[images & words is the comic book pick-of-the-week at OL. equal parts review and diatribe, the post highlights the most memorable/infuriating/entertaining book released that wednesday]
Spoilers Ahead. Forreal.
Marvel Comics is ushering in a new era for its brand, a return to form dubbed The Heroic Age. Under this new banner, the Marvel universe is (hopefully) going to realign itself and enter a period in which a status quo can be relied upon. And this is a good thing, giving the reader a chance to breathe after seven years of turmoil that included team breakups, civil wars, and alien invasions.
As any avid comics enthusiast knows, every event is accompanied by a slew of one-shots and tie-ins. Often, these are transparent attempts to earn a couple extra bucks by inserting tenuous connections between the major happening and an otherwise unrelated title. I can’t help but shake my head in disgust, disapproving of the theft of nerd-dollars that could be best spent elsewhere.
But sometimes, when the planets line up just right, tie-ins can be really fucking rad. And it looks like Jupiter and Neptune are in sync, because The New Avengers Finale is the book of the week.
Bendis’ script takes the reader through the direct aftermath of Siege; Norman Osborn has been exposed, the remaining villains are on the run, and Earth’s mightiest heroes have finally reunited. The remaining superheroes have to figure out their place in this brave new world, now that the all the major threats have been averted and the Superhuman Registration Act is null and void.
This setup provides the opportunity for bridges to be built across the chasms created over the last few years. Needless to say, this comic argues on the behalf of forgiveness, second chances and teamwork as the champions of justice come together to take down The Hood, Madame Masque and her father Count Nefaria. This crisis, coming after the siege of Asgard, doesn’t seem especially critical but it serves as an excellent excuse to see the Avengers assembling for the first time in years.
Iron Man? Captain America? Thor? Friends again?! Fuck yes.
The New Avengers Finale, like many of Marvel’s notable works of late, is penciled by the always astounding Bryan Hitch. Receiving some assistance from Stuart Immonen, the artist depicts the Avengers with a detail and vibrancy of which few are capable. Hitch really goes balls-to-the-wall, giving the reader all sorts of wonderful eye-candy to slobber over. For me, the visual highlights include a two-page spread of the newest Avengers lineup as well as a full splash page of Wolverine getting read to lay down the law.
But what convinced me that this had to be OL’s top-choice of the week were the book’s last eighteen pages. Nine splashes, spread across two pages each, take us through various flashbacks of the Avengers during the recent strife. Every single one of these images is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, the stuff that nerds fantasize about when they’re not dreaming of babes. If you need more convincing, just check out the list of artists brought on board specifically for these flashbacks:
David Finch, Danny Miki, Frank D’Armata, Steve McNiven, Dexter Vines, Morry Hollowell, Olivier Coipel, John Dell, Mike Deodato Jr., Pimental, Dave Stewart, Leinil Yu, Mark Morales, Laura Martin, Bryan Hitch, Rain Beredo, Billy Tan, Matt Banning, Justin Ponsor
These pages remind the reader that the comics medium is rooted in illustration. While great storytelling can compensate for lackluster art, the greatest works always have pages that please the eye. This comic book gives us nine examples of this simple fact.
I purchased The New Avengers Finale with low expectations, anticipating that it would do nothing more than help me put off work for another fifteen minutes. But what I would up with was a real treat, the perfect transition out of the Dark Reign and into the Heroic Age. After reading this book, I have no doubt that good things are on the way for Marvel readers.
This shit is righteous. If you haven’t been able to figure out my insane ass-crush on Tony Stark, RDJ, and the Man of Iron, you haven’t been paying attention. This remix of the trailers have my pale, pasty, cottage-cheese ass booty poppin’. Here’s the full-scoop:
San Francisco-based audio/video mash-up artist/performer Mike Relm has created a cool remix of the Iron Man 2 trailer. Director Jon Favreau saw it and even showed it to the Paramount marketing department.
DC Holiday Special 2009 #1
It’s Christmas time, and that’s something even a godless agnostic pro-choice heathen like myself can get into. And let’s be honest, it isn’t about going to church or anything anymore, it’s about getting drunk on spiked eggnog and making inappropriate comments to fourth-cousins you only see once a year. And with that in mind, I’m excited for the DC Holiday Special, because it lets me think about ridiculous situations I’d like to see.
For instance, I can’t help but wonder about the time that Hal Jordan finally got a little smooch from Barry Allen under the mistletoe. The sad thing is that he never knew about his wishes being met, because Allen pulled it off at the speed of light. He continues to pine for his unspoken love. And then there’s the time where Superman got drunk and told Batman he needed therapy, and the two of them shouted over Plastic Man’s witty quips that he was trying to use to calm down the situation.
Of course, I’m sure none of this is in the special, but ’tis the season and shit. It’s probably just a boring special where they’re all giving and shit to needy children or whatever. Hey dickheads, you’ve got pretty much God and a bunch of omnipotent beings gathered together, how about you give us something sweet for Christmas, like world peace, or some shit. No, you’re probably content to grab cats out of tries and fight assholes dressed in weird underwear.
The Distinguished Competition is also putting out a bunch of books that I don’t read, but may be pretty cool. Adventure Comics #5 sees Conner Kent throwing the fuck down with Superboy-Prime. Which sounds awesome, but unfortunately I haven’t read any of these issues leading up to it yet. Superboy-Prime worked his way into my heart when he exploded half the fucking lame characters in the DC Universe with right hooks back in Infinitely Final Crisis back in the day. And then there’s Booster Gold #27 which features Mr. Gold getting hung by some Black Lantern from a tree. Which, admit it, is pretty cool.
Invincible Iron Man #21
I never really got down with Tony Stark in funny books until Matt Fraction started writing Invincible Iron Man. I know that’s high treason in some circles, and for that I apologize. It’s not that I didn’t dig on the concept, but I was too young to be actively buying the issues where he was bottoming out and being a god damn alcoholic and stuff. It all seems pretty sweet, but I’m lazy and demented and I always forget to try and snag some back-issues.
Fraction effectively reduced Tony Stark to Lennie from Of Mice and Men in the previous arc, having him format his own brain like an organic hard drive and shit. So I guess that makes him, like, Robo-Lennie and shit. But now he’s all laying comatose, and it’s up to Bucky and Thor and a bunch of other peeps he’s wronged to reboot his skull and shit.
For a tech nerd like myself, the whole His Brain as Hard Drive type thing really gets me moist. Also, I feel sort of happy that I was correct when I predicted that the dude would reinstall Tony Stark onto his mushy headguts after he was done formatting. Question though: Why the fuck would they reboot his mind, if the secrets he was trying to keep from Norman will just be restored? Or perhaps it’ll be an older image of his brain, prior to the secrets or something? And if so, is that really Tony Stark, or is it as good ole Locke would say, another entity removed from the prior string of consciousness?
See, I’m already wet.
Also, it’s nice to see the Marvel Universe finally being pulled back together. There’s been like two years since Tony Stark and Captain America were no only BFFs, so the concept of them all coming together again to beat-on some Norman Osborn ass is exciting. Maybe then we won’t have another fifteen years of Dark Reign, and they can usher us onto some other storyline.
Modern Warfare 2 Ghost #2
If you’re like me, you didn’t know that Modern Warfare 2 had a comic book. And that makes sense, since if you’re like me, you’ve been too busy getting fucking owned by thirteen year-old kids in said video game. Seriously, there’s nothing more demoralizing than hearing a barely pubescent little kid shit talk me, and I can’t say anything, since he’s killed me fifteen times in a round. God dammit.
I’m simultaneously surprised and not surprised that there’s a comic book for MW2, especially for Ghost. Ghost is like the Boba Fett of MW2, he’s quiet, barely around, and he kicks a shitload of ass. Plus, he’s got a skull on his face, and those thirteen year-old kids I fucking despise probably want to grow up to be him.
But at the same time, the plot to MW2 was pretty much a rejected 24 plot. Don’t throw tomatoes at me, I’m just saying. And that’s cool, because who the fuck plays the game for the single-player campaign, let alone story?
I predict a thousand bullets and lots of violence in this comic book, and at least fourteen nerds orgasming per comic book store.