Quick Hits – January 23rd

Let’s talk comics, maybe have some coffee with Cap and Thor.

Alright, guys, here’s the deal.  I read a lot of comics.  As much as I would love to review all of them for you, that’s not always possible.  Sadly, I have a day job that takes up a fair portion of my time.  In some cases I just don’t have enough to say about a particular issue to give a full review.  Sometimes an issue just sucks but I don’t want to be mean to it for 250-500 words.  Which us brings us to today’s article – Quick Hits.  Basically, I’m going to give some quick thoughts on a handful of issues from last week.  That’s it.

And we’re off…

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Uncanny Avengers #3

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Rick Remender and John Cassaday.  I was looking forward to this series almost purely for those two.  And knowing John Cassaday, I fully expected the delayed shipping schedule.  However, Marvel’s insane pace for shipping books lately really made the wait seem interminable.  The question is, how was the finished project once it arrived?  I’d say solid, but not great.  This felt like something of a transition issue.  The Red Skull is kicking his plan into high gear and using the omega level power of Charles Xavier to stoke up the residual anti-mutant sentiment from AvX.  We’ve got New Yorkers frothing at the moth and like last issue, Remender gives us some truly unnerving scenes of mob-violence.  As is to be expected, Cassaday’s art is spot on.  His Red Skull looks menacing, Wolverine looks out of control, and I absolutely love his use of Walt Simonson style sound effects for Thor.  But still the issue falls a little flat.  Oddly enough, for a Remender book at least, I think its the villains.  Red Skull’s mustache twirling evil feels a little dated and his S-Men so far are just, well, I don’t know what they are and I don’t particularly care.  That’s the problem, I don’t care about them.  The Red Skull keeps telling us they were all horribly affected by mutants in some way, but without the details it’s all just a bunch of window dressing.  I do love those sound effects, though…

7.5/10

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Masks #3

Now, this is an interesting series.  Set in the 1940′s, it oozes pulp noir and adventure.   If you’re a fan of series like Sandman Mystery Theatre (If you don’t know what that is, find out) or Matt Wagner’s Green Hornet: Year One or Garth Ennis’ The Shadow – then this is something you should be reading.  Written by Chris Roberson, it’s a kind of pulp hero Justice League or Avengers.  To that end, it’s your basic team book meet and greet – a big bad beyond any of the abilities heroes individually, etc., etc., you know the deal.  It’s a interesting read with an intriguing cast.

8.5/10

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Uncanny X-Force #1

I wanted to like this one, I really did.  But, it just didn’t do it for me.  Granted Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force was one of the best books of 2012, so not an easy act to follow.  But, Sam Humphries is a solid writer and he did try to get some distance by taking a different tone with the relaunch.  The problem is that tone falls flat and the lineup just doesn’t feel right.  I have trouble believing that Betsy Braddock would be spearheading a new X-Force given the trauma she went through with the last team.  Moreover, the generic plot, at least so far, isn’t helping.  Basically, Psylocke and Storm are heading to San Francisco to deal with the fallout of a new designer drug.  It’s the sort of thing we’re used to seeing in these sorts of titles, more or less the comic book superhero equivalent of romantic comedy “meet-cute” but with swords.  Obviously this sort of thing can work – see Hickman’s New Avengers, Remender’s Uncanny Avengers, or Masks.  It’s all about the execution.  In this case the thick sheen of grit that Humphries is smearing over everything (see Psylocke’s repeated, censored cursing for instance) just comes across as immature.  On the upside, Ron Garney is hitting on all cylinders and the art is great.  I’m definitely a fan of the new more utilitarian style of Psylocke’s get up.  (P.S. I get that Bishop is going to be the big bad, but not sure it was necessary to shoehorn him in Terminator style there at the end…)

6/10

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Revival #6

It’s a good time to be a fan of horror comics.  There’s a lot of great stuff out there for myriad tastes.  You got the tongue-in-cheek Hack/Slash , the phenomenal Locke & Key, Lot 13, Swamp Thing and Animal Man, last year’s Severed, American Vampire, and at #2 in my horror pull list, nipping at the heels of Locke & Key: Omega, we’ve got Revival.  Revival is a tough one to pin down.  It’s a horror title, for sure.  But’s its also hardboiled, detective noir.  It’s a zombie story…sort of, but definitely not of the usual variety.  It’s also got some ghosts, maybe some demons…still not clear on that front.  Picking up with events from the first arc, Officer Dana Cypress is knee deep in a grisly murder and true to form everything may not be what it seems.  This  is a solid jump on point for new readers.  My one caveat, while the art is technically solid it is often difficult to distinguish some of the main female players, for some reason Mike Norton seems to think that all long haired brunettes must look the same.

9/10

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Alright, there you go.  A round of quick and dirty reviews.  I have a couple more full length reviews coming down the pike.  Stay tuned, intrepid readers!

Any thoughts on the week in comics?  The week in geekdom in general?  Any thoughts at all?

Sound off below…

About

Keith is a life long gamer, movie buff, occasional harmonica player, and, most importantly, a comics nerd. Like all the best nerds, Keith is a child of the 80's and 90's and an often loud and vocal advocate of the cartoons of that era (seriously, though, they are unquestionably the best cartoons EVER). He currently resides in New York City with his lovely, if often exasperated wife, Rachel and their two cats, Ollie and Juno.

20 Responses.

  1. FatBaby says:

    I’m not a fan of most critics but I believe you were very fair and accurate. Spot on actually. I look forward to reading more of your opinions in the near future.

  2. Keith Rice says:

    Thanks, FatBaby! Comments are always appreciated, we love hearing what our fellow have to say!

  3. Sailor says:

    Okay I’m coivencnd. Let’s put it to action.

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