Comic Picks of the Week 4/24
East of West #2
I am in love with everything in East of West. The only work of Jonathan Hickman’s I’d previously read was The Nightly News. Like The Nightly News, East of West features an angry, slightly-maladjusted and violent male protagonist. Death, as expected, has a heavy hand for bloody justice. As one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, his destiny has been prewritten in The Message – a divine prophecy that foretells the end of humanity. As the story weaves together, we see Death begin to struggle with his destiny.
The first two issues have been enigmatic, as the narrative jumps from the present to various pasts. The schitzophrenic storyline and Kirkman’s dense text means it takes a couple reads to fully absorb and try to detangle the story. However, the terse dialogue is scintillating and keeps momentum. Nick Dragotta’s art is also fantastic, with dizzying angles that add to the violent undercurrents of the dialogue. The colors in particular are engaging, with a constant, striking contrast between simple bright colors and a stark black and white. This works with the setting of the story, which is a futuristic scifi world that seems an anachronistic setting for the archaic Four Horsemen. Overall, the issues take a few readings to fully absorb and appreciate, but it’s well worth it. Hickman’s track record promises a provoking story that will be well-depicted in Dragotta’s beautiful art.
Guardians of the Galaxy #2
I’ll be honest, this is my first foray into the Guardians of the Galaxy storyline. The premise of the storyline seems interesting: Star-Lord’s father, King J-Son has declared Earth hands-off to the galaxy, which has made the planet an even tastier target (which was his plan all along!). I have high hopes for the series because the author is Brian Michael Bendis (Powers, Alias, the House of M and Secret War Marvel story lines). But, I can’t help but be a little disappointed in these issues. Compared with other recent reboots of old, popular titles (such as David Aja’s Hawkeye), Guardians of the Galaxy falls flat with a predictable storyline and not much character depth. In this issue, the Badoon attack London and are (big surprise) defeated. Star-Lord’s father issues, though understandable, seem cliched and won’t be enough to keep up the momentum for the rest of the arc. I’ll keep reading – I’ve got faith in Bendis – but the first two issues have been dry.
Uncanny Avengers #7
I must admit that I’ve been loving Uncanny Avengers. Whereas X-Men vs. Avengers was drowning in drawn-out fight scenes (which only continued in A+X), Uncanny Avengers gets straight into the “Mutie” question. In #7 in particular, we see butting heads between all avengers especially Rogue and Wanda (no surprise there). All the built-up team tension will be hitting a head soon, as the issue leaves off with SPOILER the Celestials declaring war on Earth. I’m excited to see how the team works together with all the fights and the tacit division between Avengers and Mutants. Hopefully future issues won’t be drowning in drawn-out fight scenes, because I’d love to see these cracks turn into full-on fissures.
Morning Glories #26
I don’t even know what’s happening here. Not really, but kinda. Our intrepid high schoolers have gone back in time and back (to the future) and the plot is still nowhere close to being understandable. Which is amazing. Nick Spenser has thrown readers through so many loops yet still manages to keep the story riveting. I may not be sure what’s going on in the plot but you can be certain I’ll keep reading until I do. I can’t believe there’s only been 26 issues.