Saturday, November 28, 2015

Bendis Month(and a half): Mighty Avengers.

After the crossover event "Civil War", the heroes of the Marvel U had been divided by ideology. Some heroes decided to become registered superheroes, while others chose to become outlaw heroes, hunted by both the government as well as heir former friends. Therefore, there was now two teams of Avengers; the outlaw freedom fighters and the government's own version of the Earth's mightiest heroes. Today, I'm going to voice my opinion about the later. It's a series called "Mighty Avengers".
Mighty Avengers title was doomed before Bendis even started to type the story.
The problem here is that Bendis was the writer of both New Avengers and Mighty Avengers. AND that he was unable to be neutral. It's pretty clear that Bendis was siding with the heroes who were against registration. And that's okay, he is allowed to side.
What is not okay is him manipulating us into being against pro-registration heroes. When Bendis writes Mighty Avengers, he makes the team as unlikable as he can. They are jerks, wackos and b%tches. He makes sure that we won't root for these guys at all.
And he even makes Iron Man look even more like a villain by making him build satellites that can control the weather.
Satellites that controls the weather!
And don't tell me that it's something Tony would do! It's not! And it's WAY out of his area. Look, we get it, Bendis. We do! You don't like Iron Man because you think he is an arrogant rich guy who wants to be king of the world. That power corrupt. But do you really have to mash it into our face that you don't like Iron Man? Do you have to make him the villain of Civil War? Can't you understand that he is not just YOUR character, that other writers are writing comics about Iron Man and at the same time tries to respect your continuity? Couldn't you do the same for them, instead of making him the Judas Iscariot of Marvel Comics?
... Mighty Avengers DID give us one great thing, though: Ares, the god of war... AS A SUPERHERO!
Aaaand then he was killed in Siege, so...
This story doesn't feel as well constructed as the New Avengers book. We get the opening story-ark thrown into our face before we get properly introduced to the team and it's not that great, really. The artwork is actually not that bad. We get some pretty good action scenes, but only in a chaotic, loud Transformers movie kind of way.
But I will actually recommend picking up Mighty Avengers... but only if you skip the 20 first issues. Starting from issue 21, Dan Slott becomes the writer, and he makes the most Avengers-like series since Busiek's run, and even reminded us that Hank Pym is awesome.
That's all for now. I'm Waezi2, and thanks for wasting time with me.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Bendis Month(and a half): The Pulse

First page, and I'm already in love.
Not because of the story.
Not because of the characters.
Not because of the big-time writer.
But because of Mark FREAKING Bagley!
If you have followed my blogs, you probably know that...
... Na, barely no one does.
But I am a big fan of the New Warriors. So besides that his artwork is great, there is also a nostalgic mechanism in my brain that activates once it sees Bagley art and yells: "LOVE IT, DON'T ASK WHY!". Seriously, I could read a Frank Miller comic and STILL love it because I adore the artwork. So being objective can be a problem. But I will try.
This comic is... different. We have seen journalists who are superheroes in comics before, but not superheroes who are journalists. You may think that they are the same thing, but they are not. Let me explain; Clark Kent is a journalist. There are many reasons to why he is a journalist, but one of them is that he needs a job where he can easily be close to situations where Superman are needed without his secret identity being threatened. It's a paycheck with benefits. But here, Jessica Jones is hired by  newspaper BECAUSE she is a superhero. She is hired because of her contacts within the hero community. I honestly don't get why no one has thought of this idea before.
And YES, I realize she is more like an analysts who assist a journalist, but you get my point.
But if you are a fan of the series "Alias"(that I gave a rather harsh review the other day, and I consider rewriting it) I'm afraid that I must disappoint you; it's not a Jones series. It's a series where Jones is a character in it. And if you enjoyed her... colorful language(I didn't) then you will be disappointing yet again, since this is NOT a Marvel MAX series, but a mainstream one. All swearing is censored.
This is not so much a superhero comic as it is a journalist series. It's about the newspaper the Daily Bugle. About Ben Urich, a reporter who has had... less than fortunate days, but now finally seem to get back in the game. About Jonah J Jameson, a man who fights a fierce battle in order to keep his beloved newspaper alive. About what it means to be a journalist in the Marvel Universe.
The series is far from perfect, sure. But the first 5 issues story-line is gold, possibly the best Bendis story I've ever read.
I highly recommend The Pulse, especially the first TPB named "Thin Air". I can't recall the last time a comic could make me feel sympathy for JJJ.
That's all for now. Next time: Mighty Avengers... kill me...
I'm Waezi2, and thanks for wasting time with me.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Bendis Month(and a half): Alias.

See those dots? That's me, taping the keyboard, unsure what to say.
I... expected more. I really did. If there is one thing you can be sure of, it's that Bendis has a huge arsenal of stories to tell. Some great, some not so great. What seems to be his trademark flaw is his use of retcon. Some would argue that it is his greatest strength, that he doesn't get TOO tied up of continuity. Others say that he is armed with a chainsaw, cutting continuity to pieces.
Retcon is necessary in order to keep the comic-book industry going. That's just how it is, we like it or not. But it's also a tool that should not be abused and overused. And I feel that the creation of Jessica Jones is.
Was it really necessary to create a new character who we all now has to pretend was always there? Couldn't Bendis have dug up a old character who actually had been in comic-book limbo for some time now? And if not... does she really have to be one gigantic woman in refrigerator?
How many female superheroes has a past that includes being raped? Jade, Hawkeye, Black Cat, the Huntress, Ms Marvel, Black Canary... How come so many writers has this need to ad sexual assault to a character's history JUST because she is female? Rape is not a gimmick. It's a very serious issue, not something that makes us roll our eyes. Because that's what happens; the shock fades away and we just think: "Ugh! Another heroin who has been raped?! REALLY?!" And we are not suppose to do that! We are not suppose to be used to and/or become bored by rape!
There could be several reasons to why Jones was depressed. SEVERAL!!! But NO! She was a evil man's victim. Because that's what we expect. That's what we are used to.
I'm sorry, I really am... But it pisses me off!
Putting aside my anger over gender stereotypes... The comic was kinda... okay. Actually a little boring. Seriously, most of issue six is about Jones talking with Ms Marvel about their sex-life. And I'm not too keen on the art either. And the constant swearing is pretty tiring.
All in all, I would advice you to skip this one.
That's all for now. I'm Waezi2, and thanks for wasting time with me.

Bendis Month(and a half): New Avengers.

Before I start the review, I would like to point out that I'm only going to review the first 10 issues of New Avengers. Besides that it would take too long to get more that the two TPB I found at the library, I also think that you should be able to judge whatever a series is worth following after the fist ten issues.
But I do like them, actually.
One a day like no other, the Spider-Man badguy Electro causes a mass breakout at the supervillain prison known as the Raft, letting lose 87 superpowered evil/crazy/evil and crazy supervillain who starts to run amok. But six heroes, united by fate, are there to fight back the criminals, putting them back in their cells where they belong. But 43 of the empowered criminals are still on the lose, and the six heroes decides to unite in order to hunt them down, as well as facing any thread no one can face alone.
Together, they are the New Avengers.
This comic is, god be pleased, a lot more enjoyable than "Disassembled". It feels like Bendis is having more fun writing it. They really are new, since it's a completely new team with barely any ties to the former Avengers. Sure, Cap and Iron Man is there, but the new members; Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Wolverine and Spider-Woman gives new life to the Earth's Mightiest. It's not a legacy team, like the JSA or the Teen Titans, it's a whole new group, and they are more... simple compared to the old Avengers. No politician connection, no mansion, and only ONE jet.
But even though I liken the series, there is a problem...
It's a Transformers movie.
Not that there is anything wrong with Transformers movies, it's just... I have a feeling that the huge explosions and all could get a little old after a while. Not without a fare dose of drama the old Avengers had.
Bendis New Avengers seems more like an action team book than... a team book. I don't see the same kind of soap opera crises and interaction as I would see in Wolfman/Perez's Titans, or  Busiek's Avengers. And without that soap-o element in the book, I think it could get a bit... trivial.
I enjoyed the Sentry story-line that made him part of he group, but knowing what Bendis had planned for him... it's difficult enjoying a story when you know know that he is going to be turned crazy-evil and then be annihilated for the sake of a crossover event.
If you can ignore that Sentry is going to be butchered in Siege, then I would say that this is a kick-ass comic. It has it's faults, plenty in fact, but it's still very enjoyable. Would I buy it? Na. But I still think that it's live up to all it's praise and I can see what it's fans see in it.
That's all for now. Next up: Alias.
I'm Waezi2, and thanks for wasting time with me.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Puella Magi Madoka Magica in 5 panels

... What the HELL kind of sick manga is this!?

A lovely magical girl manga full of heart, laughs, drama and a few tears!


Bendis Month(and a half): Avengers Disassembled

Hello and welcome to Bendis Month(and a half). I'm going to take a look at one of the most popular/infamous writers Marvel ever had. I decided to read a couple of his comics in order to learn whatever it is true or not that he has no soul. If he truly is that kid in school who said he knew karate so the other kids who said they knew karate wouldn't beat him up. Whatever it's true that he dominates the Marvel Universe, ruining the continuity that they worked years to somehow make work without Flash traveling back in time.
OR that he is a brilliant storyteller who shakes up the status quo. That he wrote some of the best Avengers stories of newer time.
Let's start the theme month with the very first Bendis comic I ever read; Avengers Disassembled.
... And HOLY CRAP, did it confuse me!

One of the main reasons to why it left me completely lost were that it was back when I only read comics translated to Danish. And since Avengers stories hadn't been translated to Danish since the Silver Age, there was an awful lot I had to google in order to understand WHO half of the characters were, since I couldn't find any of the 90's or early 00's comics.
In Danish, the comic had been renamed "Kaos"(chaos) instead of "Disassembled", and I honestly think that it is very suiting... in more than one way.
This four parter story-line is a gigantic mess. And I get that it was suppose to be(my guess is that this is a 9/11 story), but it doesn't really work. It's extremely hard to enjoy it, due to a mix of the less than pretty art, and all the horrific things that happens randomly. Yeah, it sucks that their headquarter that for some of them is their second home, if not their ONLY home has been burned to the ground. And that two of their team mates had died horribly, and the rest of them damaged both mentally and physically. But... It's just so... difficult to get into, because it's so messy. Instead of feeling sorry for the Beetles of superheroes, I'm left like this:
And that's just naming the problems you have as a normal reader. It's when we look at the comic through the fan-glasses that it get's REALLY ugly!
I could use FOREVER to explain what is wrong with the whole "Wanda goes coo coo for cocoa puffs" thing, and I might... in another blog. But let's just say that... it's messy.
The series has ONE redeeming...
...No, nothing is redeeming about this...
There was only thing I liked about "Avengers Disassembled", and that was the aftermath. Once the entire freaking thing is over with, and the surviving Avengers are back on their feet, they gather at the ruin that used to be the Avengers Mansion, realizing that they are finished. That the Avengers are no more. That they don't have the finances to keep the team running, and they are all still pretty shaken by the entire crisis. We have a bittersweet moment where they talk about the good days, about what being an Avenger meant to them, and what each o them plan on doing now. It's actually pretty touching.
... Even though a new team of Avengers were formed half a year later...
So, my first confrontation with Brian Michael Bendis was... less than enjoyable.
Next time, a BMB comic I enjoyed a lot more.
That's all for now. I'm Waezi2, and thanks for wasting time with me.