|Issue #36||Release Date: 11/23/11||Vol.#10|
(Click title to go directly to the review)
FANTASTIC FOUR #600
GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS #3
Advance Review: HAUNT #19
WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN #2
LOCKE & KEY: GUIDE TO THE KNOWN KEYS One-Shot
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #3
Advance Review: ULTIMATE COMICS ULTIMATES #4
AICN COMICS PODCAST #5
FANTASTIC FOUR #600Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Publisher: Marvel Comics
My personal economics of comics are something I am not shy about discussing. Sometimes I am simply too poor to afford comic books, especially those anniversary issues that cost you twice the usual price. But then I have to stop and consider the cost of creating a comic, the wealth of material, and my own potential fulfillment as a fan, and things get complicated. For example, when the six hundredth issue of FANTASTIC FOUR rolls around with 96 pages of brand new story, featuring five of my favorite artists in the industry, not to mention a dozen other inkers, letterers, and editors working at their prime, suddenly I feel like I’m paying for a hearty meal instead of a pamphlet with some free advertisements.
Since my Thanksgiving feast put me into a coma for a week the internet has showered accolades on the latest issue of the FANTASTIC FOUR, so you probably already know it’s a book which encapsulates everything Marvel has done right over the past few years. If you haven’t been reading FANTASTIC FOUR until now this comic will bring you into the next chapter at ground zero. Since I don’t want to be redundant, and I’m still recovering from an overdose on tryptophan, I have elected to convey the power of this comic by comparing it to a typical American Thanksgiving meal. You have been warned. So without further ado let’s dish up this puppy and see what we got!
The first thing to go on the plate of course is the stuffing and the mashed potatoes with gravy: thick and sloppy, but filling, a comforting nostalgia dish that’s not quite the main course. I honestly could barely make it through the opening segment of this issue as Earth’s mightiest heroes repel a Kree invasion, and the Future Foundation kids open a portal to the Negative Zone. In a word, it’s heavy. Most of the splash pages are dedicated to city-rending destruction and the whole thing is drenched in deep shadows. Between this and his work on CAPTAIN AMERICA, Steve Epting has earned a spot in the Marvel lexicon of can-do artists, even if his rendition of Red Hulk cracks me up. New readers may find it hard to get through the dense, continuity laden opener, but they really should stick around for the rest of the meal.
The second portion begins with a flashback, and details Johnny Storm’s time spent in the Negative Zone. This is your delicious turkey, the juiciest meatiest thing of the whole book, and something longtime readers have been waiting for, like your uncle who lingers around the oven when he smells the bird cooking. Also like turkey, it’s nothing you haven’t seen before. The “ray of hope fighting greater evil through gladiatorial combat” is a recipe used in countless other stories. You’d think a sense of déjà vu would hurt the entertainment value but it’s the perfect formula for a golden-roasted character study of the Human Torch. Carmine Di Giandomenico’s layouts tell a story on an epic scale, with some insanely evocative coloring by Andy Troy. While the ending was a little convenient, this was still an exciting story that was perfectly paced.
So there you have the delicious meat and potatoes of payoff and setup for the next chapter. The two stories blend really well together, leaving us with three more segments that serve more ancillary purposes, but are no less spectacular. The next section concerning the Inhumans is, naturally, the cranberries. Anyone who has been in a relationship knows what Black Bolt and Medusa are going through, and it’s a nice moment that really solidifies their post-polygamy bond. Ming Doyle is perfectly suited to the surrealist intimacy of the material, giving the visuals enough sparkle to shine through a tart but otherwise subtle character play. You can almost see Medusa’s hair floating in space. Beautiful work.
Lenil Francis Yu’s Galactus is…the green bean casserole? Okay, so maybe the Turkey Day analogy is a little ridiculous. The entire scene is a reference to the world-eater’s recent appearance in THE MIGHTY THOR, where he clashed with the Asgardians over a “World Seed” now buried deep in the Earth. Like the cranberries, it’s lacking in substance but makes up for it with pizzazz. The inks by Gerry Alanguilan are like the crispy onion things that go on top, just making the whole package look all the better.
The final portion dedicated entirely to Franklin Richards and his made-up universe, with visuals and lettering by Farel Dalrymple, is definitely the candy yams of the visual feast: sweet and simple, and the kids will love it. There is just enough whimsy to make it a fun read, and just enough mystery to make it a little bit creepy, but it’s also one of the most compelling parts of the whole book, while tying up previous stories with the simplicity of a child’s perspective.
The most incredible thing about all of these stories (besides managing to look so damn GOOD, of course) is how closely they are all related to each other. None of the separate parts hold back the overall narrative. Every page is another gorgeous, purposeful step forward for these characters and their crazy, seemingly unending lives. A majority of this comic is dealing with characters that possess powers beyond comprehension, yet we are made to empathize with their godlike plights, and that in itself is a feat of storytelling. The art in this book stands in a league of its own as some of the finest in superhero comics, taking risks while respecting the history of the characters and the gravitas of their epic story.
After you read this, check out:
THE MIGHTY THOR #1-6 by Matt Fraction & Olivier Coipel
OMEGA: THE UNKNOWN by Jonathan Lethem & Farel Dalrymple
X-MEN: MAGNETO TESTAMENT by Greg Pak & Carmine Di Giandomenico
You won’t be disappointed.
GREEN LANTERN NEW GUARDIANS #3Writer: Tony Bedard
Art: Tyler Kirkham
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewer: The Writing Rambler
GREEN LANTERN NEW GUARDIANS is slowly becoming the crazed, drunken uncle in every family that no one invites over but then shows up anyway, gets absolutely ridiculous, makes a few interesting comments about the family, but then leaves as quickly as he came. You know, the guy who kind of is intriguing but if you pay attention to him long enough he gets outta control so you have to just put your head down and pay attention from a distance. Yet once he’s gone there’s a mess to be cleaned up but for some small reason you kind of look forward to the next time you see him. Well yeah, that’s this book in a nutshell and with issue #3 out right now, NEW GUARDIANS further cements itself as the crazy uncle of the GREEN LANTERN universe.
There’s so much going on here that you really have to step back and read it a second time to take it all in. Basically, we still have main members of each color corps chasing down Kyle Rayner in an attempt to retrieve their own fallen corps members’ rings (that, for some reason still unexplained to the reader, have honed in on Kyle for a suitable replacement). The guardians are in an uproar over all of this and once all parties have arrived on Oa all hell breaks loose. Sound crazy and fun? It is. Make any sense? Not in the slightest. And therein lies my main problem with this series so far (despite the fact that I’m still enjoying reading it), It’s just not grounded in anything. It seems completely disconnected from the other GREEN LANTERN books. As a personal fan of the RED LANTERNS series, I find it annoying that Bleez, who is slowly coming into her own as Atrocitus’ right hand woman, is reduced to a mindless screeching beast in NEW GUARDIANS. I get that this book must take place at a different moment in time than the other three series, but it still just doesn’t feel right when reading. Tony Bedard knows his way around the GREEN LANTERN universe well and I’m hoping with future issues he will keep this story focused more, as after 3 issues it feels less like a planned story arc and more a crazy, “make it up as we go” series.
Tyler Kirkham’s art in this issue is also starting to reflect the craziness of the story as well. I love his work here, especially the madness on display in Kyle’s face at one point early in the issue. He seems to be having real fun when Glomulus (basically a living orange construct) comes on the scene and madness ensues even more. There’s actually a point where I had to laugh as Glomulus for no reason is standing in the background of a panel in a nurse’s apron; it’s so crazy that it just makes you smile.
As I’ve said, there is just no rhyme or reason to this series so far. It’s like a strange bonus issue every month that really has nothing to do with GREEN LANTERN in general. Weird, sporadic and at times confusing, I can’t recommend this book as a regular read for those not already in love with the current GREEN LANTERN universe but for those of you already entrenched in years of GREEN LANTERN knowledge this is just too crazy and fun to pass up.
You can follow The Writing Rambler on his blog here and follow on Twitter @Writing_Rambler !
Advance Review: In stores next week!
HAUNT #19Writer: Joe Casey
Artist: Nathan Fox
Publisher: Image Comics
Reviewer: Johnny Destructo
Well, I’m giving it one more issue. If that one isn’t any better, I’m dropping this title. HAUNT has never been one of my favorite books, but I thought it had its own thing going on, and that was kind of fun. I would usually buy each issue and after 4 or 5, would read them in a sitting. And as the series went on, I found myself getting more and more interested in what was going on, where the book was headed. They were starting to delve into the “why” of Haunt, of the afterlife, his relationships with the other agents, etc. Then last issue, they revealed that the entire creative team left and would be replaced with a new one. But still, maybe this new team would be great and take the series to an even higher level in my pull-list.
The characters seemed off, especially Kurt (though that seems to be on purpose--we’ll see), almost none of the supporting cast are in the book and the art: dear god, the art. Now, I purposely went to www.foxnathan.com to see what his work was all about as soon as I heard his name mentioned, and I was actually pretty excited to see what he would be doing with HAUNT. His style is in the David Lapham/Becky Cloonan/Craig Thompson vein: lots of flowing brush work, lots of ink…really, really great looking stuff. But…not so much here. There were many times that I had no idea what was happening in a particular panel. I’m not sure if it’s his ink work, or his colors, but it’s just SO muddled.
This is not a great start for this new creative team. Maybe next issue it’ll even out, but after that, I’m not sure I’ll stick around to find out.
JD can be found hosting the PopTards Podcast, drawing a weekly webcomic, discussing movies, comics and other flimflam over at www.poptardsgo.com, graphically designing/illustrating for a living, and Booking his Face off over here. Follow his twitter @poptardsgo. His talkback name is PopTard_JD. He is also now co-hosting another Comic Book discussion show on Party934.com alongside Bohdi Zen. They discuss comics and play music, check it out live every Saturday from 4-5pm.
WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN #2Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Chris Bachalo
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Reviewer: Optimous Douche
I had very grave misgivings about this series after the first issue. I’m fine with the series in concept: Cyclops and Wolverine have always hated each other, (a reason I’m one of the few detractors of the rushed end to “Schism”) so letting these two go their separate ways makes sense. I’m cool with mutie baby titles like NEW MUTANTS and GENERATION X; seeing the next generation actually mature and grow is a place where Marvel has always surpassed DC (though I will gladly pay someone to erase POWER PACK from my gray matter). I’m even OK with Wolverine running a new school for mutants since he’s always had a soft spot for troubled teens, unlike most that say Wolverine and children go together like a Fleshlight made of razor blades. Hell, I didn’t even bat an eyelash when Wolverine decided to set up camp in the middle of the bull’s eye that is Gramalkin Lane. None of this came as baggage to taint my feelings on the first issue.
However, what I could not abide or make right through six degrees of reasoning was Woverine’s characterization. Just because Wolverine is now working with children does not mean we have to turn this into the X-Sitcom with Wolverine playing the part of Uncle Joey. Clumsy, befuddled and bewildered are not words I would ever use to describe Wolverine, yet that was the characterization we were given during the inaugural issue as Wolverine gulped copiously and tugged nervously at his tie constrained collar while a pair of state officials inspected the school to deem its worthiness for educational accreditation. It felt wrong on many many levels.
Well, what a difference an issue makes. For starters, Aaron turned the action up to 11 by staging an attack on the school from the baby Hellfire Club, those dastardly children that committed patricide during “Schism” to gain control of one of Marvel’s most notorious bastions of evil (I guess we won’t be seeing corsets and garters again for awhile, lest they let Jerry Sandusky join the ranks). Wolverine aside, the other thing that made this issue work was a nice introspection into the psyche of Iceman, Bobby Drake. Always a bridesmaid and never a bride, the book opened with a touching gray scale flashback to just before the school opens. Wolverine basically tells Bobby that this new school and his place as one of its leaders will demand more greatness than Iceman’s traditional guffaws. Bobby takes this to task during this baptism of fire; I won’t state implicitly how he does this, but Jamie Madrox better beware of his unique status in the Marvel Universe.
Another thing that sold me on issue 2 was we get to see more of the children that will become the next generation of mutants. Most fell into the ether mainly because of the art (more on that in a second), but Wolverine’s damaged kid du jour, Idie, and the baby broodling with the soul of a poet, have a wonderful moment together that will set up some Ross & Rachel “will they, won’t they” drama to come.
Now, the art. Bachalo does some stuff really well, like unique use of panels, and his pacing is spot on. But what lives inside those panels just doesn’t speak to me. If it wasn’t for coloring, I frankly wouldn’t know who is who. Also, backgrounds become virtually indecipherable with this style. I still don’t have a great feel for what this new school looks like, even though the words say that it is a cornucopia of alien and earthly designs.
WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN has the potential for a new voice and place within the Marvel universe. Wolverine can be a great headmaster as long as each writer that enters the series remembers not to use him as a prop, but the character we all have come to know, love and fear. I’ll also add that extreme caution needs to be taken with the Hellfire Club Junior; these kids can be great embodiments of evil, as we saw the descendant of Frankenstein in this issue. But they can also easily transcend into unbelievable, as we heard time and time again in this issue from a Hellfire Junior that wanted to end the attack so she could play whack-a-mole with live penguins in a zoo she just purchased. For these kids to remain plausible they must continue to portray a maturity beyond their years at all times and avoid the easy trappings of the juxtaposition between their worldly status and their chronological age.
I’m into this title and will gladly look past my art misgivings if the writing remains on par with issue #2 and leaves behind the blatant yuck-yucks of issue #1.
Optimous has successfully blackmailed fellow @$$Hole BottleImp into being his artist on Average Joe. Look for Imp's forced labor on Optimous brain child in mid-2012 from COM.X. Friend Optimous on FaceBook to get Average Joe updates and because ceiling cat says it's the right thing to do.
LOCKE & KEY: GUIDE TO THE KNOWN KEYS One-ShotWriter: Joe Hill
Artist: Gabriel Rodriguez
Publisher: IDW Publishing
I’m not usually one to buy those “supplemental” comics that pop up every now and again. You know the ones I’m talking about—comics like DC’s and Marvel’s “Annuals” (which really deserve a new moniker, since it’s been years since these so-called annuals were published on anything even remotely resembling a yearly timeframe…but I digress), or “Guides to Such-and-Such Characters”, or places, or gadgets, or what have you. I find that most of the time there isn’t enough substance within these comics to warrant dropping money on them; the supplemental material presented therein is usually of the sort that is attractive to only the rabid completist, dedicated to collecting every bit of published material tying into whichever ongoing title is the primary focus.
Having said that, I will readily admit that when it comes to LOCKE & KEY, I am that rabid completist, and this one-shot needed to come home with me.
The latter half of this issue indeed focuses on the magic keys of Keyhouse and tells the reader of them through the journal entries and letters written by some of the house’s inhabitants over its history. What’s more interesting than the descriptions of the keys and their powers (any LOCKE & KEY reader will have already known all about the Giant key or the Ghost key) is the hitherto unknown information that can be gleaned about the Locke clan, adding layers more of intrigue to this fictional family’s already-detailed history.
The real treat of this comic, however, comes from the short story that takes up the first part of the issue. Hill and Rodriguez present a gentle side of the typically horror-tinged Keyhouse, going back to the early days of the 20th Century, as Chamberlain Locke uses the magical keys to affect a “cure” of sorts for his son’s epilepsy, essentially by sending him to live in an eternal limbo between Heaven and Earth. The story is dedicated to Ray Bradbury—appropriately, since it shares that sense of mingled wonder and sadness that is readily found in Bradbury’s works—but inspiration for the visual aspect is obviously Windsor McKay’s “Little Nemo in Slumberland” comic strips, published during that same period of the early 1900s in which this tale is set.
Even some of the faithful LOCKE & KEY audience may balk at buying this comic, especially seeing as how certain portions of the “Guide to the Keys” is reprinted from supplemental material included in a previous collected edition of the series—I know, not even 100% new supplemental material—but seeing as how it’s been a while since the last proper issue of LOCKE & KEY hit the stands, the diehard, rabid fanbase will no doubt snatch it up for their collections. As far as extraneous comic books go, this one’s not bad. But a return to a regular publication schedule for the current “Keys to the Kingdom” arc would be a helluva lot better.
When released from his bottle, the Imp transforms into Stephen Andrade, an artist/illustrator/pirate monkey painter from New England. He's currently hard at work interpreting fellow @$$Hole Optimous Douche's brainwaves and transforming them into pretty pictures on AVERAGE JOE, an original graphic novel to be published by Com.x. You can see some of his artwork here.
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #3Writer: Peter Milligan
Art: Mikel Janin
Publisher: DC Comics
Guest Reviewer: The Dean
First of all, I’ll admit it - there's not much in the way of story progression in this third installment of JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK. We still don't know what Enchantress is really after (probably power though, right?), and Xanadu is still keeping the tarot cards pretty close to chest, so we don't have a full team yet, and it feels like it'll be a couple of issues more before we do. Having said that, this is still an entirely enjoyable series so far that suggests a solid story ahead filled with magical bouts and character drama on the weirder side of the DC Universe.
I think putting “Dark” in the title of your comic book attracts a certain type of comic book reader that may be costing Milligan and Janin some acclaim unnecessarily. With the exception of maybe the video game industry, no medium attaches more significance to the description of “dark” as comic books. Books like this or its medieval counterpart DEMON KNIGHTS are what dark in comic books should be about. A little horror, some adult themes, a cuss or two for good measure – they don’t have to be deconstructed commentaries, or allusive head scratchers. The Miller, Moore, and Morrison apologists of the world may find the series lacking substance, but they’d be missing out on a fun ride with unusual characters that leaves you fully entertained, even if you might not reference it in your "Defense of Comics" essay for your snooty English lit professor.
I think the lack of plot development can be excused for the slow burn that Milligan sets in introducing us to this darker side of the new 52. This is a startup series, and while comic book vets may be bored by expository dialogue that reveals character origins and various idiosyncrasies, Milligan does a good job at keeping them short and natural. Sure, there are probably a number of ways to introduce fans to a cast of characters while keeping the plot moving (something Cornell is doing with DEMON KNIGHTS, for example), but I have no problem with Milligan taking the time to flesh out the team with side stories before they all get together to take down the Enchantress (or will they recruit her?! Probably not). Each of these characters has had their fair share of panels so far, and each of them feels right. I could do without squeezing the Brit out of Constantine with every bit of dialogue he gets, probably made even more noticeable because of the chapter’s title, “Shibboleths and Alcohol,” but aside from that the dialogue is natural, with an appropriate distinction between character speech that works well for each.
Janin’s artwork is another reason to stick with this title, as the bold character outlines and facial detail create a very tangible world that makes the spell casting and horrific moments seem more exciting, more dangerous than your Jim Lee or George Perez titles. Janin’s Deadman and Constantine in particular look to be favorites of his, as they look better than I’ve seen them since the Moore/Bisette days! Constantine looks like your average fictional PI with enough grit and tousling to suggest he’s doing a little more than spying on cheating spouses, and Deadman’s gray, rotted face and white eyes are showing more expression and depth than Ivan Reis’ resurrected Boston Brand did throughout BRIGHTEST DAY--not a knock on Reis at all, but his Boston Brand just never did much for me.
One gripe I do have that’s dragging the development of this story down for me is the portrayal and immediate disappearance of the Justice League. The teeth storm was cool, but it’s hard to accept that Superman would get attacked by teeth and then just say “okay, forget it--this is nuts,” which is what his omission from the story since that attack pretty much says. Instead of Superman explaining why/how he bailed on that situation, we got the infallible Batman talking it out a bit with Zatana before taking it into her own hands, when Batman hadn’t even been at the scene. In the coming issues, I hope to see more of why it isn’t necessarily that Superman and the Justice League can’t handle the Enchantress, but that it’s better suited for the new JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK. Otherwise, Miligan and Janin still have me excited to follow JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK into the more supernatural and mystical DC Universe, and I think once this team comes together and sets out after Enchantress, this will be one for the top of your pull list.
DEADHORSE #1.2Writer: Eric Grissom
Artist: Phil Sloan
It is ironic that I came across this comic now. With my Dad currently working in and out of Anchorage and planning a spring break trip myself to the largest state in the USA, there is a sense of familiarity reading DEADHORSE. Maybe having traveled up there three times helps too.
For those that have never had the good fortune of visiting the state, let me tell you that it is a perfect place for a mystery store. Pacino’s INSOMNIA and 30 DAYS OF NIGHT aside, Alaska possesses qualities that create an ominous setting. There is the weather that along with below zero temperatures is exacerbated by up to fifty mile per hour winds and the likelihood of being snowed in. The animals are always a threat, especially when getting into a car accident with a moose in which you and your car will be totaled, but the moose will walk away without a scratch. Then, I think we all learned from INTO THE WILD that the flora could be dangerous too. The beauty of Alaska can be misleading and one should never underestimate it.
So far DEADHORSE has remained, for the most part, in the cities. I am looking forward to our “hero,” Mr. Pike, venturing outside of the safety of modern day comfort. While he is on his way to the “Trapper’s Keep,” we are introduced to two new characters: Senator Robert Gadsworth (doesn’t that name sound familiar) and Elise. After receiving a message from what I assume is his Dad’s secretary, it is revealed that the Senator knew our Mr. Pike’s father when he was young. Elise is a runaway who witnesses the Senator’s demise. It is then that the elder Gadsworth called in the reinforcements--a crazed man called The Sasquatch!
Our Mr. Pike gets some relaxation, which seems nice since he just got attacked by his elderly neighbors in the last issue. This time the story is focused on other characters, but Mr. Pike still has a chance to pull out his wry humor in the end. While Elise has brains, I want to learn more about the Sasquatch. I mean, any man that lives 1600 meters beneath the earth and is adorned in a gorilla suit and mask has got to have an interesting back-story.
I was disappointed not to see humans with crow heads, hinted at by the last page of the previous issue, but there were plenty of visuals to appease my palate. Of course there are the drawings of the Sasquatch, whom I hope are not disposed of any time soon. Then there are the actions sequences that are vibrant, energetic, and impactful.
Besides the art and basic plot, my favorite part would be the structure. Hints and foreshadowing are not given away by dull expository dialogue, but worked in much more creatively. We have uncovered few if any answers so far, but the clues that have been dropped are enticing. This issue worked similarly to the last in terms of pacing: a mystery is set up, major characters are introduced, and the comic ends with a dramatic scene. I guess you don’t fix what ain’t broken.
DEADHORSE so far has a strong setup, neither pacing too quickly nor lurching forward with agonizing slowness. The stakes are continually rising and the characters become more interesting and complicated as the story continues. So as DEADHORSE proceeds, I hope that it will remain just as thrilling as the first two issues.
Lyzard is actually Lyz Reblin, a senior screenwriting major with an English minor at Chapman University. Along with writing for AICN, she has been published twice on the subject of vampire films.
Advance Review: In stores today!
ULTIMATE COMICS THE ULTIMATES #4Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Esad Ribic
Colors: Dean White
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Reviewer: Johnny Destructo
“I…wait, what? That was supposed to be a secret? I didn’t realize we weren’t supposed to know.”
That was my response when a co-worker at the comic shop asked if I had seen the “reveal” of who the Big Bad was supposed to be.
Some serious shit has gone DOWN these last few issues. Cap is gone, S.H.I.E.L.D. is F’d in the B, Asgard is all ‘sploded, the Gods are dead, and a thermonuclear explosion in Uruguay has killed millions. And it’s all the work of one man.
Hickman is very Grant Morrison-y in that he contains within his brain-meat the ability to work on the Big Ideas plane of comic-booking. Peep his RED WING series and his current work on FF. Frankly, this book feels more like a FANTASTIC FOUR book than the sprawling, wide-screen ULTIMATES books of the past. It’s got action, believe you me, but it also tinkers with some of the super science aspects that Morrison is famous for. In fact, The City in this book feels similar to The World (a facility run by the Weapon Plus Project in Morrison’s NEW X-MEN series) and maybe that’s why I immediately conjured thoughts of Grant. However, in The City, time moves at a much quicker pace than it does outside The City’s dome. This leads me to question how, if time is moving faster and over 1,000 years have passed in The City, then why is The Maker (our aforementioned “mysterious” bad guy) not getting older? He seems to be the same age as when last we saw him and my geek brain demands answers. I can assume that this is just “comic science” and doesn’t necessarily have to make sense, but I’m just going to make it up in my head that The Maker was outside of the City the entire time and was using an avatar to communicate with his creations. OH. Yes, I guess I should mention that contained within said City is an entire race of perfected humans that follow The Maker’s every whim, and daddy’s whim right now is to bitch-slap everyone.
I guess I won’t spoil the big reveal at the end, but really? Ever since the fella showed up on page one of issue one, I went “OK, there’s ____ ________; I wonder what’s he’s up to now”. Never once did it occur to me that it was going to be a revelation, and I’m not sure if that’s the “fault” of Asad Ribic or Hickman’s for designing a helmet that shows most of his face, or if it was just the fact that all this Big Science could be coming from only one person in the Ultimate Universe. I can’t be the only one, as I’m not that bright. Did you guys know who it was from the start?I would be ashamed of myself if I didn’t praise the outstanding work of Esad Ribic. I’ve loved his painted comic work for years but it’s only recently that I’ve started to see his pencils gracing the interiors of a comic...I think with UNCANNY X-FORCE? His work is just stellar and even if this story was ass, I would still buy it just to enjoy art inside. And much like they did in UNCANNY X-FORCE, Dean White’s color work in here is subdued but fantastic.
At any rate, I’m enjoying the hell out of this book. It’s not the killer good time that the original ULTIMATES series was, but this is certainly a smarter book and fairly grandiose in its own right.
Looks for more of the Holes rambling about comics on Poptards in future AICN COMICS columns!
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