Invincible Iron Man #8
Written by: Matt Fraction
Art by: Salvador Larroca
Alright, alright, alright … Matt Fraction is the man. I’ve said it before I know … but he proves it month in and month out on Invincible Iron Man. This is quite possibly the perfect book for a guy like Fraction. He loves bleeding edge technology and he loves futurist stories (is it any wonder that he got his start thanks to Warren Ellis’ message boards). Salvador Larroca also is proving that he can not only do a really gorgeous book but that it can also come out monthly with no visible loss in quality. Dark Reign is starting to look like it is going to actually be rather fun, and this is coming from someone who loves to poo-poo the big thing going on at Marvel these days. So, what is it about Dark Reign that I am finding exciting? I think it’s that Bendis and the rest of the writers at Marvel have finally found a way to reinvent the wheel when it comes to Super Villain Team-Ups. This story actually feels like the heroes have failed and that the bad guys might actually have something to offer to the rest of the world. It’s like the villains have gone from being mindless thugs to Hezbollah, all of a sudden they are clearly bad people but they have something to offer to the populace and so things get a bit shady for Joe Six Pack. Kudos to you Matt Fraction, kudos to you indeed.
Mighty Avengers #20
Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Art by: Lee Weeks, Carlo Pagulayan, & Jim Cheung
There’s something about a funeral that I find fascinating, especially a fictional funeral. When a well loved character dies there is something about the way that an author decides to depict the mourning of that passing that makes for interesting reading. I think that it is safe to say that over the next year or so that THE character to watch at Marvel is Dr. Henry “Hank” Pym. He is a man who was just at the brink of having his life fall back into some semblance of normality when it was all roughly and rudely pulled out from underneath him. And once he came back he found that the world had become a much, much different place. Pym has been a character relegated to the background for far too long and I think that if anyone can find a way to make him rise back to prominence it is writers like Bendis, Slott and Gage … it’ll just be a matter of figuring out who gets to make this one time headliner, one time welcome mat, a headliner again. So, when you read the funeral for Janet Van Dyne think that it is not so much an end for one character as it is a rebirth for another.
Written by: Dave Gibbons, Brian Azzarello, China Mieville, Jamie Delano, & Peter Milligan
Art by: Sean Phillips, Rafael Grampa, Giuseppe Camuncoli, David Lloyd, & Eddie Campbell
Who would have ever thought that a character like John Constantine would be able to sustain an ongoing series for over 20 years? When Alan Moore created the character in the pages of his historic (and criminally under read) run on Swamp Thing I doubt even he thought that the character would catch on so brilliantly. When you look back at the kinds of talent that have worked on the character in the last twenty years it should boggle your mind. Some of the most talented writers and artists to work in comics today have penned and penciled the character who is the quintessential loner. This is a fantastically timed anniversary issue that can double as a holiday issue. Each of these short stories really rather well put together and ultimately it makes a great time to start checking out the book. Here’s to another 250, cheers!
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