Monday, September 26, 2005

Chris' Reviews 9/21, Pt. 2

Hola, amigos y amigas! A lot of bang for the buck here in Part Two of my reviews, as I didn't purchase a lot of Marvel and Others, but what I did get I liked. Massive Spoilers Ahoy!


Praise be! It's the end of the Sentry arc, and it doesn't suck! (As much as I thought it would, anyway). So, we learn that Bob Reynolds, the Sentry, had been feeding "Paul Jenkins" his identity in order to keep his psyche alive, which accounts for the comic book stuff. Emma Frost and Bob "fix things psychically" (there's no more accurate way to describe what happened --- trust me) so that no one except her, Bob, and Reed Richards remembers what went down over the last 3 issues, and that's just fine by me. I'd kill to forget about the last 3 issues. (Har!)

In the end, the Sentry (kind of) joins the New Avengers, since Stark and Co. promise to watch over him in case he gets the crazies again. And Tony flat-out lies to the rest of the Marvel U and keeps that whole Savage Land/SHIELD slave-trading incident under wraps.

There's no way in Hell I should have liked this issue, but I did. First off, the fact that we're done with this arc is reason enough to celebrate. Second, the motivations for recruiting Sentry into the Avengers rang (I can't believe I'm saying this) authentic in a way that Bendis hasn't been in this book yet.

Stark's no dummy --- having had firsthand experience with powerful beings who lose their marbles (I'm lookin' at you, Wanda), he figures that the world's a little better off if someone keeps an eye on ol' Bob for the time being. His monologue to the Sentry comes off as parental, with a sense perhaps that this is a way to atone for the Avengers' failing of Wanda. It's very, very, Avengers-ish, and if you don't know what that means, then you haven't read enough old-school Avengers. Nice work, Bendis. I'll give you that.

Depressingly, next issue promises the beginning of the Daredevi----erm, Ronin story arc. Which goddamn well better not be another drawn out 3 issue arc featuring everyone except the Avengers. I give that about a 30% chance of happening. Darn.

Art is still good, by the way, and I really hope there's consequences to Tony not letting the rest of the non-Avengers Marvel U in on the SHIELD faction they discovered back when this book was interesting. It's either a nice setup to a Sleeper-type story, or it's Bendis' way of keeping an interesting story in his back pocket to pull out when sales drop after his next character study disguised as a superhero comic. Sigh.

Best Moment: Tony's monologue. Say what you will, I enjoyed it and it was probably the most in-character moment we've had by anyone in the last 3 or 4 issues.

Worst Moment: Turning Emma Frost into Captain Exposition to wrap the whole thing up. Good Lord, that took too many pages. And I still think Mastermind's accomplice was Baron Zemo.

Comic Book Goodness: 3/5. Maybe I'm giving too much credence to just being the end of the whole Sentry nonsense, but I didn't mind this book at all, and there were some really nice moments.

  • ULTIMATES 2 #8

    So, Cap and Wasp have a lovers' tiff, since he confronts her with having an affair with her husband, or something. He resolves this tiff by leaping off the roof and going to visit Bucky. Meanwhile, Nick Fury and co. review the cameras from Hawkeye's Family Massacre and see that Captain America is apparently the one who led the raid and pull the trigger (or so we're led to believe---we never see the footage ourselves). A SHIELD team is sent to arrest Cap, which they do. And there's some hoo-ha regarding Tony and Natasha's impending wedding, which is useless and ill-advised.

    I have been reading glowing reviews for this comic all over the internet, and I still can't understand it. I mean, it's good, I guess. But it's not great.

    I mean, OK, the idea that Cap would kill Clint and his family? Please. If there's anyone out there who thinks that this ISN'T either Ultimate Loki or (as theorized by another reviewer I shan't name) Ultimate Red Skull, raise your hand. Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Thought not.

    So, given that, this issue was ultimately (har!) filler. Sure, there's melodrama with Cap and Wasp, and Fury's reaction to discovering that Cap was the traitor was gold. And the Cap/Bucky scenes were touching enough. But the end is a drawn-out fight scene that made me yawn, and after all this buildup the consequences are more interesting than what actually (apparently) happened. So, like I said, good. But not great.

    And no, they didn't find Hawkeye's body, so you can be damn sure that he's not dead; he's probably either being held captive by said bad guy, or his death was faked to make people think he's dead. You know I'm right.

    Best Moment: Cap and Bucky share a hug that's actually touching, and not in that creepy kind of All-Star Batman and Robin (no, I will never get tired of berating that comic) kind of way. Am I just being too sentimental this week, or what?

    Worst Moment: Remind me again why Millar is having Tony and Natasha get married? Because every time they switch back to that plot devic----erm, subplot, the story grinds to a halt.

    Comic Book Goodness: 3/5. I give kudos to it for making me want to read the next issue, and the art is (as always) absolutely terrific. Now that this ish is out of the way, tho....big finish time, guys! BIG FINISH!

    You know what? I just had an epiphany. I'm not going to review the other book I got this week, because I'm not sure what I think yet. I'll just include it with this week's reviews instead. In lieu of that review, some bullet points:

  • KelvinGreen is spot on (as usual) in a comment from my earlier posting about the Green Lantern Corps and 2000ad being made for each other. Dammit, that's brilliant! And it fulfills my need for a grand space adventure comic! I might disagree with you about Gibbons, though. Rann-Thanagar War is corporately-foisted drivel, to be sure, but Gibbons has to take some responsibility for it. Dicey. But I'm perfectly willing to give him a chance on GLC:Recharge.
  • Thanks to all who continue to comment on and just spend a few minutes here at 2 Guys Buying Comics. It's pretty cool, this whole blogging thing.
  • Despite what I wrote in my reviews from last month, I didn't get Captain America this week. It's House of M crossover garbage, so I saw no need. I'll still pick up the next issue that continues Brubaker's story, tho.
  • Ultimate Fantastic Four was pretty good this week. Not going to read it regularly yet, but I'll keep an eye on it.
  • Am I the only one who doesn't give a rat's ass about the Inhumans?
  • I've gotten a couple of emails saying I'm too spoiler-y. My take on it is that unless I give you spoilers you're not going to know whether you want to start reading the comic. Otherwise, the reviews are just slightly slanted hype, and you have no way of judging whether or not the story and characterizations and art are something you'd be interested in.

That's all for now: ooh, lots of comics coming this week. Stay tuned!


Blogger Randy said...

1. Spoilers suck. Just look at the latest issue of Ultimates. You can do better you slacker!
2. No, there are others I know who don't care about the Inhumans. Just ask my dad.
3. I mean umm.. you are not a slacker. Hi Chris.

8:41 AM  
Blogger kelvingreen said...

I had a different view of NA #10, although I share your relief that this arc is over with, and I also share your Daredevi... sorry, Ronin joke. You can bet I'll be using that every time I mention Daredevi... sorry, Ronin, even if it gets really annoying...

As for Ultimates, I agree that it's nothing special. I've never seen why people fall over themselves praising it, as it's just sort of okay really. That said, this second "season" has been a lot better than the first, plus I'm more well-inclined towards it since the parent Avengers title has been so sucky of late.

And I've not been reading any of this Incontinent Crisis stuff, so I don't know how bad Gibbons was on Birdman's War (or whatever); I'll take your word on it, but I still think that based on his past he should do a good job of the Corps.

10:52 AM  
Blogger kelvingreen said...

Oops. That link doesn't go anywhere.
This one does. Sorry about that.

10:53 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

"sanity-shreddingly, internet-breakingly dire, a prolonged exercise in shameless unstoppable cack-handery"

My God, I'm going to try and use that phrase every day for the rest of my life.

And yes, so far Ultimates season 2 has been better than last season.

12:02 PM  
Blogger kelvingreen said...

Oh and congrats on second-placing the Jack Staff contest at Comics Should Be Good. Hope you enjoy JS; it's good stuff.

5:51 PM  
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