Comic Book Rebel Reviews for 5/16/12
- Published on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 01:00
- Written by Kevin
- Hits: 863
Welcome back to the Comic Book Rebel Reviews! This time around it is a Marvel dominated edition. This week’s Marvel releases that include AvX: Versus #2, Avengers Academy #30, Daredevil #13. Each comic delivered three different sets of stories. The question is if this is a good or bad thing? Find out in this Marvel edition of the Comic Book Rebel Reviews.
Also check out my full reviews of Avengers vs. X-Men #4 and Nightwing #9.
Avengers Academy #30
Writer: Christos Gage
Artist: Tom Grummett
Inker: Cory Hamscher
Colorist: Chris Sotomayor
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out 10
With the majority of the main series and tie-ins failing to explore the decisions made by each team it has made Christos Gage efforts in Avengers Academy stand out that much more. Even with all the major players of the conflict busy fighting each other in the main series it has not stopped Gage from exploring the ramifications this conflict has on the Marvel Universe. Avengers Academy #30 is a great example of how to fully use the concept of heroes fighting each other and what it means to each side.
Using X-23 as a proxy to be in the middle of all the conflict was an interesting move. While X-23 is an X-Man she has always been hesitant to be part of the team and in her short time at the Academy she has been the same. This hesitation that has always been with the character is what made Gage’s decision to use her as the one to get so many different interactions not just an interesting one but a great one.
Gage does a great job giving each character in Avengers Academy #30, both Avengers and X-Men, time to voice their opinions on the current conflict. We get to see how all these teens react to the grown-ups fighting. The reader finally gets a sense of the ramifications of the decision the Avengers and X-Men has on the hero community. It has caused characters to choose sides, which only leads to violence as we see both sets of teen’s conversation break down into an all big brawl.
The addition of Sebastian Shaw into the mix provided a nice counter point to all the in-fighting between the heroes as he is the one villain in the story. His destruction of the Academy instructors was fun to see. With the instructors out of the way and Shaw looking to have regained some of his memories I wonder how this will affect the conflict between the two teams.
Though Tom Grummett’s artwork is not going to be something that will blow you away it is strong comic book art none the less. Grummett’s art is very much old school comic book art that is able to nail the tone Gage is going for with the various facial reaction and action shots. There is a smooth progression that can be seen in the art which enhances the intensity of all the talking head and action scenes.
Overall: As each month passes Christos Gage continues to show everyone how it is done. Avengers Academy #30 is yet further proof that this is the best Avengers title and one of Marvel’s best comics on the stands. This issue does a great job fleshing out the conflict between the Avengers and X-Men as we finally get to see both sides given equal amount of time to voice their concerns and opinions.
AvX: Versus #2
Writers: Steve McNiven (Captain America vs. Gambit); Kieron Gillen (Spider-Man vs. Colossus)
Artists: Steve McNiven (Captain America vs. Gambit); Salvador Larroca (Spider-Man vs. Colossus)
Colorists: Morry Hollowell (Captain America vs. Gambit); Jim Charalampios (Spider-Man vs. Colossus
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
After an average, but entertaining, first issue of this supplementary series, AvX: Versus #2 fully utilizes the reason for this title existence to give us a comic that is even better than this week’s Avengers vs. X-Men #4, which was also released this week. Unlike the first issue where the two fights seemed rushed and uneven this second issue did a good job at letting both fights naturally progress with each character able show off their abilities.
The good thing about the two fights that we got in this issue is that they were two very different fights. They were not just big slugfests. With Captain America vs. Gambit we got to see Captain America as the overconfident one who saw himself as better and had more important things to do. His constant communication with Iron Man played in well with Gambit using all his underhanded tricks to get the Avengers leader attention. In his first writing duties, at least that I know of, Steve McNiven a solid understanding of each characters voices and fighting style.
Then there was Spider-Man vs. Colossus which was more of a slugfest with some comedy mixed in thanks to Spider-Man. Kieron Gillen impressed me with how he wrote Spider-Man as the character was able to have some great lines as he bantered back-and-forth with Colossus, which is harder to do than someone would think (see Bendis' writing of the character in the Avengers books). Even though Colossus did end up getting the “win” I did like that the fight had an unresolved nature to it as both characters were left standing.
On the downside of things, this issue again makes the X-Men to look like the weaker of the two teams in the fight. We have yet to get a solid win for the X-Men side of this event. At some point they have to be thrown some decisive wins for the reader to believe in their side of the conflict. Right now, it is clear that everyone at Marvel is on the Avengers side which is not how an event that involves heroes on opposite sides should be told
With all that said, the real stars of the show for this issue were the two art teams that involved Steve McNiven for the first fight and Salvador Larroca for the second fight. Both artists brought their A-games for this issue. McNiven, as always, made the battle have a big fight feel thanks to how dynamic he makes each panel with the amount of detail he puts into his art. At the same time Larroca delivers what is the best art I have seen from him in a long time. The action had a solid progression and did not have the stiff feel that has plagued his art over in Invincible Iron Man.
Overall: In the end, I ended up enjoying AvX: Versus #2 much more than the first issue of this tie-in mini-series. Not only that but Versus #2 was actually much more entertaining that its parent title. I am still not sure that this is enough to validate the $3.99 price tag. The high cover price is what makes me hesitant to recommend this title to readers. That along with the lack of actual progression in the main angle of the event makes Versus a series to only get if you really want to see how these fights play out.
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Khoi Pham
Inker: Tom Palmer
Colorist: Javier Rodriguez
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
As one of the comics that is not being forced to tie-in to the Avengers vs. X-Men event Mark Waid is able to continue his own story with Daredevil #13. This translates into yet another strong issue that not only furthers the ongoing conflict with the Daredevil’s possession of Omega Drive but also closes this chapter in Daredevil’s life, for now at least.
It is clear that Waid has a strong vision for where he wants to take Daredevil. Daredevil #13 is another example of this as Daredevil is placed in an all-out battle against Megacrime. The entire fight sequence in the middle of New York City was wonderfully placed. It continues the adventure feel Waid has instilled the series. Not only that but we get to see how Daredevil is able to finally get the burden the Omega Drive off his shoulders, with some help from his Avengers teammates.
While we did not get to see a lot of it I continue to enjoy how Waid has been able to integrate Matt Murdock’s personal life into the series. There continues to be some built in frustration with Foggy as Matt ditches some of his responsibilities with his partner. Then there is Kristen who is shown to be strong love interest for Matt. I just hope Waid does not go down the same route we have seen taken so often with Foggy and Matt’s love interest. I want something new for the character and his supporting cast.
Khoi Pham continues the old school look that this series has maintained with his artwork. There is a lot to be said about a comic that maintains an artistic consistency and that is what we get with Daredevil. Pham’s art pops right out of the page. Equal amount of credit has to go to Tom Palmer and Javier Rodriguez whose inking and coloring help the images maintain a vibrant look.
Overall: Being left to do its own thing Daredevil continues to be one of the most consistently well written titles. Daredevil #13 is yet another example of how great this series is as Mark Waid closes one chapter in Matt Murdock’s Daredevil adventure and begins another. The combination of strong character interaction and action sequences made this issue a lot of fun, which is enhanced by the vibrant artwork. The ending is sure to mean a lot of Doom is on the way for Daredevil which only means more fun for us as the reader.