Thursday, May 13, 2010

Weekly Crisis Comic Book Reviews for 05/12/10

On tap for this edition of the Weekly Crisis Comic Book Reviews are reviews of Amazing Spider-Man, The Return of Bruce Wayne #1 and Siege #4.  Hit the jump for the full reviews.


AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #631
Written by Zeb Wells
Art by Chris Bachalo and Emma Rios

Zeb Wells and Chris Bachalo (with some help on art from Emma Rios) have impressed me with their reintroduction of the Lizard and this issue is no exception.  Last issue, we had a slow build up showing Curt Connors' job, his work with some lizards and the inner turmoil and gradual strengthening of the Lizard persona and eventual unleashing of the Lizard.  It was engaging and, while a relatively standard rebirth for the Lizard, was well executed, leaving me waiting in anticipation to see what they did with the follow-up.

Well, the follow-up issue is here and, as I mentioned in the first paragraph, this issue was excellent as well.  The Lizard is on the loose and Spider-Man finds out about it from Carlie, who stood him up on their date to do the whole CSI thing at Connor's lab, where the Lizard had killed half a dozen people.  Spidey, knowing the Lizard hates Connor's son and has tried to kill him before, makes a bee line for Connor's son.  He's in time to intercept the Lizard, but notices something amiss about the house they were outside and assumes the Lizard actually got to the boy before he could get there.  He tags the Lizard with a Spider Tracer and lets him escape while he checks the house, only to find out 'a girl' took the boy instead.

The "girl" was Ana Kravinoff and she kidnapped the boy so she could sacrifice him to the Lizard.  I actually had to re-read the sequence a couple of times because I couldn't believe they actually killed off the boy.  The Lizard left Spidey when he picked up Connor's son's scent and proceeds to track him to the alley Ana stashed him in and then, to the protests of Connor's inner monologue and with a brief narration/fade away retelling Madame Web's prediction that Curt Connor's would die, the Lizard kills Connor's son.  

I really enjoyed the execution of this scene.  Now, many will likely wonder what's so different about this scene, which features a giant lizard man killing a small boy, and last week's Brightest Day hoopla over the child sex ring.  For one, we never actually see the boy killed.  It's clear that is what happens, but the scene is more about the "death" of Curt Connors than the death of his son.  Connors is the Lizard, so doesn't really die, but after watching his son die through the Lizard's actions, the narration shows Connor's thought boxes torn in half and crumbling under the weight of the Lizard's actions and Ana and her brother, Alyosha, confirm the death of the boy and tell us the Lizard has been "made whole" through these actions.  While killing children isn't exactly a nice action, it's tastefully done and not in our face.  We don't have images of the Lizard tearing the boy apart or chewing on his bones.  It's a fade away that is much more effective through the writing than it ever could be with the graphic depiction.  The Brightest Day scene was not handled nearly as well as this and beat us over the head with senseless imagery.

Before ending, I have to make mention of Chris Bachalo's art.  I have a love hate relationship with his work.  There are times it fits perfectly the type of story being told and others where it's just so out of place.  His work on Spider-Man in the Brand New Day era and this storyline in particular has been nothing short of spectacular.  While Emma Rios handled a short prelude dealing with Kaine and Ana Kravinoff and was far from terrible work, my only complaint about this issue would be her artwork and how out of place it was in comparison.  Give her an issue to herself and it would be fine, but it just didn't match up with the story being told nor come close to the style used by Chris Bachalo.  A minor complaint since I did enjoy her work, but worth noting it is out of place at the same time.

Verdict - Buy It. Another fantastic reintroduction of one of Spidey's rogue gallery members and one of the best Lizard stories I've read in a long time.


BATMAN: RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE #1
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Chris Sprouse

All you really need to know coming into this event is that Bruce Wayne was "killed" by Darkseid's Omega Effect in Final Crisis, which sent his body on a trip through time.  This issue picks up shortly after the epilogue in Final Crisis showing Bruce Wayne in the past and laying Anthro, the First Boy (an old man at this point), to rest. 

This first issue doesn't really go into the whys and wherefores of the situation, opting instead to just throw us into the perspective of the cavemen of this time period and their reactions to the 'bat god from the sky' among them.  We can't even interpret what Bruce is saying throughout the issue as it's through the cavemen's perspectives and they don't understand English.  It's effective and allows us to ignore the obvious questions we all have and focus more on the awesomeness that is Cave Batman and his kicking cro magnon ass at the dawn of man.  

In this, the issue is pure fun.  It's like an Elseworlds story mixed with some Silver Age fun and modern sensibilities towards storytelling.  Batman is in the past and timeline be damned, he's going to kick Vandal Savage's immortal, caveman ass and dole out his own brand of justice, so just sit back and enjoy the show.  To go into the details of the events would probably bore most as it's pretty much exactly what you'd expect of the immortal caveman Vandal Savage fighting a Batman trapped in that time period, but it's well written and well drawn and definitely worth experiencing for yourself.  

On the 'return of Bruce Wayne' side of things, there's very little to work with to gauge what's happening.  Superman shows up with a handful of heroes at the end of the issue using Booster Gold's time sphere.  He states they found the cave paintings Bruce drew and claims that if Batman makes it back to the 21st century, "everyone dies" and that is the extent of information we get regarding what happens as Batman went all Quantum Leap on us and left for a new time period after defeating Vandal Savage.  

From what I can tell, we don't have a Captain America: Reborn style "rebirth" for Bruce Wayne in the works.  I believe this is the same Bruce we know each time, but it's implied he doesn't know or remember his past or what happened to him.  As to why 'everyone will die', I can't honestly say.  Is it New God related?  Rebirth of Darkseid somehow?  Virus from the past?  Destroy the time stream type of shenanigans?  Still too early for me to tell, but I'm definitely enjoying it so far.  

However, there is one nitpick I have about the whole time travel thing.  Superman comments about how they were too late to find Batman and that he'd left this time period.  Why don't they just go back 10 minutes and find him midfight with Savage?  They have the timesphere right there!  Also, what about all that 'can't change time' stuff from Booster Gold's series?  He couldn't save people in the past or stop major events like the crippling of Barbara Gordon.  How would they stop/save Batman in the past then?  Again, it's nitpicking.  I was more surprised they actually enlisted Booster Gold's help since he's supposed to be completely anonymous and no one should know about his time travel super heroics than with the random inconsistencies of time travel itself.

Verdict - Must Read.  Just a lot of fun to read.  Few comics will put a smile on your face like this one did for me. 


SIEGE #4
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Olivier Coipel

By this point, you'll know of my reservations with Siege.  I do not like the premise, I do not like the execution nor do I like how it's played out over the past three issues.  With this final issue, I was hoping there would at least be some kind of conlusion to the past seven years worth of stories to warrant my sticking with the event (this was billed as seven years in the making remember).  

Sadly, this final issue is as devoid of any merit as the previous three issues.  The previous issue ended with Norman Osborn defeated in the span of a few pages and with the rise of the Void as the series' big bad that was to bring all the heroes together.  He takes out the heroes in a single page, which forces Loki to use the Norn Stones, which he'd previously given to the Hood to power up his Masters of Evil, to save everybody.  

Why does he do this?  His internal monologue has him acting noble and saving everyone out of his own guilt for the events which have transpired.  The real reasoning is found in Siege: Loki, which was a tie-in from a few weeks back and showed he had made deals with Mephisto, Hela and long dead tools of his grandfather Bor - all of which are not mentioned nor even hinted upon in this climactic conclusion to the battle with the Void.  Loki, the architect of all this mayhem, simply becomes a good guy for no reason whatsoever.  Even the events in Siege: Loki do not really make it clear that this is part of his intentions.  I can't imagine him knowing the full extent of the Sentry's powers nor anticipate having to die by his hand with the use of the Norn Stones to revive and empower the fallen heroes.  It's just bad storytelling to have the villain of the piece defeated because the other villain became a good guy with no explanation.

The Void is then assailed by the empowered heroes for a few pages, which amounted to a couple of lightning bolts and a few thrown shields by Captain America, before killing off Loki.  Loki used the Norn Stones on the Void, yet they did nothing, which begs the question of how the Norn empowered heroes were in any way effective.  It doesn't really matter either way since this was just a way to get a kill in to make Siege "matter".  Nothing says big event without mindless deaths.

So, Loki became a good guy and Void killed him.  What do our heroes do now that they are no longer powered up by the Norn Stones?  They kill the Void by dropping a helicarrier on top of him.  This completely defeats the Void and turns him into Bob Reynolds, who begs for everyone to kill him.  They refuse, so he powers back up as the Void only to have Thor hit him with the hammer once and kill him.  The end.  I'm serious.  That is how they defeat the Sentry/Void, the same guy that spent the last year in Dark Avengers pulling his best Kenny from South Park impersonation and died in just about every issue in the most outrageous manners, yet still returned no worse for wear every single time.  He's had his head blown off, been imploded by a time travelling witch and even his molecules rearranged by the Molecule Man, yet came back from the dead each time.  He even went toe to toe with the strongest Hulk encarnation ever in WWH and battled him to a stalemate using his 'good' persona. Here, he's defeated by having a helicarrier dropped on him and killed by a blow from Thor's non-Odinforce powered hammer.  Words cannot describe the absurdity of this portrayal.  

What makes this even worse is that they've established the way they could easily defeat the Sentry/Void while maintaining all credibility and with pre-existing characters introduced in the story.  This character even had a reason for wanting to enter the fight and was built up over the first two issues as what I assumed to be the main reason for those earlier issues' events.  The character?  Phobos - the God of Fear and wielder of the god slaying katana, Grasscutter.  He was kept out of the fight by Nick Fury for being a kid and watched his dad, Ares, killed by the Sentry on television during this event.  I cannot fathom why they spent time on him, why they killed Ares, why they gave Phobos a Siege tie-in (Siege: Secret Warriors was focused entirely on him) or why they eventually decided it would be better that the Void be taken down by a freaking helicarrier exploding when they could have used something that made sense and was setup in earlier issues. 

Well, if the entire Sentry/Void/Siege of Asgard made no sense, it at least set up the Heroic Age properly you ask?  Sadly, no.  There is no confrontation and/or reconciliation moments between Tony Stark, Thor or Steve Rogers.  The entire premise of Civil War and the Super Hero Registration Act was washed away and, not learning anything from their past mistakes, they immediately strip down HAMMER and put a former criminal and terrorist - Steve Rogers this time - in charge of the world's defense and gave him carte blanche to do whatever he wants and to do things his way, just like they did with Norman Osborn. Hell, they even gave Iron Man his tower and armoury full of weapons of mass destruction back, despite the fact the government, not Norman Osborn, had branded him a criminal.  

Verdict - Avoid It.  Four poorly written issues with a rushed execution and a plethora of tie-ins just so they could retcon Civil War and all characterization for the Avengers to get them back to pre-Bendis era status quo.  It's like One More Day except for the Avengers.  


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49 comments:

Steven R. Stahl said...

The proper word for the plot in SIEGE #4 is, unfortunately, "shit." The weaknesses Bendis has displayed ever since "Avengers Disassembled" are there. The only useful thing the story does is establish Loki's worthlessness as a character. Mischief purely for the sake of mischief is pointless, rather like a writer inserting himself into a story as a character to cause problems for the hero. Unbelievable motivations in a story aren't useful.

SRS

I-VAN the CRIPPLER said...

i still think that its not the last weve seen of LOKI......he definitely had a clear plan in his mind in the one shot tie in......i think all this was a way for him to setup the next big event in MU and to take out teh most powerful player off the board VOID/SENTRY

TheGoose said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TheGoose said...

I still don't understand your problem with that scene in Brightest Day #1. It doesn't have any violence or sexual imagery to it at all. All it does is imply the criminals are sexual child slaves.

Ramon Villalobos said...

I know your review for Siege #4 was long enough without mentioning the art but it has to be said that the art was pretty weak. Again, way too many splash pages that don't make sense, really poor storytelling, and a lot of backgrounds that were lazier than the ones in Blackest Night 8. At least Reis filled pages with characters and bothered to draw dust clouds, there were pages where chracters' feet just get crosshatched away into nothingness.

The one scene that really annoyed the crap out of me though, was the very end when you have Thor talking to his Avenger buddies and he's clearly looking at them in front of him but then you turn the page to a double splash page with all them standing in a line looking straight on at the viewer. It was just an easy way to do a group shot of the heroic age characters by abandoning the continuity of the scene entirely. So lazy.

btownlegend said...

Chris Sprouse did a great job with the issue. This was fun comic books.

Anonymous said...

RoBW #1: http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/7949/timetraveler.jpg

Anonymous said...

"dropped a helicarrier" does not mean sense? you mean the comicbook with gods against the army? get over yourself its a comic not a novel. If you get annoyed over an exploding spaceship in that comicbook then your thinking to highly of comics

Anonymous said...

how come you feel its wrong for criminals to be rapists? I mean really they are bad guys

Daryll B. said...

Wow..the haters are definitely out...

I couldn't agree more about Siege... After all that buildup through Dark Avengers and previous issues, I assumed an earthshaking battle in which you saw The Void get weakened enough for Phobos and his "godkiller" sword to enact revenge on him for the killing of his father....

Or Bob Reynolds regaining his nobility briefly to fight the "Void" head on forcing Thor to open up one of his portals to shunt the pair to some abandoned dimension a la Janet Van Dyne.

What I saw was much...MUCH worse... Thanks Bendis..this is where I get off the Avengers ride...

Quickly, I thought the same thing about The Return of Bruce Wayne specifically Superman's comment and facepalmed. Then again that would make the "Time Masters" mini worthless...lol

Wow I want to see Spidey get all moral now when after Curt Connors becomes human again and kills Ana in cold blood. You know this is eventually what is going to happen...

Phillyradiogeek said...

I enjoyed SIEGE a lot more than you did. The first issue was weak certainly, but I think it picked up after that. I am disappointed that they still haven't fully explained who the Void is--just saying "the angel of death" doesn't cut it for me--but I'm sure we'll see him and Sentry again in the near future.

I haven't read SIEGE: LOKI, so I can't comment on your points regarding him. As for the heroes being friendly with each other again, it's not as quickly resolved as it seems. The upcoming AVENGERS PRIME miniseries will show in detail the Big Three Avengers working out their differences over time.

It was a no-brainer that the registration act would be thrown out, and isn't that what the majority of Marvel fans wanted anyway?

Anonymous said...

No, no my Philly friend (I'm in Philly too!), SIEGE was bad. I'd say the first 2 issues were ok, but the narration on this thing was all over the place. I get that Marvel was trying to, in part, hear fan complaints about how long SI was, but this was an under-served story. And the last issue was the icing on the cake. A total, total rush job on the part of Bendis (and yes, Coipel, too). Essentially no real logic, resolution or competence in wrapping the story up, and the issue went from 80mph to about 0mph by the end with the tacked-on Scooby Doo gang pose at the end.

Very, very disappointing, and while I haven't been a Bendis fan for a long time now, this basically sealed it for me.

Chris said...

Personally I thought Siege was a lot of fun...it was kind of silly and a bit rushed (especially if you didn't read the tie ins) but in the end I liked it just fine and I think I'm going to be glad about where its taking the Marvel U.

Couldn't agree more with the Amazing Spider-man review, this was a heck of an issue. I too kept re-reading the end....did they really just kill Billy? It sure seems like they did...wow.

BT said...

Siege was the epitome of sound and fury signifying nothing.

Ivan said...

So what of the Super Hero Registration Act? It ended...why? How? Obama annuled it? The congress voted it out of existence? It got retcon-punched?

So, because Norman was evil now the government doesn't want to register superpowered people anymore? Isn't that all the more reason to register those people? So they're just going to trust masked people for the hell of it?

COP OUT. Saw it coming from CW #1. One "cool" story that creates a shitstorm later on. The "Marvel Way" in a nutshell during the Quesada years.

Sorry, had to get that out of my system.

Kirk Warren said...

@I-VAN - Pretty much. Loki is as dead as Ares at this point. Hell, the Asgardians died and just came back with JMS's run. Add in all the deals with Mephisto and Hela in that one-shot and he's back in a month or two, probably in time for either Gillen's extended Thor run or whatever Fraction has in mind.

@Ramon - I actually started writing a paragraph on the art and it kept getting longer and longer and pretty much mirrored exactly what I said in the last review about how there were no backgrounds (orange-ish gradients are not backgrounds) and a bunch of characters posing on pages. They look good enough to resell the art when it's over or reuse as posters, but it's horrid storytelling.

Hell, Cap was throwing shields at the Void in one scene, but is then grabbing Norman Osborn miles away from the lightning bolts coming down on the horizon. They are then right back at the Bob Reynolds fight moments later. Finally, Osborn's facepaint even disappears at one point and they make jokes about his crazy paint when he clearly has none on his face.

That final page gets me too and I was tempted to bring it up, but then would have to go into a big thing on it which is hard to explain without actually showing people the art I'm talking about because it then comes down to, "Olivier Coipel is an amazing artist, you're dumb if you think its bad art" types of arguments when it's not the technical quality of the art I have a problem with but the storytelling and lack of backgrounds. Great poster or sketchbook art, but not good for a comic book where it's telling a story.

And, last thing, I almost laughed at one of the only background scenes near the end being a real image of New York run through a filter and faded into the background instead of actually drawing it.

Kirk Warren said...

@Anonymous #7 - LoL, that's pretty much my thoughts on that part. I'm going to hold out on judgement until Morrison explains it. I'm hoping it's actually something like Batman gets erased from all points in time as he moves through the different periods, so going back in time wouldnt actually change anything, but even that doens't really make sense. Not sure how they'll explain it.

@Anonymous #9 - We've gone over a lot of it in the moments of the week last week if you want more explanation on it.

@Daryll B. - I doubt Connors will return during this arc. In his eyes, "he" killed his son and Ana had nothing to do with it. Even if he came back, Ana was shown going toe to toe with Kaine at the start and has fought Spider-Man before, so I doubt human Curt could do any damage to her. But I think it's just Lizard from here on out for a few years before someone returns the Curt Connors persona.

@Phillyradiogeek - How do I put this? I'd still read Siege again if given the choice. I didn't hate it, despite negative reviews. I just don't think it's a good comic and there are a lot of flaws in it that should be addressed ina review.

Re: the registration act, Ivan (Comment #15) pretty much sums up my thoughts. It's ended instantly and with no consequences. There's 50 or so Initiative teams, a training facility, the Thunderbolt program, countless billions of dollars invested in infrastructure and personnel, thousands of jobs, and countless other legal hurtles in place for these types of things, yet it's goen because a man back from the dead, who was a criminal when he died and got a pardon for no reason, was made the new head of SHIELD and gets to call the shots?

That's not how you resolve things like this. Governments do not just end things like this. The jobs lost, the money involved, the security that these Initiative teams provided, well, everything is just too much to throw away and move on as if nothing happened.

Personally, I'd have liked to see them incorporate the Avengers, a team that was funded by the government for years and had clearnace, head up the Iniative and maintain the SHRA. They could have just put more provisional laws in place and remove mandatory registration/hunting down of people. Turn it more into a government funded training than the more military press gang operation it was.

Almost anything would have worked better than a single panel saying the government threw out the SHRA and dismantled the Initiative because Steve Rogers didnt like it.

Anonymous said...

Alright
Omega means death (according to Forever people #7)
Bruce is doused in Omega.
Going back to the present could mean all sorts of terrible things happen
Like death.

Anonymous said...

Zombie-I-am said...

Nice review of siege 4. Personally I liked the art (the lack of background as you said was awful, but the heroes were amazing). On the other hand I really think it was lazy the "let's throw a helicarrier and kill him with that" when he is a character capable of power levels with a million suns exploding....

Come on!!! and you people complain about Geoff Johns writing... this is plain worse

Two-Bit Specialist said...

It's funny, because all I've heard from Spider-man fans is that Bachalo's art was awful. But the story is the main complaint. The Lizard eats his own son??? That was only done for the sake of shock value. It gets worse. They imply that the Lizard raped his lab assistant. And why is Kaine afraid of a little girl??? And they are really pushing the whole Peter-Carlie thing.

Eddie Entropy said...

Killing kids in comics is awesome!! It's like giant guns and shoulder pads in the 90s, every comic's gotta have it! Maybe they can bring back Peter and MJ's child so that she can get killed in the next big crossover!

Franklin and Valera had better look out. So will the death of the Power Pack start off the next Siege-style crossover? We need another "One Year Later" style break so that we can have all the heroines give birth to more cool canon fodder!

Babies are like Skittles in the Marvel and DC Universe, you can't just eat one! I imagine a new villain called Babyeater, who carries a pack of mutant babies around on his utility belt and eats whichever one will give him the powers he needs for the moment. Imagine the pathos and falling to knees and screaming "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" moments you could milk out of the heroes with a character like that!

Strange that you find a man eating his own son less shocking than pirates threatening sexual abuse on a girl (and being stopped).

Anonymous said...

Zombie-I-am said...

@Eddie entropy: that's a good call man. It is very common to read an all-out bashing of all the "gore" that DC puts out just for "the sake of shock-value" while at the same time no one says a thing about Sentry gutting out Ares nor an "all-ages" comic like a-spiderman's foe the lizard eating a child. It seems that Marvel has some "gore-show" runing in their books and nobody is commenting on that....

What do you guys @ weekly crisis staff think?

Anonymous said...

Morrison is amazing.

Ivan said...

It's not like the guys need me to defend them, but the Weekly Crisis DID point out that the Ares-ripping was excessive and pure shock-value.

However, I didn't buy the "killing Lian is bad, killing Billy is cool" stance. I could be wrong, but AFAIK Lian's death also wasn't graphic.

But I also don't keep track of who writes what around here. If I had to guess, I'd say one of the Ryans discussed Lian's death.

Anonymous said...

To be fair Billy was asking for it

Kirk Warren said...

@Eddie Entropy - I'm not sure how you can interpret anythign I've said in the manner you have, but you seem to be taking it rather personally for some reason.

There is not one page in teh Spider-Man issue showing a child being dismembered or killed. It's subtle and well written and the let the reader's imagination do all the work.

Brightest Day, in comparison, has a baby bird bashed in the head, blood dripping out and falls to smear on a marble headstone. It could have been just a bird falling and and picked up and revived, but it's excessive in nature for no apparent reason. The following issue featured child sex rings and in your face implications of the grown man wanting to have sex with the child. It could have been handled a lot better and shown more subtly. I've never said it ruined the comic or makes Johns a bad writer or implied that Marvel does it better. Every week, I point out similar instances for every comic in those MotW or reviews when it feels out of place.


@Anonymous #22 - We discussed Ares' gore porn death at length when it happened. It was not well received.


@Ivan - I think I discussed Lian's death in the moments of the week, but Ryan probably reviewed the issue in question (or one of the aftermaths for the Green Arrow books). It was a dumb death that was put in for shock value, but there wasn't anything excessive about it's portrayal.

Two-Bit Specialist said...

@Kirk I think the Spider-man Crawlspace put it the best:

"This is a Spider-Man comic, right? You know, the one that’s rated 9 and Up, and supposedly aimed at a newer, younger readership? I can’t imagine anything that could get kids interested in the book more than having the only character that they could identify with age-wise being eaten by a lizard-man."

I failed to mention that on my first comment, but this is supposedly an all-ages comic. I know it was shown off-panel, but it doesn't take away from the implications being made in the comic that the Lizard raped his assistant and ate his son. And you want kids to read that kind of stuff?

Anonymous said...

Zombie-I-am said...

@Kirk: I agree with all of your points, they are well explained, to me at least. I hope you guys can review Birds of Prey 1 it was really a blast. G. Simone is a helluva writer, I do not understand how come the secret six comic being as good as it is, is like the 40th or 60th in the 100 best selling comics each month. That one deserves to be at least in the top 20...

Ryan K Lindsay said...

Eh, I pull down titles like The Boys and Incognito and Viking. I'm pretty used to gore on my page, but I know it's for my eyes only, I wouldn't give it to my kid, not yet anyway.

Eddie Entropy said...

Sorry Kurt, didn't mean it personal. I was actually making two comments. The first being that we've had two recent child killings in as many months and I'm detecting a trend. The obvious culmination of this trend would be through the introduction of the Babyeater character that I suggested (who would be plenty awesome, I have to say). This first point had nothing to do with your post, I apologize - I should have been more clear.

The second comment was on the how I find it hard to find a scene of a man actually eating his own child less shocking than an implied desire to molest a child by an evil pirate.

As for a tasteful representation of a man eating his own son vs. an offhand "I'll take care of her, heh heh" moment between a child trafficking pirate and a little girl, I still find the latter less shocking as the man got the tar kicked out of him before anything happened. Now if he'd led the girl away into the cabin to tastefully molest her in a way that was left to the reader's imaginations due to subtle writing I would probably view them both equally.

For me, it is the action that is shocking rather than the execution, though I can understand the idea that a shocking idea well executed is less offensive than a slightly less shocking idea poorly executed. As a person reviewing the writing of the story, it makes sense that you would focus on the actual writing of the story. A good reviewer should be focused on execution and you're definitely a good reviewer.

On a final side note (unrelated to your points), I'm curious to see how much longer this whole "Death is the way to make a story big" can go on. We keep wiping out heroes, their children, arenas of spectators and even whole cities to prove that XX character is a real threat. The obvious step up for this is a character who wipes out everyone and everything everywhere as his/her proof a being a real bad-ass. That would be a cool start to the next big event.

Eddie Entropy said...

PS: I'd thought the whole "World Recreated through the eyes of Superman who wants the best for everyone" bit at the end of Final Crisis would have diminished the number of people torn in half and the like but I guess the writers at DC (many of whom I quite like) had a difficult time grasping the implications of the end.

Radlum said...

I don't like Kraven's daughter and Kaine running away from her seemed a bit forced, however, the rest of this week's issue of ASM was great. I can't believe Zeb Wells can be such a good writer and Bachalo's art is perfect for this arc.
Regarding Siege...I want to know what happened to the Brian Michael Bendis that wrote Daredevil, Alias, Powers and still writes Ultimate Spider-Man, why wasn't him writing Siege? Is it possible for someone to be so talented in many books and then write something as awful and pointless as Siege? I never expected much from that event, and still I'm dissapointed.

Anonymous said...

the kidnapped kid was maddeline

R.P. said...

Haven't read Siege #4 yet but will soon. Guess I'm in the minority here but I liked Siege. Up to issue three and other tie in issues it has brought things full circle and opens the door for a "Brand New Day" at Marvel. I think accepting Siege for what it is makes it worth it. As far as retconning Civil War just read Secret Wars II.

brandon said...

The only things I've read in comics that made me a little uneasy was the last scene of Crossed #1 when the kid was being torn apart and in Walking Dead #48 when the baby and mom were gunned down.

Also for some reason when the Joker cut his tongue in half during RIP I turned away for a second.

My point? Everyone's threshhold is different.

PunisherMax and (finally) Incredible Hulk were also very good reads this week.

Kirk Warren said...

@brandon - Another thign is the context. Somethings I expect in a Walking Dead or Preacher. The same thing in Amazing Spider-Man or other major titles is not what I expect.

brandon said...

@kirk

Great point about context. I hadn't thought of it fully in that regard.

Ramon Villalobos said...

@Kirk

They did something similar for that New Avengers finale cover, it always cheapens the art to me. I'm going to assume it was something that gets done by the colorist when he gets a page with nothing to work with because you know, drawing a ton of buildings and stuff is hard and not that person's job. It makes me wonder why more background artists aren't employed. I've got a friend at the Kubert art school and he's told me a few prominent artists till use them, but I never really see them credited. Maybe that's why. Just no room in the budget? It's just a shame when books like this which could be so much better looking with a little more effort are so apparently brought down by photo backgrounds.

Anonymous said...

@twobitspecialist

I am 12, I have been reading Spider-man since I was 9, and I thought this was a great issue. I am tired of people thinking that kids my age can not handle reading stuff like this. There is way worse stuff on tv. And what kid reading Spider-man is going to relate to the lizards son? We want to be Spider-man. Get a clue dude.

Two-Bit Specialist said...

@ Anonymous 39 - "Get a clue"?

Don't give me the whole "there's worse stuff on TV" scapegoat. We're talking about comics, and we're talking about Marvel's flagship comic. Hey man, they are welcome to kill babies for all I care, but they need to be honest about the content in their book and not market it as "All-ages," especially when in the latest issues Spidey has the Black Cat as his sex buddy and the Lizard has raped his lab assistant and eaten his son.

Eddie Entropy said...

I'm looking forward to the Marvel Adventures: Babyeater series that will come out after the inevitable Wolverine-like popularity of the Babyeater character.

Kirk Warren said...

@Two-Bit Specialist - I'm not seeing the rape part. All I got from it was she was traumatized by seeing everyone murdered by the Lizard and unable to speak.

Anonymous said...

RApe? your disgusting there was no rape in it. stop making up lies

acespot said...

As long as we're talking about baby killing, how about Red Skull throwing a baby out a window, or Deathlok killing a ward full of newborns!!! Fricking Awesome!!! I love killing babies!

As far as EATING babies goes, I have only one thing to say:
"Get in mah belly"

twobitspecialist said...

I hate these anonymous guys. You can call me disgusting and an liar, but it doesn't take away from what we are given in that scene and what we are supposed to draw from it. If anything, it's the writers that are the disgusting ones. But they are welcome to do whatever they want, just as long as they are being HONEST about the content of it (and they are not).

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