Sunday, June 09, 2013

Comics review 8/06/2013

So this week I have mostly been reading Fearless Defenders 5 and 1990s Uncanny X-Men comics.  Thoughts follow after the break.

Fearless Defenders 5
I like this a lot.  The characters are great, the plot is great, it's got tons of mythic stuff (Valkyries) that really appeals to me and I am very much enjoying the recap page.  Thor and Hawkeye also have recap pages and I think it works really well.
The only thing I take umbrage with is the art.  It's mostly good - fun, comicy, action filled etc, but there are some panels where the characters have tiny organ-denying waists and improbable boobs.  Feet and legs also seem to be causing the artist some problems.  There's  just a few too many examples of impossible joints and strange perspectives.  I also get riled by the art on the recap page:
It just doesn't look like an effective battle pose to me.  they are both balanced on their toes, they don't look very sturdy.  I think their feet should be flat on the ground and their legs straighter.  Perhaps they should be crouching more, protecting their bodies with their weapons in front of them.  I realise their legs look longer and more attracting like this but they are ready for battle, not a modelling shoot.

Anyway, enough of that.  I continue to love Hippolyta's design and I am ever so please that Dr Annabelle Riggs has now been named a Valkyrie.  Great stuff.  One last point - I am getting Dani Moonstar confused with DC's Dawnstar of the Legion of Superheros.

Uncanny X-Men 257 to 267
Oh the 90s.  I jumped in mid story arc so for the first few issues had no idea what was going on.  But I don't mind that.  I don't really read superhero comics for the action filled plots.  I read them for the characterisation, the heroism, the relationships and the visual element - the costume design, the story as told through the art, the art itself.  I also like diving straight into long runs.  It's great fun.  When writers say it's a problem to give characters too much power because then there's no effective threat for them, I think, why?  Then you should just tell other stories.  Tell stories of the character making toast in the morning.  Something everyday like that - i.e. what the Hawkeye comic is doing now.

I honestly do not read superhero comics to see if the villain has a chance of winning.  That is not interesting to me.  I know the heroes will win.  I know deaths aren't permanent.    What is interesting is seeing how characters in a shared universe with a shared history interact with each other, how stories are built out from the universe's history and how the worlds are built.  It's kind of like collecting data on a character or world.

Which is probably why I don't really like much new 52.  Animal Man works for me because I think that builds on what has already gone before - I don't think his history has been rewritten.  Wonder Woman works because it builds on Greek mythology.  Supergirl isn't working quite so well, but I'm loving the art and I did really enjoy the last few issues where she became fun again and linked up with a new complex character - Power Girl.  In my head I connect this issue back to previous incarnations of the Supergirl and so my world building knowledge is increased.

Having said all that, I also read superhero comics because seeing someone fly, shoot lasers out their eyes, create and control storms and run faster than anything else ever is super-cool.

Back to X-Men.  There are tons of things going on in here.  I was pleased to see the morlocks' subterranean tunnels being used - I remember them from old Power Pack stories.  Storm has been de-aged and I have learnt that she can actually shoot lightning from her fingers.  Never knew that.  Gambit apparently has the power to persuade people by speaking really charmingly.  Another thing I never knew.  I thought he was all about the charged playing cards.  Seems not.  I now want to visit New Orleans.

The art..I am finding it very difficult to articulate my thoughts on this.  On the one hand the adult men are all drawn broad-shouldered and muscly.  The adult women are all drawn tall and slim.  But the kids are drawn to look like kids and the adults have detailed faces and you can see their personalities.  Everyone is distinct, and not just through hair and costumes.  I expected the art to be a sexist mess and poorly done, but I find it to be quite good.

I've now got really into this run and am really enthusiastic about the rest of the comics I have to get through.  I must have over 100, with about 60 being Uncanny X-Men and the rest being assorted X titles.  :D

1 comment:

James Ashelford said...

You're right about the footwork. A good fighting stance needs at least one foot dead flat on the ground for stability, standing like that the first time Val blocks or parries she'll overbalance from her opponent's momentum.

I mean, light on the balls of the feet can work in swordfighting with fencing foils and the like but it would be hell on toast using a sword like that.