WINCBD! – Matt’s Stack (8-4-10)

By | August 5th, 2010
Posted in Reviews | % Comments

(Insert witty intro)

0: Uwe Boll will direct the adaptation of this comic
0.1 – 1: Burn upon touching
1- 1.9: Abysmal
2.0 – 2.9: Art. Writing. Editing. All bad.
3.0 – 3.9: You’d be a masochist to pick this up.
4.0 – 4.9: “I’ll give it another month…but that was not good.”
5.0 – 5.9: “Really? The Watcher? In the face? I guess it was fun.”
6.0 – 6.9: “Hmm. That was decent.”
7.0 – 7.9: Well made but a few problems
8.0 – 8.9: Nearly flawless
9.0 – 9.9: Outstanding
10: Perfection. Issue of the year contender

This week my reviews include REBELS #19, Brightest Day #7, Avengers Prime #2, and Shadowland: Bullseye. Quite a fun list this week.

Check out all the reviews after the jump.

R.E.B.E.L.S. #19
I can’t say that I’ve been following R.E.B.E.L.S. for a while now. I read the Blackest Night tie-in, but I really only hopped on now for two reasons: 1) Tony Bedard is the Green Lantern Corps writer and has promised the two books will intertwine and 2) I read all of Last Stand of New Krypton, and this is where that story continues. So with that in mind, I’m hoping that the story will be easy to get into and it will be entertaining.

Well, the plus side is that I can just hop right into the book without any problems. I think that many writers say “Hey, come into my book with this issue, it’s stand alone!”, but you still get screwed over because as stand alone as the issue may be, you still miss a ton of backstory if you continue on. R.E.B.E.L.S. feels like a book you can just ease into, especially now when the story is coming from another book, really. Yes, there is backstory to follow, but it really has nothing to do with the backstory of the characters who normally star in the book – so yay! I fit right in!

On the down side, the story isn’t that great. I’m not the first to say this, but you’d imagine that a story involving three Braniacs would be a bit more clever. Unfortunately, the story really involves a lot more explosions than chess, so you kind of have to take it for what it is in that regard. While I wish there was more going on than a bunch of characters trying to blow each other up, I can’t fault the book for still managing to be entertaining. It’s a tad comedic, it’s full of action, and it isn’t necessarily bad in the way other DC comics of late have been. It’s just not particularly outstanding, at least not as much as it could be.

R.E.B.E.L.S. is something that I plan to continue to follow, and for all intents and purposes this arc should provide some amusement. A special guest is brought into play at the end, and I love when he gets into books (you’ll know who it is if you looked at solicits). Despite this being a battle between three Braniacs without featuring any kind of mindfucks, it’s still entertaining enough for me to enjoy the book overall.

Final Verdict: 6.9/7.0 – Browse/Buy

Brightest Day #7
I have not been enjoying Brightest Day so far. Perhaps I’m simply sick of brightly colored lanterns and the like, or perhaps it’s that we’re seven issues into the book and nothing has happened. So Aliveman should eat a cheeseburger. Is this something we need this much build up towards? Apparently, because in this issue something technically happened!

This is quite honestly what the first or second should have been. This is really where the story is allowed to begin, because a “purpose’ is given. We now know what’s going on: the Entity wants to be replaced. We don’t know by who, but we know why it has picked the twelve. That’s something, right? And while the majority of the characters are not even part of the Brightest Day on-going title, we at least know what their ultimate purpose is, and can assume what many of the goals of this book are (though how this is going to work with Justice League: Generation Lost is a bit beyond me at this point considering the last issue of that).

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I’m a little upset that we had to wait this long, but I’m glad that the book can finally pick up. With the team working on the book, you’d expect great things. Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi! Ivan Reis and Patrick Gleason! I should be adoring this book, but so far it’s just rather meh over all. I think it’s spending too much of it’s time trying to build up a mystery rather than push it’s own plot forward, and it is attempting to do too much at once. It wants to introduce new characters like the new Aqualad and martian, but it also wants to focus on the characters who were returned to life. It never seems to reach a good balance between it’s character focus in the way that 52 did, because despite having 12 characters to discuss, we really only ever see 4 instead of alternating between groups per issue.

Brightest Day has a lot of potential behind it, but it has yet to deliver for me. I trust Tomasi and Johns to do a good job with the story in the end, but I’m just afraid that they might get tripped up in trying to put too much into too little time. Brightest Day seriously needs to kick it into overhaul, and now would be the time to do it. With the whole point of the book revealed, I’m ready to see why I should care. Let’s hope that the next 19 issues make this worth while.

Final Verdict: 7.2 – Buy

Avengers: Prime #2
Avengers: Prime is a brief bi-monthly mini series that takes place directly after Siege. In many ways, this is the epilogue before the different Siege epilogues that we’ve gotten so far. This is a tiny moment that happens right before the Heroic Age, so the idea is that this will help set some of the coninuity more in tact as well as fix the relationship between Thor, Cap, and Iron Man. I guess in that regard this issue fails to deliver, then.

I have two gripes with the issue over all. The first is that for a book billed to be about Thor, Cap, and Iron Man, they certainly did not even chat once in this issue. I loved the first issue and how they had a brief moment of yelling at each other before it all went to Hel, and the whole reason I wanted to follow this mini series is for that aspect alone. I want my trinity to interact, not be miles apart in their own areas of the Nine Realms. To me, that defeats the purpose of the point of the mini series.

My second gripe is that for a book that wants to help continuity and add more of a transition between Siege and the Heroic Age, this certainly does disregard everything Kieron Gillen has done in his all too brief time on the Thor title. This element is possibly a spoiler, but we learn that Hela has taken over the Nine Realms and reshaped them in her own image. Yet, isn’t Hela busy trying to reform Hel in Thor because of Loki dicking her over? How is it that she can barely maintain the afterlife, yet she can easily take over the Nine Realms? I understand this is a “cracks of continuity” type deal, but this seems a bit off putting.

The book isn’t neccesarily bad when you’re able to move past these two admittedly fanboy gripe moments. Bendis’ dialogue isn’t as sharp as the first issue, but he still has some good moments where his natural flow is set, such as when the book becomes intercutting in the last couple of pages. Alan Davis is still a champ on the art department too, and the book has a very crips and sharp look as well as a classic feel to it. I think if anything the book’s most succesful aspect is it’s art, because no matter how much I may complain about continuity and such the book is still very nice to look at (although I still miss the Captain America derp face from the last issue).

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Avengers: Prime could have been the best Avengers book because it had the best premise set to it. I would love to read a book that is five issues of Thor, Rogers, and Stark talking. I think that would be amazing. Heck, we practically had that when Bendis and Reed did the Illuminati mini. Books full of exposition between characters with unresolved conflicts is such a great idea for a mini series, and it’s something I would have loved to see. Instead, it looks like through fighting, our heroes will learn to resolve our differences. There won’t be a sit down over a table as each hero hammers out all their issues, and to me, that’s probably the most disappointing aspect of all.

Final Verdict: 6.7 – Browse

Shadowland: Bullseye
I had such high hopes for Layman’s debut into the Marvel universe. I also had high hopes for a comic that centered around Bullseye, even if it is about his death. Unfortunately, just like Bullseye, the comic just lays there in the ground.

I’m not happy to dislike this comic. In fact, it upsets me a great deal. Layman is a creator whose work I really enjoy, and Bullseye is a dynamite character. I just never really found myself into the premise of the book at any point while reading it. Ben Urich is kidnapped and forced to attend the funeral for Bullseye, which is put on by some bikers who had an alliance with Bullseye once. The book follows the timeline (albeit through a non-straight forward version) starting with the death of Bullseye up through his funeral, which in turn is crashed.

While the idea seems like it could be interesting, it just doesn’t play out too well. While Layman certainly tries his best, I just never found myself carrying about the predicament Urich was placed in, nor did I find the sequence of events too “realistic.” The whole situation with Bullseye post-Shadowland #1 just seems odd, and if my assumptions about future issues of Shadowland are correct then it doesn’t really make sense that his body would be placed in a morgue and then so easily kidnapped. It kind of seems like a forced addition to the storyline that wasn’t needed and could easily be skipped over. T

he book lacks the charm that make Layman’s work with Chew so endearing. Layman’s sense of humor and wit is absent and replaced with a kind of forced gangster drama that I don’t think he writes too well. Where the book could have had a good deal of dark humor, it instead focuses on acting as a requiem for a villain, and it doesn’t play out to well in that regard. I’ve seen requiem one-shots before, and this just doesn’t measure up to any kind of emotional impact the death of a character should theoretically convey, even if it’s that of a villain.

I hate to say it, but Bullseye’s one-shot is ultimately a pass. I had pretty high expectations on it considering Layman’s involvement, but ultimately the issue doesn’t really go anywhere. In comparison to the rest of Shadowland, this is one of those books that you can probably just skip over.

Final Verdict: 5.4 – Browse

Matthew Meylikhov

Once upon a time, Matthew Meylikhov became the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Multiversity Comics, where he was known for his beard and fondness for cats. Then he became only one of those things. Now, if you listen really carefully at night, you may still hear from whispers on the wind a faint voice saying, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine is not as bad as everyone says it issss."