From DC, I take a look at the second volume for Geoff Johns's and Alex Ross's psuedo sequel to Kingdom Come with their Thy Kingdom Come JSA story while, from Marvel, I check out Matt Fraction's Uncanny X-Men and the first Spider-Man Noir miniseries. Also from Marvel, I discuss the first three issues of Dan Slott's Mighty Avenger run, which I came across when I was sorting my collection. Hit the jump see what I thought of books.
Unfortunately, aside from Land's atrocious work, I also know that this title gets mired in crossovers on a regular basis and, in most cases, I have no interest in any of them (Utopia and Second Coming spring to mind as recent crossovers I'd rather avoid) and it still seems Marvel doesn't know what to do with the X-Men post-House of M, so they are going with whatever they can think of until they get another idea and want to try that out. Nation X looked like it might be a new long term(ish) status quo, but that's probably going to go away when Second Coming finishes up. I loathe crossovers/events which exist merely for the sake of boosting sales and I'm not really interested in following the book if Marvel has no idea what to do with it, even if Fraction's character work is very appealing.
The main plot of the Lovelorn story focuses on Colossus trying to deal with the loss of Kitty Pride while Emma Frost is trying to deal not only with Cyclops's recent personality change brought on by Messiah Complex but also trying to adjust to the new status quo in general. Fraction does some good character work with the two and mainly focuses on them without bringing in a lot of excess characters that don't need to be there. There are bits here and there that move the overall plot of Fraction's run along but they are generally understandable if you haven't read any of run and they don't get in the way of the main story.
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The first part of the trade is about the build up and eventual conflict with a madman named Gog while the second half is about the rise of Gog (a different one), a survivor of the Third World, but then all he does is walk around Africa while doing some slightly ominous things.
For example, one of the first things Starman says after being cured is that it is a bad thing after being cured of his "insanity". Additionally, Alan Scott even comes out and says that Gog's cures may very well be curses in disguise at one point. Johns and Ross are clearly aiming for some ambiguity in Gog's actions, unless I read the story wrong, and I doubt that, yet they seemingly go out of their way to remove any uncertainty or ambiguity in the comic with such a telegraphed and blatant manner of storytelling. To say that Johns and Ross actively undermine their own story would be a massive understatement.
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The biggest problem Slott runs into is that he is trying write something like the Platonic form of the old school Avengers stories that kind of prevents him from just telling a good story. It's a lot of problem that "retro" comics like this have - too busy trying to emulate their inspiration and not busy enough trying to tell a good story. This comic doesn't really read like anything from the past decade, and not in a good way. The two biggest examples would be that the character tend to vocalize their inner thoughts and the fact that Slott over narrates at times. I know this is supposed to be a throwback but these techniques were abandoned for a reason.
Sure, Slott could rebuild the character and establish him as a credible leader and respected character again but that doesn't mean that other writers will follow his lead. In fact, odds are, they won't. Unless a character undergoes a drastic and, more importantly, popular reimagining, they tend to stick to whatever image they have developed over the years. For Pym, that's generally the image of a loser, in one way or the other. It's kind of odd that, in Slott's story, Pym chastises Iron Man for all of his post-Disassembled mistakes yet Pym got captured by the Skrulls because he couldn't keep it in his pants and then his Skrull replacements kept going insane because it was modelled on Pym's unstable brain patterns. Granted, Slott didn't write those issues but Bendis did and it was a Secret Invasion tie-in which is going to have way more pull than anything Slott does. This, and other reasons, are why this level of pushing of Pym is a waste of time.