not knock my socks off by any means. Still, I enjoyed it, and I eagerly await future issues of Dark Avengers and New Avengers to see how this plays out.

The art was decent in places and awkward in others (looking at you Bullseye). The inks were strong, and the coloring, while a bit drab, fit the mood of the book. Overall, the art was good, but not great.

Story: 7
Art: 6
Overall: 7

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Postby MrBlack » Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:46 am

Yeah, I know that the scores don't average to an overall score of 7, but I'm giving it an extra half point because I ultimately liked the comic. It deserves a "C" grade, not a "D" grade.

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