Saturday, November 7, 2009

Weekly Comic Book Reviews for 11/4/09

Sorry for not making many post these past few weeks. It just seems as though when I think I can relax something comes up to take up my time. Still while I have not posted to often I am working on a special post that I will hopefully be able to start post next week. Now with all that said on to this reviews of this week's books.

Captain America: Reborn #4

Creative Team
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Bryan Hitch and Butch Guice
Colorist: Paul Mounts

Story – Reborn Chapter 4

After a slow start Brubaker has really been on his game these past two issues. Issue #4 is the best issue we have gotten so far. One of the great things that Brubaker has done with Captain America: Reborn is that, like War of Kings, this feels like it could be the big event for Marvel this year. The way it has been competing with Blackest Nights in the sales chart it very well could be considered Marvel's big event. And with Bryan Hitch's artwork this book looks like a big event while also reading like one.

While this mini-series does have a big event feel with the involvement of some big names within the Marvel Universe it still has a has a sense of this being a self-contained story that is just an evolution of the stories Brubaker has been telling since he started his run on Captain America. With what happens between Steve and Red Skull it just seems as though this is where the Cap has been building toward. And depending on how Brubaker handles the ending of this issue there is a ton of potential stories for Captain America and were Marvel can go with Siege when it starts
at the beginning of the next year.

Outside of the ending the other standout of this issue is how Brubaker writes the three big bad guys of Red Skull, Dr. Doom, and Norman Osborn. Any time there is more than one big A-list villain into an issue and an arc a writer will usually sacrifice some of them to make another one look like the ultimate badass. But Brubaker handles each character wonderfully.

Each character was completely in line with how a reader expects them to act. Norman Osborn is perfect in his super political mode with wanting to use Steve Rogers to further his credibility among the American people. For Dr. Doom it is all about being a man of his word and showing himself to be one of the top scientists in the universe, on par with Reed and Hank. And then there is the Red Skull who is just as well written as Brubaker has been writing the character throughout his run. When you see these three big villains working together in such a cohesive manner it makes you wonder how the hell the heroes can fight them.

And not to let the villains dominate the issue, even though they did, Brubaker did a fantastic job writing all the heroes in this issue. From the scenes with Reed, Hank, and Vision to Bucky's to what is going on with Steve it was all well written. Brubaker just does a great job writing these scenes and showing us the desperation with each character as they try to find a way to save Steve and the sadness in Steve's inner monologue of reliving his past. Just some great stuff all around.

Issue Rating
Story: 8.6/10 – Brubaker has really stepped things up on Captain America: Reborn. With the
ending of this issue I can't wait to see where the story goes from here.
Art: 9/10 – Bryan Hitch's artwork continues to be great. His artwork does an awesome job making this mini-series into a big event.
Overall: 8.8/10 – Captain America: Reborn #4 was great. Brubaker and Hitch are moving this story in a great pace. With that said this mini-series will read much better in trade than in single issues so I definitely recommend picking up this mini-series when it ends.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #4

Creative Team
Writers: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: David Lafuente
Colorist: Justin Ponsor

Story – New World According to Peter Parker

With the dark age of the Ultimate Universe over, with the event that will not be spoken, it is great to have Ultimate Spider-Man return to being a top quality book it was for over a hundred issues. And Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #4 is probably the greatest example of how great this series can be when Bendis is allowed to do his own thing, and without having to write with the limitations of an event pulling in this series into it. This just had everything a Spider-Man comic should have: action, comedy and drama.

Peter Parker/Spider-Man has always been the one character whose life is like a soap opera which Bendis has a great hand for writing. Case in point the scene between Peter, MJ, and Gwen could have easily been awkward and very forced love triangle type situation. But Bendis just has a great feel for writing each character that all the dialogue feels fresh and never a rehash of what he himself has written in the past on this series.

It's actually fun seeing how things are now and even though I am still not a fan of Peter and Gwen being together it is clear that Bendis put the characters together in order to mine the story possibilities of Peter and MJ apart. And I am hoping the Kitty is thrown into the mix sooner than later as it seems she has sort of disappeared.

Also I enjoyed the addition of Johnny to the cast of this book. It just seems like a great fit in this book as it gives Peter a male best friend. And I it was funny hearing Johnny talk about getting a secret identity and later his surprise about doing chores. With Kitty already on this title it seems as though Bendis might be going for a Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends type story telling which should lead to some great stories. Personally I can't wait for when Spider-Woman(-Girl) shows back up on this title just so we can see Johnny's reaction to finding out the girl he has a crush on is actually Peter's female clone. Should be hilarious moment and issue.

Not to be outdone Peter's Spider-Man life gets some attention in this issue as well. The balance between seeing both Peter's personal life and his adventures well balanced in this issue. And after being made out to look like a bit of a loser in the last issue it is cool to see Mysterio show himself off as being a big threat like he showed to be when he killed Kingpin. It should be interesting to see how Spider-Man gets himself out of this situation as he look pretty messed up in the final page.

David Lafuente continues to provide some excellent artwork in this issue. I completely dig his work on this series as I think Lafuente's anime/manga style of artwork is a perfect fit for this title. He gives each panel a certain energy and life you don't see in most comics. The art is very distinct and stands out from any other art style you will find in a comic. It is just great work by Lafuente and his colorist Justin Ponsor.

Issue Rating
Story: 9/10 – Bendis continues to work his magic on Ultimate Comics Spider-Man. The three different stories of the love triangle, the mysterious Shroud character, and Spider-Man's fight with Mysterio were a lot of fun to read.
Art: 9.3/10 – Lafuente and Ponsor combine to deliver some phenomenal artwork. The art just makes the story even more enjoyable to read.
Overall: 9.15/10 – Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #4 was another fun read. There is just nothing bad I can say about this issue or series. It is just a blast to read. I highly recommend picking this series up, whether in sigle issues or in trade paperback, as it is one of the best comic books on the market.

1 Comment:

ekko said...

Hey, dude! Love the site! Wanna trade links?