Mighty Avengers #1
The Avengers are all off in outer space dealing with some intergalactic threat, which makes Thanos figure he can invade Earth ’cause the Avengers aren’t around to stop him. Of course, there are plenty of other heroes running around the joint. Which brings us to the newest incarnation of the Heroes for Hire — Luke Cage, White Tiger, and Power Man (who’s a completely different guy — a smartass teenager nowadays). But that team only lasts ’til the Superior Spider-Man shows up, talks some smack, and convinces White Tiger to take a hike.
Elsewhere, Monica Rambeau is back in town, now wearing a new costume and calling herself Spectrum. She has a mysterious, shadowy benefactor, too. Aaaaanyway, Thanos’ minions finally attack New York City — does this ragtag band of do-gooders stand a chance?
Verdict: Thumbs up. Fun dialogue, action, humor, and drama. Excellent characterization, too. This is a darned interesting group, and I’d really like to read more about them as quickly as possible.
Oh, but I do have some serious quibbles. First, the art. Hey, it’s by Greg Land, who is infamous for tracing other people’s art and photos. Looks like he’s up to the same gig here, with lots of weirdly awkward facial expressions and poses that you just know look like that because he copied them somewhere else. Why does Marvel still employ this guy? Does he have some serious blackmail photos of Joe Quesada?
Another thing that bugs me is the way Monica Rambeau looks in this. I’m not a big fan of the new costume — I actually liked the look of the jacket she wore in her previous appearances. But new costumes show up all the time for B-list characters, and really, this costume isn’t all that bad. But I do think her hair is a more serious problem.
Look, “Mighty Avengers” is pretty much getting marketed as Marvel’s “Black Avengers” comic, much like Brian Wood’s new “X-Men” book was billed as the “Female X-Men” book. It’s got more African-American characters than any mainstream superhero book has had since Milestone’s glory days.
Among the female characters we know of, Spectrum is black, White Tiger is Hispanic, and She-Hulk is, regardless of her skin color, Caucasian. And all three of them have straight hair. I might be able to excuse it if Monica had ever been depicted with straight hair, but in her most recent appearances, she had cornrows. And taking your only African-American woman and giving her chemically-straightened hair isn’t really the most enlightened thing to do. I’ve got to assume Monica’s hair has been straightened because the women Land traced had straight hair, but that’s just another reason not to use Land as your artist.
The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys #4
Red and Blue, the porno droids on the run from BLI, are trying to make it out of Battery City. Their power will shut off once they pass the city limits, but they figure they’ll be able to die together. Elsewhere, Korse’s secret — he’s fallen in love — is revealed, and his lover has been killed. Now he’ll be taken away to be reprogrammed. And the Girl is stuck in the desert, forced to hang out with the rotten Val Velocity as he barrels down the road into paranoid psychosis and self-destruction. Can any of them survive BLI’s crackdown?
Verdict: Thumbs up. All the storylines are really picking up and turning seriously enjoyable. Great art, great storytelling, great characters — excellent pop/sci-fi comics, and it’s worth picking up.
Red Sonja #3
Sonja is wandering the wilderness, burning with fever as the plague begins to overwhelm her. Forced to surrender to an enemy in the last issue to protect innocent villagers, she’s been cast out and humiliated — and she’s beginning to hallucinate as the plague starts to destroy her mind. She sees her long-deceased father and relives the nightmare of her childhood when sadistic raiders destroyed her family and village. Will the hopelessness of her past predict her own doom?
Verdict: Thumbs up. More excellent storytelling and art. Sonja’s childhood is simultaneously incredibly grim and grandly badass, and the latest cliffhanger is very nice, though I’m pretty sure we know how it’s going to turn out…
Today’s Cool Links:
- ShadowWing Tronix has some thoughts on superhero marriages and superhero social lives.
- An excellent long-read on the outstanding “Clue” film from 1985.
- Looks like Grand Theft Auto has decided they wanna be on the side of the immature manchildren.
- These Power Ranger cosplayers are all awesome.
- This re-telling of “The Little Mermaid” is very, very rude, and very, very funny.
- Work to live, people. Never live to work.
- This article about adoptee-trafficking is genuinely sickening stuff.