Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Bill November 10, 2011

Another week, another batch o' comics. But of all the ones I bought this week, there's only one that needs a thorough examining. Think you can guess which one?

Oh, you can see it, can't you... Well, whatever. Just come read my rants!

Looking Towards the Future:
Marvel Point One
Writer: Just about Everybody
Artist: Everybody else

This is it. The big Rosetta Stone of the next great Age of Marvel. The one that will set the tone for years to come. It's the big time, get-you-excited-for-the-next-few-years book that should have me swinging from the rafters delirious with excitement, but instead I find myself not-so-quietly worrying where my favorite universe is going.

Let me back up a second and say that there are a lot of good things about this book. There's a cool, if kind of overly-obtuse framing sequence that involves an information heist at the Blue Area of the Moon. Here the intrepid hackers are privy to fleeting glimpses of stories yet to happen. It's clever and it works well enough, it just gets a little funky here and there.

Honestly, that's the problem with the whole piece: It's just a little funky, and not in a good way. The stories themselves are all pretty decent, but there's nothing that really ties them together that makes me feel like I need to read them all together. It reads like a preview book that would ordinarily be for free, but instead has a six dollar price tag on it. Call me a sucker for expecting a bit more from my preview books when I actually pay for them.

On top of that, everything's a tease but not a very good tease. If the stories aren't already reenforcing information that's already known, they're presenting new information in a very vague way. What I wanted was big surprises dropped every other page, and instead I got things like this:

I don't know what to make of that, but it certainly doesn't make me clamor for more. I wanted that nugget of information that would entice me to keep up on everything, but instead I get the barest of hints that leave me confused and uninterested. That's the true tragedy of this book: I just don't really care about anything that was revealed.

And don't even get me started on the big Bendis story in there. The less said about that Ultron War mess of a 'teaser' the better. The more I try to understand what's happening in that story, the less it all makes sense. Never a good sign.

As the big kickoff to the next big Age of Marvel, I'm legitimately worried. As the books have less pages, I pay more, and the stories become more obtuse, I'm more than a little concerned that this new age might fizzle before it even starts.

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