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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Comic Reviews: Week of March 23rd


Amazing Spider-Man #626:

The reimagining of Spider-Man's rogues continues!! In this issue, the new Scorpion makes an appearance, and Spidey's woes continue unabated. The most interesting part of the issue, however, came at the end. We're starting to see the puppet masters behind the gauntlet, and this is leading up to a pretty powerful villain reunion. I feel redundant posting these reveiws because I can't say enough positives about this series. Amazing Spider-Man has successfully redefined Spidey for the next age. If you're not part of the club already, you need to climb aboard. My only complaint would be David Gaydos's art. His rough edged take on Spider-Man is a bit much for this issue, especially considering the introduction of a new character. But it's a small complaint, and won't deter me from continuing the ride.


Green Lantern #52:

I know some people complain about origins, but I love 'em. I can't get enough of the histories of things, and when Geoff Johns introduced the spectrum, I ate it up. People complained that it was a sign of DC running out of ideas and having to alter the universe to come up with new plots. My take on the whole story was more of "Why hasn't anyone thought of this before?!" There's clearly an untapped wealth of info out there, and now that Johns has renewed the Green Lantern universe, it looks like the biggest sandbox in DC. What I loved most about this issue was the way all the characters came together. This has been the entire point of the spectrum: they all come together. Here, we see them in action. Even Lex Luthor is an integral part of the story, and while I cringe when villains become heroes, Johns reminds us just as quickly that the villains are and will always be villains. Now I just have to wonder where Johns is taking us next? Blackest Night wraps up in a week -- and then Brightest Day starts! I, for one, can't wait.


Nemesis #1 (Icon -- Millar & McNiven):

Nemesis claims to make "Kick-Ass Look Like S#!T". This is a pretty bold statement to throw out there, considering that the author is competing with one of his own creations. Kick-Ass is a damn good book, and I was excited to see Millar make such a claim. So, the question is a simple one: Is Nemesis better than Kick-Ass. The answer? No. A resounding no, in fact. See, Kick-Ass has something Nemesis lacks, and that's a round and relatable character. Dave Lizewski is a likeable guy. He reads comics, has the hots for a hot girl, and talks about his geekdom like a badge of honor. There's a lot going on with Dave Lizewski, and as a reader, you feel for him. Seeing him get injured is painful. This is paritally because of the incredible art work by John Romita Jr., but it's also because Millar has truly crafted a great hero. Nemesis is meant to be the antithesis to Kick-Ass, but if falls flat because it's main character, a Batman type who wears a white suit and sports some hefty weaponry, is as flat as a pancake. Millar introduces him as a badass. And then he shows us how he's REALLY a bad ass. And then he shows us how he's a HORRIBLE bad ass. The thing is, the villain has nowhere to go. If a writer gives a villain humanity, the villain loses his edge. Think of the Joker in The Dark Knight. Christopher Nolan stayed away from explaining anything about the Joker's background, anything at all that could make him seem more than what he is: a force of nature. Harvey Dent is the true backbone of The Dark Knight. The Joker isn't the main character, and Nolan did a great job of having him pop-up again and again to introduce chaos, but not to take control of the movie. Nemesis is not this character. He IS the comic. So what does Millar do with him? If you make it so that readers see WHY he becomes a villain, they feel a connection, and then he's no longer scary. And this is the problem with Nemesis. He's a bad guy through and through. So, what now? He kills more people? He destroys more buildings? Okay -- this isn't anything we wouldn't expect. Another reviewer said this was like watching a Michael Bay movie, and I can't, personally, think of a more apt explanation. It's a lot of pomp, splash, explosions, and destruction. But it's heartless. And heart is the thing that makes a story work.

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