November 05, 2008

Long Box: Nov. 5, 2008

It must be one of those weeks, because I'm kicking off all kinds of new columns here on the blog. I've really been rekindling my love of comics as of late, so I figured I might as well start posting a few thoughts on the books I decide to pick up every week. Unfortunately, this week is a little bit of a lull, as it seems everyone is pushing back their big releases until December (here's looking at you Marvel) so I'll throw in a few books from last week to round things out...

The Invincible Iron Man #7
I've been really digging the writing on this series since issue #1; Matt Fraction makes this series a good place to start for anyone new to Iron Man. This issue serves as a coda to the excellent "Five Nightmares" storyline, guest starring Spiderman in a surprisingly big role for a book without his name on it. There are some great lines between the two, as they band together and round up black market arms dealers. Some very nice colors as well, something that has been a major strong point of the series thus far. My only qualm with this book is that I'm still not sure where this takes place in continuity compared to the current events of Secret Invasion. My guess is the next few issues will likely answer this question, but right now it's a little confusing.

Hellboy: In the Chapel of the Moloch
Hell yeah! Mike Mignola's long awaited return to drawing duties on a Hellboy comic is finally here in the form of this one-shot from Dark Horse. I've been excited about this one for weeks now, and while it doesn't quite live up to the hype, it does deliver a solid Hellboy story. Mignola's art defines Hellboy; his blocky simple style is what made the character who he is today. But, with all the recent guest artists who have been taking over drawing duties, leaving Mignola to focus on the script, us Hellboy fans have been spoiled with beautiful renderings of this classic character. Mignola's artwork, while great in its own right, pales a little bit in comparison to some of the more recent artists on the series. Chapel of the Moloch is a pretty standard romp into an old, possessed church with a great fight scene to cap things off. It just seems a little rushed, and the art is even less detailed than the early Hellboy books, which make's it seem like Mignola might have had too many things on his plate. It's a fun read, but not the return to form that I was hoping for.

Secret Invasion: Thor #3
I approached the Secret Invasion tie-ins with great apprehension. I wasn't about to waste my money on some meaningless side story which barely tied into the overarching plot. But Secret Invasion: Thor has kept me pretty satisfied throughout it's short run, despite the fact that it really has no bearing on the Secret Invasion story-arch. The art is the main draw; it's just an incredibly good looking book with a great amount of detail. The plot is a little thin, involving a Super Skrull (man, we've been seeing alot of these in the Marvel U lately) invading Asgard while Thor and Beta-Ray Bill fight back. This third and final issue is essentially one long fight scene, ending in the climactic squashing (literally) of their foe. The ending makes a half-assed attempt to tie itself into the events of Secret Invasion #6, but I think this storyline stands on its own. It's not an overwrought, self-referential mess like alot of Thor books I've read. It's a great intro to the modern iteration of the character of Thor, and a nice send-off to this 3-issue tie-in.

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