San Diego Comic Con is going down, and I am not there, but in hot-ass Brooklyn instead. Part of me is jealous of the dozen or so people I know who are in attendance, but then I realize it would cost me at least a grand for a hotel, flight and badge. Also Twitter enables me to follow the big announcements, sans the 30 second previews or what have you attached to them, so there’s that. It is a collection of mix feelings that happens annually, which I’ve yet to get over.
Oh look Avengers: Age of Ultron is the sequel to the Avengers film. Huh, I guess Thanos is Act 3? :: shrugs ::
Anywho, the Eisners went down on Friday night, and several ( well, more like 4) books I pull took home awards. David Aja, artist on Hawkeye, took was awarded 2 of the industries’ highest achievements, AND HEY , LOOK, VOLUME 2 OF HAWKEYE IS AVAILABLE TO BUY, HOW WEIRD IS THAT TIMING?!
::: Puts on his king of the segues crown :::
Volume 2, in a word, is amazing. Aside from the fantastic Pizza Dog issue, it also collects 2 of my favorite single issues, #6 (The Christmas issue) and #7 (the Hurricane Sandy issue). This trade is also BRUTAL, as the party is over for ol’ Hawkguy, as his actions from Volume 1 begin to catch up to him, and things are a lot worst for Clint by the time the trade ends. Matt Fraction continues to weave a wonderful narrative, and the always amazing David Aja is joined by talented artists like Annie Wu, Steve Lieber, Jesse Hamm and Francesco Francavilla. I think we’re all aware how much I like this book, and encase we’re not, there’s an annual dropping next week that I will definitely talk about in great detail.
Moving onto more recent single issue releases, Adventure Time #18 dropped this past week, and is another book that took home an Eisner. With good reason mind you, it’s easily the best all ages book on the market, with Ryan North, Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb all doing an excellent job capturing the feel and the look of the show. This issue is one of the densest issues to date, and fair warning, there’s a lot of callbacks to the newer episodes in the series. So if you’re not caught-up, you may be a little lost. It also ends on a hell of a cliffhanger, one that is equal parts disgusting, horrifying and a even little funny if you’re a sociopath like me. The back up by Rachel Edidin and Kel McDonald is also a delight, with McDonald’s art giving the AT cast a unique look, and Edidin’s story ends on amusing twist. Adventure Time remains a great, funny book, and is one of the few books I don’t mind pay $4 for.
Speaking of $4 books :: points to crown :: both Avengers Assemble #17 and All New X-men #14 have dropped, and these are both books that live and die by their artists. The AA/Captain Marvel crossover “The Enemy Within” is now almost over, and the AA chapters are easily the weakest, thanks to some unsatisfying art by Matteo Buffangi and Pepe Larraz. Which is a shame, because Kelly Sue Deconnick’s script is fine, and there’s a ton of stuff that goes down this issue. But it’s ultimately ruined by some less than stellar pencils, which is a shame, because we’ve seen how much a KSD script can shine with the right creator with the earlier issues of this run, not to mention Captain Marvel. Hopefully the whole thing will read better collectively, but if not, at least I have Barry Kitson to look forward to in the near future. Kelly Sue deserves better honestly, given how well she handles these characters, ranging from the A-listers to some more obscure guest stars. respecting their proper “voices” and making it a fun engaging read. Hopefully someone at Marvel will recognize that sooner that later.
Meanwhile, Stuart Immonen is INCREDIBLE over in All New X, as a mostly fight issue wraps up the 2nd chapter of this book. I know it’s not fair to compare this book to AA, especially when Brian Michael Bendis and Immonen work so well together, but it’s hard to ignore the difference in quality between the 2 books. All New X-men blends the required action and drama the franchise is known so well with Bendis’ great sense of comedic timing, and the final result is wonderful. Hell, even the Uncanny Avengers come off a light more delightful here than their own book. While Bendis’ Uncanny has been hit or miss at times, All New is probably the biggest surprise for me out of Marvel Now in terms of personal enjoyment.