Friday, January 25, 2013

Overrated Comic Book of the Week: Young Avengers #1

I don't get it.

Initially, I held off on buying this book because the creative team didn't blow me away, and I'm not always into Marvel titles dedicated to just the younger heroes. But after hearing great things about the issue from a website I enjoy and trust, iFanboy.com (who also had it as their pick of the week), I gave it a chance.

I bought it digitally through the Comixology app, as I always buy comics these days, and was pleasantly surprised to see that after 2 days Young Avengers #1 already had a 4 star rating with over 200 reviews through Comixology.

And time!

It was a quick read. More importantly...I just didn't care about most of the characters. I was kind of excited to see Noh-Varr in the book since he is a powerful character that I latched onto after Grant Morrison's mini-series introducing him. But he is only in the first few pages and he's mostly just dancing and singing (except in a 2-page spread...see below).

Two of the other boys in the issue, Hulking and Wiccan, have a cliche argument about being who they are gifted to be which wastes like 5 pages, while kid Loki and Marvel's young Spanish-speaking Wonder Woman knock-off (drawn much better by Nick Dragotta in Vengeance) have a random confrontation on Hulking and Wiccan's house. Oh and the end is shocking!...if you care about non powered characters that aren't really important to the future of this comic book.

Young Avengers #1 was just very blah to me. I didn't care what was going on and I'm not excited that this issue cost $3.99. The writing was dull and the art, except for one of the 2-page spreads (see below), was bland and boring.

To be fair to the creators, I will give the first few issues a chance. I didn't care for the book, but sometimes stories don't really take shape until 3 to 5 issues in. Maybe the book gets better... Hopefully.

Until then, these are the only 2 pages I enjoyed. It's actually a pretty sick layout. Props to Jamie McKelvie on this spread. Let's see more of this in the future.

Young Avengers #1 - Noh-Varr - 365 Days of Comics
Young Avengers #1 - 2-page spread (Click for Larger View)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What's With Strong Guy's Eyes?

X-Factor #1 (vol.2) - Strong Guy's Eyes - 365 Days of Comics
X-Factor #1 (vol.2) - Strong Guy's Eyes

Are they some type of glasses? Are his eyes mechanical? I honestly do not know what's up with Strong Guy's eyes!

Anyone?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Time to Get a Tablet - Lookouts

Lookouts #1 - May We Die In The Forrest - 365 Days of Comics
Lookouts #1 - May We Die In The Forrest
Most comic books you can buy online, through Comixology and other digital retailers, can also be found in physical form; however, some comic books are produced solely for digital consumption. Among the digital only comic books there are a few gems that unfortunately do not get as much attention from the larger comic review websites. Since the digital only comics reach is limited to those with digital readers, such as tablets, a review for them may get less attention by browsers. Well, I don't have a full on website and my main reader is my mother, so I could care less about reviewing books that are popular or wide spread.

Lookouts

To get my attention, or a possible purchase, digital only comic must possess at least 2 of the following criteria.
  • Only $.99
  • Unique and/or interesting art
  • Created by a writer I like or respect
  • Created by an artist I like or respect
  • Has a very unique idea that's conveyed in the 3 sentence preview
  • Has at least a 4 star rating with over 100 reviews on Comixology
Lookouts #1 fit 3 of the above points (only $.99, interesting art and 4 star reviews by a lot of readers), so I gave the digital only comic book a shot. I was happy I did.

Lookouts is a wonderfully fun comic which follows a group of young village protectors in training as they learn the ropes from their wise eye-patched instructor. The world of Lookouts is a fictional past in which goofy bridge trolls and large vicious sphinx can only be passed with a riddles. The sword is wielded but experience and intelligence is valued and conveyed as important in Lookouts, which makes the digital comic book great for children.

The best part about Lookouts is the amazing art. The lively characters penciled by Robb Mommaerts all have distinctive looks, especially the large bubbling troll the young Lookouts face in issues #2 and #3. Mommaerts also does a splendid job with the backgrounds and general scenery. The opening page on issue #2 is worthy of being framed (by use of an Aaron Brothers coupon of course...framing is expensive!)...it's that good.
Lookouts #2 - Bridge Troll - 365 Days of Comics
Lookouts #2 - Bridge Troll (Click for Larger Pic)
Of course Robb Mommaerts' work is heightened thanks to the tone-perfect coloring by Rainer Petter and the crisp ink work displayed by Mike Norton. This team has created a display that fits the bright digital format and makes excellent use of the platform which it exists.

If you're looking for a beautiful book...checkout Lookouts. If you're looking for a fun book...checkout Lookouts. If you're looking for a book that your kids can actually have downloaded on their tablet...checkout Lookouts. Just get this book already. Jeez.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Amazing Spider-Man #121 - Losing My Gwen Stacy

The Amazing Spider-Man #121 - 365 Days of Comics
The Amazing Spider-Man #121
Recently I have lost a person I love. I didn't literally put her somewhere and forgot where I had put her. She also didn't get murdered by an evil villain, such as in the issue to your right. She is just gone from my life. I've been feeling kind of like Peter Parker felt when he lost Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man #121: sad and angry. But supposedly...those feelings will pass.

When my Gwen was around, I was very happy; and so, in honor of the times I got to spend with my Gwen I thought it would be nice to start doing something that always made me happy, posting fun segments about comics, again. Sometimes loss can help one find their creativity, so we'll see if I can get back to some goofy light hearted reviews of comic books and comic culture. After all, Pete was able to go on and do some good after he lost Gwen. Why can't I?

For my Gwen.

- Dom