Wednesday, June 9, 2010

New Comics – Week of June 9, 2010

By Paul Steven Brown

Cultural Wormhole takes a look at Invincible Iron Man #27, Justice League: Generation Lost #3, and Uncanny X-Men #525.

Invincible Iron Man #27

Writer: Matt Fraction
Art: Salvador Larroca w/ Frank D’Armata
Published by Marvel Comics

Over the past two years writer Matt Fraction and artist Salvador Larroca have consistently delivered a really fun, very sharp, exciting, and dynamic superhero comic book with the current Invincible Iron Man series. While the series has been chopped up into arcs of about five to six issues each, there has been an over-riding narrative flow and the sense that this is one big story. If you don’t read comic books, but enjoyed the Iron Man movies, I would suggest that you pick up this creative team’s first collection, Iron Man Vol. 1: the Five Nightmares, which reprints the first six issues of the current series. There will be a good chance that you’ll be back to the store for next three volumes.

Invincible Iron Man #27 follows the separate journeys of Tony Stark and Justine Hammer as they both attempt to rebuild their business empires. Stark has nothing but his ideas and can only offer the promise of great things to those he brings on board to Stark Resilient. His goal of wanting to give the world a free, clean, limitless energy source is altruistic, whereas Hammer and her daughter want to make money and destroy Starks reputation, if not the man himself. Hammer also doesn’t care who gets hurt in her attempts to demonstrate her own metal suit’s capabilities to potential buyers.

Salvador Larroca’s art continues to be crisp and clean and with a somewhat photo-referenced look. It’s not in a distractingly obvious fashion of famous light-boxer of Greg Land, but I can’t help but notice that Tony Stark looks a heck of a lot like Josh Holloway (Sawyer from Lost) with black hair. Colorist Frank D’Armata also deserves a nod for really injecting Larroca’s art with glowing vibrant life. He also employs out of focus, yet vibrant backgrounds that allow the figures to pop into the foreground.

I was planning on dropping Invincible Iron Man to save a little money. I got as far as one month. When I hit the store today, I saw this and last month’s issue on the stand and I couldn’t say “no”. This series is just too good to ignore.

Justice League: Generation Lost #3

Writers: Judd Winick & Keith Giffen
Art: Keith Giffen & Fernando Dagnino w/ Raul Fernandez
Published by DC Comics

After two issues of a solid set up, the third issue of Justice League: Generation Lost amounts to a couple of big fight scenes. The former JLI members show up at the current Blue Beetle’s home and fight a bunch of faceless OMAC automatons for a large portion of the issue, while Fire confronts Checkmate about her current status. The sequence involving Fire is practically an extended version of what happened to Captain Atom at the military base last month. For a book that’s coming out twice a month, I expect a bit more story progress and less repetition.

I’m starting to lose interest in this title after three issues. I’m going to give it another one, just in case this third issue is just a fluke. I was never a big fan of this iteration of the Justice League back in the late ‘80s, so I don’t have nostalgic ties to the cast. I did enjoy the Formerly Known as the Justice League mini-series and its sequel from about half a decade back, but not enough to stick around if this Justice League Generation: Lost continues to lose steam. Also, I’m still not a fan of having to buying this series twice a month.

Uncanny X-Men #525

Writer: Matt Fraction
Art: Terry Dodson w/ Rachel Dodson
Published by Marvel Comics

The Second Coming crossover enters its final leg with this week’s Uncanny X-Men. The X-Men and their allies seem to be faring much better against the Nimrods this issue compared to the slaughter they endured in X-Force #27. While there’s plenty of fighting to be had, we are at least treated to a number of interesting set up pieces that will hopefully come to play during the climax of the event. Cyclops asks Professor Xavier and Rogue to take on separate, but equally intriguing tasks. I don’t know why it took two months for Charles to come into play, but at least he’s been given a job that, if handled poorly, could be compound the current crisis severely. Rogue’s responsibility is perfectly in keeping with her current role in the X-Men mythos and hopefully we’ll get to see her build on what has been set before her.

It’s quite interesting that Marvel Comics has been able to inject a bit of their new ‘Heroic Age’ status quo into the middle of an X-Men centric event. It doesn’t seem forced and it fits with the company’s renewed interest in unifying its superhero universe. If a giant, impenetrable, red sphere encased a major city like San Francisco, it would make sense that the Avengers and the Fantastic Four would show up to help.

We also get a little bit of the members of X-Force, who were sent into the future to stop the Nimrod attacks at their origin point. There’s a nice homage to “Days of Future Past” when the team are confronted by posters of their faces, as well as the other mutants, with the word “slain” emblazoned across them. I still have a bad feeling that one of these folks is going to earn one of these posters by not making it back, though.

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