Friday, December 23, 2016

What I Bought 12/21/2016 - Part 1

I've made so many grumpy post this week. I should have called it "The Airing of Grievances" week or something. But today is not for that, because we have a couple of comics that make me happy. Mostly. So I guess there will still be some airing of grievances.

Patsy Walker aka Hellcat #13, by Kate Leth (writer), Brittney L. Williams (artist), Rachelle Rosenberg (color artist), Cory Petit (letterer) - Well, Felicia certainly knows how to pose impressively.

Patsy, Ian, and Jubilee were doing alright against Felicia and her goon squad, until they got dumped inside Bailey's magic bag. They spend some time stuck in there, Jubilee getting increasingly hungry, until the next time Bailey opens the bag, at which point they hop out. By then, Felicia has gotten Tom under her control. I'm sure having a friendly guy with no powers or combat experience will guarantee victory *rolls eyes*. But Zoe's heart has grown three sizes and may be ready to switch sides.

If all Felicia wants is whatever files and contact info for heroes Patsy has on her (poorly) encrypted computer, then why doesn't she, oh, I don't know, sneak in and steal it? Like a thief. There's no need for all this fighting and mind control, which is big and flashy, and could provoke a lot of hard feelings aimed specifically at her. Why the hell did she wait until now to steal the magic mind-control claw things, if they're so useful? She initially seemed like she was worried Patsy would catch wind of her because Hellcat isn't getting mixed up in crossover nonsense. Then why not deal with her when you have her wounded, off-balance and outnumbered instead of walking away?! None of it makes any damn sense. Felicia being the kind of casually cruel that helps someone up by grabbing the knife sticking out of their shoulder also doesn't track for me. Basically I don't buy in to any part of Felicia's characterization or actions in this story. Which is not entirely Leth's fault; Dan Slott put this in place, but she is the one trying to make a go with it, and sorry, no.

That is obviously a big difficulty to have with this story arc, which is too bad. The back and forth between Patsy, Ian, and Jubilee was a lot of fun. The lengths they go to trying to keep Jubilee from losing control, taking advantage of all the random crap Bailey has thrown in her Bag of Infinite Holding, that was amusing. Williams got to switch between a range of expressions, using her chibi style a few times, some humor stuff, and some more subtle stuff in the calmer moments. I wasn't expecting the page where they climb up the page towards the top of the bag, so I initially started at the top, then realized I was going backwards. I would have liked the colors to be a little brighter, but I imagine it wouldn't be very bright inside some strange pocket dimension existing within a handbag.

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #15, by Ryan North (writer), Erica Henderson (artist), Zac Gorman (dream artist), Michael Cho (trading card artist), Rico Renzi (color artist), Travis Lanham (letterer) - Taskmaster appears to be doing the rare mime routine called "invisible dirtbike jump". It's very complex, but I think he nailed it.

While Doreen and a host of super-heroes get trounced by Taskmaster, Mew was just trying to live its cat life, watching mice (Doreen and Nancy should probably talk to their landlord about that) and sleep. But then Tasky destroyed a wall of the apartment and set Mew loose in the big city. Mew ultimately helps Doreen to devise a way to defeat Taskmaster, although she gets poor Pizza Dog to be the one in actual danger to manage it. Either way, Taskmaster is defeated thanks to his not having a tail, which does seem like something he'd struggle to copy.

I got a good laugh out of Squirrel Girl being worried Taskmaster was going to copy her ability to debate with people and convince her to turn evil. Though she could have thwarted that by employing the same tactic the Swarm used against her. North writes a weird Taskmaster, though. Much closer to Dr. Doom than what I'm used to from Tasky. Maybe that's how he sounds translated through cat ears. They think everything sounds like arrogant boasting, because cats are also arrogant, and think they're hot stuff.

The way the panels are framed, with all the focus on Mew and whatever she's interested in, pushing the Taskmaster stuff repeatedly to the margins was a good touch. Especially since they did the same with a lot of the word balloons. I'm surprised Mew would be paying that much attention to humans that aren't talking about food or Mew. I guess just because the words are visible in the panel doesn't mean the character in it is necessarily paying attention. Although I think as comic readers we take it for granted that everyone relevant or necessary can hear whatever is being said unless the story tells us otherwise. But hearing isn't caring or comprehending, is it?

Mew's attempt to catch the mouse was one of Henderson's stronger efforts in an action sequence. Maybe because there wasn't dialogue, so she had more space to focus just on movement and the details. She draws animals in general very well. The bit where Mew struggles to get Pizza Dog to understand what she needs him to do, with the resulting chase scene was a nice bit of work. Nothing ground-breaking, just well-paced, and the panel of the rock starting to fall while Lucky is sitting on it confused has a Looney Tunes feel to it.


SallyP said...

I did love Squirrel Girl... having the story told from Mew's point of view was clever... and dare I say it... cute. Also... Pizza Dog.

I found the three of them stuck in Bailey's bag to be the best part of Hellcat. I love this book, but I don't think that the whole evil Felicia story is it's best effort.

CalvinPitt said...

I'm glad to see it isn't just me that's not feeling this Black Cat story. Definitely not the high point for the title.