Kyle’s Comic Reviews 5-18-11

Written on Wed, May 18, 2011 by Kyle posted by kyle

Reviews 5-18-11

Warning: Spoilers Below

Invincible Iron Man #504

Iron Man #504, written by Matt Fraction with art by Salvador Larroca, begins tying in with Marvel’s 2011 event title Fear Itself.  This quick-read issue focuses mainly on the fight between Tony Stark, and the Gray Gargoyle.  The Gargoyle, now one of ‘The Chosen’, battles his iron-clad nemesis in the now statue filled streets of Paris.  Meanwhile, we have snippets of the bigger arc with Stark Resilient hiring a new head of security – Bethany Cabe.  Tony receives a gift from the Hammer’s that he insists is not a bottle of hootch.

Fraction’s writing comes in a good burst.  With the action dominating the issue, it feels like it’s over before it can go far enough.

Larroca’s action scenes here are amazing.  My only complaint from previous issues has been the odd facial expressions and that is virtually gone in this issue.

Grade B

-Avengers #13

Avengers #13, written by Brian Michael Bend and art by Chris Bachalo, gives a look back on Fear Itself (already?) from the Avengers.  This issue is mostly talking heads in the form of pages with high panel counts, set as a kind of The Office-esque interview with Avengers new and old about the team, the things they have done and their lives.  The larger stories here are the Avengers involving themselves in the reconstruction of Asgard, a small flirtation brewing between Hawkeye and Spider Woman and Mocking Bird being unsure what to make of her former marriage.

Bendis does a nice job on telling us a story with interviews here.  Jarvis’s answers and moments gives the deeper meanings and points of what’s really going on and why.  However, I do feel the Hawkeye / Spider Woman romance is a little similar to the former Red Arrow / Hawkgirl romance from the JLA under Brad Meltzer.  As long as neither goes on a heroin-fueled cat killing spree, we will be alright.

Bachalo’s art, with its’ soft lines and curves fits the story well.  In a book with less action, and more social interaction and discussion… the art enhances the lighter tone to the book.  It also lends itself well to the more comedic moments like the red Hulk eating a basket of raw eggs.

Grade B+

-Batman and Robin #23

The Red Hood explodes back in the scene with Batman and Robin #23 written by Judd Winick with art by Guillem March.  The Red Hood, having been imprisoned in Arkham since his last appearance, gets a transfer to a normal prison where he quickly sets about ridding the place of any criminal element as he deems necessary.  Bruce speaks with him briefly, trying to convince him it’s a poor decision, but does little else to stop things besides having Dick and Damian keep an eye on him.  By the time anyone has realized it, Jason Todd has killed enough criminals inside the prison to throw off the balances of power on the outside. Equally as bad, he’s rescued during his transfer back by a gang of  half-man/half-animal commandos.

Winick proves, once again, why he’s been the most effective writer behind Jason Todd since his return.  Even from inside prison, he’s able to kill numerous criminals while still (in a sense) ‘controlling’ things on the outside.  The focus here is primarily on Jason, just as it should be.

March’s art does a nice job setting each scene’s mood in this issue.  The setups of the rooms, the expressions of the characters and even body language goes together nicely.

Grade B+

-Avengers Vs New Ultimates #4

The real villain stands revealed in Avengers Vs New Ultimates #4 written by Mark Millar with art by Leinil Yu.  This issue picks back up exactly where the last issue ended: with Spider-Man getting shot while protecting Captain America, winning the Captain’s respect.  With the ensuing chaos that comes with War Machine crashing on the bridge to help Nick Fury escape, the Ultimates are still able to capture Fury and his team.  With most of the superheroes hurt or down and S.H.I.E.L.D. in disarray, it’s the perfect time for Gregory Stark to be given control of S.H.I.E.L.D. and revealing himself as being the mastermind everything before having Fury shot.

Millar is keeping the familiar pace that we often see in his stories.  The plot isn’t anything new, but it’s one I think people will still enjoy, despite it’s predictability.

Yu’s art still has the shadows and rough lines that are expected, but with better effect.  Either they are getting a little better or I’m no longer noticing them.

Grade B

-Ultimate Spider-Man #158

Picking right up with what happens to Peter Parker after getting shot last issue we have Ultimate Spider-Man #158 written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Mark Bagley.  This issue, we have the remaining Sinister Six arriving at the Tinker’s door for equipment for the Vulture and weapons for Kraven.  Once armed, they arrive on Parker’s doorstep only to find Iceman and the Human Torch ready for a fight.  After Human Torch takes down Norman Osborn with little effort, the tide is turned only when Sandman and Electro put both Iceman and Torch down.  In the end, a weakened Peter arrives and still takes down the Vulture in one move.  With two issues left until his ‘death’, all eyes are on Peter Parker.

Bendis’s interactions between characters is always spot on, the detracting moment comes from Peter’s five pages of pulling himself from the bridge rubble to get himself home.  While Bendis’s writing is good, here it feels a little long when it isn’t necessary.

Bagely’s art continues to deliver.  The action scenes are easy to follow without being too much for the eyes.  The best moment goes when we see Peter in two panels on the last two pages.  The contrast on how different he looks from the first to last panel sets the tone for exactly what his situation is.

Grade B+

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