Friday, December 17, 2010

Free Comics Review for 12/15/10

Welcome to another edition of Free Comics Review! This week is another all-Marvel one, but not because there weren’t any others, but because the main ComiXology app has not been acting properly this week. It keeps crashing on me (they are working on a fix right now), and I haven’t been able to read the free comics offered there. Expect to see them reviewed next week. In the mean time, hit the jump to see this week’s reviews.

Deadpool #5 (Marvel App)

Written by Joe Kelly
Art by Kevin Lau & Ed McGuinness

Look everyone, it’s favorite overexposed Marvel character that is not Wolverine! Deadpool got his own ongoing series back in the mid-to-late 90’s. This was the start, one would argue, of his meteoric rise in popularity.

Of course, things were quite different more than a decade ago for the Merc With a Mouth. While the character is arguably the same, the approach used by Joe Kelly here is quite different from the one used nowadays. The jokes are still there, but Deadpool was not a joke character in of itself.

Deadpool works best when he has a straight man to play against, and thankfully this series provides plenty for him. In this issue, however, it’s Syrin (from X-Force and later X-Factor) that gets to share the time with Wade Wilson.

I’m a bit baffled by the choice of issue, because it’s the last one in the arc, and much of it deals with the aftermath of those events. Deadpool has been cured of a terrible disease by Dr. Killebrew (who worked in Weapon X), but he is deciding what to do with him now: kill him or spare him.

The art chores are handled by McGuinness and Lau, as they deal with different alternating scenes. The art-by-committee is not always the best choice, but it works quite well here, as the shift from one style to the other is not jarring at all.

This comic is actually quite good, and it just makes me sad that current writers take such a wildly different approach to Deadpool.

Thor: Son of Asgard #7 (Marvel App)

Written by Akira Yoshida
Art by Greg Tocchini

You will remember that in a previous column, I already reviewed the first issue of this series. I might have said that it was a mini series, so it turns out I was wrong. Thor: Son of Asgard was an ongoing series that lasted 12 issues.

I didn’t enjoy the first issue very much, but this one was a marked improvement. While issue #1 was more along the lines of typical fantasy quest story, this one is basically a high school version of Asgard. It may not be your type of comic, but I appreciate this approach more.

Thor, Volstagg, and Sif (among others) are all members of warrior school, meanwhile Loki and Amora (the Enchantress!) are members of the rival sorcerer school. There is animosity between the two of them and inside the schools themselves.

Much of the comic deals with the friendship between Thor and Sif, which both of them want to be something more than a friendship. In typical teenage fashion, neither of them express their feelings.

Sif is the only girl in the warrior school, but the status quo is thrown off when another girl joins the school: Brunhilda (which some readers will also know as Valkyrie).

Greg Tocchini’s art shows an improvement in comparison to the previous issue, as if he was growing more comfortable with the characters. There are sill some odd panels, but overall it’s a much stronger showing.

X-Factor #2 (Marvel App)

Written by Peter David
Art by Ryan Sook

And another odd choice for a free comic, this is the second issue of X-Factor’s ongoing series, which deal with the aftermaths of Decimation. It’s a weird decision because I’ve read this series before, and the first issue is quite a stronger hook.

X-Factor is right in the middle of the former Mutant Town, where a good majority of mutants have lost all of their powers. This is still very much a “the team gets together” arc, but it forgoes conventional assembling montage. This is just characters coming together in harsh times.

Jamie Madrox, the leader of X-Factor investigations has just pushed Rictor (now powerless) off the side of a building. Actually, a dupe of him did it. Rictor is rescued by Monet, though Rahne (Wolfsbane) tries to help as well.

Meanwhile, back at the offices, Syrin and Strong Guy are dealing with new guest there: Layla Miller. She knows stuff, and she is helping by giving them mysterious though helpful hints.

There are a lot of plot points going, and a lot of characters interacting but at no point does it ever feel overcrowded. The pacing is quite good, and as it always happens with X-Factor, the twist at the end is amazing.

Ryan Sook’s art is pretty good: moody but still quite striking. He does a really good job in reducing the character’s traits to their most minimal features, but still manages to convey the strong emotions the are going through.

That's it for this week's column! Any ideas, tips, or advice are welcome. Remember that you can always read the comics in the ComiXology web reader (with the exception of the Marvel ones). We always try to improve our content based on your suggestions, and with a new column, it's good to hear back from the readers. So, comment away!

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The Dangster said...

you should review Two of Kind Batman Black and White, hands down my favorite two-face story and it's FREE!

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