Monday, May 27, 2013

Review # 10: "Fantastic Four by John Byrne Vol. 1"

John Byrne is quite possibly the most underrated comics creator of all time. He's one of the greatest writers, plotters AND artists in the history of the game but you rarely see him mentioned along the likes of your Lees, Kirbys, Millers and Moores. Maybe it's because he didn't really create any enduring characters or properties. What he DID do, though, is take a character that already existed and made them the best they could possibly be.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Review # 9: "Fear Itself: Avengers Academy"

Sometimes it's fun in an ensemble comic to take a bunch of combustible characters and throw them together in an environment that could explode - both literally and figuratively - at any time. Born in the wake of Dan Slott's run on "Mighty Avengers" that centred on Hank Pym, we get Christos Gage's "Avengers Academy" where a group of young students are told they have the potential to be first-class Avengers and get instruction from a faculty that only an insane person would put together.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Review # 8: "Hawkeye - Volume 1: My Life As A Weapon"

You've got the shield-throwing icon. You've got the Iron-suited billionaire. You've got the God of Thunder. But if you asked me which character MAKES the Avengers, I've gotta choose the guy with the bow.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Review # 7: Spider-Man Number Ones

OK, so it's gotta be pretty clear at this point that Marvel is my comic brand of choice. I've got well over a hundred Marvel trades compared to a whopping SIX by DC. That puts me into definite fanboy territory. So since I love Marvel heroes so much, that means I must love Spider-Man!

But I don't.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Review # 6: "Young Avengers Ultimate Collection"

Marvel has a dodgy history at best when it comes to writing teen characters. Yes, they created the biggest of the bunch in Spider-Man. Yes, their biggest franchise ever - the X-Men - began as a tale of teen superheroes. But writing teen dialogue is tough and for every character whom they nail in that department (Kitty Pryde), there's another that's practically embarassing to read (Jubilee.) However, since the "Generation X" debacle of the 90s, Marvel has really gotten their act together with the likes of "Runaways" and - as I'm about to discuss here - Allan Heinberg's "Young Avengers."

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Review # 5: "X-Men by Brian Wood" Volumes 1 and 2

When it comes to female Marvel characters, more often than not the first one you'll hear mentioned in any nerdy discussion is Storm. She has the powers of a goddess and the presence of one to match. Being played by Halle Berry in the X-Men movie adaptations doesn't hurt either. But here's the thing about Storm: she hasn't really done anything important in 20 years. She had a brief marriage with Black Panther that's been wiped out and rendered irrelevant. Beyond that, nada.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Review # 4: "Operation: Galactic Storm"

The early-to-mid 90s were a weird time for The Avengers. Thor was replaced with a human imbued with his power; Iron Man was possessed by a villain, died, and was replaced with a teenage version of himself; Wasp became half-woman, half-insect; then, in 1996, they were all "killed off" and handed over to the folks at Image Comics (Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld et al. who quit in order to theoretically make more money by having full control of their own characters) to rebuild their, well... image. The truth was the series just wasn't on the same level as the X-Men sales-wise and Marvel was pulling out all the stops to try to get people to buy in.