Tagged: Al Ewing

Chris’ Comics: New Avengers #2

NEWAVN2015002_DC11_LR_11New Avengers #2

Al Ewing,  Gerardo Sandoval, Dono Sancez Almara

Marvel $3.99

New Avengers #2 is a bit of difficult comic for me to discuss. On the one hand, it’s an incredibly well done comic; it’s fun, looks great, and you can tell writer Al Ewing is having a blast with this roster and concept. I appreciate the fact that the story went on only for 2 parts, as that’s just the right length this particular arc needed to be to establish the direction of this book. On the other hand, the book felt kind of shallow, focusing mostly on the evil Ultimate Reed Richards (aka The Maker), and not giving much development to our heroes.

 

In Al Ewing’s defense, he tries to do a lot with this book, which sadly may have contributed to some of the book’s undoing. The cast is huge, between the New Avengers, Dum Dum Duggan and Hawkeye, Sunspot’s staff, and the Maker and his cronies. It’s a lot to balance, and again, Ewing tries to do some cool stuff with the character, but never really hits the mark. Having White Tiger tumblr_nwxyb0mSg01sq4537o1_1280bounce off of Squirrel Girl is a neat idea, but Ewing’s Squirrel Girl doesn’t seem as clever as the one we’ve been getting over in the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, which is disappointing to me as a fan. He finds much more success in Sunspot, the Maker, and Songbird, the later showing the most depth out of any of the on-site Avengers. I hate to harp on Ewing, who has some genuinely fun ideas like Sunspot having a Champagne Robot and SHIELD and the Maker trying to make sense of this Marvel universe,  but the highlight real is relatively short  for this issue.

Ewing also doesn’t get much help from artist  Gerardo Sandoval this time around, who’s art is all over the place. While I don’t mind his super stylized art for the most part, there a multiple scenes where the female character waists are insanely too thin, especially with the extremely large chests their given. Much like Ewing, he works best when it comes to the Maker material, or some of the fight scenes, but he stuffers when the action slows down, and character have to interact with each other through non-violent means. Case in point, there’s a panel where Hawkeye is saying something, and Sadoval didn’t even bother drawing the dude’s mouth (or eyebrows). Marvel deserves some of the blame, as Sandoval strikes me as an artist who would have benefited from having a single issue drop this month instead of two.

On the positive side of things, Dono Sancez Almara’s colors for this comic are absolutely stunning. He managed to nail everything Ewing and Sandoval throw at him, tumblr_nx25apIVM41r7hjkqo1_1280ranging from Lovecraft inspired madness to super heroes brawling in Paris. The colors he chooses for every scene are perfect, which helps make the art more enjoyable. Letterer Joe Caramagna also deserves praise, as he uses a ton of different fonts for this book, helping Ewing convey emotion through words. These two excel, giving the book a sense of fun and energy that may have not been present had other creators been assigned to it.

New Avengers #2 isn’t a bad comic, but I’m not sure it’s a comic I want to pay $4 a month for. It may flow better once it’s collected, so I’m willing to give it another once that trades drops, and swap it out for another book in the meantime.

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Chris’ Comics: New Avengers #1 and Ms Marvel #19

New-Avengers-1-Cover-06a5aNew Avengers #1

Al Ewing, Gerardo Sandoval, Dono Sanchez Almara

Marvel $3.99

Ever since Infinity, writer Al Ewing has been pumping out some damn fine Avengers comics for Marvel. Mighty Avengers has been constantly entertaining, and now that it’s kinda sorta post Secret Wars, he’s been given the chance to write not one but 2 Avengers series. The first of these debuted last Wednesday in the shape of New Avengers, with a fan favorite roster and a bold new direction.

New Avengers #1 kicks off with a number of fan favorite characters: Squirrel Girl, Wiccan, Hulking, Songbird and from Ewing’s Mighty Avengers run White Tiger and Powerman. They’re assembled by Sunspot, who now owns A.I.M. thanks to the events of Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers run. They’re operating by their own rules, which doesn’t sit well with SHIELD, so they have Hawkeye (the Clint Barton flavored one) join the roster as a spy, ensuring my spending money. It’s a fun line up, and Al brings in a number of his Might Avengers co-stars to act as the team’s supporting characters, and build a bridge between his sister book The Ultimates.

29addcd4d60c46f931da5afb255a89b7._SX640_QL80_TTD_Drawing New Avengers is Gerado Sandoval , whose work I’m familiar with from the absolutely insane Marvel Vs Attack on Titan. His style is very much in the mold of Joe Madueria, which explains why Wiccan looks straight up Naruto. He’s bombastic enough for the fight scenes, but struggles a bit when it comes to the talking head bits. I’m sure there’s a number of people who are turned off by Sandoval’s manga style, but I dug it for the most part. The coloring by Dono Sanchez Almara is a perfect fit for Sandoval’s, giving the book a bright, animated look, which perfectly matches the fun art and Ewing’s delightful dialogue.

New Avengers #1 hits the floor running, with some unique art, a solid premise, and some great dialogue. It’s an incredibly fun book with a lot to like, and I can’t recommend it enough if you’re a fan of these characters, or just want a fun, over the top Marvel team book

tumblr_nvxtooYwUq1t0cxrao1_1280Ms. Marvel #1

 

Marvel $2.99

RIP $3 Marvel comics.

ALSO SECRET WARS AND MS MARVEL SPOILERS BELOW

And here I was thinking this would be a tears free weak, silly me.

The final issue of Ms. Marvel “Season One” is upon us, and man, it’s a fantastic read, but also an assault on my emotions. This arc wraps at where Secret Wars #1 ends, so the ending of this issue is a bit of a downer, despite the overall quality. Well sort of. We all know Kamala has a bright future as an Avenger starting in a few weeks, so the ending kinda loses some impact by being tied into the larger Marvel Universe. Not to mention the solicit for Ms Marvel volume 2, issue 3 going live today. Good timing there Marvel.

tumblr_nvxtooYwUq1t0cxrao5_1280Mad spoilers aside, G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, and Ian Herring craft one hell of an ending. The finale sees Kamala as Kamala, not her costumed alter ego, talk to her mother about her double life in an amazing scene, reunite her several of her peers and face the final incursion head on. Everything about this issue is incredible, as it blends a number of emotional beats with some expressive line work and gorgeous colosr. We really get a sense of how  Kamala has grown over the course of 19 issues, and how the evens of this arc has affected her. Wilson and Alphona have created something special with this character, and this issue serves of proof of that.

Ms Marvel 19 is a tear jerker of a finale. One with gorgeous, detailed art, that’s super expressive, with amazing acting, and a fantastic use of color during the final pages. In a world where super hero books are constantly relaunched and rebooted, this “final” issue gets is as perfect as it can be, technicalities aside. It”s a testament on how special a character like Ms. Marvel is in the marketplace, and how stellar this creative team is. I can’t wait for more.

 

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Troy’s Toys, But With Comics- The Sexy Start of the New Year

So the Image Expo 2014 has come and gone and man, screw them. I have a limited budget for comics stuff because living in  New York isn’t cheap, and they go and announce like 3 or 4 books I don’t have the budget for, but from creators I REALLY like. So that sucks for my bank account, but great for me…..spiritually I suppose? I dunno, but if you want to get caught up on what went down, go check our friends at Bleeding Cool and Comics Alliance for details, interviews and pictures.

Now that the holidays (and MAGfest 2014, wooo) has passed, comics have began shipping normally once again. Which means no more waxing poetically over books I really liked in 2013, and back to discussing new comics.

sex-criminals-4-web-72Sex Criminals #4

Matt Fraction/Chip Zdarsky

Image, $3.50, 20 pages, plus letters from pervs

Haha, J/K, I’m just going to talk more about Matt Fraction comics to start off the year!

I want to say this is the issue where guff gets real, but this also a comic where Chip Zdarsky draws a pizza vagina in the letters section. Another fine reason as to why this book is Time’s Comic Book of 2013.

sex-criminals1-fourth-printingBut yeah, shit gets real in this surprising dense 4th issue. Fraction and Zdarsky get a lot done in the span of 20 pages, and not all of it are butt sex jokes and funny named pornos. I mean yeah, those are there, but there are also times of serious business too. It’s a lot more like the first issue where tragedy and humor are perfectly mixed, only there’s more drama and action ( like there was any shortage of that in this book, HIYYOOOOOO) this time around. And hey, we even get some questions answered! And no worries, the intro page remains hilarious (good luck trying to read that one out loud), and the letter page….well like I said, pizza vagina, so the same as usual.

Sex Criminals was one of the most refreshing reads of 2013, also known as the year of Luigi,  and it starts off 2014 strong. I’m super excited for the conclusion of the first arc next month, and you all can look forward to me suffering from withdrawal as the book goes on a brief hiatus after that.

Also hey, we got that 4th printing cover in stock (pictured above), which I’m still laughing about. There’s also the upcoming 4th printing, but for a 2nd time cover coming in a few weeks, because people are dumb and didn’t pre-order this book the first time around, or just really like odd-photoshopped covers. I’m obviously in the later category.

 

STK629100All New Marvel Now Point One

A lot of people. No serious, a lot of people worked on this comic, look at the credits page, it’s the last page in the book and see how right I am!

Marvel, $5.99, 52 pages

Marvel did one of these last year that I didn’t care much for, with the exception of the Mike Allred Ant-Man story ….written by Matt Fraction (whomp whomp whompppp).

Marvel was definitely aiming for the Tumblr crowd with this book, which is fine, because it’s still good without pandering for “Likes”/”Faves”/”Reblogs”.  My personal highlight is the G. Willow Wilson/Adrian Alphona Ms. Marvel story. While the character was announced a few months back, the only appearance she’s made so far was at the end of the the first volume of the current Captain Marvel book. Here we get to see what she’s made of, and it’s a very fun read, as it’s a fresh take on the super powered teenager story, that’s a tad self aware, careful not to cater to stereotypes, and shows some cool uses of the lead’s power set. Additional props to Ian Herring’s colors which really make the story pop.

Allred’s back this year, with Dan Slott with a Silver Surfer story that’s all sorts of great. Mike Allred is at his best when he’s channeling Jack Kirby, so seeing him take to the cosmos is a real delight for me. Also it’s been some time since I’ve seen Dan Slott write something not Spider-Man-related, so seeing him flex those muscles again is fun. And speaking of good looking books, Phil Noto’s Black Widow story is a visual tour de force. Nate Edmondson and Clayton Cowles are great on words and colors, don’t get me wrong, but this story is Noto’s show, and he excels are delivering some fantastic visuals. The  Al Ewing/Lee Garbett Loki story that bookends this title is fun and the James Robinson/Steve Pugh All New Invaders story shows potential. The Avengers story wasn’t that bad either, but I’ve seen better from Rags Morale, although Nick Spencer delivers on the script end. . But for $7 bucks, I can’t complain, as the title served it’s purpose. It’s successfully gotten me excited about a bunch of titles Marvel’s publishing, although I’ll probably only be only buying one of them monthly.

Alright I talked about 2 comics for a long time today. I’ll be back to review the first volume of The Wake real soon!

 

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