The books I'll be talking about today consist of recently purchased comics, comics from the library or something I am simply rereading again from the back issue bins. These are not really reviews, though some comics may get a proper review down the line, but are, rather, general thoughts on comics that I've read recently. Some may be review-ish, and I may throw out a rating here or there, while some may just be simple rants. It's an easy way for me to discuss some of the comics I've been reading without having to write a full review. So, hit the jump to see what I've been reading.
For whatever reason, I intensely dislike the series. Not because it's strictly bad, though it does have those kind of moments, but, rather, because it's so aggressively average. Invincible has the opportunity to avoid all of the horrible story telling problems that plague Marvel and DC, but, by and large, it doesn't. This volume is a perfect example of that.
Also, straight out of the 90s, Invincible contemplates that maybe killing of the criminals that are constant nuances, and nothing more, isn't such a bad idea. Again, I find it highly unlikely that he actually ends up doing so. He also gets a new costume, but Kirkman has already announced the return of the original costume, along with a "bold new era." It's this aggressive preservation of the status quo, the avoidance of a massive deviation or the return to the status quo ante up style writing that makes me dislike the series so much. Creator owned books have so much potential, but Kirkman refuses to make use of it!
That said, it's not that good and doesn't really do anything new. Sure, some of the characters do get some radical re-imaginings, but, at the same time, it also falls on standard X-Men cliches, and, according to people who would know, shoujo cliches.
For example, on the X-Men side of things, Magneto is probably going to end up being a villain, if they get any at some point, and Xavier is crippled by the end of this volume. It's interesting in that it radically reworks parts of the X-Men concept, but there really isn't much substance to it. Definitely something you should read if your library has it for the simply curiosity factor, but it's not really worth buying.
I wasn't expecting much from it, but, lo and behold, there was a real treat to be found - some magnificent artwork by Jim Cheung. I mean, it's some really awesome stuff. It makes all of this Marvel work look like amateur hour.
Scion is a sci-fi/fantasy book and Cheung's style is not only a perfect match, but there is also a lot more energy behind it. I wouldn't be surprised if that's because Cheung enjoys working on those kinds of stories over superheroes. As for the concept, it's most a fantasy, coming of age story with some sci-fi trappings and Marz does a good job of blending the concepts and Cheung does the same thing with the visual elements.
I mean, this is really just a wonderful trade with excellent art, an interesting concept and a top notch execution. The only bad thing about it was that it tied into the whole Sigilverse shared universe nonsense that CrossGen came up with, but that only cropped up at the end of the volume, so it really didn't get in the way of my enjoyment of the collection.
It can't be the gritty crime drama because it's starring the Joker, so Azzarello can only go so far. It's also not really a great Joker story either since Azzarello doesn't really do or say anything new about the character, so it doesn't really work on that level either.
Although it's probably a Check It, going strictly by quality, this isn't really worth buying as there are far better stories, both in the genre and about the Joker, out there worth spending money on.