Monday, September 12, 2016

What I Bought 9/6/2016 - Part 1

No new comics came out for me last week. I did get 4 of the books that had come out last month in the mail that I wasn't able to find over my weekend trip, so let's get to those.

Ms. Marvel #10, by G. Willow Wilson (writer), Takeshi Miyazawa (artist), Adrian Alphona (artist), Ian herring (colorist), Joe Caramagna (letterer) - I got the variant cover, even though I have no idea what a Tsum Tsum is, and frankly it looks terrifying. But it was cheaper, and at least not as depressing as the sad regular cover.

Everything is falling apart. Bruno is severely injured, and may die. Kamala has lost all control of her little jackboot squad, especially Becky. And Danvers is so committed to proving this future crime stuff isn't a horrible idea, she won't shut the team down. Which is how we get Ms. Marvel making an agreement with the Canadian ninjas to pull off some sort of crime which is going to somehow prove the predictive justice approach is nonsense. Which can't possibly go wrong.

Between Stark trying to sucker Miles in, and Danvers using Kamala as some p.r. gambit, it's no wonder all the kid heroes are gonna form their own team. The adults are treating them like props in their pissing contests. Fantastic. Carol doesn't listen to Kamala's concerns, certainly not in terms of responding to any of them, and just lists why it's important to her this work. I would question why Marvel seems hellbent on ruining her character, but they seemingly didn't think they were messing up Stark during the first Civil War, so perhaps they're still just dense.

I need to go back and check, but I feel like the longer this story goes, the more Becky's freckles are forming a domino mask around her face. Because she's actually. . . a Skrull! Wait, wrong event for this to be a sequel to. Unless Marvel is just mashing together their prior events now, which I wouldn't put past them. The sequence at the start of the issue, Bruno and Kamala's first meeting, was pretty cute. Kamala trying to leave and her mother calmly blocking her path with the palm of her hand on the forehead was a good touch.

The issue packs some emotional weight, but I was still aware that it's set-up chapter. It mostly just moves a few things in place for whatever the climax is going to be, but otherwise, not much happenin'.

Suicide Squad: War Crimes, by John Ostrander (writer), Gus Vazquez and Carlos Rodriguez (artists), Gabe Eltaeb (colorist), Nate Piekos (letterer) - More terrifying, a giant Amanda Waller, or a tiny Suicide Squad? Before you default to Waller, consider a miniature Captain Boomerang, able to sneak around in your underwear drawer. Now you can make your choice.

A metahuman European strike force abducts a former U.S. Secretary of Defense and drags him to the Netherlands to stand trial for war crimes. Waller is tasked with using the Squad to retrieve the guy (who is, in fact, guilty), and they do so. Not without complications, of course. The company the former Secretary works for sent Shado to retrieve him as well, and she gets him away from Deadshot and Rick Flag, meaning the rest of the team has to break off fighting one group of enemies to go catch up to another foe, with the first group still chasing them. But they manage it, and then Waller takes care of the Secretary.

For a done-in-one Suicide Squad story, I think this works well. Ostrander presents a clear mission, but also makes it one that the reader probably shouldn't entirely want to succeed, and which is largely pointless. You get at least a general idea of the interplay between some of the characters on the Squad, although El Diablo probably got shorted a bit (at least we know he's willing to needle Boomerbutt). The opponents (it feels off to call Strikeforce Europa antagonists) didn't get the fleshing out I'm sure they would if Ostrander had an ongoing series to work with, where he could bring them in periodically and build them up, but the potential was there. And Captain Boomerang acted like a total dick, which is always fun.

The art is, less great. There are just several curious choices made in panels throughout the book. In the last panel of page 3, the last of the Secretary's guards is shot in the head, with him in the foreground facing us. The guy I assume did it is in the background, but his gun is at his side, aimed away from the guy. And the way the wound is drawn almost suggests the bullet just grazed his forehead, and it's only on the next page you see him lying on the ground with a growing pool of blood. Later in the book, Lawton and Flag arrive to help the escape with an ambulance. They drive through the leader of Strikeforce Europa (who can turn intangible) and stop in front of the rest of the Squad. Next panel, Angel (the leader) is catching up to the rear of the ambulance and shooting, and from the perspective given, appears only a few feet behind it. Next page, the rest of the Squad and the Secretary pile into the back of the ambulance, undisturbed. No bullets start striking the read of the ambulance until after they're inside and closing the doors. Did she stop, retreat, was she knocked backwards by an explosion we didn't see? They are a lot of things that don't flow during the action sequences, and since that's what roughly 75% of the issue is, that's kind of a problem.

And yet, I enjoyed it in spite of that, because I'm always game to read John Ostrander writing the Suicide Squad. Which I guess makes me part of the problem for devaluing artists' contributions, or whatever I'm guilty of.


SallyP said...

Man, I just want to punch Becky in the face. Right after I punch Carol. This is NO way to be a Mentor, people!

I keep hoping that Loki shows up and heals Bruno.

CalvinPitt said...

I just remembered we haven't seen Mike's reaction to Bruno's injury, or seen her at all during this story. When she does show up, it's going to be rough.

Yeah, Carol's not exactly covering herself with glory her.