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Multiple instances this round of what I'm going to call editor fails, for lack of a better term.

New comics:
X-Men #11 - Wood, Anka/Mann
So just like last issue, Kris Anka is arting the main heroes+villains arc, and Clay Mann is arting the X-Kids vs. Sentinels subplot. Great. Fine. They don't really mesh artistically, but that's fine, because their arting duties are so explicitly divided.

The problem is that last issue ended with Karima, Quentin Quire, and a bunch of X-Kids fighting the Sentinels on the beach. This issue opens with various villain stuff (where we see Karima) and also glimpses of the Jean Grey School (where we see Quentin), and then the last part of the issue takes us back to the Sentinel fight on the beach. There's even a new credits page and everything, with a 'Meanwhile...' floating over the top. Even though we just saw Karima arguing with the team and Quentin babysitting John Sublime three pages ago!

All this would have been easily fixed by just putting the Mann-drawn Sentinel stuff first in the issue. I have no idea why they didn't, but it was DUMB.

Otherwise, hmm, I'm finding Anka more meh on this book that I was expecting. I don't actively dislike what he's doing, it's just kind of blah. I am mystified as to why we needed an entire page-size panel of Monet delivering a line of dialogue - for the duh duh DUH factor, I guess. Mann's stuff I enjoyed a lot more, and it's interesting to see the contrast - Mann uses much finer lines and is MUCH more textured, although that might also be due to having a different colorist. (Paul Mounts vs Jason Keith for Anka.)

In terms of story, I continue to love everything about the X-kids segments. Even Quentin amuses me, which has never happened before. The main villains+heroes stuff is EXTREMELY DULL, and the new 'Sisterhood' has about three times too many characters. What are you doing, Brian Wood. This is terrible. Please stop.

Mighty Avengers #7 - Ewing, Schiti
I wonder how it's decided who gets cover credits. This cover credits colorist D'Armata as well as author Ewing and penciler/inker Schiti, which seems unusual? IDK.

I have a couple of editorial complaints here, too. First, I thought Jennifer Walters was big and green all the time; what's with the hulk-out scene here, prior to which she's normal white-girl color? Second, why is she that shade of green? Because it's wrong. Actually, now that I look at it, I think it might be a printing issue; the digital preview page here is a lot less bright than my physical comic.

Otherwise, Schiti continues to be better than Land, we are all shocked. Lots of good faces in this issue, particularly of Luke Cage. Storywise this is maybe the most Serious Business issue we've had so far, as Ava lets the White Tiger take over when it promises to find and kill the guy who killed her family. She fails, and last page shows that it was probably a setup to make the Mighty Avengers look bad. I'm gonna take a wild guess that this Gideon Mace dude is going to be a major long-term antagonist.

Old comics:
Winter Soldier #1 - Brubaker, Guice
This is a comic that manages to be very silly while trying to be very serious. See, for example, the cover art. I mean, obviously if I was designing a metal arm, I would make sure it had plenty of bulgy muscles, wouldn't you?

And then there's this, which is the page of the Big! Climactic! Reveal!

It's a gorilla. With a machine gun. Yelling in Russian. This after twenty pages of woeful post-Cold War post-brainwashing angst. GORILLA.

In other news, I quite like the art in this book about 80% of the time. It's darker than I usually go for, but I like how Guice deals with textures and lighting - see the contours of the boot at the bottom of that panel above - and generally it sets the mood very nicely.

Except when he's drawing Natasha. As also demonstrated in the panel above, while the Winter Soldier is running around manfully, she vaults everywhere wearing nothing but black paint and a waist necklace. Or if we're not in an action scene, she's smiling vapidly soulfully up at him, looking like nothing so much as one of Greg Land's pornstar heroines. Ugh.

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


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 9th, 2014 03:37 pm (UTC)
I read that Winter Soldier run too, and boy is it up and down. I love some of it, and some of it makes my mind boggle. And yep, not a fan of their Natasha either. In general, I seem to have a very complicated relationship with comics Natasha, though, lol.
Mar. 9th, 2014 09:26 pm (UTC)
You know, so do I. I really love her characterization in Name of the Rose (although I find the plot there a little hard to follow), and I find her really interesting if not exactly admirable in Breakdown, but then a lot of her other appearances don't do anything for me. And I basically have no use for the way Brubaker writes her (or, to date, any woman he tries his hand at).
Mar. 14th, 2014 11:52 am (UTC)
Yeah. I liked here there too, though I dislike the plot. Simmering a woman down to babies and husbands, even in that way... Yeah, no, rubs me the wrong way. Mostly I like her more in some team runs, Avengers Assemble for example, but then again I haven't read hear older solo runs yet since they're hard to get a hold of.

But yup. Brubaker is... Well. His name on a title won't that much of an enticement for me in the future, shall we say. Not avoid at all costs, but not something making me more likely to read something either.
Mar. 9th, 2014 03:44 pm (UTC)
Kris Anka's sketches impress me more than his interiors, somehow.

I don't know what is currently standard for Jen because continuity is so hard to keep up with, but when I was reading She-Hulk it was mostly the case that her status quo was being able to control her transformation and just choosing to stay green most of the time. Sometimes she would involuntarily transform or get stuck in one form or the other, though.
Mar. 9th, 2014 09:28 pm (UTC)
I would agree re: Anka. I liked A+X #10 pretty well, in which he drew Natasha+Fantomex, but among other things that had the benefit of uncomplicated snowy backdrops, and also I suspect he had more time to work on it.

claudiapriscus informs me that yes, as of now Jen can choose to be either She-Hulk or herself. So you are correct. :)
Mar. 9th, 2014 09:38 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I read that, and also he did the interior for the Infinity issue of Uncanny X-Men. I think maybe his art is a little too anime-ish for my taste? idk.
Mar. 9th, 2014 09:39 pm (UTC)
I don't really think it's much like anime, but he does tend towards very smooth lines with sharp corners and no texture, and sometimes that works but sometimes it doesn't.
Mar. 9th, 2014 04:27 pm (UTC)
Ah yes, the Winter Soldier solo comic. If you think Natasha is being portrayed badly now, just wait until issues 9-14.

I'm not a fan of Guice's art in general, because I think he overuses textures so that Bucky, who's supposed to look like he's physically in his 20s, looks like a man in his 40s. Also Guice insists on giving Natasha weird 70s bouffant hair.

This is a comic that manages to be very silly while trying to be very serious.

Yep, that's why I don't get why Brubaker receives so much praise.
Mar. 9th, 2014 09:30 pm (UTC)
Yes, I hate the hair Guice gives Natasha. I do see your point about Bucky, but I have a hard enough time keeping track of characters' ages even when they haven't been cryofrozen for decades, so I wasn't sure how old he was supposed to be. :D

Yep, that's why I don't get why Brubaker receives so much praise.

I would tend to think that Brubaker's approach would appeal much more to the stereotypical male fan than the stereotypical female fan. :\
Mar. 9th, 2014 09:43 pm (UTC)
I find Guice's art very stiff, especially in action scenes. He draws men well enough, but women, not so much. What saddens me is that he's one of the few artists to draw Natasha dancing ballet, and he gets it all wrong. :/ I'd kill for Phil Noto to draw Natasha dancing ballet.

I would tend to think that Brubaker's approach would appeal much more to the stereotypical male fan than the stereotypical female fan. :\

Oh, it does. Comics forums are full of fanboys wanking over Brubaker. As for female fans, I'm not the right person to answer that, since his work doesn't appeal to me. My theory is that because Brubaker was on the Captain America title for so long, his work was the introduction to comics for a lot of people (and sadly, the introduction to Natasha for many fans as well, hence fandom's insistence that her relationship with Bucky is the be-all and end-all of her backstory). Also Bucky is the kind of broody tortured white boy fandom seems to love. The Bucky fandom is intense. O.O
Mar. 10th, 2014 01:34 pm (UTC)
Hmm, I'll have to take a closer look at his action scenes.

I know this won't scratch your ballet!Natasha itch, but previews of the new Elektra suggest that Mike del Mundo is doing a lot with, uh, balletic violence. For example. (I cannot WAIT to get my hands on this book.)

I do really like Bucky in concept; there's a lot of potential there for the kind of angst I could get into. Unfortunately, it's not the kind of angst we get. I want post-traumatic h/c, and we get stoic manpain instead. :P I'm hoping that the movie will better fulfill my needs in this regard.
Mar. 9th, 2014 05:19 pm (UTC)
She Hulk can be plain ol' Jennifer Walters when she wants to be. And a lot of her character psychology in previous books has had to do with why she decides to spend most of her time as she-hulk (or, why there was that one time she spent most of her time as plain ol' Jen, but they're related), and whether or not that's actually good for her (psychologically speaking). It's also implied that being hulked out subtly shifts her personality- as she-hulk, she parties hard, is a lot more impulsive, where as Jen she's more of a wall flower but tends to actually think things through (and the potential consequences) more. (I think the general gist was that it wasn't that either nature was bad or good, but that using either to avoid her personal/emotional issues is detrimental in the long run.)
Mar. 9th, 2014 09:32 pm (UTC)
Cool, thank you! I hadn't realized all that backstory; in FF she was always green, and I'd seen a panel from some time ago of Reed telling her she would always be green, so I assumed that was still the status quo.
Mar. 10th, 2014 05:59 am (UTC)
The she-hulk solo title of...I think the mid 2000s (which I think was relaunched once and also went through a couple of writer changes) had a good long run and pretty fun (basically, it's the super hero comic version of all those lawyer dramedies ala Ally McBeal that were popular once upon a time, for good and for ill). I didn't like the title as much when it was turned over to Peter David, and it definitely has its ups and downs, but it has some genuinely great moments too.
Mar. 10th, 2014 01:35 pm (UTC)
*nod* You're talking about Dan Slott's run, right? It's on my list; I just haven't gotten to it yet. :)
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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