Welcome back to my little corner of the interweb. This week I have a number of comics to review including two of my favorite Marvel titles: Deathlok and Black Widow. Let’s get started.
1. As I’ve mentioned in the past, the reason that Deathlok continues to be my favorite comic book is the writing. There are very few times that I can honestly say that I am entranced by a story enough to hang on every word. I also love it when a book throws you for a curve and you’re left thinking ‘Wow! That was cool.’ Deathlok #010 is that book.
In some ways the book takes the course you expect it to take. Henry Hayes has been threatened to comply with the people that are giving him orders by them threatening to kill his daughter unless he completes their missions. When that happens you have one of two choices. You can either continue to do the missions in hopes that your daughter won’t be hurt or you can go after the people that are threatening you. Guess which avenue Henry chooses to walk down.
Henry actually does few shocking things in order to escape the influence of Biotek that surprise and excite. I just finished reading the book and I can tell you that there are three major scenes in this book that propel the story. One is a bit gruesome and the other two are surprises. One of them you will not get until the last page.
Every action in the book makes sense. That is another reason to love this series. When plot twists pop up they aren’t made to shock and awe, but because they are carefully thought out plot devices that genuinely work.
I had one small gripe with Domino’s actions in that I’m not sure her dialogue is in line with her character or not. However, it’s not a big enough gripe to change my opinion of the book.
The artwork here is fan-freaking-tastic! The gruesome scenes especially where you can feel the agony of the characters in the scene. I’m giving this issue a well deserved grade of A.
2. I read a letter from someone associated with the book, at the back of the book, saying that if you get to take part of 20 issues of anything, you are doing well. I guess that’s true, but it’s also unfortunate.because really, really good books don’t get a chance to develop. Black Widow #020 was the last of what might be one of best titles that Marvel has introduced in recent years. I really wanted to see more of this title. It is not often that a book leaves you in awe and allows you to ride the roller coaster that the main character is riding as if you were on the same ride. Marvel is missing out on dissolving this title because they desire to create first issues to create additional revenue.
This issue was an unusual send off. It was dark and gritty and morally ambiguous. But it clears the slate for her and it also makes sense for the character. I’m going to miss this series. Grade: A
3. Star Wars #007 is not really an action centered book but it is, nonetheless, intriguing. The book centers on Obi Wan’s diary entry as he tries to straddle the line between being normal and being a Jedi. The thrust behind the story is that Tatooine is experiencing a drought and Obi Wan is deciding how much of a part to play in the conflict between the citizens and Jabba’s forces.
It is unusual, but cool, to look at these issues and see them as Canon but Marvel and Disney have announced that they are considered part of the Star Wars timeline. With that in mind, there is one particular scene that adds to the mythology that is pretty astounding.
The writing in this issue, and in past issues, is very consistent with the cadence of the characters in the movies. It is fun to have the movies as a reference for the rest of the series.
One of the things that makes this series great is that the writers and creators have been working with Lucasfilm on this comic to create a truly authentic experience.
The art is a reflection of the movie and the details do remind you of the settings in the movie.
There is a lot of untapped potential in this series and so many different ways that this book could travel direction wise. Great job. B+
4. Okay, up til now S.H.I.E.L.D has been a pretty vanilla book. It has been thrilling to see the agents work with Superheroes but, in reality, the book has not delved into any territory that the show hadn’t teased. This issue changes that.
S.H.I.E.L.D. #008 is much darker than previous issues. Mark Waid may have channelled his Inner Chris Carter and given us a comic book that feels more like an X-Files story than a story about a government agency designed to stop superhuman threats.
The thing that makes this issue even more intriguing is that the book focuses on powers that are not genetically given powers. The imagery in this book is dark and the subject matter is even darker. I would be even more excited about this series if all the books were written at the same level of suspense and horror as this one. Grade: B+
5. Well, we have an art winner this week….
This story is beyond what I imagined it to be. It’s like watching an episode of Law and Order that takes place in Battleworld. The mystery continues on trying to find Jane Foster and why her others are being attacked.
There is one shocking moment during the investigation that provides us with a plot twist that could have dramatic consequences for Thor to come.
This was a very well written book. I’m giving this a grade of A-. There were only 2-3 panels I wasn’t too fond of.