- Posted by Johanna on May 18, 2011 at 9:22 pm
- Category: Superhero Reviews
- PUBLISHER: Marvel
Invincible Iron Man #504: Fear Itself
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Based on the “Fear Itself” tie-ins I’ve sampled so far (which, aside from this one, I don’t even remember), the point of the event is to show how many Marvel characters are really like Norse gods, to the point where you can combine the two without making any changes. I don’t think “lack of creativity” is what I’m supposed to be taking away from this summer’s crossover.
Here, it’s the Grey Gargoyle and … something with a big hammer, because that’s all we know about Norse gods. It’s turned everyone in Paris to stone, and then fights Tony Stark, which turns them all into pebbles. So if you want to read a comic about a bad guy making Stark feel very bad, both physically and mentally, this is your book.
Avengers #13: Fear Itself
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: Chris Bachalo, Townsend, Mendoza, Vey & Faucher
But wait! This one is worse, because NOTHING happens. Page after 12-panel grid page has head shots of various Avengers talking to an unidentified someone in various taped conversations occurring over a long period of time. It said to me, “hi, this is a comic with way too much history for you to ever catch up with, and we’re rubbing it in by not even bothering to point out who these people are.” Jarvis (I think) gets a whole page to himself to tell us how we’re supposed to think about these heroes, in a scene that makes me think the writer holds his readers in contempt as stupid.
Then, in case you were looking for a new example of bad taste in comics, Bendis makes a joke about Spider-Man throwing up in his mask. Twice. Before a really tacky jump cut. If you want to talk vomit, how about the sheer number of words Bendis is throwing onto these pages without telling us anything new? It’s a bunch of space-filler.
The reason I was bothering to read this comic at all — because these days, I don’t bother with comics I don’t expect to enjoy — is that someone wanted to know what I thought of the later scene with Ms. Marvel and Spider-Woman chit-chatting during an Asgard meet-and-greet. They bemoan how hard it is to find a nice guy, discuss asking out Thor, and then Spider-Woman (who has pheromone powers, who knew?) turns her gaze on Hawkeye. That’s interrupted by a page of dating advice from … I’m assuming Mockingbird, since she’s a blonde with weird head bumps who used to be married to him about how teammates shouldn’t date.
This is all so heavy-handed and clumsy. Of course superhero women in this world, given a chance to blow off steam, talk only about what male heroes they want to get with. That’s their role, as sex objects, to only be about being with guys.
Generation Hope #7
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Salva Espin
I’m still liking this new-style team book. Gillen’s an excellent writer who captures young, distinct voices well, with humor and feeling. The threats — in this case, a psychic baby who doesn’t want to be born so has mentally captured zombie slaves to prevent it — are fresh and creative, not the same old battles. The characters’ abilities are visual and edgy, with that mixed blessing that makes the best X-characters. I especially liked the way each team member demonstrates their personality as they each take a try at convincing the kid to come out.
After so many years of snark and decay and despair and savagery, it’s nice to read a superhero team book with, as the title says, hope. And one where you don’t have to keep up with other books to know what the characters are talking about, or one where the stories make sense even if you weren’t reading the same comics ten years ago. But I don’t want to praise this book based on what it isn’t, but what it is — an entertaining fantasy read with intriguing characters I want to know better.