Thursday, April 14, 2011

Reviews: X-Men- Powerless; Frankenstein's Womb; Aetheric Mechanics

X-MEN: POWERLESS (Marvel, 2010; softcover)
Collects Cable No. 78, Uncanny X-Men Nos. 379, 380, Wolverine No. 149, X-Force No. 101 and X-Men No. 99 (cover dates April- May, 2000).
This is one of those pleasant surprises. Marvel usually brings out collected editions of older material to cash in on/ hype up an old character returning and/or being relaunched, or starring in a movie. Once in a while, they throw a left field trade like this out there that has nothing to do with current happenings in the Marvel Universe. This was a decent read with palatable artwork. I love how the cover of each issue has the trade dress, unlike collections of  modern material. I'll never understand why they do that. I like seeing the logo, the TM box, etc.
FRANKENSTEIN'S WOMB (Avatar, 2009; softcover)
Original graphic novel.
I picked this up on a whim and was pleasantly surprised at how good it is. Warren Ellis writes a prequel of sorts to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Marek Oleksicki's artwork is excellent, presented in black and white and is genuinely creepy. The cover art is not by Marek, so I included a panel from the story to show how exquisite his artwork is. 

I like how this is a skinny book rather than a padded 5 or 6 issues mini-series collected into a trade paperback. The story is the exact length that it needed to be, and that is refreshing in this day and age of "written for the trade" comic books.
AETHERIC MECHANICS (Avatar, 2008; softcover)
Original graphic novel.
OK, so I am on a Warren Ellis kick. Sue me. This follows the same format as Frankenstein's Womb, basically a glorified 'prestige format' 48 page book. Graphic novella does sound sexier, I'll admit. Like FW, the shorter story length works because the story is long enough to make a point but is not bloated and padded out to fill a 120 page book. There isn't the investment of both time and money that often makes these things seem not worthwhile. I copped an attitude towards the story at first because it seemed kind of "steam punk", but there is a payoff at the end. This story isn't gripping but it is a worthwhile read.

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