ASTONISHING X-MEN #51
Writer: Marjorie Liu
Art: Mike Perkins
It’s the big gay wedding event of the year as Northstar and Kyle prepare to walk up the isle and make Marvel Comic Book History.
In A Nut Shell:
So here it is, the big event issue, which is not without it’s issues and seems to have glazed over the events in the last issue in order to pave the way for the main event: Marvel’s first gay wedding.
Putting aside my disenchantment with how the events of the previous issue were seamlessly wrapped up off page this is a solid comic and subtlety deals with the wedding in a way that is neither in your face nor undersold. Liu occupies a middle-ground of pensive wedding jitters for the men of the moment and the lingering worries and prejudices that come from a (ironically mutant) community who are still a bit overwhelmed by the leaps and bounds society has made towards gay acceptance in the last decade (though Liu noted we’re not there yet).
One of the best moments came from War Bird, but I wont spoil it beyond to say; it’s as potent as it is alien as it is true.
In summation, this is a decent take on a wedding. The hype attached just happens to be because it’s gay. Perhaps one day gay weddings will be normal enough that I wont feel inclined to actually bother reviewing the issue that contains them, because if it was The Thing getting married again I wouldn’t give a f*ck.
BEFORE WATCHMEN COMEDIAN #1
Writer: Brian Azzarello
Art: JG Jones
I’m a funny guy…’ Plus: Don’t miss the CRIMSON CORSAIR backup story by writer LEN WEIN and artist JOHN HIGGINS!
In A Nut Shell:
Part of Eddie Blakes appeal is he’s an absolute bastard, and I was convinced this mini would only dilute him. If anything Azzarello add’s a new shade of grey.
The plot is a tight little number set in Kennedy era politics during the skewed superhero perforated history Moore created back in the 80′s. JFK, Jackie Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy all play support to Eddie Blake, the necessary ‘go to guy’ for the folks in office as he’s put to his best use – silent killings for ‘the powers that be’ and easy take downs with the feds for the good publicity.
Some scenes are so superbly written and naturalistic you would swear the writer was there and his take on the period is pitch perfect. JG Jones art suffers from a pallid coloring job, but my overall reaction to this issue while at times close to griping at an easy target historically speaking, was that this is an excellent alternative history from a top class writer. And my problems with prequels aside; there appears to definitely be more story in Eddie Blake than what we saw of him in Watchmen.
I hate you DC for making me like this. Grumble, grumble…
AVENGERS VS X-MEN #6
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Oliver Coipel
ACT TWO BEGINS! • Jonathan Hickman joins superstar artist Olivier Coipel (SIEGE) to launch Act Two of the biggest Marvel event of the year! • What is Pax Utopia? • The Phoenix has come to Earth, and everything changes… • And the Scarlet Witch enters the fray!
In A Nut Shell:
Now that the frustratingly indecisive smash-fest that was the first half of this mega event is over, a semblance of plot is being injected.
Phoenix powered religious nut come Utopian fascist leader Cyclops and the rest of the Phoenix 5 have taken to rebuilding the Earth to their own Utopian designs. The Avengers having taken an arse kicking the last issue still aren’t happy, though their motivation for undoing the X-Men’s modern nirvana is as muggy and thoughtless as a Michael Bay movie (kidnap Hope and question her?), albeit one with a slightly better concept of where it’s going (all due credit to Jonathan Hickman) as while everybody’s actions may be fundamentally retarded, at least the writers acknowledging the bigger picture, though is hindered by the general direction (his Fantastic Four epic had no such problems).
I enjoyed this issue mostly off the back of Oliver Coipel’s art. The man is probably one of the best event artists out there and makes Romita Jnr.s stuff look like kids art with crayola.
Beyond that it was a passable read and will hopefully turn around enough that we get that ‘bang’ ending, rather than the usual Marvel Event ‘fizzle’.