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Sunday, August 17, 2008

My Week in Comics: August 17, 2008

My Week in Comics is a weekly look into my…uh…buying habits. Keep in mind that the reviews to be read here are not coming from a jaded, old comic book enthusiast but more of a wide-eyed fan of these monthly installments of yum or mush.


It's always fun to pick up your weekly load of comics, although I' m sad that I had to drop Red Sonja for lack of anything happening that's of interest to me. Anyway, here's my reviews for the comics I DID pick up this week, which includes Skrulls, Skrulls, and demons and demigods!

Oh, and I just LOVED the Daredevil Saga pamphlet/comic I got with my purchase. Comic companies should do that more often, as it hooks new readers into reading established titles like this one. With that said, let's continue...


WONDER WOMAN #32

Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Aaron Lopresti
Colors: Matt Ryan
$2.99/P150.00




The Ends of the Earth storyarc comes to a hard-knock conclusion, as Wonder Woman faces D'Grth in the real world for the salvation of her soul...I think. Also, Agent Tresser comes face to face with intelligent gorrilas and Donna Troy. If it doesn't make sense, it's absolutely not my fault.

Gail Simone ends this ambitious story with a bit of flourish, but the segments that pop up in between Diana's fight with D'Grth are disjointed and ultimately distracting. There's no emotional weight to the barbaric bickering of Claw, Beowulf and Stalker, making me wonder if Gail wanted me to care about what they were saying and doing or not.

In the end, what Gail started as an epic journey into what makes Wonder Woman divine ends feeling like a filler arc, which is sort of disappointing. Hopefully the team of Simone and Lopresti will start moving forward at this point and give Wondy and co. a conflict we can all care about.

My Rating: 6/10


CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI 13 #4 (Secret Invasion Tie-in)

Writer: Paul Cornell
Artist: Leonard Kirk, Jesse Delperdang
Colors: Brian Reber
Letters: Joe Caramanga
Cover by: Brian Hitch
$2.99/P150.00




With the rest of the MI:13 either locked down by Skrulls, incapacitated or otherwise inconvenienced, its up to a newly resurrected Captain Britain to beat the Skrulls senseless...and we don't mean Queensbury Rules-style!

Once again, this book outshines all of the Secret Invasion related books (including the main mini itself!) by managing to squeeze all sorts of awesome in each page. So awesome, in fact, that the Skrull invasion looks so ineffectual against the might of the British heroes. When faced with obviously flustered Skrulls proclaiming that they're willing to pull out the heavy weapons just to defeat him, Captain Britain just looks up and goes "Oh, I'm sorry. Am I making you nervous?" Genius, I tell you.

What's amazing is the fact that the awesomeness is not the only thing that makes this book worth more than its cover price alone. Paul Cornell's storytelling is fast-paced but he doesn't rush things to their conclusion. He just let's the plot unfold as it should so when the surprises come bursting from the shadows, it makes it all the more satisfying. And while I didn't see "House of M"-like resolution for the British Skrull invasion coming, it will most certainly have fans ranting and raving. But it was done in such a tongue-in-cheek fashion that it looks so logical in comparison!

Also, Leonard Kirk's art is growing on me. I like his clean lines, his detail and his sense of scale. Not to mention he draws a pretty good-looking Spitfire. Win-win for everyone! If you haven't been pulling this, do so now!

My Rating: 9/10


YOUNG AVENGERS/RUNAWAYS #2 (Secret Invasion Tie-In)

Writer: Chris Yost
Artist: Takeshi Miyazawa
Colors: Christina Strain
Letters: Joe Caramanga
Cover by: Michael Ryan, Rick Ketcham and Christina Strain
$2.99/P150.00




Another Secret Invasion tie-in book, this time focusing on the Runaways and the Young Avengers. Last issue we saw them walking around town only to run smack-dab in the middle of the Skrull invasion in New York. We know now that the Skrulls are looking for Dorrek, the supposed savior of the Skrull race...who is actually the Young Avengers' Hulkling. The Runaways' Xavin, who is also a Skrull, distracts the invaders long enough to get Dorrek to safety. Unbeknownst to them all, the Skrulls just sicced their most dangerous warrior to hunt them down...

I got into this title because I love teens (in a way that won't get me arrested) and since I've been wanting to read the Runaways for a while, I thought it was a good jumping point to see what's up. This issue reads like a teen disaster flick, with the kids trying their best to either get to safety or save the world. Both teams get an equal share of the spotlight, and they both do their share of fantastic heroics. The Runaways' Molly, for instance, totally pwned a Skrull through two panels that it makes her my most favorite Runaway ever, next to Goth girl Nico of course.

It does get confusing at times when you don't know which are Runaways and which are Young Avengers or who is who, since I've never read about both teams. It doesn't help that artist Takeshi Miyazawa's manga art makes it hard to distinguish anyone. Xavin's human form and Victor looked so much alike that it made me do my squinty look trying to remember who the other was.

All in all it's an okay issue. Not so unreadable but not so engaging either. I felt that it reads like Japanese manga what with all the drama and the cut-off sentences and the stylized action, which I guess is what the creative team was going for. It delivered what it promised, although at the back of my mind I was hoping for something more out of it.

My Rating: 7/10


SECRET INVASION #5

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: Leinil Yu, Mark Morales
Colors: Laura Martin, Emily Warren
Letters: Chris Elipoulos
$3.99/P200.00




The not-so Secret Invasion continues to chug along, as Captain Marvel gets mental with Norman Osborne, Agent Brand goes on a rescue mission, Maria Hill tells Jarvis-Skrull exactly where to shove his threats, and our Savage Land Avengers still can't decide who's who until the very end...and with that, I think that's the end of the Skrulls' secret invasion right there.

Kidding. Make no mistake...a lot of things things happen in this issue. Bendis goes through scenes at a fast clip, moving from space to the Helicarrier to the Savage Land in rapid succession. Having no prior knowledge as to what Agent Brand can do, Bendis has made me respect this character with what she did here. Our heroes at the Savage Land, however, didn't fare so well, so they come off as the most boring parts of the book. At this point I'm pretty tired of the "who's the Skrull" bit everybody's playing there...it was fine when it started, but when you've beein standing around for hours giving each other the evil eye and asking each other "are you a Skrull?" (like they'll even tell you!)...it gets hella old. Let's hope the next issue takes care of that little bit.

Personally, I felt this was Leinil's stronger work. Although I wish the inker would lay off on the hard lines everybody seems to have. I LOL'd at the giant splash page where the apparent leaders of the world were shown telling the world about the Skrull's invasion plans. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the president of the Philippines was one of those world leaders shown, and now Filipinos are talking about it. Leinil Yu (who is Filipino) even went so far as to defend his work in a blog comment, saying there's no hidden message and no agenda to his drawing Madam President in S.I.. I really wish he didn't say anything at all, coz now the conspiracy theorists here are probably taking what he's saying as guilt. But whatever. Though one wonders if the world leaders here were holograms or have the Marvel Universe's leaders Skrulls all this time?

So the issue isn't so bad. It's not great either. It did what it had to do to advance the plot, though if it was all it did I wonder why I have to pay more than what a usual comic costs to get what a usual comic can give me...

My Rating: 7/10

So what's the verdict? Unfortunately Captain Britain and the MI:13 wasn't enough to save this week. The rest fell into some sort of middle ground. The Secret Invasion event is starting to bore me. Let's hope (like I always do) it picks up after this.

Got any questions, comments or violent reactions? Then leave a comment below and let's talk about it! My Week in Comics is up every Sunday. Thanks for reading!

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