Friday, July 19, 2013

Reviews: Morbius The Living Vampire #7 and AVENGERS VOL. 2: THE LAST WHITE EVENT

Morbius The Living Vampire #7 (Marvel, cover date September, 2013)

Writer: Joe Keatinge

Artists: Valentine De Landro and Felix Ruiz

Colorist: Antonio Fabela

The so-called Superior Spider-Man (read: Doctor Octopus' mind in Peter Parker's brain) teams up with Morbius to battle Nikoletta Harrow. I wonder if she is supposed to be the daughter of old school minor league villain Doctor Jonas Harrow. In any case, her ridiculously large gloves/fists make her seem silly. Of course the Rose is still there pulling the strings. Morbius finally gets a costume, an updated take on his original duds. Things end with a bang. 

Two more issues to go and then this series will be finished. I am sad. This is likely the last shot Morbius has at his own series, as it is apparent that comic fans don't love Morbius as much as I do. If I were Keatinge, I'd say screw it and throw Werewolf By Night, the Living Mummy, and It! The Living Colossus in the final two issues and have them team up with Morbius to battle Mephisto. What's the worst thing that Marvel could do, cancel the series?
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3.75 out of 5. 

AVENGERS VOL. 2: THE LAST WHITE EVENT (Marvel, 2013; Hardcover)

Collects Avengers Nos. 7-11 (cover dates May- July, 2013)

Writer: Jonathan Hickman

Artists: Dustin Weaver (7-9) and Mike Deodato (9-11)

Colorists: Justin Ponsor (7-9) and Frank Martin (10, 11)

Hickman tap dances with DC-level Multiple Earths nonsense in this arc, where we see a variation of the New Universe (Marvel's aborted line of comics which started in 1986) join the Marvel Universe. Hickman's Avengers are increasingly galactic in scope, so these reality-altering, universe-shaking threats like Ex Nihlo and Abyss are either going to have to pay off in a major way or we are all in for a major letdown. So far I find them to be intriguing.

I am not pleased to see these versions of Star Brand and Nightmask enter the Marvel Universe. While many folks despised it at the time, I actually enjoyed the New Universe titles and was thrilled to see the Warren Ellis Newuniversal series a few years ago. We had a few Classic trade paperbacks from the '80s series, and then nothing. I'd rather see these properties get some top notch talent retooling them and seeing the characters brought back like that rather than how they are slapped into the “616” Marvel Universe. Oh, and the Sentry sucks. Thanks for bringing him back.

Don't worry, Wolverine is on THIS team as well. Whew!
Issue 11 is a glorified Shang-Chi, The Master of Kung Fu solo story. While the portions with Shang-Chi are great, much of the rest of this issue treads dangerously close to the abyss of bad Bendis-style dialogue. 'Witty' writing is a lot like the Cliffhanger game on The Price Is Right. Folks like to see how far they can push it, but most writers end up taking a fall. Yodel ay yodel ay yodel ay...berm berm bermmmm....Oh no! I can almost hear Bob Barker now.

Don't get me wrong, this was a solid and mostly enjoyable read. We are still light years away from the horrors of the Bendis “administration” on the title, so I'll keep looking forward rather than back. Who knows, maybe Vol. 3 will be incredible and the further implementation of the New Universe characters will blow me away. I'd love to be proven wrong.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3.75 out of 5.

The OCD zone- These Marvel Now Premiere Hardcovers put all of the covers in a gallery in the back of the book, all while wasting multiple pages with “chapter breaks” like the one seen below. This is a horrible waste of space. Does anyone that buys these books believe that they are “graphic novels” and not compilations of material originally published in the single magazine periodical format? No, I didn't think so either, so cut the crap! 

DVD-style Extras included in this book:
#9 Many Armors of Iron Man Variant: Daniel Acuna
#8 & 10 Avengers 50th Anniversary Variants: Daniel Acuna
Charactert Designs: Dustin Weaver (1 page)
Layouts & Inks: Dustin Weaver & Jay Leisten (4 pages)

Paper rating: 3.75 out of 5. This book has a decent weight glossy stock paper but it's not as nice as the paper that they used to use for the Premiere Hardcovers.

Binding rating: 4 out of 5. Glued binding. This is a thin book so it lays reasonably flat. That stupid free digital download card glued into the casing remains a nuisance. I would cut it out with a razor but I have taken a Hippocratic oath to never willingly harm or deface a comic book.

Hardback cover coating rating: 4.5 out of 5. The dull matte finish belies the durability of the coating on these dustjacket free hardbacks.

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