May 24, 2010

Ushering In A New Heroic Age

Last week saw the premiere of not one, but two long-standing team books "returning" to comic shelves. Both, of course, have been through various reboots and recastings, and are now out with brand, new shiny # 1 issues for your reading pleasure.

Or more honestly, one's a great read and the other's so-so.

The so-so one, in my opinion, is Avengers # 1 , Brian Bendis' latest attempt to milk the Marvel cash cow, er, I mean, revamp the team post-Siege into the Heroic Age (which, much like BRIAN BLESSED, must always be referred to in bold face. And I agree with Rich in that BRIAN BLESSED must always be capitalized). Admittedly, I liked it...but only because it didn't have most of Bendis' writing weaknesses (the decompressed storytelling, the stylized dialogue), and was actually a really nice lead-off for a potential series. However...there was just something about the book that seemed not to gel. Maybe it's because I've felt burned by Bendis in the past (and look for my new ebook, Burned by Bendis, on Amazon in November!), but although it was a good issue (and I loved John Romita, Jr's art), I am unsure if I'll stick around past issue three.

However, I am totally ecstatic over the new Legion of Super Heroes # 1 - I pretty much grew up on Levitz-era Legion, and so for me, this was a no-brainer. However, I was surprised - and ecstatic - on how Paul Levitz took several of the plot points from Geoff Johns' "Superman and the Legion of Super Heroes" arc and spun them off into potentially different storylines. This book doesn't rest on past laurels (which you could easily accuse previous reboots of doing, should you decide to do so), it builds on them, and really makes me want to read this book further.

(Plus, there's a twist at the end that - without spoiling - I honestly did not see coming).

But what made me love this book was Yildiray Cinar's artwork, which dropped me straight into the 31st century.

Both of these books seemed to be opportunities for long-time writers to revisit and revamp the characters they have been long associated with. If losing an executive position helped kick start Paul Levitz's creativity, then it was well worth it.

But Brian Bendis? I'll be generous and say...he's coasting. And can do better.

1 comment:

Roger Owen Green said...

#1s?! Hate it, on general principle. where's the history?!