Let's Compare

This, here, from The Marvels Project #3, is a fantastic piece of comics artwork. Namor is pissed. You can tell because he's shouting "RRRAAAAA" (which is exactly what I would shout, were I both pissed and also the prince of Atlantis). Anyway, the form of the picture is excellent. Steve Epting's figure work is among my favorite in comics and, although its not consistently mindblowing, his art is fantastic.

This, to your right, is another picture of angry Namor (this has potential as a feature. Keep your eyes peeled for ANGRY NAMOR TUESDAY)- but there's a difference. Everything that's right about the picture above is wrong with this picture right here- his muscles are too exaggerated, he lacks majesty, and, most concerningly, he looks like he's going to pop out of the page and eat me. What is he even doing here? I mean, I understand that the text says that he's "lost in rage", which sounds like Namor, but just because he's raging doesn't mean he's a lunatic- and that's how he's drawn.

I know I've dissed Reborn's art in the past, but reading the newest issue of the Marvels Project made it clear to me just how much Brubaker's story is suffering because Bryan Hitch (who's art I've really, really enjoyed in the past) can't seem to get his act together. Like I said yesterday, the writing in Reborn is pretty good- it's not Brubaker's best, but I suspect that despite all of the talk about "this being his plan from the beginning" that he may not have been quite ready to tell that story yet- but I don't think the story is being presented very well. This is vastly unfortunate- while Spider-Man is the publisher's flagship, Captain America is Marvel's most important character and, in many ways, Reborn is the beginning of his second act.

The Death of Captain America arc was a masterstroke- in a career of brilliant comics, I would argue that in many ways the story is Brubaker's crowning jewel- more than any other "event" in the past decade of Marvel continuity, I think it rocked the Marvel universe the most. While there have been plenty of game changers in that time, I think the effects of Cap's death are going to be felt for a long, long time- Bucky's continued presence in the MarvelU being only the least of those changes.

Siege, I think, is going to undo most of what these big events have done- I mean, look at the promo art. Marvel's Big Three are back together on the Avengers for the first time in almost five years. It's the end of Bendis's macro-arc and, like I said yesterday, I have faith it will be pretty good. At it's core, though, its going to be fundamentally about bringing many things back to the way things were- but Cap will never be the same. What I had thought to be clues that Steve was going to have a similair deathspan as Barry Allen, I think are actually clues that Steve's role is going to be different in this new universe.

That, however, is mostly an aside. The point is that I'm enjoying the Marvels Project vastly more than I'm enjoying Reborn, and it has nothing to do with Brubaker. Steve Epting's art, as always, is a joy; Bryan Hitch's is, surprisingly, not.

1 comment:

  1. Josh, I think that as wonderful a story and as huge its ramifications, "The Death of Captain America" is not the biggest Marvel U "game changer" of the decade as you call it. Especially since it was really a long epilogue to, or effect of, "Civil War". In my opinion, THAT story has had the widest and longest lasting ramifications of any of them. (Its storytelling merits aside.)

    But most of these stories exist in a chain of events and none of these things last forever. I hate to pull the seniority card on you, but you haven't been reading Marvel as long as I have. I've come to think of things in phases as well as cycles. The 90s Marvel Comics I was reading when I was a kid? Whole different ballgame from this. Cap died and came back TWICE. One of those times was really a rebirth of a great deal of Marvel's characters simultaneously. Were some of those comics just bad? Yeah. But some of them were more a product of their time than anything else.

    In the end, I think the stories that end up having truly far-reaching changes are the ones that change the way we think about the characters instead of simply changing something about them. "The Night Gwen Stacy Died" from 1972 probably actually did more to change the Marvel U than any event in the last decade. And those two issues together aren't even, what? 50 pages?