Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Two Reviews Dark Avengers #3 and X-Factor #41

I decided to read two Marvel books back to back first this week and went with Marvel’s most “important” book and with what has again become one of my favorite super hero titles. The comparison between the two was almost startling.

X-Factor #41
Publisher Marvel Comics
Cover Price $3
Writer Peter David
Pencils Valentine De Landro & Marco Santucci
Inks Pete Davidson & Marco Santucci
Colors Jeromy Cox

X-Factor is such a great read. It picks up immediately from where last issue ended as Jamie and Layla are reunited. Layla tells Jamie she will explain everything later and tell’s him that he needs to take her hand as she drags Jamie back to her in what appears to be the future. We also catch up with the rest of the group and forward the plot developments that are going on with them. We are engaged with Jamie, Layla, Monet, Guido, Darwin, Siryn, and the rest of the cast. We have a few great twists in the story line and another strong cliff hanger which has you just begging for the next issue yet again. I’m being vague about what is going on because I want you to read the comic and find out, but at least convey the fact that you are caught up in all the plot elements going on and thoroughly entertain with both humor and drama deftly interwoven.

Peter David is at the absolute top of his game again and I can only hope Marvel leaves this book alone and let Peter work his magic in this little corner of the Marvel Universe. I’m even almost liking Longshot. The artwork is well done also. Although we have two pencil artists credited and I can see some stylistic differences the differences are minimal and do not impact the flow of the story at all. The coloring also is well done and certainly has to be a challenge as we are shifting scenes many times in this story.

All in all this is a book that will be in my best of the week on Tuesday and is well worth the $3 price of entry.

Dark Avengers #3
Publisher Marvel
Cover Price $4
Writer Brian Bendis
Art Mike Deodato
Colors Rain Beredo

Dark Avengers on the other hand, is fast becoming a book that I have to question why I’m willing to pay $4 for a regular comic book from Marvel. I will give BOOM, IDW and any other small press company $4 for a book as I know that a smaller print run increases the cost of the book, but this book for $4 and no extra pages with one of the largest print runs is wrong.

Let’s talk about the good news with Dark Avengers, Mike Deodato as artist and Rain Beredo as colorist. These guys do great work. Ever since Deodato went for the more classic super hero type look he has done great work with a darker type setting, Thunderbolts, Wolverine and now Dark Avengers. Plus he seems to be able to actually produce a monthly book. Rain does a great job of allowing Mike’s work to shine and whenever I see Rain’s name I know the coloring will work for the book.

Now off to the bad and that has to be the writing and that means Brian Bendis. It is funny because he seems to love doing super hero group books and they sell for Marvel, but it is always his weakest work. This first arc is highlighting Brian at his most inane, not as bad Loeb’s recent work, but boy is this stuff not hanging together.

The time travel stuff is so mixed up and convoluted that I think we are suppose to just say, yeah that’s cool and not think about it. That was okay but in the seventies and even the eighties, but comic writing has gotten better and fans are more sophisticated and that means inserting some logic that hangs together, even if it is “comic book” logic. In this scenario everyone jumps back in time and can be killed and then still come back and then jump back in time to stop the other person from jumping back in time and be able to still jump back and stop the other person. I think I have that right.

The other element of the story was the explanation that Norman walks into the Sentry’s room and has a heart to heart with him and helps Bob get over some of his mental problems. It was just way too quick and easy and Norman is coming off strangely more in control and almost a good guy at times when it comes to Sentry. Since Dark Avengers is a key book I will continue to get it for a couple more months, but I very close to canning this book and when I do they may mean the end for about five or six titles as I will be walking away from Dark Reign.

Final Grades:
X-Factor # 41 - A
– A do not miss book and well worth $4 and they only charge $3.
Dark Avengers #3 – C The art saves it from a “D” and not worth $3 and they charge $4.

1 comment:

  1. You might be interested in these comments re DARK AVENGERS #3; the problems with time travel are addressed.

    The artwork in DARK AVENGERS #3 is certainly nice to look at, but the story is a complete fiasco.

    If a mother had talked to her depressed son about his imaginary friend, tried to reason with him about it, etc., there would (could) have been a point to the material. There is no point to the Osborn-Sentry sequence, because Osborn is wrong about the Void, presumably, and giving the reader an extended, repetitive child psychology lecture -- Dr. Phil for nine-year-olds -- is insulting. Another writer might be able to make something of the God-Satan (split personality) analogy that’s the basis for the Sentry; Bendis’s Sentry is just a defective character that shouldn’t be appearing in print.

    Bendis’s approach to time travel is unworkable. Morgana can’t travel into her future the way Bendis has her doing, because, from her perspective, all futures are potential. Any future she travels into cannot be the (prime) Dark Avengers’ future, just as any time traveler moving from the present would be going into an alternate future. She can also be killed; Bendis’s treatment of her in that respect is wrong. The Dark Avengers can’t go into the past and kill her, for the usual reasons. So, the handling of time travel in the storyline is a complete failure.

    The blame should go primarily to Brevoort. Given his position, one shouldn’t have to tell him that he needs to attend a beginner’s workshop on writing SF and fantasy. If Bendis’s material is appearing in print unedited, Brevoort’s name shouldn’t be in the credits.