June 2, 2009
you want some a THIS?
Some kind of delay, or publishing schedule over-lap or something like that, has caused this to be the last chapter of this story which will appear in the regular Wolverine title. I think they are shuffling it off to a double sized special edition in order to get this book back in line with main continuity. This issue sees Old Man Logan coming to the end of his long, messed up journey. And, of course, things are still getting worse and worse.
April 20, 2009
Ultimate Nightmare #3
I took a random grab into the back issues and came out with Ultimate Nightmare number 3. This series was the first part of Warren Ellis’s big Ultimate Universe event. It was followed by Ultimate Secret and Ultimate Extinction, which became known as The Ultimate Galactus Trilogy.
This book clearly in the meaty second ac of a story. A story about nightmares. Two sets of characters, a group of X-Men and a group of Ultimates, Plunge deeper and deeper in to a dark subterranean maze. And, as appropriate for the second act of a story about nightmares, it gets darker, stranger, and more horrible at each turn. Some pretty simple details really have some pretty powerful effects. In one scene, Cap and Nick Fury smell something which turns out to be, in Cap’s words, “droppings”. The cumulative result is not a gross-out, but more like a building sense of dread of “what on earth happened here?”.
The art is dark and largely monochromatic, but still clear. It suits the mood very well.
What did not work:
Some of the action seems a bit off. There is a moments where Sam Wilson takes some decisive action against a levitating freak and I am still not 100% sure what it is that he did. Some of the dialogue doesn’t quite ring true either. Most notably the big closing line where Colossus is fighting some mostrous brute and tells him, mid brawl, “….YOU WON’T SURVIVE THE FALL!” They fall, through a few panels of wreckage and we turn the page to see the issue ending splash where Colossus again faces his opponent and says….remember this is to close the issue and bring you running back to the next issue….”and neither might we.” It is in a slightly different font which implies that it might be in Russian, or at least spoken with an accent. So, maybe it is daringly clever to have foreign language dialogue seem to be clumsily translated. That could be a cool device, but it is pretty clumsy way to end a chapter.275
April 18, 2009
Uncanny X-Men #508
The Fraction/Brubaker run on Marvel’s flagship X-title continues. Messiah Complex and Manifest Destiny have left the X-Men with a strange new status-quo, but strange has always been the status quo for them.
What worked: Fraction’s fast paced story telling is wonderful. Even in very talky moments, the story just clips along. He introduces each character with a quick intro caption that tell sthe name, the powers, and gives and adjective or two to describe them. No, I don’t know every character from the X-Men’s checkered history who shows up in the book, but thanks to these captions I know enough to get what is going on in the scene. Sure, I still have some questions, but I trust that anything I NEED to know will be told when the time comes for me to know it.
In the past, Greg Land’s artwork has looked a little too static, too posed. Simply, the drawings looked a little too much like the photos they were referencing. I don’t know what changed, but that quality is gone. Now all we have a lush, elegant, detailed renderings that look as vibrant as any comic on the stands today.
What did not work: Though there were some great reveals in this chapter of the story, it feels like it might be moving just a tad too slowly. Or, maybe it is just that I don’t quite know enough about what is going on to sink the hook in.
Also, there is a scene where a seemingly shocking revelation is made to s certain character, but the next time we see him, he has not reacted to it at all, and seems to be busy on an unrelated errand. Nothing terribly unrealistic, but it does take some of the weight from the conflict when even the characters it is affecting don’t really let it interrupt their schedules.