Sunday, July 23, 2006

New comics 7/19

I was in San Diego over the weekend for the Comic-Con, and I should have a report on that in the next day or two. In the meantime, this week's non-Con-related comics (strangely, all Marvel books for me this week).

Cable & Deadpool #30 (Fabian Nicieza/Staz Johnson, Marvel)
Like he did with House of M, Nicieza uses the opportunity of the Civil War crossover to sort of make fun of the whole thing, or at least he has Deadpool spend the whole issue not taking any of it seriously, which works perfectly in context in addition to deflating some of the crossover's grandiose nature. At the same time, Cable does take it seriously, and even though his panel time in this issue is minimal, Nicieza gives a good sense of where he stands on the issue that's consistent with his recent characterization. In a way this crossover is perfect for Nicieza, because it ties closely in to all the stuff he's been doing recently with Cable, with his efforts to do away with governments and establish a new utopia. This is also the funniest issue in a while, with Deadpool breaking the fourth wall in classic fashion and a perfect blend of the plot and the humor. Although I'm annoyed at seeing the fourth different artist in the last four issues, Johnson's work is mostly solid and at least it appears he'll be returning next month.

Runaways #18 (Brian K. Vaughan/Adrian Alphona, Marvel)
The big issue, as one of the team members dies and things, as always in this book, undergo drastic changes. The one thing that Vaughan has never shied away from is shaking things up, and even as Gert meets her heroic and sad end (which Vaughan handles very well), new characters show up to potentially join the team and Chase takes off with Old Lace to go his own way. It never seems like the death is the closing of a door, as so many new avenues open up as a result that it's hard to fret about lost potential. But Gert was a great character, and it was sad to see her go, and given the title of the next arc ("Dead Means Dead"), I imagine that Vaughan will be dealing with the repercussions for a while.

She-Hulk #9 (Dan Slott/Paul Smith & Ron Frenz, Marvel)
Slott's really pushing this Starfox mind control thing as far as it can go, although I do find it interesting for him to take what others have probably treated as a throwaway bit and tease it out to its logical conclusion. He also writes some very funny stuff with J. Jonah Jameson, but I'm definitely looking forward to this being resolved next issue; it's hard to care about what the protagonist does when she's under mind control for numerous consecutive issues. I'll miss Smith on art, though; his simple, classic style was great for the book, but he clearly doesn't have time for it, since Ron Frenz drew half this issue and it was only Smith's second.

X-Factor #9 (Peter David/Dennis Calero, Marvel)
David continues to explore repercussions from House of M, and he's now broadening his scope a bit. Civil War seems to have given him some good fodder for storylines, and once again this book does a good job of integrating the crossover with the ongoing storylines. And the team's face-off against the X-Men also serves well to differentiate the two groups. It's building slowly, but this series is definitely getting better and figuring out its own identity and, strangely enough, it's been big crossovers that have helped it to do that.


Anonymous said...

Admit it, Calero's stuff is growing on you!

Josh said...

It's tolerable, but I'd still prefer another artist. I just don't think his style is right for the tone of this book; he'd probably be well-suited for something a little more raw.