Tag Archives: Editor Tom Brevoort

Comic Book Review – Silver Surfer #1

SilverSurfer1


Context

A new take on Marvel’s iconic, cosmic philosopher – courtesy of Slott and the Allreds

Story
Every comic book story is a combination, in differing proportions, of words and art. Sometimes it’s a bad mix. Egos come into play and each creator fights to assert his or her own dominance on the project. Sometimes those fights produce masterpieces, other times the partnership falls apart and the work suffers. In this case it seems that Dan Slott is able to work well within the deliciously offbeat Allred universe.

The Silver Surfer is almost a religious figure at Marvel Comics. He has been used in years past to wrestle with all sorts of large philosophical questions. Dan Slott gets right to the point with the Surfer’s first scene. After saving the life of an entire planet, our hero rejects their adulation. “I deserve neither praise nor glory,” he thinks. Is the author telling us he intends to stay far away from this aspect of the character’s past or is this just a quick reminder of the nature of the Surfer’s personality and place in the universe?

The rest of the issue reads like a fun romp through an issue of Madman. Our journey includes strange environments, bizarre aliens and hipster girls that somehow reject and yet fit right in with the weird surroundings. It seems like Slott is having fun here. He is as much a tourist as his audience and his protagonist. Even so, the author is keeping us on course. I particularly enjoyed how he engineered the introduction of what will most likely be the Surfer’s new love interest. This first issue kept moving yet also stayed dedicated to careful story crafting.

Art
Michael Allred’s art seems like a perfect fit for the Silver Surfer’s universe. He has taken a decidedly Jack Kirby take on our hero while immersing him completely into a universe filled with Allred goodies. For those unfamiliar with his work, Allred uses an amazing combination of art deco, pop art and 50’s kitsch. The boundaries of his imagination seem set a little further out than most artists. That being said his work in this issue is a terrific mix of outlandish elements and classic comic book components.

The book’s art also delivers a few wow moments as well. The reveal of the Impericon on the middle splash page is something that I could look at forever. Allred also took a very unique turn at retelling the Surfer’s origin (of sorts) by having scenes from his past appear as reflections on his silvery skin.

Laura Allred’s colors amaze as well. She seems to having fun with the Silver Surfer’s classic blue highlights. She uses a pleasing mix of colored pencil effect that boarders at times on water colors when smoothed out. Even so, the Surfer retains his sleek appearance. I also liked how she worked from a complementary palate for each environment but still managed to appropriately adapt to each world. Dawn’s coastal home, for example, has its blues and beiges but also contains a fun pop of pink, yellow and red as needed.

What to look for
Dan Slott’s humor and storytelling mixed with the beautiful Allred art.

What might put you off
Some of Allred’s work may seem too weird or out there for fans of more traditional comic art

Recommendation
This is a must read. These creators are an excellent combination for this character who at times can come off stiff and unrelatable.

Credits
Title Silver Surfer
Issue Number 1
Publisher Marvel
Release Date 3/26/2014
Writer Dan Slott
Artist Michael Allred
Colorist Laura Allred
Letterer Clayton Cowles
Editor Tom Brevoort

Reviewed by Geoff Jolliff

Bucky Barnes Strikes in WINTER SOLIDER: THE BITTER MARCH #1!

Winter_Soldier_TBM_1_Cover

Bucky Barnes has been called many things – Avenger, Invader, and even Captain America. But to many, he’s known by only one name – The Winter Solider! A name that carries a bloody legacy reaching deep into the pages of history. And today Marvel is proud to present your first look at WINTER SOLDIER: THE BITTER MARCH #1 – a new limited series from blockbuster writer Rick Remender and fan-favorite artist Roland Boschi!

At the height of the Cold War, S.H.I.E.L.D. sends their top operative, agent Ran Shen, deep into enemy territory to retrieve two Nazi scientists that could be the key to winning the war. But they aren’t the only ones who want these high value scientists. The Soviet Union have unleashed their most ruthless agent – THE WINTER SOLDIER! His mission: acquire the scientists by any means necessary – or kill them before they fall into enemy hands!

“In the late 1960s, a S.H.I.E.L.D. mission gone wrong begat the creation of the Iron Nail, the foe whose schemes and strategies are bedeviling Captain America in the present in his own series,” says Marvel Executive Editor Tom Brevoort. “WINTER SOLDIER: THE BITTER MARCH tells the story of that fateful mission, and the events that set S.H.I.E.L.D. operative Ran Shen onto the path that would result in him becoming the dreaded Iron Nail.”

Don’t miss the intrigue, adventure, romance, and action in this high-octane, pulse pounding thriller that will have grave consequences for the life of modern day Captain America when WINTER SOLDIER: THE BITTER MARCH #1 hits comic shops this February!

Comic Book Review – The New Avengers #51

Context
As Dr. Strange searches for the new Sorcerer Supreme, the Avengers ask one of their own to reveal a stunning secret!

Story
This book felt like two separate books. We have the story of Dr. Strange’s search for the new Sorcerer Supreme and we have another story concerning the Avengers’ need to know who is exactly behind Spider-man’s mask. Although both stories have the same writer, they have a different and distinctive art teams. Once you set aside the art differences, the overall tone of the writing can be considered consistent although not seamless.

The Dr. Strange story came out of left field. I must admit I was as puzzled as Wiccan when Strange explained that he had lost his title. I am intrigued by the prospect of a new Sorcerer Supreme but I wish I had a little more setup in this issue. I actually like the presence of Spider-man and Dr. Strange in this book – it’s kind of like Ditko is finally allowed to play with the Kirbyverse on a regular basis. The rest of the book revolves around Peter Parker. Parker’s decision was in character and I liked his call. Although this book seemed mashed together and a little short on exposition, Bendis knows his characters and pulled off this unusual issue as best he could.

Art
Bendis may have been able to pull his end of the bargain together, the different art teams left me wanting. The Dr. Strange portion, which I assume was provided by Chris Bachalo (Generation X) and company, utilizes detailed but sketchy line work and is very expressive when trying to convey fear. The art falls a little flat when the story moves into the conversation between Strange and Wiccan as both characters seem to shift into constant facial expressions almost throughout.

The Billy Tan segment is exactly what we have come to expect from him. His figures and faces are long and lanky but the inks tend to give a smoother, liquidity to his work. His depiction of the climax of the Spider-man portion comes off a little weird. Overall, the gap between the two art styles was jarring. It almost seemed like the Strange portion was meant to be a limited series and they decided to just cram it into this title instead. It felt crammed.

What to look for
There is a great exchange between Jessica Jones and Spider-man.

What might put you off
You may burn out your art clutch on this one.

Recommendation
The end of the book tries to merge the two storylines. Hopefully, we get to see one consistent artist on this title and story arc in future issues. If so, continue to pick this up as it has great writing and great characters.

Credits
Title New Avengers
Issue Number 51
Publisher Marvel
Release Date 3/25/2009
Writer Brian Michael Bendis
Art Billy Tan, Matt Banning and Justin Ponsor & Chris Bachalo, Tim Townsend and Antonio Fabela
Letterer Albert Deschesne
Editor Tom Brevoort
Reviewed by Geoff Jolliff

Comic Book Review – Captain America #48

Captain America #48

Context
It’s the conclusion of the “Old Friends and Enemies” story arc. Can Cap (Bucky) redeem his past and save his friends.

Story
Ed Brubaker has found his medium. Although I enjoyed his Daredevil run, he is hitting a career high mark on Captain America. Not only is he telling phenomenal tales, he is doing it without the benefit of Captain America (Steve Rogers) himself. Rarely have I read a series about a replacement character that actually competes with classic tales starring the original. He has done something that few writers have done – actually make me interested in a replacement character. Brubaker has placed himself completely in the company of a small group of elite writers.

Although this story arc was called “Old Friends and Enemies,” I found that I was more taken by the “friends” portion of the equation. We have seen some of Rogers’ partners meet the new Cap but Bucky really has not passed the ultimate test – Namor. No matter what Namor happens to be doing in the greater Marvel Universe, he always held onto his unique relationship with his fellow Invaders. His characterization was precisely what was needed here. As far as the “enemies” portion went, I really didn’t care too much about these guys but I did love the fact that their grand scheme fell apart because of Namor’s tough physiology. Mad scientists don’t follow solid scientific conventions. Their ideas should frequently flop…Brubaker gives us a fresh and interesting resolution.

Art
I am becoming worried about the state of art at Marvel Comics. There is a war raging over fill in artist versus fill in issue. Both major publishers seem to be struggling with deadlines more today than at any other time in comic book history. I have seen a recent trend at Marvel to use multiple inkers on a title. Sometimes this works…other times it breaks the flow of the issue entirely. We have now made the inevitable move to multiple pencilers on a title. This title is no stranger to multiple artists. This issue’s credits include Butch Guice with Luke Ross and Steve Epting on art. Is a singular artistic vision so unimportant?

The majority of the art in this issue is excellent – which I assume was the work of Guice and Ross. Guice’s layouts are more expressive than Epting’s. Guice was doing photo realism before photo realism was possible. His layouts are dynamic and compelling without being gimmicky or over the top. I also love how he applies classic looks and poses to certain characters. The Black Widow seems to have jumped right out of Gene Colan’s playbook and Namor out of John Buscema’s. He does all of this, without losing his own voice. Ross’ inks and D’Armata’s colors try to keep the book within the original style they produced with Epting. What I would really like to see is a regular artist (Guice) collaborate on an original look, made specifically for the book and character. Hopefully Guice sticks around.

What to look for
All of the conversations between Namor and Bucky

What might put you off
There are a few panels of art that are either very different from the rest of the book or very underdeveloped and rushed. Honorable mention goes to Osborn acting as pall bearer at a hero’s funeral – will somebody please kick this guy’s ass?

Recommendation
Although the art is uneven at times, the writing on this book makes it a must read.

Credits

Title Captain America
Issue Number 48
Publisher Marvel
Release Date 3/25/2009
Writer Ed Brubaker
Penciler Butch Guice and Steve Epting
Inker Luke Ross
Color Artist Frank D’Armata
Letterer Joe Caramanga
Editor Tom Brevoort
Reviewed by Geoff Jolliff

Comic Book Review- Fantastic Four 565

Context
Valeria’s kidnapped. The search is on

Story
The issue starts where 564 left off. Valeria is missing and now the search is on. Johnny desperately flies around (on fire, in the woods. Fire hazard?) trying to locate her. On a hunch, he dives into the surrounding water and, what do you know, there she is! Her captor, a giant fishfrogsquidkraken thing, gets really mad because he only gets to eat one kid every 25 years and a fight breaks out. I wish there was more to this issue, but unfortunately, that’s about it.

This issue was just a little…ridiculous? I don’t know if that is the right word or not. Johnny has a miraculous hunch that Valeria is in the water, and that miraculously leads him to the underwater ruins where she is, then her captor (fishfrogsquidkraken) confronts them, and it turns out that he is conveniently fireproof.

All I have to say in conclusion for this issue is that “Master of Doom” will hopefully cast a huge shadow on this and we can move on.

Art
There was not much expression throughout this book. For the most part, everyone had the same expression on their face. Enough said.

Things to look for
Reed punching his brother (brother in-law?).

What might put you off
There aren’t too many redeeming qualities about this particular issue.

Recommendation
I’m going to look at this as a “hiccup” and just wait for Master of Doom.

Credits
Title- Fantastic Four
Issue number- 565
Publisher- Marvel
Writer(s)- Mark Millar & Bryan Hitch
Inks- Cam Smith, Andrew Currie, & Bryan Hitch
Colors- Paul Mounts
Letters- VC’s Russ Wooton
Editor- Tom Brevoort
Reviewed by- Alex Tillisch