A Post-Thanksgiving Two For One

My belly is full of turkey, I'm at home with my family, and I'm ignoring my copious amounts of homework.

What should I do?

Why, review comics of course! On Tuesday I told you I was going to pick up the new issues of both Invincible Iron Man and Fantastic Four, because I had been looking for a chance to jump on each and this week, both because they seemed like good points to jump on and I was going to be away from the shop with my pull list, seemed like a good opportunity for me to do just that.

Now, before we delve into the comics themselves, I should mention that I've never really been all that interested in either set of characters. My reasons for disliking Tony Stark are well documented, and I don't really want to go into them at this juncture (although you can find them here, if you're interested) and, for some reason, The Fantastic Four have always just rubbed me the wrong way. I think it's probably because I always sort of saw Reed as the driving force behind the team, and I don't like Reed very much, for many of the same reasons I don't like Tony.

With all of that said, there is no Reed Richards in this issue of Fantastic Four, just Ben, Johnny, Sue and the Richards children (who, incidentally, rub me the wrong way just like their father does). The way the issue starts, with Franklin relating the events to Sue, is both very clever, but also very limiting- Franklin is a capable young man, to be sure, but, if there was any real consequence to the events, you could be damn sure we would be seeing the Fantastic Four save the day rather than just hearing Franklin tell us about it. That feeling, that Jonathan Hickman may have outsmarted himself a little, is pretty consistent through out the whole issue. The writing is just a little too clever for its own good, as if Hickman knows something we're not always quite privy to- although this may be because I jumped onto the title here.

Still, the book isn't bad by any means- it's just not particularly noteworthy, either. That the art is inconsistent doesn't really help. I'm unsure where to go from here, with the Fantastic Four. I might pick up another or issue or two, just to see what the book is like from month to month, but I'm not sure.

Now, where Fantastic Four #573 seemed a little bit too clever, Invincible Iron Man #20 seemed just right. Fraction seems to be a master plotter in the old Claremont style, with putting bits and pieces in place that won't come to fruition for years- actually, kind of like the Tony Stark that he's writing. That Tony barely even makes an appearance in the book is pretty incredible, too. He's the catalyst that gets the ball rolling, sure, but other than that it's up to everybody else to get the job done, and that's only the pieces that he's got going on. Where does Madame Masque fit into all of this? Norman Osborn? How does this all fit into Siege? It's all very exciting.

It helps that the trade dress is so damn cool. I don't know if it's something that's new just for Iron Man or what, but I really dig it. Sometimes I think that designing comic book covers is something of a lost art, but that clearly isn't the case here. If I have one complaint, its that I'm not sure how I feel about Salvador Larroca's art. It's not bad, by any means, and he's an excellent storyteller, but it all just feels a little bit, I dunno, mushy.

Still, with only the one, relatively minor, complaint, it's hard for me to imagine not picking up this book for a while to come. Matt Fraction is one of my favorite writers for a reason and if anyone can make Tony Stark interesting, it's probably him.

We all know what the best part of Thanksgiving is...

The Spider-Man balloon, of course! ;)

And the turkey, and the pie, and the weird family traditions. Hope everyone had a good turkey day!

Also, some exciting news for anyone in the New York area. St. Marks Comics is having another sale this weekend. Back issues are 50% off, new comics, trades and toys are 10% off, and statues and Star Wars toys are 30% off. So if you've got that issue that you've been meaning to get then do Black Friday comics style!

If you're not in New York then I highly suggest you check out your local comic book store this weekend! They may have a Black Friday sale going on as well. When everyone else is out buying HD TVs you could be scoring some sweet books! Less people to fight with too.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you are all full of food!


Well, this is cool.

Jonathan Hickman's new series, called Shield (and, unless I'm mistaken, there are no periods in there- maybe we'll get to see the birth of S.H.I.E.L.D?) will reach into the past and "chronicle how some of the greatest figures in history worked to protect the Earth from Galactus and other interstellar threats." I'm a sucker for series like this, so I'm curious to see where this goes.

Already Tired of Tuesday 11/24/09

AHA! Finally a big week of things for me to report on Already Tired of Tuesday!

First off we've got the final story in JMS's fantastic run on Thor- its sad to see the writer leave the God of Thunder as the stories he's told have been unbelievable. He's taken Thor and Asgard to entirely new places and while many of the comics that the Big Two produce seem to be recycling themselves Thor has been blazing its own trail for as long as JMS has been writing it. I did, however, really enjoy Kieron Gillen's first issue of SWORD, so I'm hopeful that the series will remain fantastic, although I'm certainly invested enough in it that I'll probably keep pulling it, even if it blows.

Staying in the realm of the divine, the second of part of Assault on New Olympus comes out tomorrow too- if you're interested, check out this interview over at CBR- and, seeing as I've been digging Incredible Herc so much recently I'm excited to see where Pak and Van Lente take this.

Matt Fraction is keeping the trouble coming for the X-Men in Uncanny #517, Tracy Lawless is sure to find some of his own in Criminal: The Sinners #2 and the JSA is going to tear itself to shreds in #33, the last issue before Matt Sturges takes his team and splits it off into JSA: All Stars.

Additionally, there are two more things I'm going to take a good look at: the new trade dress for The Invincible Iron Man is fantastic, and I've been waiting for a good point to jump on Fraction's Tony Stark story, so I'm going to try it out for a few issues and see what happens. Also, I've been hearing really good things about Jonathan Hickman's Fantastic Four, so I might be picking that up as well.

Anything else I should take a flip through?