Written by Pat Vis
Amazing Spider-Man: Ends of the Earth One-Shot (Marvel)
Each summer there is a big Spider-Man event, and this year’s is Ends of the Earth. The basic premise has Doctor Octopus attempting to launch several missiles containing satellites which he claims,” will save the World.” This one shot occurs about halfway through the event and focuses on some side characters that Spider-Man brought in to help him out.
The book is split into two parts. The first of which is written by Rob Williams, and the second by Brian Clevinger. The parts read as two separate stories, and tonally they both feel different. Williams is definitely writing a darker with some deaths going on, while Clevinger’s part is a bit more of an upbeat super-hero fair. The art by Thony Silas is pretty solid, with the exception of when he decides to show massive boobage. If you haven’t been reading Ends of the Earth, then this book will be a bit harder for you to pick and understand what’s going on.
Birds of Prey #9 (DC Comics)
Not that I’m looking to start a trend, but here’s another one-shot book that’s part of a larger event of books going on. Birds of Prey #9 delves into the Night of the Owls storyline from Batman and see’s the Birds dealing with, oddly enough, one of the Owls. The problem with these types of single issue stories is that they are hard to pull off well. In order to get the full impact of it, you need to introduce a villain and a reason for us to care about the story very quickly. In that way, Birds of Prey #9 only partially succeeds.
Henry Ballard, the villain introduced in this book, is pretty interesting. For whatever reason, he sees everything as though he is in the 1850s. It’s a cool concept that allows Travel Foreman to do some interesting artistic turns with the book. Unfortunately the writing is never entirely clear on why they’re fighting this guy, or how they got to where they were fighting him. Hopefully Duane Sweirczynski can continue putting out good issues after this rather disappointing one.
Wonder Woman #9 (DC Comics)
In some ways I feel bad for fans of the old Wonder Woman book, partially because that old book was very inconsistent in quality, but mostly because this Wonder Woman book is almost nothing like it. With the New 52, Brian Azzarello took Wonder Woman in a darker direction, playing up more of her mystical heritage and that of the gods of ancient Greeks. With some controversy over the treatment of the Amazons aside, I think the general consensus has been pretty good on this relaunch of Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman #9 features the soon to be nuptials between Hades and Wonder Woman. The entire issue features characters talking and it showcases Azzarello’s strength as a writer. Almost every character to show up in the series to date shows up in this issue too. Each is given enough where we gain a little more insight into their motivations or end up with more questions. An exchange between Hermes, Zola, and Aphrodite is one of the highlights of the book for it’s great art and writing. Tony Akins takes the reigns for this issues and his art is excellent as well. When everyone is talking, you need to be able to show their emotions through movement and expression, which he does very well.
Secret Avengers #27 (Marvel)
I’m confused. You see, I must’ve missed the last issue of Secret Avengers because I spent the vast majority of this issue entirely confused as to what was going on. This isn’t a good thing, especially from a company who gives you a summary of the story so far, at the beginning of each comic. Yes I’m familiar with these characters and yes I know about where they are, but why? Why are they there? Why is Captain Marvel all of a sudden evil? Why is Ms. Marvel working with him? Why is Thor there? You could say that I should’ve avoided all these things by reading previous issues, but shouldn’t a comic book company ensure that each book is assessable to new readers, while enjoyable for the old ones too?
Despite being confused, Rick Remender writes an interesting story, just one that I was missing key ingredients to. The reveal of why the characters are acting the way they are is the most disappointing part of this book because it’s such a comic cliché. Renato Guedes’ art is serviceable. For me it was a bit too line intensive, everything has lines sketched into them, in order for shading or more depth. While it’s a cool effect, I found it to be distracting at points. His art also lacks the amazing layouts that previous Secret Avengers artists used.