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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.
Then I read them.
Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.
Comics I Read Last Week:
The best comic I read last week was Avengers #690.
Writers: Mark Waid, Al Ewing, Jim Zub
Artists: Pepe Larraz
The massive crossover Avengers: No Surrender comes to an end.
I want to say a merciful end and, though I read some complimentary articles about this almost 20-part crossover, I found it standard fare at best, meandering and decompressed (in a bad way) at worst.
The choice the writers made to sideline the majority of big-name Avengers for this team-up may have heightened the stakes (Captain America is not likely to be killed in this kind of event, but Lightening or Voyager? Well, I do not even know those characters so they might bite it) may have been a good one dramatically, but it lessened my interest in the proceedings.
I did not connect with this story, though I read every issue, in the way I would have liked and I thought the writing by Waid, Ewing and Zub (and I am a giant Mark Waid fan) was simply okay.
The star in recent issues was artist Pepe Larraz whose work is reminiscent (in a very good way) of Stuart Immonen’s. He is one to watch.
So how did this end up as the Pick of the Week? First, I am relieved it is over. Second, it has set the stage for a newly rebooted Avengers title that looks compelling. Third, it brought back the Hulk into the Marvel Universe with a pretty interesting twist: the character seems now to be immortal.
This one just did not work for me but clearing the decks for the next round of Avengers incarnations did.