Jude Terror reviews Brightest Day #16, Avengers Academy #7, and Thunderbolts #151 in this edition of Quick and Dirty Comic Reviews.
It's struck me this week, as I hit my first DC book and second non-Marvel book of the entire week, that I read a lot of Marvel Comics. This is no big surprise, of course, as I've always been somewhat of a Marvel Zombie since I started reading comics as a kid, but since I got involved in the Internet Comics Community, or ICC as I like to call it, I think I've branched out a bit into other stuff, but the point is I hate to sell DC short, as I do think they put out some quality stuff, like Gotham City Sirens, Red Robin, Justice League: Generation Lost, and others. Some of these will be making the rounds here in the comic weeks, as well as some of the new Batman books and even Superboy, so hang in there, DC fans. Now, let's get to the reviews, so I can trash that damn DC book Brightest Day!
Brightest Day #16
Written by Geoff Johns and Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Ivan Reis, Scott Clark, Joe Prado, David Beaty, Oclair Albert, and Peter Steigerwald
Covers by Gary Frank w/ Nathan Eyring and Ivan Reis w/ Hi-Fi
Published by DC Comics
December 15, 2010
I grew up a Marvel Zombie, so I don't have the same long-term understanding of DC's characters and universe that I do of Marvel. As a result, some things, like anything related to a Green Lantern for instance, just don't click for me. I'm reading both Brightest Day and Justice League: Generation Lost, and though I much prefer JL:GL, it's Brightest Day that's winning on the sales charts, so what do I know?
I've enjoyed some of the stories in Brightest Day. The Deadman arc is probably my favorite, and the arcs of Aquaman and Hawkmangirlboywomandoy are the ones I enjoy the least. Since this issue focuses on Aquaman and Aqualad, I pretty much tuned out. With bonus tuning out for anything related to Firestorm. If you're a fan of these characters, you probably cared more, and the art was certainly pretty.
Not a bad issue, but this series is hit or miss for me personally, and this issue is a miss. I'll ride it out because I'm invested in the maxiseries now, but it's not as much fun for me as, say, 52 was. As a whole, Brightest Day is starting to bring all of the various character arcs together into one big story, and I'm hoping the payoff will make the whole series worthwhile. I'm a sucker for epic maxis like this.
Avengers Academy #7
Avengers Academy #8
Written by Christos Gage
Art by Mike McKone, Dave Meikis, Scott Hanna, Jeromy Cox, and Andrew Crossley
Covers vy Mike McKone, Ed McGuinness, Dexter Vines, Morry Hollowell, and Brandon Peterson
Published by Marvel
December 15, 2010
Avengers Academy is my favorite of the seventeen current Avengers ongoings, probably because it's the one that, to me, has the most old school Avengers feel. This is accomplished through several factors, but most prominently the writing style itself. I love that there are several ongoing plot threads developing slowly throughout the issues, as opposed to the ham-handed, trade-paperback story arc style that too many writers rely on today and which seems to treat the monthly reader as an afterthought.
This issue deals mainly with Hank Pym's character arc, as he struggles with his identity issues. Hank leaves behind the "Wasp" name and returns to his Giant Man identity in a move that seemed overly publicized to me, but the reasoning in this issue works, and the use of his powers to transcend into the realm of the abstract entities of the Marvel Universe was inventive. Of course, the name change goes hand in hand with Hank coming to terms with his place in the world, and being forced to make a hard choice about Janet, who is currently alive in a suspended state in the realm of the abstracts. Hank makes an uncharacteristically mature decision, leaving the Wasp behind in name and in person, at least for now.
While the story of the young Avengers takes a back seat this issue, we do get a nice fight with The Absorbing Man, who seems to be a lot more powerful than I remember. This series has a lot of potential, and I hope it's given the time to develop.
If you only buy thirty-seven of the eight hundred Avengers books on the stands this week, make this one of them.
Written by Jeff Parker
Art by Kev Walker and Frank Martin
Cover by Greg Land and Frank Martin
Published by Marvel Comics
December 15, 2010
I just started back up on Thunderbolts with the Shadowland crossover, and before that I hadn't been reading since the last Zemo team starred in the book, so I'm still getting used to this new team, even if most of the characters themselves are familiar as antagonists. This issue tells the origin of Ghost, which is good, because he's the character I know the least about, and also the one who interests me most.
Why is Ghost is such an interesting character to me? I'm not sure if his character is meant to be sympathetic, or if I'm just personally sympathetic towards him because I partially agree with his anti-corporation conspiracy theories and jaded view of the world's power structure. This story certainly provides some great motivation for some of his villainous actions, as a computer engineer who is betrayed by the company he dedicates his life to. This issue gets bonus points for being a self-contained story, which I appreciate, and doubly for being a good self-contained story, which introduces several new characters and integrates them nicely within one short issue (before killing them all).
On a side note, it's always fun to watch Moonstone being manipulative, and even more fun when someone gets the better of her, as Ghost does here when, after letting her think that she'd tricked him into sharing info about himself, he leaves her shocked and, I think, a little bit afraid of him. This issue also features the introduction of a brand new Thunderbolt, the identity of whom I will refrain from spoiling.
Good issue. I'm glad I jumped on and will be sticking with this book.
Quick and Dirty Comic Reviews are quick takes on the comic books I read each week. These aren't the hottest or most important issues of the week, but they are what I'm reading on a regular basis. You might find more in depth reviews of some of these books here in our reviews section. There are no scores - just a quick overview of what I thought of the books. This column may have the occasional guest reviewer. If you are a creator that has a book you would like to see reviewed by me or one of the other Outhouse staff writers, please contact us here.