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Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Week In Ink: 4-04-07

As tragic as it might seem, there are some weeks where I don't read a single comic that features a kick to the face. It's shocking, I know, but as the internet's premiere outspoken advocate of sequential violence, I like to think that I'm doing my part to make sure it doesn't happen too often.

And then there are weeks like this one, where people are getting stiff-legged everywhere I look. All-New Atom, Spider-Man Family, 'Tec, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, heck, even Frank Castle takes a stiletto heel to the jaw in this week's Punisher, and it's leaving me with almost too much to choose from when it comes time to start things up around here. But then I stop to think about it, and realize that while there may be a lot of comics with face-kicks in them...

...there was only one that featured Iron Fist kicking somebody right in the jaw while another guy named Iron Fist jumped behind him shooting kung fu-powered handguns like lightning from the hand of God.

I don't know if I've mentioned this lately, but I freakin' love comic books.

So much so, in fact, that I bought all this...

...and now plan on giving up yet another night's worth of sleep to bring you the internet's jazziest comics reviews! It all starts here!


52: Week 48: With as good as this one's been over the past few weeks, the jarring return back to mediocrity was pretty much inevitable, and, well, here it is. The most noticeable thing, of course, is the art, and while Darick Robertson did a great job with the Ralph Dibny issue back in February and does a fine full-page shot of Renee Montoya's first official appearance as the Question, the rest of the issue's marked by scenes that just feel a little off. It's not all his fault, though: If Nightwing's hasty explanation for why the "twice-named daughter of Cain" doesn't refer to Batgirl (you know, the twice-named daughter of David Cain), there'd still be the Crime Bible to deal with. That thing gets more and more ludicrous every time it shows up, and I'm pretty sure that Bruno Manheim reading the reasons that it's taking him so long to get around to stabbing Batwoman out loud pushes the goofiness quotient right into critical mass.

Don't get me wrong: Normally, being way over the top in a story revolving around something called the Crime Bible would only make it better, but when it's a serious plot element that's coming off as a lot sillier than, say, the Cricketron, there might be a problem here. Fortunately, there is something that saves it. Unfortunately, it's the last-page teaser and the ad for next week's issue, which has one of the most radical covers I've ever seen. But I'll get back to that next week.

Avengers: The Initiative #1: I've been a fan of Dan Slott's since he was on Batman Adventures and up through his current run with She-Hulk, so I've been looking forward to his take on the post-Civil War super-hero scene since it was first announced. As for how it worked out, well, the word that immediately springs to mind is "underwhelmed." I don't actually think it's a bad comic by any means--it is, in fact, a perfectly interesting start for a new series that does a quick job of putting the characters together and doesn't waste a second before it gets around to introducing the element of danger--but it's not quite as good as I wanted it to be. For one thing, there are certain things that really ought to be addressed when they crop up in a script, like the fact that Gauntlet spends a good piece of time badmouthing the New Warriors while standing about ten feet away from Rage. And really, whomever it was over at SHIELD who thought of putting the new untrained super-hero proving ground at Stamford lacks planning skills almost commensurate with whomever it was who decided to just figure out what people's super-powers were by throwing them into a fully-operational Danger Room. And that's a bad move that's almost on par with covering up the members of Nextwave on the cover with the book's logo.

But like I said, it's not all bad. In fact, the most surprising aspect of the book comes from artist Stefano Caselli and colorist Daniele Rudoni. These are, after all, the same people who brought us the mind-shatteringly horrible art of Civil War: Young Avengers and Runaways, but Caselli's pencils are much tighter, and while Rudoni hasn't completely abandoned the idea of panels where everything's a certain shade of pastel pink, it's far less often and much more well-done than it was previously. There's a lot of room for improvement here, but it's not a horrible start, and at this point, it just feels like a matter of seeing when it gets better, not if.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #2: "Season 8" continues to roll right on out, and while I liked the last issue a heck of a lot, this one pretty much blows it right out of the water. I mean really: The dialogue on the last page might as well have been "General, would you care to step outside?" Tell me that wouldn't have been great and I'll call you a liar, buster brown.

Anyway, if there's one thing we've learned from Joss Whedon over the past few years of Astonishing X-Men, it's that that guy knows how to write exciting comic books, and on that front, Buffy does not disappoint. It is, after all, a comic that opens with an all-girl ninja Royal Rumble, closes with a legion of unkillable zombies laying siege to a castle, and still manages to take time in the middle for conspiracy theories, a lengthy dream sequence, and witches fighting slayers in their pajamas. It's everything that's solid and fun about the show, done on the comics page without the constraints of a special effects budget, and if you're a fan, that works out to be a pretty awesome combination.

Detective Comics #831: I have never and will never pass up a chance to read a Paul Dini Harley Quinn story, but I just can't help imagining how much more awesome this issue would've been if it'd been drawn by Darwyn Cooke or Bruce Timm. I don't mean to dis Don Kramer here--because really, most comics would be better with art by Darwyn Cooke or Bruce Timm--but since he's stepped in to fill the gap that J.H. Williams III left after two issues, he's just sort of felt like a fill-in artist, and that's never really been more evident than here. As for the story itself, the plot plays out like the logical continuation of two of Dini's Animated Series episodes, "Harley's Holiday" and "Harlequinade" (minus the musical number), and while those represent some of Dini's best work on the show, it makes the whole thing more than a little predictable.

It's all worth it, though, for the two page flashback of the Ventriloquist in Arkham. It's the sort of thing that reminds you that Batman's got the most interesting group of villains in comics, and if you haven't been reading Dini's work with this book lately, you really ought to jump on the new trade. It's good stuff.


The Immortal Iron Fist #4: There's not really a whole lot I feel I can add to the picture that leads off tonight's post, but it always bears repeating: Immortal Iron Fist has got it all. I mean it: Hydra agents, giant robot spiders, Sal Buscema, two guys named Iron Fist... Heck, it even opens with a Victorian gentleman in a top hat crashing an Art Nouveau airship into a city of magical kung fu warriors and then threatening them with a crazy four-barrelled pistol, and if that's not the kind of secret origin that gets you excited, then why are you reading comics?

It's even got the Steel Serpent, and for those of you who don't know, here's the short version: he's a guy who showed up, stole Danny Rand's Iron Fist power, and then kicked the crap out of him for a while until Danny finally hit him so hard that he exploded, and the amazing thing about that is that it's not nearly as awesome as what actually happens in this issue. It's amazingly well-done from top to bottom, with Brubaker and Fraction delivering a story that hit the ground running in #1 and continues to roll along, not missing a single beat as they weave a whole new series of legends and adversaries for the character. It's no overstatement to say that this is Iron Fist as he was always meant to be, and every issue just makes me like it more. Great stuff.

Incredible Hulk #105: It's not often that I'm wrong--or at least, it's not often that I admit that I'm wrong--but this issue marks the end of a storyline that I was sure I was going to hate. Needless to say, that wasn't the case, but while I thought that this one made an enjoyable and satisfying--if a little predictable--ending for "Planet Hulk," there are some out there on this grand old internet of ours that felt differently.

I probably shouldn't even mention it (because really, I complain about more than my fair share of comics), but honestly: If you've ever found yourself complaining that someone at Marvel has totally messed up the the Hulk by having something bad happen to him, then you are probably retarded. He's the Hulk. Bad things happening to him is pretty much his entire deal, and is in fact what generally causes him to become the Hulk in the first place. You can't possibly want to read a story where nothing bad happens to the Hulk, because then he'd NEVER TURN INTO THE HULK IN THE FIRST PLACE, and there'd be no story. Add to that the fact that you're complaining about a writer killing off a character that he introduced to the book in order to give the Hulk the motivation to come back and go apeshit on everybody (which we all knew was coming well before the words "World War Hulk" were ever written down), and... Well, the mind boggles.

Okay, tangent over. Suffice to say that it's good stuff, and features a last page that is both scientifically impossible and scientifically awesome. Believe it!

Madman Atomic Comics #1: I hate to admit it, but up until his work on X-Force/X-Statix, I'd never actually read anything by Mike Allred, although I'd always been aware of his work. This means, of course, that I pretty much missed out entirely on Madman, and while I've already taken steps to correct this by ordering the potentially life-threatening Madman Gargantua, which I'd assumed would come out before this one to catch me up. Clearly, this was not the case, but Allred kicks things off here with a suitably crazy recap issue (complete with one of the best titles I've seen in a while), and it doesn't take any prior knowledge to enjoy that guy's artwork. It's beautiful, with the phenomenal sense of motion that characterizes Allred's work, and even if he wasn't going out of his way to make it accessable, it'd be well worth it.

Omega Flight #1: When Omega Flight was first solicited, I was holding out to see how it actually was before I picked it up since there's really only one character involved that I care about, but reading over Blood Oath again last week reminded me of how much I really liked Mike Oeming and Scott Kolins on that book, so I went ahead and picked it up Wednesday. It is, of course, nowhere near as awesome as that story was--which I think we can all agree is because of a complete and utter lack of Volstagg--but even taking that into account, this first issue misses its mark in a fair number of places. Some of the dialogue--especially in the scenes with Walter Langkowski and Agent Brown--is clumsy and poorly constructed, with run-on sentences that I had to read three or four times to make sense of. And while I'm all for seeing the Wrecking Crew, and freely admit that they have a long and storied history of making wild threats at Canadian super-heroes, a grand total of five exclamation points capping off the last sentence in the book seems like a little too much.

There's enough here to keep me around for the next issue--like the promise of Spacehorse and his magic hammer--but I'm not holding out a lot of hope here.

Runaways #25: I think I've mentioned it before, but when we were talking about how much it sucked that Brian K. Vaughan was leaving Runaways after it was first announced, Tug said, and I quote, "The only way it's going to be any good is if they get, I dunno, Joss Whedon or something." That, as it turns out, was exactly what they were doing, which brings us to Whedon's first issue, which does pretty well for itself. It's not much of a surprise, considering that Whedon's no stranger to writing about teenagers with super-powers (see above), but there are a few rough spots to mention, like the possibility that the move from LA to New York could be permanent, but for me, it really all comes down to one thing: The Punisher.

I'm not saying that I'm an expert on the character--although I did read through about 320 issues in the span of three weeks a couple years ago--but I have a hard time believing that Frank Castle would threaten children, especially given the actual reason he goes around killing people. There's no getting around the fact that he's not a good person, and that is in fact half the fun of the character, but for him to work, there has to be some possibility of sympathy, and hurting kids takes that away with the quickness. I'll buy him trying to shoot Chase; he's old enough to know better and has a dinosaur. But pointing a gun at a presumably defenseless twelve year-old girl like Molly Hayes? That's a bit of a stretch. Of course, it wouldn't be nearly as dramatic if he was just standing there hanging out, and there's a distinct possibility that I'm the only one emotionally invested enough in both the Runaways and the Punisher to be bothered by it, but it stuck out. Other than that, though, everything's swell.

And that's this week's roundup. If you have any questions on anything I bought but didn't mention, or if you just want to hear me talk about how much I love it when the Legion pulls a fast one on their enemies or gripe about the latest issue of Superman, feel free to leave a comment.

In the meantime, I'll be over here, thinking way too much about the fundamental aspects of Frank Castle as a protagonist.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Serious question, now... does anyone know if that ghetto-angel behind the Punisher is with him or about to beat the crap out of him? I honestly can't tell. Also, who the hell is that supposed to be?

4/06/2007 4:44 AM

Blogger LurkerWithout said...

Dear Chris Sims and all other internet peoples:

Please stop buying Civil War/Initiative tie-in books that YOU KNOW WILL SUCK. I know its fun to complain about this shit, because I spend enough time doing it. But its possible to do that AND NOT SUPPORT A CRAPPY BOOK. Hopefully if everyone STOPS buying these terrible books, then retailers will order less of them, then Marvel will STOP MAKING THEM...

Also why the hell buy a book about Canada's Premiere Super-Hero Team when a group of Americans have all decided to fill the team with Non-Canadians? I mean the least they could do is have USAgent change his ID to CanadAgent...

Thank you;


4/06/2007 4:50 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recaps and reviews, Chris. "Immortal Iron Fist" has been pretty interesting so far, but it's been moving very slowly to me. Admittedly I'm more used to the old "Power Man & Iron Fist" stories which were go-go-go all the time. But it's still been pretty cool so far, so hopefully I'll like this issue as much as you did.

Sorry to hear you don't like Wonder Man. Always been one of my favorites. Also, the caption for "Hulk" cracked me up, dude. All I could think was "Aww, damn you ALL to HELL!"

4/06/2007 6:45 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a huge fan of both Runaways (especially Molly, who frankly blows away the entire rest of the cast combined) and the Punisher, I have to say it was exciting to see them together. I don't think Frank is *really* going to try to kill the kids - I'm looking at this as a chance for us to see Molly annoy the bejeezus out of him, and in the process entertain the hell out of us.

I mean, dude. She punched Wolverine into a snow bank. She's got to do something similarly awesome to the Punisher.

4/06/2007 7:19 AM

Blogger Phil Looney said...

Why do you hate Wonder Man?

4/06/2007 8:36 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Runaways and Iron Fist really do have pretty swell cover art.

My only exposure to Iron Fist was in a Marvel Team-Up issue (the one when Steel Serpent steals his powers) and in, er, Maximum Carnage, so I have nothing invested in the character at all, but Mr. Sims, you've pretty much sold me on the current series with your description of the Victorian japes. I've probably left it a bit too late to start, though. Looks like I'll be waiting for the trade...

4/06/2007 9:11 AM

Blogger Jeff Rients said...

I agree with luke that Immortal Iron Fist was moving too slow. I dropped it at issue 2 because my gut was telling me that my money was better spent on Marvel Premier back issues and stuff like that. Maybe I'll get the trade.

Chris, exactly how much Nextwave is their in that Avengers book? I'm a Nextwave fan (like all right thinking people) but I have no interest whatsoever in buying Civil War tie-ins.

4/06/2007 9:17 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you on Iron Fist moving slowly, but I fear that's just how street level hero comics roll from here on in. Not a great look, frankly, but there we are.

I happened to LOVE the last line of Omega Flight, but it would have been cooler and funnier if WALTER had said it after pounding the heck out of the Wrekcing Crew. Any Marvel book with "TKTKTK FLIGHT" as the title should be all about Canadian nationalism and packing Canada w/ American heroes and setting up that as a conflict is actually a pretty good idea, I think. I look forward to long speeches followed by punching about imperialist America versus the Canadian health care system or something. All we need is a Nomeansno, Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet or Kids in the Hall guest appearence and it'll be the greatest Canadian comic ever.

4/06/2007 9:34 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff: Nextwave hasn't actually appeared, at least not yet.

I think I'm a little more ho-hum on Runaways then everybody else. For the most part, it reads exactly like I always imagined it would when the day came that somebody took the book over from Vaughan. That is to say, good, still preserving the characters' individual voices, and yet... somehow just lacking oomph. The setup seems really dodgy to me -- why, of all the places in the world, would the kids run to New York anyway?

Still, it has some funny moments and I love these characters, so I intend to stick with it for at least a little while.

4/06/2007 9:46 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the Iron Fist #4 panel at the top of the column:

"My Name is Danny Rand. I am the Immortal Iron Fist"

"My name is Orson Randall. I am the Immortal Iron Fist"

At this point, I'd like to call a moritorium on the "I am (secret identity). I am (superhero codename)" narration device.

Back in...oh, 1992, it was kinda cool when Wally West said it...but in the years since then, it's just become a "cliche zombie", somehow still shambling around from title to title...befriending lazy writers and autopilot editors everywhere.

Speaking of "autopilot", I agree that "52" was an almost whiplash-inducing return to mediocrity. The creative exhaustion on display here is, on one hand, understandable (due to the weekly grind)....yet on the other hand, does DC honestly think this model of storytelling is of high enough quality to produce a sequel (Countdown)? I don't see it.

On the whole, the series has felt like five or six poorly-conceived mini series shoehorned into one title....sort of an A.D.D. version of DC's old "Showcase" anthology of the early 90's. The art, for the most part, has stunk and the writing a hodgepodge of each writer's individual quirks and fetishes. Can't wait for this bloated mess to finally limp to the finish line.

As for Detective, a friend of mine thought it started out good, but then it jumped the rails when Bruce Wayne arranged for Harley to be paroled from Arkham. I wasn't aware Bruce had that kind of authority.

All of that said, I, too, still freakin' love comic books. I just want some of them to be freakin' better.

4/06/2007 10:20 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

LurkerWithout, How can you not want to buy Omega Flight? Three words...


His awesomeness alone will be the reason I will purchase a book about a Canadian super team with only 1 Canadian in it. Maybe 2.

4/06/2007 10:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, where is that Devil Dino vs. diapers panel from? That made me laugh out loud.

4/06/2007 11:41 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, I gotta know, where is the Devil Dinosaur Does Daycare panel from?

4/06/2007 11:41 AM

Blogger Julio Oliveira said...

I don't think that the Punisher will really threat the kids too. What I think we will see next issue is a reprise of the Punisher and Power Pack with Molly in the place of Katie Power.

4/06/2007 11:51 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dropping Justice League was probably the best idea you have ever had.

Seriously, nothing happened in this issue. I was hoping you would pick it up just so I could read you tear it apart. What is DC thinking? Seriously terrible.

4/06/2007 12:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A far more realistic version of Omega Flight would be about a bunch of Canadian heroes who move to LA because you have to make it in the US to be taken seriously.

Seriously though, the only way having USAgent on a Canadian superteam would not be absolutely horrible is if the book's being written with a competent understanding of both countries. In other words, it's probably doomed.

But if at least one Tim Hortons doesn't get demolished in a fight during this series, I will be very disappointed.

4/06/2007 2:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was fascinated by the fact you buy an Archie comic each and every week. So I bought a digest--Betty and Veronica--and read it. Don't get it, dude.

What's your take on the new 'realistic' look?

4/06/2007 2:35 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is worth noting that when I saw the page in Immortal Iron Fist with the hordes of Hydra descending on the two Iron Fists and Orson Randall blowing stuff up with the power of Kung Fu, I said to myself "Sims is posting this page for the Week in Ink this week."

And lo, there it is.

4/06/2007 2:36 PM

Blogger Jason said...

52 #49 cover. Figured you'd like it better full-sized.

Hayashida? Which one is he? The faux-mohawk guy?

4/06/2007 3:32 PM

Blogger Bill Reed said...

I find this Iron Fist title boring. I really shouldn't, either. It's got Fraction and Aja and kung fu. I don't get it. So I blame Brubaker. I guess.

That Zzzax comment actually has me interested.

4/06/2007 5:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My only problem with the end of the "Planet Hulk" was that it reminded me way too much of the run, whenever it was, that introduced ol' Jade Jaws' microscopic sugar mama Jarella. Y'all remember that? It was back when Hawkeye was doing the Goliath bit and the villain was some buggy dude named Psyklops and he worked for Elder Gods, apparently. Both stories get the Hulk in a spot where he's just got everything perfect and it all goes to hell because of some asshole(s) who have "more important" things to worry about. I suppose, though, that falls under your "Why bad things keep happening to Hulk?" rule of thumb.

I wonder how far Marvel will go with "World War Hulk". The Hulk putting a beat-down on the entire Marvel universe for a couple of issues is nothing new, but far as I know, the Hulk's never actually killed a hellacious amount of normal people in his rampages. Maybe there was something year or so back that hung up the She-Hulk, but I can't remember. I just wonder how nasty the Hulk's well-earned ass-beating of Tony Stark and company will be, not just in terms of characterization, but potential damage to the liscence. If that makes any sense.

And I must add my voice with those who say that "Immortal Iron Fist" is both awesome and moving way too damn slow. How it works these days, though, I suppose. I've been reading the Army Of Darkness tie-ins, and there's absolutely no reason the world should've had to deal with another Marvel Zombies limited, boomstick or no. Don't comics do 64-page Spectaulars anymore?

4/06/2007 5:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Immortal Iron Fist should step on the gas story-wise, but I just want to add that it's nice to see Danny's kung-fu getting back to strobe-effect levels. No visual effect says 'badass kung-fu' like the multiple images.

>>A far more realistic version of Omega Flight would be about a bunch of Canadian heroes who move to LA because you have to make it in the US to be taken seriously.<<

Or else have them be popular and successful, but the intellegentsia
keep disparagingly referring to them as the 'Corner Gas' of Canadian Superheroics.

4/06/2007 6:57 PM

Blogger Chris Sims said...

Please stop buying Civil War/Initiative tie-in books that YOU KNOW WILL SUCK.

How would I know that an Initiative tie-in is going to suck before I read it if it's done by creators whose work I enjoy? I like Dan Slott an awful lot. I like Mike Oeming an awful lot, even after the last three issues of his Beta Ray Bill mini-series, which made no sense. There's no reason to think that they'll just be intrinsically bad.

Why do you hate Wonder Man?

1. He's stupid.
2. He sucks.
3. I hate him.

Chris, exactly how much Nextwave is their in that Avengers book?

Absolutely none. They were just part of the cover image back when it was solicited, and they got covered up by the logo.

Also, where is that Devil Dino vs. diapers panel from? That made me laugh out loud.

The Paul Tobin/Chris Giarrusso backup in Hulk/Power Pack.

Also, I seriously have no idea why you guys think Immortal Iron Fist moves slowly. Is it just me?

4/06/2007 8:54 PM

Blogger Aero! said...

My girlfriend works at the store where Sal Buscema buys his art supplies.

Am I a hero? Maybe.

4/06/2007 10:38 PM

Blogger LurkerWithout said...

How would I know that an Initiative tie-in is going to suck before I read it if it's done by creators whose work I enjoy?

I didn't say don't read them. I said don't buy them. Please...

I like Mike Oeming an awful lot

Meh. Maybe if I read that "Blood Oath" thing with the Warriors 3 I'll change my mind. But I found his Ares book to be totally pointless. I didn't understand why he bothered to shoe-horn it into regular Marvel continuity. Plus I wanted Ares' FIVE OTHER KIDS to have a long talk with Alex about what shitty dad they've got...

4/06/2007 11:46 PM

Blogger Chris Sims said...

Again, I fail to see how you can refer to something as "totally pointless" when it contains a scene where Ares sets himself on fire and then gets Hercules to throw him at an army of zombie samurai while he shoots them in midair.

That's a point in and of itself!

4/07/2007 12:30 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well...on the one hand, getting upset about this Hulk arc is sort of like getting pissed off at Lucy when she pulls the football away.

But on the other hand, "kill off the loved one so we can have a plotline where our hero's a revenge-driven badass" has been DONE about as often as Lucy and the football. It's got its own acronym, for chrissakes (WiR for Women in Refridgerators, and oh, I'm sure Ron Marz is proud that *that* is his legacy to comics).

I have several comics-reading female friends who I'd recommended 'Planet Hulk' to, partially because of the coolness of the women in the supporting cast, and after this latest issue I feel like an idiot for doing so.

4/07/2007 8:55 AM

Blogger Phil Looney said...

By the standards or 70s and 80s comics - yes, the new Iron Fist is too slow. By today's standards? It moves pretty fast. We have not seen a whole issue of Danny and Orson sitting around drinking tea and talking, unlike some comics on the market today.

4/07/2007 9:42 AM

Blogger Chris Sims said...

It has been done before, I agree. And if that was the factor that was garnering all the "Fuck You, Marvel!" comments over on LiveJournal, then I wouldn't have mentioned it.

But it's not, and that's what bothered me. It's not a bad death scene, and Caeira wasn't a bad character by any stretch of the imagination, but for World War Hulk to work, there needs to be nothing left for the Hulk to take comfort in. He needs to be Totally Oriented on Revenge, and while killing off his wife might be a cliche, it's a necessary aspect of engineering a vengeance story.

You know, like the Punisher's.

4/07/2007 11:04 AM

Blogger zc said...

"Also, I seriously have no idea why you guys think Immortal Iron Fist moves slowly. Is it just me?"

Iron Fist is damn fun, but the ACTUAL plot in it IS moving slowly. Seriously: what all has happened with the whole Rand-is-getting-bought-out-by-Hydra story? We just found out that Rand's VP lawyer dude is selling them out, and that the train is going through the Kun-Lun mountains, in the fourth issue. Hell, the main plot is less a plot and more a string used to loosely explain why all these badass things are taking place.

I mean, the book is 80% exposition, backstory, and ninja fights.

Mind-numbly awesome backstory and ninja fights, but there it is. It's a damn good book, but I'm not entirely sure how long one can be strung along by badass without a real story going on.

I mean, me, I'll buy it for 10 years if it's just this, but I want this book to be fucking great (a la Bendis's Daredevil), not just awesome.

4/07/2007 4:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What phillip looney and zc said. I just got through reading the first two Essential X-Men, which is basically the glory years of both Chris Claremont and John Bryne. Say what you will about the tricks they use that've become stuff of humor today (the flowery language, the faux hipsterisms, the lesbian subtext I never noticed until you bastard bloggers pointed it out and now it's like a blaring red light), those things pop right along. There's definately a rhythm and a tempo to them, and it drags you right along.

I'm just ready for IIF to kick into gear. Maybe it's because I took a near 15-year break from comics, but I am not a fan of this decompresion thing. Like zc said, IIF is beautiful and engaging, but let's do get on with whatever we're supposed to be getting on with. Seems to me what happens far too often in books paced like this is all the plot and action are squished into a book-and-a-half at the end, but there's been plenty of soap opera moments.

Again, though, I missed the bulk of the '90s and early aughts, so I'm still trying to get adjusted to things. This probably explains why I'm enjoying stuff like Firestorm and Blue Beetle and She-Hulk and whatnot.

4/07/2007 5:09 PM

Blogger Chris Sims said...

I mean, me, I'll buy it for 10 years if it's just this, but I want this book to be fucking great (a la Bendis's Daredevil)

That would be the same run of Daredevil that includes the Church Basement Demon Baby storyline, right?


4/07/2007 11:43 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"(a la Bendis's Daredevil)"

I read this is "Miller's Daredevil" originally, which sort of made sense, unlike what was actually typed. I mean... sure, Bendis may have once written compelling stories, but getting me to actually believe this would require some sort of eight-week midieval Chinese brainwashing program involving hallucinogenic drugs and a tiny faucet that slowly drip, drip, drips water onto one's forehead until they reveal where the dynamite-loaded abaci are being hidden. Or something like the same.

On a better note: The one thing that could improve the cover would be if this actually happened in the comic. Personally, if I ever gain control of shapeshifting soulbots, I will store them in the form of unconventional bullets in a super-science gun, not unlike a conspiracy theorist's alternate-universe version of Lee Harvey Oswald.

Or maybe a horrendously edgy new Captain Planet.

4/09/2007 7:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was going to wait for the trade, but based on your review Chris I got that Iron Fist floppy.

Dude, why didnt you say that the alti-Iron Fist is firing CHI-EMPOWERED BULLETS???

That made the issue for me.


4/09/2007 8:01 PM


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