Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Bill December 15, 2010

A surprisingly big week for me this week, and thankfully one full of good stuff. So what do you think: Should I gush about the great ongoings I'm reading (Avengers Academy and Thunderbolts) or just focus on the miniseries I'm getting (Pet Avengers, Strange Tales II, Chaos War)? Well, there's only one way to find out. Meet me after the graphic.

Sad To See It Go of the Week:

Strange Tales II # 3
Writers: Too Various to Count
Artist: Also too many for my lazy self to credit.

What can I say, I'm a sucker for anthologies. Throw in a bevy of great indie artists and forget about it, I'm in it to win it.

I mean, sure not every story in this issue hit as hard as I wanted it to, and some just plain didn't make any sense, but the ones that did totally made up for it. The sheer genius of Kate Beaton's Rogue story, the visage of James Stokoe's Galactus, and the whimsy of Tony Moore's Thor tale was enough to keep me coming back for years.

Assuming, of course, that Marvel continues publishing this gem. Please, Marvel, keep publishing this book...

I get that this isn't a book that will appeal to everyone, sometimes the art is overly wonky, the stories are a bit too irreverent, and the ideas a little overly heady. However, when the stories work, they're pure gold.

Strange Tales on a whole reminds me of that glorious turn of the century (that's around the year 2000, for the centenarians among us) Marvel where the weird and indie were on the verge of becoming the mainstream. Perhaps it's my fondness for that era that makes me such a big fan, but I can't get enough of it.

If you dig the same stuff, then you should totally check it out in back issues or the inevitable TPB when it comes out next year. And if you don't dig that stuff, maybe you should just give it a chance anyway just to send the message that you enjoy unbridled creativity in your Marvel Comics.

Fantastic stuff!

Positively Disappointing of the Week:

Avengers vs. The Pet Avengers
Writer: Chris Eliopoulos
Artist: Ig Guara

Unfortunately, the same gushing praise cannot be said about Avengers vs The Pet Avengers. It's not that the book is horrible, it's just incredibly underwhelming.

I've made no secret of my love for this series of books. And I really want to like this book too, as I have a great affection for the characters and their interactions (with the exception of Ms. Lion, who really needs to die in a fire). This new series is just incredibly lacking.

You'd think that something as awesome as "The Pet Avengers versus Dragons" would be impossible to screw up, but somehow Chris Eliopoulos finds a way. I feel bad saying it, but the issues come off shallow, superficial, and overly decompressed; in other words, just not good. And it doesn't help matters that it took me all of five minutes to read the full issue. I felt like I was done even before I started reading.

It's not like the first series was Shakespeare, but at least it had some umph to it. Issue to issue, I felt like something happened and that there was a huge story unfolding with big secrets revealed at every turn. With this series, it's like I'm reading what ought to be a two issue arc stretched into four. There are some twists and turns, but I don't feel like anything's happening.

I'll buy the next issue just to finish off the series, but at this rate it'll be the last that I pick up. Here's hoping Eliopolous figures out how to bring the Pet Avengers back to greatness before the next series starts...

And that's all I got for tonight. If you're curious what else I bought, and by extension what I thought of it, make sure you check out my twitter feed @platypusrobot. Or, you know, just leave me a comment and I can tell you right here. I'm easy like that.

See you next time!

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