Reviews in Brief (4/16 to 5/14 – 2014)

Captain Marvel #3 | All-New Ghost Rider #3 | Ms Marvel #3 | Mind MGMT #21
Silver Surfer #2 | Amazing Spider-Man #1.1 | The Star Wars #7
Superior Spider-Man #31 | Thor: God of Thunder #21

Captain Marvel vol. 8, #3 (released May 14, 2014)
Captain_Marvel_Vol_8_3And just like that DeConnick wins me back when after issue #2 I was considering dropping this title. I still don’t like the characterization of Rocket Raccoon very much and not a big fan of the outer space stuff, but when Cap is on a planet and interacting with people, DeConnick’s writing shines. The introduction of Eleanides and her perspective really helped.

All-New Ghost Rider #3 (released May 14, 2014)
All-New_Ghost_Rider_Vol_1_3This comic continues to be a chore to read. Aside from a couple of interesting panels, the art is just not working for me, the paneling ranges from clunky to incomprehensible, and it remains based on the tritest of Latino kid trying to make good amid East L.A. gang culture tropes with Marvel’s Mr Hyde thrown in. Thumbs down.


Ms. Marvel vol.3, #3  (released April 16, 2014)
msmarvel3_covThe writing on this comics just keeps getting better and the art remains fantastic and evocative. Definitely worthy of the hype. So far a great all-ages book.

Mind MGMT #21 (released April 23, 2014)
Mind-Mgmt-21A silent issue that includes more text than a normal one? Yes. Kindt continues to provide a strange and compelling ride through his manipulation of the comic form. This issue also has more action for the ex-agents than the series has had since its early issues, but that really isn’t the point of Mind MGMT. The third collection just came out. Get them all. Read them. For a sense (or really a lack of sense) of what Mind MGMT is like check out, “On the Interpretation of Mind MGMT.”



Silver Surfer #2  (released April 30, 2014)
SS#2I love Mike Allred’s art and his style always aids the story-telling in the comics he’s involved in drawing. He and Slott make a good pair, as the latter’s skills are most apparent when he can be playful and inventive, rather than trapped in a flagship title like Spider-Man. The ending of this issue has a neat twist on the “damsel in distress” trope, too. Thumbs up!







Amazing Spider-Man Vol 3 #1.1 (released May 7, 2014)
Amazing-Spider-Man-1.1-cover(“Learning to Crawl” Part 1) While I decided not to continue with Slott’s regular post-Superior ASM series, I picked this up b/c I love “Untold Tales” type stories and wasn’t disappointed. Young jerky Ditko-era Spider-Man’s voice seems spot-on, his classic concerns about high school and money are when the character is best and Ramon Perez’s art is a HUGE improvement over the main title. Thumbs up. Just ignore the obnoxious numbering scheme.


The Star Wars #7 (released April 16, 2014)
TSW7This comic based on George Lucas’s first draft of “The Star Wars” has been an interesting experiment with some compelling moments, but at this point the story feels as ragged as a little kid’s session of make-believe, and maybe that is because this is based on an under-developed first draft. There is one issue left which I will get for completeness’s sake, but not sure I will keep this.

Superior Spider-Man #31 (released April 16, 2014)
SuperiorSpider-Man31-AltCover1Yawn. An anti-climactic conclusion to a series that occasionally showed some promise. It fails in part due to what appears to be Dan Slott’s timidity when writing a Marvel flagship title and to a large degree to Camuncoli’s terrible art. Hint: When a series is building towards a climactic battle with your arch-enemy, at the very least make that final battle visually interesting, esp. since Slott can’t pull off conveying the emotional stakes. Bonus: The back-up preview Silver Surfer story by Slott and Mike Allred is about 9000x better.

Thor: God of Thunder #21 (released April 16, 2014)
thor21“The Last Days of Midgard” story arc continues to be deeply satisfying. The battle between Old Thor and Galactus in the future (love how he keep referring to the World Eater as “giant”) is epic and the environmental anti-corporate theme of the present time is entertainingly topical. Ribic’s art is stunning, aided in no small measure by Svorcina’s colors. Thumbs way up!

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