Monday, December 23, 2013

What I Bought 12/16/2013 - Part 3

I forgot to mention yesterday, I don't have Burn Notice Season 7 yet, thus no review. I expect to get back to it this Sunday.

Longshot Saves the Marvel Universe #1-3, by Christopher Hastings (writer), Jacopo Camagni (artist), Victor Calderon-Zurita (penciler, #3), Terry Pallot (inker #3), Matt Milla (colorist), Joe Caramagna (letterer) - I picked this up because I kind of like Longshot. He's not a favorite character, per se, but he's one I'm glad exists to show up from time to time. Plus, the post-Mutant Massacre/Australian era X-Men are my favorite X-team, so he gets points for being part of that. And I've heard good things about Dr. McNinja, also written by Christopher Hastings, and here we are.

 What we have is Longshot going along, living his life, trying not to use his luck powers for selfish means (because that makes things go wrong), except the In-Betweener (looking much more dapper in a suit, rather than his typical bathrobe) is trying to remove some powerful source of luck that is making things unbalanced. Guess who he settles on as being the problem? Fortunately for Longshot, Reed Richards and Tony Stark are trying to covertly move a Cosmic Cube through town as Longshot's fighting for his life, and as it turns out, Longshot winds up with the Cube in his hands, and uses it to save his neck.

Except it seems to alter all reality, splitting the In-Betweener into Order and Chaos, Order having commandeered SHIELD and using it to wage a war on magic, Chaos having possessed the Hulk, but not able to escape the Hulk being imprisoned by Order. Longshot teams up with Dr. Strange and some magic users to free Chaos, and that works, but at the cost of all of them except Longshot falling under Order's control. Now Chaos is loose, and he and Order are steadily destroying reality in a battle against each other, when Chaos is doing so in an attempt to see just how far Longshot's powers can go in producing random occurrences that will counter Chaos' attacks. For example, Chaos produces a cyber-Dracula from the future, and a Lord of the Vampires Wolverine. Longshot's luck causes Blade to abruptly pop out of the trunk of a taxi. While that's all going on, the *sigh* Superior Spider-Man has shown up, and teams up with a Dr. Dipson, who Longshot met right about the time the In-Betweener first attacked him, to try and figure what's happening and how to stop it.

So the story details are all a little chaotic, as Hastings just keeps throwing more things into the pile. There's a teddy bear possessed by a demon that's almost certainly going to be important, but I can't figure out how exactly. Unless it's a callback to the original Nocenti/Adams Longshot mini-series? I don't remember a Mr. Dapples, but it's been a few years.

This could make the book feel overstuffed, but it doesn't. It contributes to the idea in the story that things are spiraling out of control. Also, that despite their opposing goals, Order and Chaos aren't terribly different, in that they're willing to risk almost anything to gain an advantage over the other.  There's also the curious nature of "luck". What's good luck for one, is bad for another. Good luck doesn't always occur so immediately as one might expect, or in the way one expects. And sometimes, two lucky occurrences may overlap to create misfortune. The consequences can be far-reaching and difficult to predict. Which makes me wonder if Longshot's the worst sort of person to have luck powers, or the best?

Camagni's artwork is pretty good. He has a nice exaggerated style that works well. It's very expressive. I don't know if he does subtle emotions well, but this isn't necessarily a story for that, so no big deal. I like how he lays out pages, though. Lots of variety, changing panel sizes, using small vertical panel for reaction shots sometimes, using them for, hm, abrupt shifts in others. There's a bit where Longshot leaps off a Helicarrier, and there's a large panel of him falling towards the Earth, and following the line of his arms lead to this small vertical panel of Thor catching Longshot, viewed from a distance. And the direction of Thor's flight carries the eye back across the page to the next panel, a closer zoom-in on the two of them. So it's very nice. Camagni has the clean lines I like, reminds me of Salva Espin a little bit.

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