Monday, July 11, 2011

Continuing superheroes

Well, I said earlier that I'd picked up a metric boat-load of comic books in trade compilation format. (Metric boat load is an infrequently used yet quite handy unit of measure.) I finished the entire run of Annihilation, a Marvel Cosmic story featuring the relatively forgotten heroes Nova, Starlord, Quasar, and other characters like Annihilus, Drax the Destroyer, the Super-Skrull and Thanos. Interesting and universe changing miniseries. Heck; the skrulls are really on the ropes following this series.

I also read the first collected book from the New Avengers--the one that broke all the rules and put non-team player Spiderman and difficult team-player Wolverine on the Avengers--moves that probably really had some fans in conniptions. I quite liked it. Can't wait for volume 2 to show up from ILL, actually. And, I read New X-Men volume 1 too. Don't know why both the X-men and the Avengers are new but they are. New X-Men, under writer Grant Morrison, did some really interesting and new things. Great stories.

Sadly, comics are as much a visual medium as as a literary one, and sadly much of the artwork for X-men is terrible. Near the end of the third volume, I'll be enjoying Marc Silvestri's return to the mag (I got to know the X-men during his original run; to me, he's the iconic X-men artist, and one of the best comic book artists in the biz. He's actually gotten a lot better in the last twenty years or so. Not that that's surprising, or anything.)

And finally, I read Wolverine Noir. Wolverine doesn't have any superpowers in this version of the story. He's just a guy with some martial arts training, some funky weapons that look like claws, and a tendency to go into a kind of black-out rage where he guts people who are causing him extreme distress. But it was an interesting take on the whole Wolverine: Origins story, told as the perfect noir tale, including having Logan be a detective, and having a dangerous dame (Mariko, in fact) walk in his door causing trouble. Brilliant take on the noir genre and applying it to a well-known character was an interesting thing to do. But it felt more like Sin City than like the X-men. On purpose, no doubt.

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