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newish comics read, 11/12/13

Some newish things I have been reading. I'm saving the back issues reviews for another post.

Before I get to the books, though, sirdef on Tumblr has made a bunch of wonderful wallpapers from Journey into Mystery featuring Sif, and they happen to exactly fit the resolution on my laptop. I'm using the top one as my desktop right now. So pretty.

Pretty Deadly #1 – DeConnick, Rios
I really like the elements here – the Fox and the girl in the vulture cloak, the storytelling in the square, the western aspect, the dreamy, atmospheric narrative style. I don't really know what they're doing, yet. There are an awful lot of characters, some of which are, I think, the same character, but it's not clear to me.

The girl who shoots the rabbit in the beginning is Alice, I'm pretty sure? From the way those first few pages unfold, I tend to assume that the 'her' we're speaking of is the girl with the gun, and then I also want to think that the rabbit ("Bunny") and the butterfly become her companions. However, the rabbit is in skeleton form on the cover, which makes me think it'd be a more suitable companion for Death's daughter than for a random sharp shooter, so maybe the 'her' in the opening pages refers to Deathface Ginny, not the girl with the gun. NOT CLEAR.

For that matter, I'm assuming the girl with the gun grows up to be Alice, the person chasing us for reasons unknown. What her story is, what the paper is that the vulture girl 'stole' (?), we clearly don't know yet.

All of which is to say, again, the pieces are good but I can't tell what picture they're forming. I do tend to agree with Sue and Kelly on 3 Chicks Review Comics that when the text is this whimsical and deliberately poetic in its telling, the art needs to be that much clearer to communicate what is meant to be communicated, and that Rios's art doesn't always manage that here. They call it "muddy," an *ahem* highly technical term that I nonetheless tend to agree with. There were panels in which I wish it were clearer which was the foreground and which was the background, for example, which I think may also be a colors problem. I generally adore everything Jordie Bellaire touches, but while the overall color schemes are very attractive here, it feels like some different choices could have been made to better complement Rios' artwork.

After all that, it sounds like I didn't enjoy it. I did! It's just a more ambitious comic than a lot that I read, and thus there was more to comment on. I very much look forward to more, and I like the basic idea enough to stick around for quite a few issues in any case. I do love the color scheme, I'm intrigued by the cast, and I look forward to seeing more of Deathface Ginny herself, who barely appears in this first issue. Onward!

Journey into Mystery vol. 2: Seeds of Destruction – Immonen, Schiti
Between this, the previous volume of JiM, and that Pixie miniseries I read a while back, I've finally concluded that I just find Immonen's storytelling style opaque. Presumably she sets up all the clues for what's happening and why, but darned if I can follow them, like, ever. I actually found the last volume of JiM relatively straightforward, but here again not only can I not figure out what Gaea's original illness was, I'm not sure whether or not I'm even supposed to know. Sometimes I can't even follow the text across individual panels. It's like her transitional phrases are wrong, or something.

So, I only half understand what happens in the standalone issue about the Fenris wolf, and likewise for the four-issue Sif IN SPACE arc. The standalone issue I am kind of indifferent to. It's an ensemble piece with not nearly enough Sif to suit me, but our little girl is an amusing POV character.

The Sif in space arc is my favorite part of the entire Immonen/Schiti run. First, it's in space, and somehow space is the best possible venue for Sif. The second best possible venue for Sif is Midgard, so of course I loved the bits where she visit Jane Foster, and I loved them even more because it's Jane Foster. I wanted an entire issue of them. An entire comic. Also I love how Sif is clearly so much taller than Jane – or any other Midgardians, for that matter. Also there's tons of Beta Ray Bill, whom I adore because of that Sif one-shot DeConnick did a few years ago. And then there’s Gaea, and Sif+Gaea (and Gaea is even taller than Sif), and even though I don’t get the relationship between Gaea and Asgard even a little, I like her relationship with Sif very much. And then also there’s stuff with Ti Asha Ra and Scuttlebutt and Bill’s misplaced feelings + Scuttlebutt’s misplaced consciousness, and I honestly have no idea how I feel about that part of the story (not least because I feel like I missed about half of what I was supposed to be gleaning about Bill’s character arc), but those are definitely all story elements that I like.

Gosh, this comic is so pretty, though. Schiti's pencils and inks combined with Bellaire's colors - I could stare at it for hours. I need to buckle down and figure out precisely what it is about Schiti's style that works so well for me, but in the meantime: wallpaper. :D

So basically: I dunno what happens, but it’s pretty, and I love all the pieces. And Sif’s faces.

Fantomex MAX #2 – Hope, Crystal
On one hand, there are sea creatures. A kraken, even! OTOH, our hapless Agent Flemyng gets called a cunt, and later she gets raped by the predatory lesbian. I did not finish. I haven't been so sorry to spend $4 in a long, long time. Andrew Hope, people.

Mighty Avengers #3 – Ewing, Land
I continue to really enjoy this book. Ewing is doing a great job pulling the various characters into an official team and stirring the blood a bit while he does it. I wouldn't say the book has suffered from being a crossover tie-in for its first three issues, either, which is saying something. Even aside from it being nice to see a bunch of minority characters getting more panel time, this book is just fun in an earnest, action-y sort of way.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 13th, 2013 04:29 am (UTC)
So basically: I dunno what happens, but it’s pretty, and I love all the pieces. And Sif’s faces.
Yes to all of this! I loved the art, especially the way Gaea was drawn, and Sif makes all the best expressions. And Sif in spaaaaace is so great, and I love her hanging out with Jane and making fun of Thor and Iron Man's whole monologue about letting her borrow the space station. Is the trade nice? I felt like Stronger Than Monsters had sort of flimsy paper.

Are you talking about X-Men: Pixie Strikes Back? Because I read that the other day and I had NO IDEA what happened in it.
Nov. 13th, 2013 05:32 pm (UTC)
I compared the two trades, and Seeds of Destruction definitely has different paper which is nicer IMO - less slick, more texture? Possibly heavier.

Are you talking about X-Men: Pixie Strikes Back? Because I read that the other day and I had NO IDEA what happened in it.

YES. Actually, you make me feel better, because I had that one sitting in my bathroom for ages and I read the thing like four times, at which point I felt like I kinda got most of what was going on. (I miiight be able to answer questions, if you have them. Also I wrote up a review at the time which has fresher impressions in it.)

I feel like Immonen is bad at basic setup of scenes, like, "Why are these characters here?" and "What are they feeling at the beginning? What are they feeling at the end?" IDK. And something about, like, the transitional phrases she uses, even. Like the page before Iron Man's monologue, where he's talking but also Sif is thinking, and there's this back and forth? I couldn't even follow, like, the logic of Sif's sentences. I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT IS. Immonen just tends to leave me completely bewildered.

Edited at 2013-11-13 05:43 pm (UTC)
Nov. 13th, 2013 06:01 pm (UTC)
Ahh, good to know, thanks!

Haha, I'm not sure if I would even know what questions to ask. Like I feel like in a broad sense I got what was happening but more specifically and particularly on a scene-to-scene level I was pretty lost.

I can't tell if I'm confused by Kathryn Immonen or just by comics in general. Handwave-handwave-continuity reference seems to be a problem for many writers. :P
Nov. 14th, 2013 03:46 am (UTC)
Handwave-handwave-continuity reference seems to be a problem for many writers.

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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