Category Archives: Comic Review
How’s a casual comics fan supposed to get into a Batman title nowadays? Last I heard, “Batman” is some kind of multi-national conglomeration. Maybe “Batman ‘66” can deliver that same Bat-action of the TV show without the weight of the continuity and mythology that drowns casual comic readers. Read the rest of this entry
Wow. Just, wow… When I got a note on Facebook from CJ, longtime friend of the CCG, about the premiere of a “KISS Kids” comic, I just had to check it out. The cover alone was oddly alluring. I say “oddly” because I’ve never been a big fan of the band, KISS. Read the rest of this entry
Casual Comic Review – Collider #1
Man… I don’t even know where to start with this one. I saw a post on the AV Club about DC’s reinvigoration of the “Vertigo” “imprint”. (“Imprint”? Really?) I thought I would check it out. Get in on the ground floor, as it were. So, how did they do? Read the rest of this entry
After slogging through some mythology-rich issues of Marvel Comics, I finally tripped across a Marvel title suitable for casual comics fans and even non-superhero comic readers. You don’t need to know much about Hawkeye, or his history, to love this title. A second viewing of the recent Avengers movie is over-preparation. Read the rest of this entry
So, you never know what you’ll find when you walk the floor at Comic Con. Earlier this month, I wrote an extensive post about what’s right about SDCC. One of the criticisms about the show is that comic books are “marginalized” at San Diego Comic Con. If that’s true, how did I ever find “Love and Capes”? Read the rest of this entry
When I peeled open the cover of Guardians of the Galaxy #1, the issue already had three strikes against it. Yes, I know that the saying is “two strikes against it”. But, it didn’t. Read the rest of this entry
Here’s a comic that I picked up at San Diego Comic Con – one of many. The guy manning the booth at Red 5 (the publishing company) was super-jazzed to tell me all about Atomic Robo, and now I know why. Read the rest of this entry
Marvel, you are drunk.
The last time I checked in with the New Avengers was when the New Avengers was new. Back in the days of “Civil War”, when Luke Cage and Jessica Jones had a baby. She was on the run because of the Civil War. Whatever happened to that baby? Read the rest of this entry
Writer: Sam Humphries
Cover Artist: Dustin Weaver and Marte Gracia
Art by: Andre Lima Araujo
Being a casual comics guy is hard these days. Last week, I stopped in at the local comic book shop and grabbed a handful of titles, just to catch up on things. One of the “hot picks” of the week was Avengers A.I. #1. Why would I try my luck on such a complicated premise, you might ask?
Just look at the cover. There’s a big Avengers logo with the word “Avengers” and the #1. Being overwhelmed with the wall of comics and the amount of things I didn’t recognize, I gravitated to the Avengers logo. As in my review of “Deadpool Kills Deadpool”, I assumed that a first issue of anything would be a good jumping off point. Plus, why is Doctor Doom now fighting with the Avengers? I wanted to know.
Besides, what even is an Avengers A.I.? How was I supposed to know that’s a real thing?
I didn’t understand good chunks of the story, but I did like what I got.
So the new Avengers A.I. roster breaks down like so:
- Vision (I’ve always like the Vision. Whatever happened to that baby he had with the Scarlet Witch? Maybe I don’t want to know…)
- Victor Mancha (I think I vaguely remember him being part of the Runaways)
- Monica Chang (who?)
- Doombot (OK. Interesting.)
- Hank Pym (Ant Man, Giant Man, Yellowjacket, etc.)
Even though this is an “Avengers” comic, Captain America turns up for just four panels. I guess they’re letting anyone use that name now. Tony Stark may want to look into copyright infringement laws.
The story: So, Hank Pym has messed up something, again, and is the only person who can fix it… again.
Here’s what I understood. There was an event called “The Age of Ultron”, but I missed it. The recap said something about time travel… killing Hank Pym in the past to stop Ultron… oh, no, that caused more problems… future and present Hank Pym had to save past Hank Pym, but Hank changed somehow and now there are “unanticipated consequences”.
Man, I don’t know if reading the full “Age of Ultron” series made it easier to understand, but the recap gave me vertigo.
Having wildly messed things up in the “Age of Ultron”, surprise, things are falling apart. The A.I. Hank Pym created to destroy Ultron is now, itself, a threat. When will this guy learn? There’s a throwaway line in the comic about Tony Stark being “off planet” and Reed Richards being in another dimension, which explains why S.H.I.E.L.D. is still willing to work with Hank Pym. All the really smart guys are on vacation.
Like I said, it’s all very confusing, and I never thought Hank Pym was a likeable character. But, I still liked the book. First, there’s a scene where Hank Pym grows to giant size and is supposed to appear threatening. I don’t know if it’s intentional or not, but that scene is hilarious because he looks more constipated than anything else. Also, Hank Pym gets punched in the face and that’s a bonus.
The Vision is extremely interesting, and watching him evolve himself was intriguing. The sci-fi element of the comic is much stronger than its action or adventure content.
The best addition to the comic is the Doombot. Still retaining its original personality, that of Dr. Doom, it has now been programmed to serve the Avengers. I’m still not sure why it would be a good idea for the Avengers to enlist a Doombot to help out, but I’m glad they did.
If I see issue #2 on the shelf sometime, I’ll pick it up and give it another shot.
Casual Comics Guy Reviews: Deadpool Kills Deadpool #1
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Cover Artist: Michael Del Mundo
Art by: Salva Espin
Deadpool, Deadpool, Deadpool… Where to begin?
In the past, I always found mini-series or one-shots to be a decent place to pick back up when I’m trying to catch up on comics. Even comics with dense mythologies tended to craft mini-series basic enough to make sense to a casual reader. As an example, after years, I picked up “Identity Crisis” and didn’t feel lost.
So, when I was in the comic shop last week, I decided to pick back up on some sweet Deadpool action.
When last I left Deadpool, “Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth” (issue 2 or 3, probably), I was having a heck of a good time. Picking back up with Deadpool via “Deadpool Kills Deadpool” is much harder than expected, though.
Having done way more research on this issue than a Casual Comic Guy would like (that amount being any research at all), it appears that this is the conclusion to the “Deadpool Killogy” that began with “Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe” and continued with “Deadpool Killustrated”. Whether that’s because it’s a continuing story or because there’s a common thematic thread running between the series will remain a mystery to me. I’ve already spent more time researching the comic than I did reading it.
Overall, “Deadpool Kills Deadpool” issue 1 left me feeling like I do after I see a Spike Lee movie. I liked the idea of reading “Deadpool Kills Deadpool” more than I liked actually reading it. It’s a great concept that seems loaded with cool ideas, but it feels forced.
Maybe the character of Deadpool is eluding me. Back when I used to read comics more regularly, Deadpool was the off-the-wall, can’t believe that happened, comic relief character. He was strong as a foil when there were straight men (like Cable or Wolverine) to play off. In this series, at least, there’s no identifiable motive for any actions. Is Deadpool still a merecenary? Then why is he endangering himself when there’s nothing really that he will get out of it? Is he a hero? It doesn’t seem like it.
I guess that’s my problem with this issue. “Deadpool Kills Deadpool” issue 1 recalls the quirks, tics, and generally funny things that I recall from previous series without the motivations or characteristics that made the character interesting and complex. Most of the things that made me smile in recognition were very obvious callbacks to things I remember, like Deadpool’s obsession with “The Golden Girls”.
This is probably a sour note for me to start on. I already sound like a curmudgeon in my very first review. There are good things about the issue. Here are a few:
- Always love to see Dogpool
- Deadpool’s solution to the bad guy’s dimension transporting device
- Some funny throwaway asides like “What in the name of Namor’s bikini briefs is going on?” See? Even I get that one.
But, they’re treading on thin water here. I get that Deadpool breaks the fourth wall. That used to be comedy, not a plot point. When Uatu shows up at the end and describes the villain’s motivation, it made me shake my head. They need to dig out of a narrative hole here, because “meta” stakes aren’t really stakes at all.
Other random notes:
- If the villain is the Anti-Deadpool, he should really talk a lot less.
- Cullen Bunn, you are on my list of people I’m looking for at SDCC. I’d love to hear about the genesis of the idea for this series and how you took on this character. As a CCG, I’m interested to hear your take on writing for the casual reader vs. the hardcore fanbase.
- There is a super-weird (and kind of disturbing) ad for Cirque Du Soleil in the first third of this comic. Treat it like an eclipse – try not to look directly at it.