Saturday, December 05, 2009

Weekly Comic Book Reviews for 12/3/09

The Marvels Project #4

Creative Team
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Steve Epting
Colorist: Dave Stewart

Story – Chapter 4

Review
Brubaker and Epting yet again do a fantastic job showing the beginning of the Marvel Universe with The Marvels Project #4. Though I am not familiar with much of Marvel's history before the appearance of the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, and the X-Men this team of Brubaker and Epting are doing a great job catching me up.

The best thing about what this creative team is doing is that outside of the brief origin of Steve Rogers before he became Captain America that we get in this issue this series has been dominated by characters like the original Angel and Human Torch. These are character I have very little knowledge but after reading about them in these four issues I am fascinated to learn more about them.

The slow and methodical approach Brubaker is taking with this series is very appropriate in the WWII context that he is telling this story in. Other than seeing a guy in a costume and another one igniting on fire most of this story is being told through the eyes of the people involved in the war. And with the approach Brubaker is taking he has allowed us as readers to learn much more about all of these figures in the Marvel Universe that were important in shaping the current era. A great example of this is learning much more about the person responsible for Dr. Erkskine's murder the moment after Captain America was born. It is a great character study that adds
more depth to Steve's origin story.

Speaking of Steve's origin story it was interesting to learn that before he was chosen to be part of the Super Soldier experiment that he was originally going an artist. I don't ever remember this part of Steve's past ever being mentioned and I am actually surprised someone like Steve was ever any sort of artist, but was a cool thing to learn.

To go along with the wonderful story that Brubaker is writing a lot of credit for this mini-series to be such a wonderful read is because of Steve Eptings phenomenal artwork. Epting is the only artist I can think of that is able to make this story feel like it is taking place in the real world during WWII. He captures the mood perfectly of the era. His artwork makes this story into a much more powerful read especially when this series focus more on the people of the streets of New York City. I especially liked the short scene with the firefighters in this issue as he showed us who the true heroes of this world are.

Issue Rating
Story: 8.7/10 – Brubaker continues to do a great job in both writing the start of the hero age of the Marvel Universe while also making it feel like the story is taking place in WWII.
Art: 10/10 – Epting artwork was just phenomenal. His artwork is a perfect fit for the tone of the story and I could not think of another artist who would be able to provide us with such a great looking comic that also looks like it can take place in our world.
Overall: 9.35/10 – The Marvels Project #4 was a great read. This mini-series is making a case for being the mini-series of the year. Brubaker and Epting are knocking it out of the park with this series and I can't wait to see what happens next even if I know how the story ends.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #5

Creative Team
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: David Lafuente
Colorist: Justin Ponsor

Story – the New World According to Peter Parker

Review
With the event that will not be named long behind us it is great to be able to have Ultimate Comics Spider-Man return to the quality it once was at before that event. Even after writing over 140 issues of this series, counting annuals, Brian Michael Bendis continues to not miss a beat and provide one fun issue after another. And Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #5 is probably the strongest issue of the new relaunched series so far.

More so than the previous four issues Bendis was able to balance the Spider-Man action and Peter's personal life very well with each being given half the issue. This is the first time Bendis has been able to split the issue in half like this since the relaunch. By doing this he does a great job showing the reader why Peter's personal life and Spider-Man life are equally interesting to read about.

The battle between Spider-Man and Mysterio did a good job building up the threat that Mysterio is as the new Kingpin of crime. And I like that Spider-Man was unable to take Mysterio on by himself and needed the help of the mysterious Shroud to defeat him. Bendis has done a great job building up Ultimate Mysterio as the Ultimate version of the character has become much more interesting than his 616 counterpart ever was.

Also I like that Bendis continues to play up the mystery of who Shroud actually is. This issue eliminated Kitty from being Shroud as some were expecting it to be. Personally I still think that Shroud is Tandy Bowen as Bendis has always said back during the first volume he wanted to introduce the Ultimate version of the character and even made her the president of Peter's school. And it would be cool to see Bendis give the character a new identity especially after teasing her appearance on the series for so long.

But again, what stole the show, story wise, in this issue was what is going on in Peter's personal life. Bendis has a wonderful handle of Peter and his supporting cast that even the addition of Bobby (Iceman) to the cast feels like a natural fit. He gave a very good and believable reason for Bobby to be a part of this series. And as a fan of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends cartoon I love that vibe Bendis is giving this series as now we have Kitty, Johnny, and Bobby as Peter's super powered friends. Also having the rest of the Fantastic Four on call Peter really has his own Avengers team under his roof. And I like that Bendis has made Aunt May the mother hen for all of these characters as the Ultimate version of the character is being shown to be a much more stronger character than the weak fragile 616 version of the character.

David Lafuente's artwork continues to be just plain awesome. His anime/manga art style gives this series such a unique look that it stands out from all other titles on the stands right now. Also the transition from panel to panel is very well handled. And throughout the issue he gives a wonderful energy that everything feels like it is one constant motion which works well with this series. Also the facial reactions he gives the characters are great.

Issue Rating
Story: 9.5/10 – Bendis continues to do a wonderful job with the relaunch of this series. He just understands how to write all of these characters that even additions to the cast feel like a natural fit to the series.
Art: 9.5/10 – Lafuente's artwork continues to look awesome. His artwork makes this series even more fun to read especially with how he draws the action and character facial reactions.
Overall: 9.5/10 – Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #5 was another phenomenal read. This is just a fun comic to read and if you have picked this series up I highly recommend picking it up if you like superhero comics. This is just one of the best pure superhero comic book on the stands right now and one of the best overall comics you will currently find.

1 comment:

r4 dsi said...

In the end, Spider-Man 3 has its moments. Swinging through New York is as fun as it's ever been, and some of the new contextual action sequences are pretty cool.