Wednesday, December 28, 2016

What I Bought 12/28/2016

I was able to get one of the two books that came out this week. By next Wednesday I should have the other one, plus two books from earlier this month. That'll take care of that day and Friday. The second week of January is currently set aside for the Year in Review posts.

Avengers #2.1, by Mark Waid (writer), Barry Kitson (penciler), Mark Farmer (inker), Jordan Boyd (colorist), Ferran Delgado (letterer) - I don't think I realized the Stranger originally walked around in a trench coat and tie, like an ordinary joe. Albeit one with unfortunate choices in hair and facial hair.

The Kooky Quartet is pressing ahead, despite the scorn of the public, who can't stop talking about Thor. At least Stark got around to giving them a Quinjet. You'd think he would have noticed sooner the team has no one who can fly, which is going to make dealing with worldwide threats difficult. Threats like the Stranger, who is after a teenage girl named Cressida in Thailand he thinks is a mutant. The Avengers take their best shot, but are hopelessly outclassed until Cressida somehow boosts their power enough to put him on his heels. At which point he pouts and says, Fine you're not a mutant so I don't want you anyway, and leaves. And the Avengers have a fifth team member, just so long as no one asks any inconvenient questions about how she boosts their powers.

I think I enjoy watching Pietro and Wanda interact the most. The way he always acts as though he's going to protect, but he's the one who panics. Who wants to pack up and bail at the first sign things are about to get bad. The fact Wanda tells him she saw the same vision he did, and she's not running. So of course he takes it out on Hawkeye, who does make it easy by being, well, Hawkeye. And we've got a Captain America who still hasn't got a grasp on this team, so he's probably being stricter than he needs to. He talks about them acting as a family, but there's not much warmth there, just him barking orders. Telling them to hold their heads high, when he's asking Stark why they can't get any fancy-schmancy weapons on their nifty jet, which kind of undercuts any statements he makes about how capable they are.

I noticed Hawkeye called Cap "Abe Simpson" at one point. That creeping timeline kicking in.

The contrast in colors during the bus sequence between the Avengers and the other passengers is a nice touch. Everyone else is kind of washed out, but the Avengers are in these relatively bright colors (the contrast between the green of Pietro's outfit and the shirt of that guy behind Cap on the right, who looks like someone out of a '70s "goofy kids and their talking {insert object} solve mysteries" cartoon. Even if people scoff, there are still a little larger than life, bolder than people give them credit for. Beyond that, I'm still enjoying Barry Kitson's work more than I normally do. Maybe it's Mark Farmer's inks, but the art seems less stiff, more lively than I'm used to. The shift in Hawkeye's expressions from the panel where he derides Cap for relying on a shield, then grumbles as Cap points out Clint relies on a bow, and then goes right back to fooling in the panel after that was a solid sequence.

Blue Beetle #4, by Keith Giffen (story/script), Scott Kolins (artist/story), Romulo Fajarado Jr. (colorist), Josh Reed (letterer) - It occurs to me, should Jaime have that expression? Admittedly, a glowing blue scarab is a strange thing to see, but Jaime is reaching for it anyway, so he's clearly decided to put aside that shock.

The story hops back and forth. First with someone trying to call Ted Kord while driving, only to drive off a bridge because of Dr. Fate. Who then lets the guy drown. In the present, Jaime goes for his physical, and isn't told the scarab is mutating his skeleton. He relates how he met the scarab, floating in a river, and it was nearly Brenda that wound up with it. Then it flashes back to Ted getting ready to start costumed adventuring, and his neighbor is the guy from the beginning of the issue, who at this point had just found the scarab. And Brenda is trying to set Jaime up with Naomi, who may or may not be that teleporting member of the Posse. I'm guessing she is, but also suspicious that Giffen wants us to think that and is going to pull some, "haha, fooled you" thing down the line.

Which I guess would be more relevant if I thought I was going to be here down the line, but I think we're done. I would suggest that the scarab had exerted some influence on Brenda, and that's why she's constantly being an ass to Paco, but she was doing that in the flashback before they saw the scarab, so never mind. I gotta say, I'm disappointed in Jaime that he doesn't tell her to stop always calling Paco stupid. It's nonstop with her, and I don't think I'm supposed to want bad things to happen to Jaime's supporting cast, but here we are.

So the story and characterization ain't gettin' it done, how about the art. Minor nitpick first, Fajardo, miscolored Paco's hair in one panel. Not a big thing, but something I noticed so there, now you know about it too. I really like the shade of blue he uses during the whole sequence in the river. And the giant, glowing beetle Kolins draws looked very cool. The sequence on the next page, where the armor starts appearing on Jaime reminded me of Sailor Moon, what with all the twinkly lights all around. Although it's a bit of a miscommunication that at the end of the physical, the doc tells Jaime to get dressed, when he's been fully dressed the entire time. He didn't take off his shoes or sweater or anything. What's left to put on?


SallyP said...

I have to admit that I dropped Blue Beetle after a couple of issues. I wanted so badly to like this book, these are some of my favorite characters... but I just find it... irritating.

CalvinPitt said...

I can understand that. Brenda is just on my last nerve by this point. I guess the fact she rushed out to help Paco was a good sign, but she can't say anything remotely nice to him, or about him to other people, at all? Ever?

SallyP said...

Yeah... Brenda didn't used to be so... shrill.