Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Joe Kelly wraps up his contributions to Gauntlet so far by bringing the Rhino story to a further close than I feel it really needed. I'm glad, I guess, that status quo is upheld and old Rhino is back to being Rhino, but I don't see the reason why outside of retaining status quo. I was fine with a new Rhino as much as I was fine that old Rhino was completely emasculated by his wife. So, instead, readers get a rather predictable story where Old Rhino's wife dies because of new Rhino and Old Rhino becomes Rhino again because he can't properly channel the tragedy of death towards positive improvement. Also, the story is narrated by what seems to be a teenage girl, and Peter Parker gets kinda emo.
One of the better things that I am noticing in these books is that writers haven't dwelled on Peter's emotional state, most of the time. Specifically, the reader knows Peter's having a rough time, but I am not reading the thoughts Pity Party Peter Parker. Kelly gives us a helpful helping of that, though.
Look, on the whole, it is not a bad story. However, as part of the genre of graphic serialized ficition this chapter highlights what a lot of people complain about regarding the medium and what some fans complain about Spider-Man. We had a good character progression moment for old Rhino and perhaps some potential for stories about the new Rhino before he shuffled off this mortal coil. Instead those possabilities for new stories were taken off the table for a plot that has been told enough in just Spider-Man books themselves. Additionally, one of the harder things to do in comics is probably making Spider-Man entertaining without the character of Peter Parker being a whiny shell of a man the whole book. I always figure one of the defining traits of the character was his ability to continue to bounce back from adversity and in this installment, it seems more like he's letting adversity defeat him. That's not a character I want to read about.
Friday, March 26, 2010
With this issue, the anthology comes to a close. Nothing truly advanced, nothing truly altered, but, over-all, some good stories and a chance for some talent to shine in a limited space.
Harvey Tolibad turns in som nice art for a good story about the Stepford Cuckoos and they give teaching a better name than it deserves by claiming how much it fulfilled Emma's life and can fulfill the lives of the three mischevious minxes.
Best story, bar none, was "Ice Cream Alamo". Though I question the sanity of kids willing to stab people just for Ice Cream. Not cool Loa. You lost, suck it up and learn from it.
"The King and Queen of Utopia" was a fine story, but Niko Henrichon's art is just a bit off for me. Check the chin on Namor. He's ready for Late Night. However, a good little wrap up of what was a very obvious theme between most of the stories in Nation X, the problem of food. Plus it spotlights Namor, who just doesn't get enough nods in Uncanny.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
A second problem I feel the book has is that its kinda falling beneath its own weight. I can buy complete darkness and silence in the world before the white being showed up. I get that. Then the reader is told that the white being made Earth. Then the reader finds out all the different colored entities of the corps: ion, parallax, etc, are all mutated animals from earth themselves. That doesnt quite jive, I guess, with some things. Is a flying bug really the first thing to feel fear? No protozoic sea bugs or fish? And while I find the attempt at using the serpent from The Garden of Eden cute for the being of avarice, do we have to throw in some biblical creation stories as well into this? Plus, I'm sure the serpent didn't eat the apple, and I'm an avowed Atheist. Is Johns simply hinting at the serpent's part in getting Adam and Eve to eat the apple, without showing the two? Having that question just leads me into what I'm seeing with all of these references. Johns has just made a muddled mess of various creaton tales and what it does is make inconsistencies that I have to spend time deciphering how all the pieces fit together and that really takes me out of the story.
The wrestling equivalent of this is the show before a Pay per view. That's known as the "going home" show. Well, this is the going home book and while it sets up Blackest Night 8 to be, possibly, a slobber knocking fight book, this book does more to set up future arcs than truly resolve anything in the Blackest Night event.
Friday, March 19, 2010
No picture for this one because of difficulties getting one :(
The end of Blackest Night, part 1. All of the various multi colored lantern corps begin converging onto Earth and the black lantern Anti-Monitor makes an appearance, as well as black lantern Ice, for the first time. Things then start to get really wacky as a black lantern refrigerator full of Kyle Raynor's first girlfriend appears in space and we get to relive Major Force's now reviled act of aggression against sensability in comics. It is probably sad to say I am de-sensitized enough to violence to not be ashamed of my favorite medium for allowing such a scene to be put into ink back in the 90s, or be reminded of it, again, today.
Its nice to see Dove continue to make appearances, though. Blackest Night: Titans is continuing to show its one of the few tie-ins people honestly should have bought into for story purposes
One last thing to mention. In Tobin's story Venus and Namora discuss how the gods of this Marvel world can be so mortal. The Greek Pantheon has not had the best of times, recently, in the Marvel World given, now, that Zeus, Hera, Ares, and Hercules are now dead and a new Venus has risen to take the place of an abdicating Aphrodite. I am curious to know if there is a specifically concerted effort to dismantle the Greek Pantheon of deities in Marvel and where it will eventually lead to in the future.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
It may not be a flagship book. It may have to bow to the continuity concerns of several other books, too. However, it has a true master of the comic medium leading it to its end, and given the limitations placed on him with the direction of all of these characters, Slott has exercised and explored more than enough space. To use a different analogy, he's made a tiny home seem bigger than it is from the inside.