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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sneak Peek Reviews: 01/20/09

Dark Avengers #1
Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Art by: Mike Deodato Jr.

Call me "Captain Hesitant" but these days I have become more and more apprehensive about new Marvel titles. Even ones written by BMB ... a guy I used to have boat-loads of respect for but who lately has been too much of a corporate flag-bearer and a little to little of the daring ne'er do-well indie writer who got the keys to the castle that I used to love so much. All that said though, Dark Avengers #1 was pretty good. I think it seems pretty clear that Bendis saw what Ellis and others had done with The Thunderbolts (or knowing the way that he sort of guided a whole lot of the good ship Secret Invasion and it's lead up perhaps he set up the story beats and then they were given to the writers who took over the title) and thought "Imagine that on a larger scale!". Dark Avengers seems appropriatly big in scale for a new Marvel #1 these days and it certainly touches on a whole lot of pre-established concepts that had been in the cards for quite a while but I think that in all reality that Mr. Bendis wound up finding a way to make, what other writers and what a whole lot of fans probably saw as, a jumble of random events and make them not only coincide but work on a pretty grand level. There weren't a whole lot of revalatory moments as far as who was under the masks of the line-up ... I mean it was shown so far before the release that there was plenty of time to speculate. But I think that Mr. Deodato Jr. has done an admirable job as well depicting in an interesting fashion what was primarily a whole lot of exposition and flashback and not a whole lot of fighting or explosions. I do worry that this book is going to have a little too much schemeing and not enough combat ... or when we do see combat I am a little worried about who it is going to be against ... are they heroes? Are they Villains? If they are heroes then they've certainly got a lot to deal with in their own personal lives before they can be seen as such on all levels. I also wonder if they aren't going to be heroes then how long can they reasonably expect government funding ...

A lot to wonder ... but a pretty good book.

Mysterius, The Unfathomable #1
Written by: Jeff Parker
Art by: Tom Fowler

Little do you know but the two guys responsible for this book are some of my all-time favorite creators. Jeff Parker for his underrated phenomenon Agents of Atlas (which people clearly took note of since he's being given an ongoing for the samesaid characters) and Tom Fowler for his work with Judd Winick on his nearly forgotten (and criminally so) mini-series Caper. I didn't really know what I was getting into with this book but what I found was something very akin to something else I have been enjoying lately: Dr. Who. Imagine if the good Doctor was a fantasy show as opposed to a sci-fi show. If The Doctor was an immortal who took on assistants who all took the name Delfi and assisted him in different capacities based on their own unique personalities. The book is actually a little more complex than that but it holds a whole lot of promise for future stories and perhaps a Hellboy like run of mini-series. I think that if any other two creators had tried to do something like this that they would have created something far more derivative and far less satisfying. Fowler's ability to create incredibly appealing cartooning is really at the center of the story and his ability to convey so much with a facial expression is just as effective in a close up as it is in from a distance. Parker's sense of humor and capability to craft interesting characters and interweave serious consequences is really the kind of writing that draws me in every time and I think that fans of books like Hellboy, BPRD, Doctor Who, Hellblazer and others will find themselves intrinsically attracted to the story telling style affected for this book. I congratulate Wildstorm for this book and hope that they have the wherewithall to tie these two to doing more than just this mini-series. And I hope even more that the reading public will have the willingness to try something a little different ... I think they'll find themselves richly rewarded.

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