Friday, June 07, 2013

What I Bought 5/27/2013 - Part 4

That's enough books and games for a few days. Let's get back to comics. It's the All-Captain reviews day!

Captain America #6, by Rick Remender (writer), John Romita Jr. (penciler), Tom Palmer, Klaus Janson, Scott Hanna (inkers), Dean White (color art) - I don't know why they needed three inkers, but I would have appreciated a page breakdown in any case.

Steve begins to infiltrate Zola's stronghold. He passes up an opportunity to go home and get help because he doesn't want to leave Ian alone. This is very sweet, but perhaps not terribly bright. Then again, Zola is doing his damndest to turn Ian against Steve, so perhaps Steve out to stop threatening Jet in the shower and get on with the rescue.

I'm going to guess Cap didn't really shoot Jet. For one thing, she ought to be able to avoid it easily with those senses of hers. For another, it's not a very Captain America thing to do, killing someone who isn't even resisting, just to hurt someone else. I thought the point of this story was to show how the things that make Steve Captain America are still in effect, even when he's alone in a strange world. If he goes to that level, then he's clearly thrown those things away.

Maybe it was on stun. Zola might have a stun setting on his weapons, the better to have live test subjects.

There's a sequence in the middle of the book, where Zola is trying to break down a captured Phrox' body, and rebuild it into Steve Rogers that's pretty disturbing. The way Romita draws it, with the body losing definition and being twisted around on itself, like it is the lump of clay Zola compares it to, is just creepy. I think it's that the focus is on the Phrox, so we're forced to look at it, see what's happening to it, even as Zola natters along, justifying his actions with the usual bullshit. It comes back to mind when he starts working on Ian. The twisting is less obvious because it's mental, but it's the same thing. He's trying to break him down and build him up into what Zola wants. Because that's all that matters.

Captain Marvel #12, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Christopher Sebela (writers), Filipe Andrade (artist), Jordie Bellaire (colorist), Joe Caramagna (letterer) - Watch out Carol! You're being pursued by stars with multi-colored tails! It's the Legion of "The More You Know!"

Carol's doctor, Farzana Nayar, has brought a Dr. Ryland in to consult on Carol's case. He had a patient with a similar "third lobe": the recently deceased Helen Cobb. Turns out Helen had the same thing, and was suffering from what might have been hallucinations. Or might not.

During all this, Carol's fighting it out with Deathbird, while trying her best not to fly. She's not doing too bad a job, though she hasn't figured out what all the buttons on her new flying bike do. Fortunately, you don't have to know what they do to hit someone with the bike like a club. Then Carol throws it at Deathbird, hits her, defeats her, but somehow this triggers another surge in the growth of the third lobe. It also turns out Deathbird's mysterious boss was Yon-Rogg, the Kree dipstick with the Psyche-Magnitron that gave Carol (and Helen, briefly) powers all those years ago. And something about the lobe growing is giving him more power. Otherwise, he wouldn't drop the pretense and start shouting his name. Even the Kree aren't that stupidly arrogant. Usually.

Something about all this is confusing me. The lobe only grows (or triggers a seizure, or whatever it's doing) when Carol flies, right? That's why they told her not to fly, but didn't say anything about firing energy blasts or lifting heavy stuff. First, off, why would only flying do it? If, as Dr. Nayar says, all Carol's powers originate from that third lobe, it shouldn't matter what power she uses. But setting that aside, we keep seeing occasions where she gets woozy or whatever from doing things that aren't flying. Lifting that subway train a couple of issues ago, for example. This time, the episode is triggered by here heaving the bike at Deathbird. I know the caption box says her feet leave the ground, but the way Andrade draws it, it doesn't look like flight. It looks like she jumped slightly off the ground to put a little extra oomph in her toss. I don't know what to make of that, but if not flying is supposed to be a big deal because that specifically endangers Carol's health, then at least be consistent about that being what endangers her health, rather than random uses of different powers.

Andrade's continuing the use of trapezoidal panels during the fight scenes, and has a sort of layout pattern going. There's frequently four lines of panels. One at the top (with no distinct borders), then two or three with distinct borders, then another solo panel, then two or three more with distinct borders at the bottom. It's a nice strategy, little change in pacing. The first panel's like the opening line of a joke, the establishing "Man walks into a dentist's office. . .", the multiple panels in between are the extra details, and the next big solo panel is the punchline. Wait, what does that make the batch of panels at the bottom, the part where the teller explains their joke? OK, the simile fails. You get the point, hopefully. It doesn't make up for some of the curious choices in facial shapes (there are times I look at Carol and think Andrade's mimicking Keith Giffen, minus the squinty eyes), but it does mean things aren't boring.

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