Friday, December 9, 2011

Renaldo Reviews part 1 - Astonishing X-Men, Defenders and More!

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Renaldo reviews a mixed bag of comic books - Astonishing X-Men #45, Last of the Greats #3, Defenders #1, Pilot Season: Misdirection and Heart #1-2.

Astonishing X-Men 45 – McKone’s smooth art is what brought me to this title as it’s on my btw list. Greg Pak is not a favourite of mine, but I felt McKone’s art, as seen on Avengers Academy would be smooth enough to check. Usually this book is filled with transgressions and monsters and wanton violence so it’s typical Pak, as seen on his Hulk, Herc materials…and I felt McKone would be tested with all this violence. But what I got was some romance in what seems some alternate setting, and a disappointing last page. Pak doesn’t seem to have the handle on the characters in an issue directly after Schism. He doesn’t capture the essence and emotion I felt Emma and Scott would be covered in. It feels off-key and maybe this title is one on the chopping block. I can see it happening as it felt terribly off the pace…especially with its main star in Summers. It’s too big a risk to let anyone but Aaron or Gillen write him currently, and if so..please not Pak. Even Mike’s silky art can’t save that atrocity.
The Last Of The Greats #3 – there’s a huge WTF session with Oprah…and just read the issue…literally, WTF? Overall, Peeples is consistently simple yet potent on the art, and it’s nice to see Fialkov still using obscurity as the driving point in this book. This subterfuge has you trusting no one and it’s not evident who’s the antagonist or protagonist – and also no one’s motivations or objectives are known. It’s thrilling, non-stop excitement and plain old fun. It’s vulgar and in your face…Fialkov keeps the momentum well so jump on for a fun ride. The twist here with a new cast addition lends an extra degree of intricacy into the book! Fialkov sheds all boundaries!

Defenders #1 – Fraction shows his skill at prose and elegant romance. But he forgets to show the Nul villain teased for the entire issue, as well as proper motivations and reasons for the assembled roster doing what they do best – hide behind the Avengers back and hunt Nul. It’s Secret Avengers redux. The title is blasphemy to me. Dodsons’ art, Oback colors are not too shabby but I’m still seing Mark Millar’s TROUBLE when I see their faces. Nothing changes except uniforms and hair color. Fraction mucked up FEAR but he does leave some decent plot threads dangling here – Betty with sword, Surfer reconstitutes power in an open fortress of solitude, Hulk is literally cringing from a fight, Surfer want to hook up with Betty, not to mention the neat little teases and catch phrases in some pages. Anyone notice Iron Fist is reading Marvelman? Oh well…the shoddy reasons for assembling the roster and the lack of intensity and action, coupled with too much levity, really takes away the little potential the book has. Fraction seems to have planned something good, but I am no fan of his execution. This is teetering on being a dropped title for me personally, but the last page kept me in for issue 2. Barely…
Pilot Season: Misdirection – It’s a comic a la Paul Walker and Jason Statham as the lead…combined…or not. Whatever…the point is the story…is rather elementary with a twist you can see coming a mile away. Yet your sympathy to the lead and the overall scope and dialogue put forward by Filip Sablik is pretty much spot on. The ride is high octane…literally and it’s full of trashy fun! The end is obvious but that doesn’t spoil a good read. It’s on the edge of your seat, pun intended and this tale of a driver who got caught on the wrong side of the law, now seeking redemption ends with a cliffhanger that reeks…more! The cadence of this book is well scripted and the art of Chris Dibari wows. Overall, not the most spectacular read…but worth coming back for a few more issues!

Heart #1, 2 – Blair Butler is a fan of my kinda music, she likes geek stuff and she isn’t all that sexycute…so when she crafts a book that mixes Wanted and Warrior together so finely that you are wowed that a girl wrote this…it’s orgasmic. She completely dominates and it’s one of the best-written stories of the year. I’m a noob in MMA but Blair’s dialogue and story is amazing. The black/white art of Mellon with Crank’s lettering is implicit in its glory. Sarah Delaine and Wendigo, Image fans would know these, gets a mention on a card bill along with Blair and Kevin, and seeing things like the fight time, ring stats…and entrance songs…show she has plotted out this buffet of manliness for us kindly. She went up a notch again in my eyes. The Daken-like star of the book is highly reminiscent of the WANTED star and looks like an emo-McAvoy, but when you read the pace set out and staring you in the face…you’d appreciate the worth found in this title. It is really impressive stuff.

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