Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Alien Legion: Uncivil War (@ComicsTitan)

I'm a big fan of the Alien Legion franchise, created by Carl Potts (with Alan Zelenetz and Frank Cirocco).

I've been wanting the franchise to come back in a big way for a looong time, and even had some minor insider knowledge that it was incoming (which made it harder to wait, to be honest).

Now it's here, and I'm happy.

Sure, Carl Potts is a draw for me with the series by himself, and he's giving the book inks ("& soul"). But then you add Chuck Dixon for the story, Larry Stroman for pencils, Thomas Mason for colors, and Gabriela Houston for for lettering (it reads like an Alien Legion book), and I get a book that feels current, and comfortable and homey, a la the original run in Marvel's Epic Comics imprint.

The first ish is set up, and without giving anything away, the pace I feel is intentional to lead up to the last two pages.

Sarigar? Check. And while I'd like to see more of him, what is there is that encapsulation of leader and tactician. Though I'm looking forward to badd-assery in future issues.

Jugger Grimrod? Yeppers. He may have been busted down from Captain, but he's still the non-coddling boots-on-the-ground leader new recruits with a minimal life expectancy deserve.

I'm really looking forward to more from the team and the series. And while people might be quick to dismiss Titan Comics as a boutique imprint, I think recent transmedia success with Snowpiercer isn't a fluke.

Get to it, ya damn bospors!

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Uncanny Avengers (@Marvel)

I'm really digging Uncanny Avengers, the in-Marvel Universe attempt to bridge the Avengers and X-Men teams (and therefore humans and mutants) to the larger fictional public.

The two factions have had a rough few years - Largely culminating in the Avengers Versus X-Men crossover arc that reset all the positive PR and goodwill mutants had built over the years.

It's a solid book, and bridges deep mythic concepts, universe-wide stakes, and the internal group dynamics and relational muddiness of bringing several former teammates and enemies together and trying to make it work, while balancing idealism with the unavoidable practical veneer work, politics, and public relational messiness.

Writer Rick Remender is doing a stellar job, with my only criticism being a few of the setups and dialogs feel a little artificial as he moves decades-long relationships in slightly different directions. But you'd have to have read all of his Marvel work in the past few years to see that pattern, and to be fair, even then it's arguable that that's what's happening.

Art-wise, whether it's John Cassaday  early in the series or Daniel Acuña later, this is stellar stuff to look at.

It's a gritty, thematically rough title - Definitely not your Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes younger-reader-friendly. That makes it great, though, as Marvel serves a more mature, core fan audience (though it's not Marvel MAX mature).

Very much a recommended read, and I'm liking the stuff Remender is setting up in the first 6-8 issues that probably won't see fruition for 6-8 more. I like costs, the "not-clean win", and the long games in storytelling.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Red Skull: Incarnate

I finally finished Red Skull: Incarnate, Greg Pak's origin tale of the boy Johann Schmidt, before he became the maniacal Red Skull.

The fifth issue is really the pay off, where I got to see the depth of scheming and depravity that heralds the adult Skull's persona, as written by people like Ed Brubaker.

Overall, there series left me a bit wanting. It feels like there should have been more to the final arc, and the promised bibliography per issue materialized.

That said, Pak does a great writing job, Mirko Colak and Matthew Wilson's art services the story well, and David Aja's covers are absolutely stunning (even if they are missing the swastikas that should have adorned each issue).

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Moon Knight

The best thing about the new Moon Knight series from Brian Michael Bendis?

Could be the Alex Maleev Captain America. Ish.

Or maybe it's the irony of putting one time West Coast Avenger Moonie back in LA.

Maybe it's the introduction of what is possibly an ongoing conceit of self-referential parody of Hollywood Biz.

It's probably the twist take on the titular character's psychosis. Eses.

Gonna keep reading.