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    Wrapping Wednesday: Micro Reviews for the Week of 1/15/14

    By | January 17th, 2014
    Posted in Reviews | % Comments

    There is a lot to cover on Wednesdays. We should know, as collectively, we read an insane amount of comics. Even with a large review staff, it’s hard to get to everything. With that in mind, we’re back with Wrapping Wednesday, where we look at some of the books we missed in what was another great week of comics.

    Let’s get this party started.

    Amazing X-Men #3
    Written by Jason Aaron
    Illustrated by Ed McGuinness
    Reviewed by Brian Salvatore

    While most of the X-books barely resemble the comics I fell in love with in the late ’80s, “Amazing X-Men” feels like a classic X-tale in all the best ways. The camaraderie between the mutants is a nice reminder that, at one point, the X-Men were considered the Teen Titans of Marvel – a gang based on friendship and needing to belong, instead of being the warring, cold team they often slip into. Ed McGuinness does a great job capturing that “classic” feel without turning the book, visually, into simply a nostalgia trip. Jason Aaron’s writing is similarly respectful to the history that these characters share, but isn’t simply a “hey! remember when?” sort of book, either. I have a few geeky theological theories about the setting and the specific character (Nightcrawler is in his classic costume because, to him, heaven is being a young X-Man), but I’m not going to bore you with those here. Just know: this book is well worth your time.

    Final Verdict: 8.0 – Buy

    Marvel Knights: Hulk #2
    Written by Joe Keatinge
    Illustrated by Piotr Kowalski
    Reviewed by Vince Ostrowski

    Bruce Banner wakes up in Paris with no idea who he is and without the ability to Hulk out. Basically, when he says “That’s my secret”, right now it’s followed by “I literally can’t get angry.” This has given Keatinge the opportunity to slow play the lead, for better or worse, up to the payoff in the latter half of this issue – a moment where Bruce Banner and the Hulk make the ultimate connection and get ready to bring the pain. Mostly, it allows Piotr Kowalski to let loose, proving once again that this guy is going to be one to watch. Initially it seems that the art isn’t as strong as it is over in “Sex”, but the Hulk-out moment that issue #2 provides is among the best I’ve ever seen and everything after it is pure balls-to-the-wall Hulk comics. Issue #2 becomes proof positive that Kowalski is quickly developing a signature style and pushing beyond his influences to become a stellar comic book talent.

    Final Verdict: 7.5

    Secret Avengers #14
    Written by Nick Spencer and Ales Kot
    Illustrated by Butch Guice
    Reviewed by James Johnston

    Just as with the first few issues of the “To M.A.I.M. A Mockingbird” arc have been, “Secret Avengers” #14 is another exciting espionage story set smack dab in the Marvel Universe. Spencer and Kot give a particular spotlight to the titular Mockingbird who, after last issue’s reveal, undergoes an incredibly interesting recon, well illustrated by Butch Guice’s flashback montages and more specifically Matthew Wilson who does a superb job with the coloring. Add one of the most oddly touching memorials to a character and MODOK pulling hero duty and you have the one Avengers spin-off you should keep an eye on.

    Final Verdict:8.3 – Buy

    Thor: God of Thunder #17
    Written by Jason Aaron
    Illustrated by Emanuela Lupaccino & Ron Garney
    Reviewed by Vince Ostrowski

    ‘The Accursed’ arc comes to a close, and though it didn’t tell us much about Thor as a character (in contrast to the way that the first two arcs of Aaron’s Thor run were pretty much built around it) – it was a fun enough romp with a particularly cunning villain in Malekith. What amounts to the final showdown takes place across the majority of this issue and it’s a fairly standard affair as far as good vs. evil goes. The way that the resolution shakes out for Malekith is a particularly clever bit of writing from Aaron, who continues to highlight Thor’s flaws as much as his successes. A brief epilogue does a nice job of setting up the potentially massive war that’s coming. All in all, this is still very much a worthwhile series to have on your pull list. Lupaccino and Garney are a good match for one another, which is key if you’re going to combine artists like this. They provide a lighter tone that works just fine with the less ambitious storytelling that Aaron was doing on this arc. Particularly entertaining were the designs of the “Bizarro Jerry” versions of the Warriors Three, who provided much of the comic relief. Overall, a solid artistic effort.

    Continued below

    Final Verdict: 6.8 – Browse

    //TAGS | Wrapping Wednesday

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