Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Bill March 2, 2011

Hey everybody, I hope you're ready for the internet's most mis-named (and soon to be renamed, once I figure it out) comic review feature: The Bill. Let's check out what I got this week.

Just End Already:

Secret Warriors #25
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Alessandro Vitti

If you've been reading these reviews for any amount of time, you've probably noticed that I level a lot of hate on this book. In my defense, from it's bland characters to it's overly mysterious story, there's not a whole lot to love. So why do I keep buying it? Because I refuse to let this series beat me! That and it's going to end here soon. My morbid curiosity about the ending and secret hope that it'll tie everything up in a neat bow keeps me around. Terrible reasoning, I know.

Anyway, in this issue, we get a bit of history on the relationship of the major players in the book. Long story short, it seems that someone from the other Hickman SHIELD series (search me as to who. Maybe that kid who was all powerful and who's dad dressed in bondage gear?) brought these major spies together to collect some shit for him only for it to go awry and result in three warring factions (Hydra, SHIELD, and Leviathan). In all honesty, it's a nice little continuity dovetail with the other SHIELD series and almost makes me want to go pick it up for background. Almost.

The problems are all ones that I've mentioned before: An overly murky plot, the characters are bland and uninteresting, and it's just plain confusing. Combined with some continuity rejiggering (I think there might be a retcon in this issue, but I'm not 100% sure) and an ending that just feels out of place, this is one of the most unsatisfying reads in a while.

Can't wait for the next one.

Now That's More Like It:

Thunderbolts #154
Writer: Jeff Parker
Artist: Declan Shalvey

I love this book. Between this and Avengers Academy (which also came out this week, make sure you go buy it!), Marvel's really tearing it up when it comes to awesome team books. Even if this month's Thunderbolts is a character spotlight on Man-Thing, but you know, whatever.

There's nothing about this one that's hard to like. Salamander riding extradimensionals start killing innocents in the everglades only to be turned back by that which is neither plant or man (but incredibly similar to Swamp Thing). A bit of action, some nice character moments with Man-Thing, and some phenomenal art from Declan Shalvey make this a book to look out for.

The only downside with this book, if it's really a downside, is that I feel like they're treading water until the next event. It's a cool look at the most quiet character of the team, but I couldn't help but to wish that it had more impact on the larger narrative. It was solid, but I wonder if it wouldn't serve the same purpose as a six page back up as opposed to a full on story when there's only so much time before the next big Marvel Crossover takes the book off the rails again.

Seriously though, check out this series. It's fantastic. The complete opposite of Secret Warriors.

And there you have it. If you want to challenge my Secret Warriors hate, ask me about Avengers Academy (again, go buy it. Seriously!), or have any recommendations of other non-shitty books I could be reading, I'm all ears.

Until next time!

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