Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Bill June 23, 2010

Are you ready to hear my ranting on this week's books? Well too bad because it's time for you're new favorite comic blog reviews: The Bill!

Best of the Week:
Thunderbolts #145
Writer: Jeff Parker
Artist: Kev Walker

When I was through with this book, I couldn't believe that it was only 22 pages. It's been forever since a book truly felt packed with action, and Jeff Parker really pulled out all the stops with this one. Parker has done in two issues what some writers **couBENDISgh** would stretch into six to ten.

In this issue, The Thunderbolts: fight Baron Zemo, learn it was all a test, meet the new warden (a laid up, and newly armless John Walker), get a mission briefing, and fight some Asgardian trolls. It felt epic when compared to most of the other books on the stands.

It also doesn't hurt that Parker handles all the characters amazingly well. Everyone sounds more in-character than they have for years, from Moonstone's eagerness to please to Songbird's desire to be seen as a hero. Even with all of the crazy action happening, Parker was still able to cram in the tiny character moments that make reading the book so worth it.

This is, hands down, the best Thunderbolts has been in a while. From the gorgeous art from Kev Walker, to Jeff Parker's deft storytelling, it's quickly becoming my favorite book of the month.

Not-Quite-The-Best of the Week:
Avengers #2
Writer: Brian Bendis
Artist: John Romita Jr.

First things first: This is a really solid read; a lot happens, there's a couple of fights, some cool cameos (Spider-Girl!), and a great reveal on the last page. If I had to compare this to say, Dark Avengers #2, it's night and day. Avengers #2 is totally old-school Avengers adventures through the pen of Bendis. And that's kinda the problem.

I know I give Bendis a lot of shit, and I don't REALLY mean to. He has really solid ideas, really solid characterization, and normally great character moments. This issue it all became a bit much. Somewhere along the way all the fun quips became just snarky and mean.

The main offender in this was Tony Stark. Tony's a tough character to get right, he needs to be equal parts suave, smart, and arrogant without seeming like too much of a dick. In this issue, he just seemed like a dick. From his dismissive attitude when he meets Noh-Varr (The Protector), to insisting Noh-Varr work for him, Tony seemed like more of a jerk than he should have. It just kinda rubbed me the wrong way.

In addition to this, everyone stopped to talk about how time was broken for five pages. So, spoilers, the future Hulk gets angry and breaks time somehow, which no one quite understands. FOR FIVE PAGES. I get that it's a hard concept to grasp, but it just came across as... repetitive. I kinda got annoyed, if you couldn't tell.

Aside from all of that, it was a pretty good issue though and I like this new 'cool comic book stuff happens every issue' mode Bendis is in. He should keep it up.

And there you go. If you want to know about my other two books (Franken-Castle or Secret Warriors), my new minimates (Stilt-Man rocks my face!), or just want to see how I'm doing (fine, thank you for asking), drop me a comment. Otherwise, I'll see you (figuratively) next time.

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