Tuesday, May 06, 2014

What I Bought 4/25/2014 - Part 5

In retrospect, not having my collection handy may make the Favorite Character posts more difficult. Still better I didn't postpone it another 2 months.

Avengers Undercover #2 & 3, by Dennis Hopeless (writer), Kev Walker (artist, #2), Jean-Francois Beaulieu (color art), Tim Green II (artist), Joe Caramagna (letterer) - I'm not sure I agree with the blurb they quoted on the cover for issue 3. Was Avengers Arena supposed to be a satire of contemporary pop culture? It seemed a to play things too straight for that.

The kids descend into the nation of Bagalia looking for Cullen, and quite quickly find him. And he seems quite at home, among people who don't seem bothered at all by the things he lived through and did. Which starts to sound pretty good to all the other kids, except Cammi. Oh Cammi, I love that you're the only one with any brains. Unfortunately, before she can get the others to pull their heads from the behinds, Cullen comes along and says he's got a better idea. At which point Daimon Hellstrom teleports them all to Arcade's new digs. Seems he's making dough offering rich people the chance to slaughter each other, but Cullen's there for his revenge, and some of the others seem quite on board with that. So there's some bickering between Nico and Cammi. If it comes down to those two, I'm on Cammi's side. I've always appreciated that Hopeless threw my two least favorite members of the Runaways into this, so I wouldn't care if they got iced. Chase is a blithering idiot, and Nico's been on my shit list since that time she attacked Spider-Man when all he was doing was having dinner with Victor and Gert.

Anyway, once Deathlocket manages to uses that love cyborg arm to shut down Arcade's systems, he's depowered and at the mercy of the other kids. And it looks like they just might take mercy on him, after beating the snot out of him, naturally. But then Hazmat snaps out of the catatonic thing and fries him. Well, that's the end of Arcade, until someone declares it to have been a Murderbot. Throughout all this, Hellstrom, Madame Masque, Zemo, and Constrictor (?!) have been watching, as this whole thing has been a set-up. Oh, I'm sure Arcade's still "dead", because I doubt Zemo would care, but the open acceptance by the villains was all a ploy. Quite what he plans to do now - blackmail them into working for him? - I don't know. I guess none of them realize Cullen's under Hellstrom's control, assuming that hasn't ceased to be an factor since the end of the first issue.

Tim O'Neil noted that Kev Walker's been very good about giving all the characters, but especially the girls, distinct body types. And he also noted, correctly, Green kind of didn't maintain that in issue 3. Which is a little disappointing. I think Hazmat's chest grew several sizes between issues. I'm starting to think he's at his best with non-human characters, because his work hasn't looked as good as it did with the Rocket Raccoon/Groot stuff. And I'm not at all sure why Cammi was carrying what looked like an ordinary silenced pistol. Wouldn't she have some sort of compact laser pistol? I feel like he can draw the hell out of those, so I don't know. Hazmat mirroring the pose Arcade used when he killed Mettle when she fried him was a nice touch.

I'm not sure about this possible burgeoning romance thing between Hazmat and Anachronism. Maybe it's not actually happening, but Hopeless is dropping various little bits that suggest it.

Back to Kev Walker. When the kids find themselves in that initial fight down in Bagalia, he puts all the characters in these tilted panels with thick, rough black lines around them, except for Deathlocket, who doesn't know how to fight. So she's standing there, in front of and between two panels, but not part of either, separate from the combat. Then when she is attacked and defends herself, she's in her own little rough-edged panel.

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