Two Guys Talking About Comics: Fear Itself 5, Batgirl 24, New Avengers 15, Detective Comics 881

AARON GLAZER:
Two guys are about to talk about comics, Grey.

 

GREY SCHERL:
It must be Thursday. Though it won’t be when anybody reads it.

 

AARON GLAZER:
That’s pretty true. Guess what we start with this week?

 

GREY SCHERL:
Fear Itself? Please let us start with Fear Itself, I want all of that negativity out of my system before we get to the best book of the week.

 

AARON GLAZER:
 Fear Itself #5!.  It was my favorite issue of the series thus far… ironically with the worst art the series has had so far.

GREY SCHERL:
I’d go the other way on that, in that I think the art was what held the book up because there was quite literally no story to do the job.
The book was a series of moments jam packed together.

 

AARON GLAZER:
You wanted a cool Thor fight, and you got it.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I did get that, best part of the issue is the Thor fight and the use of Franklin and Val.
Fraction’s Cap is horrible though, it’s like he’s trying to be Clint Eastwood.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Yep.  Captain America’s use?  Not good.  Spider-Man?  Only works if he’s married, really.  Iron Man? We’ve complained enough about that already.

 

GREY SCHERL: 4:47 pm
Spider-Man read like Frac was trying to channel Bendis.
I’ve got a new description of Fear Itself. We can call it “Fear Itself: A Michael Bay Event In Seven Parts”.

 

AARON GLAZER:
In the worst way possible.  And yes, that covers it.
It’s strikingly Transformers.

 

GREY SCHERL:
But Transformers was watchable because you sit down and in two and a half hours it’s over.

 

GREY SCHERL:
This is Transformers broken across seven months, that doesn’t work.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Thor kills Thing, tosses Hulk away after acknowledging he can’t beat him… then Franklin saves Thing.  Everything else? Meh.  And why can’t Franklin bring back Johnny?

 

GREY SCHERL:
Because Johnny isn’t dead and he’s in another reality, and that would just be too easy.
I mean, this was too easy too, but not like bringing Johnny back, that would leave Hickman with a lot of wasted potential.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Right, I agree totally, which is why Franklin shouldn’t have brought back Ben. I mean, they should never have KILLED Ben.  Why open that can of worms?  It’s just a mistake.

 

GREY SCHERL:
In this case it worked, because I mean, he didn’t die, Franklin saved him before it could happen.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Right… but don’t do the death tease with BEN when you have JOHNNY dead and it was a huge event.  Did you for a quarter second, in storyline terms even, think Ben might die?
No, the scene failed, even if the kids are always cool.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Not at all, I figured the second we saw Franklin and Val that he was coming out of the issue orange and rocky.

 

AARON GLAZER:
But the heroes are LOSING!

 

GREY SCHERL: 4:54 pm
That’s the biggest issue with this mini, it’s a giant void of emotion. Tons of shit happens and you care about none of it.
They are, but I already know that they don’t actually lose because there’s Battle Scars and nothing is getting canned.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Yep, stuff happens. Jimmy cracked corn and I still didn’t care.
Rating?

 

GREY SCHERL:
It’s getting a 5, I liked Immonen’s work, and the few good parts of the issue were good, but honestly this book is nigh unreadable in the monthly format, so I’m probably being too generous.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I give it a 4.  It still wasn’t average, but it was closer to average than we’ve prior had.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I know you didn’t like it, but Frac could stand to go read Blackest Night, because at least that was well paced.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Frac could stand to go re-read Casanova, because it’s awesome and he needs to write awesomely.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Hahahahahahaha

 

AARON GLAZER:
What book is next, sir.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I’m saving the best for last, so let’s run up with a DC book, I’m thinking your book of the week?
I’m also just assuming what your book of the week is.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Detective Comics #881 which is indeed my book of the week.  Good guess.

GREY SCHERL:
What can I say? I know you. Plus, it’s my number three this week.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Francesco Francavilla is a god amongst artists.  He’s the Thunder God of Artists.

 

GREY SCHERL:
He created a bar and set it up high, at least as far as Detective Comics artists go.

 

GREY SCHERL:
LIke, I wouldn’t enjoy him on Superman, but his work with Batman is phenomenal, I want to see him do Daredevil next!

 

AARON GLAZER:
It’s just original and gorgeous.  The layouts and coloring are phenomenal.

 

GREY SCHERL:
They really are, they perfectly capture the tone of the story Snyder is telling here.

AARON GLAZER:
Snyder’s created a fantastic contrast between James Gordon and Dick Grayson… and putting Barbara Gordon between them… wow.
I don’t want to spoil, but this is every bit as good as any Grant Morrison Batman and needs to be read.

 

GREY SCHERL:
You know what else he did? He answered the question of “Does Jim Gordon know who Batman is” without ever directly approaching it.

 

GREY SCHERL:
There is just layer after layer of subtext in that story, it’s brilliant, so well thought out, so brilliantly told, dude is the master.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I really love Dick as Batman.  I never thought I’d prefer anyone but Bruce under the cowl, but apparently I would.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I always knew I’d like Dick better, he’s a more relatable character, he’s openly flawed. Bruce is incredible, but with Dick you always felt like he was a real flesh and blood person.

 

AARON GLAZER:
So, here’s a controversial statement I stand behind – this is my favorite Detective Comics run ever.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I wouldn’t call it controversial, I’d second it.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Rating?

 

GREY SCHERL:
8.5

 

AARON GLAZER:
10.  I love this book.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Ehhh, I’m going with the 9, actually.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Better.  Let’s go to the next DC book.  We’ve agreed too much lately.

 

GREY SCHERL:
My only issues were tiny and relatively unimportant.
What’s the next DC issue?

 

AARON GLAZER:
War of Green Lanterns Aftermath 2.  I hated it.

GREY SCHERL:
I enjoyed it but at the same time know it was nothing special, as well as that it was doomed from the start just on the nature of it harboring a bunch of plots we already knew the outcome of.
My least favorite part was that neither artist bothered to reference Vath Sarn to bother getting his legs right.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Okay… do you realize there was a superhero domestic dispute here?  I mean, like, nearly Hank Pym with power rings.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Is it bad that I separated that and just saw it as two angry Lanterns fighting?
Not to mention, she attacked him, Hank slapped wasp.

 

AARON GLAZER:
So, she’d be Pym, but still.
Clearly Bedard separated that too, but he’s wrong.  The fight is about their relationship and, well, look at it again – it’s really uncomfortable, despite the flashy art.

 

GREY SCHERL:
The art wasn’t so flashy, but yeah, I do see what you mean.

 

GREY SCHERL:
There was some nice stuff in the issue, but it was far from anything special.
Honestly, almost two months without any real GL stuff on the market, the stock issues of Emerald Warriors, some random GLC wrap up, this mini reads like a combination of wrap up, set up, and getting those two missing issues of GL onto the market that they lost by having the books wrap for September.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Everyone acted emotionally stunted, which I get is the point, but it doesn’t make me care for or wanted to read any of these people.  Only Guy was really in character.  I don’t buy Kilowog attacking Salaak.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I understood him going off on Salaak, those two have been through a lot, and after Blackest Night both were supposed to stop drinking the Guardians koolaid.
The PTSD as an explain all works better in this scenario then I can imagine it doing for most any other situation in comics.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Right. I guess I’ll go with that to an extent… until we get to the issue of domestic abuse, anyway.  Rating?

 

GREY SCHERL:
I’m going with a 6.5, the Ganthet stuff I enjoyed, and Mogo’s funeral was nicely handled.

 

AARON GLAZER:
4.5… I liked the Ganthet stuff now that you mention it.  The rest was just overshadowed.
Want to stick with DC or head back to Marvel?

 

GREY SCHERL:
Was it just me or did the other Guardians have Krona eyes?

 

AARON GLAZER:
They did.

 

GREY SCHERL:
They looked absolutely insane, and I can’t wait for that to be a blowing up plot point.
We’ve got one DC book left, and I want to do that last because….I want to do it last. What else do we have?

 

AARON GLAZER:
New Avengers #15 which I bought by accident and, get this, am happy I did!

GREY SCHERL:
I know, right?
Bendis is at his best when he does a tightly focused character driven story.

AARON GLAZER:
Self-contained helps as well.  This could have been during any event.  What happens this

issue?

 

GREY SCHERL:
This is a two parter, so not really self contained, but he can still get away with it.

 

GREY SCHERL:
This issue is the Squirrel Girl spotlight I’ve been waiting years for, as Bendis brings the attention to Luke and Jessica’s nanny.
We also for the first time ever get to see just how she would win in a fight against Wolverine.

 

AARON GLAZER:
She’s grown to care about the baby – she gets both nice emotional moments and cool badassery.  She’s easily the most effective against Nazi mechs so far.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I like how she honestly says she only took the job in hopes that it would lead to her being an Avenger, that’s the most selfish thing Doreen has ever done, and it’s still perfect.
If Squirrel Girl defeats the Serpent then I will call it all worth it.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Right, because it doesn’t really last.  And her taking classes works as well.  She’s human and still funny.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Her attending school in full costume because she doesn’t like to hide is just the sweetest thing ever, she’s sweeter than sugar. Bendis makes you love Squirrel Girl just like Dan Slott did a few years ago.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I’m with it. Rating?

 

GREY SCHERL:
I’m giving it an 8, and noting that it could only have been better had they gotten someone with a lighter style than Mike Deodato to draw it.

 

AARON GLAZER:
8 is absolutely right for this.  I could go to 8.5, and someone like Marcos Martin would make it a 9.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I was thinking of a Stefano Casseli or a Mike McKone, or even a Sean Chen. Marcos Martin wouldn’t have done it for me here.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Now, New Mutants #29.  I’m of two minds about this.

GREY SCHERL:
Let’s hear them.

 

AARON GLAZER:
First, the character work is great.  Abnett and Lanning are wonderful on team books.  Nate Grey and Cypher are two favorites, with Moonstar likely joining them there.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I really enjoy the characterization they’re giving Nate.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Unfortunately, this is a Fear Itself tie in using Hela and Mephisto… which would be fine, but they already are in Journey into Mystery.  That’s not only a superior book, but also has nothing to do with the plot here.  Worse, the art is absolutely terrible.

 

GREY SCHERL:
David LaFuente must have a new inker, he looked so much better on Ultimate Comics Spider-Man.

AARON GLAZER:
I agree totally.  Everyone here looked misshapen.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I’ll also add that the FI tie in doesn’t bother me so much here as I also enjoyed the Siege and Second Coming tie ins that used Asgard.
Zeb Wells had done a nice job of making a reason for Dani getting her Valkyrie abilities, and that tie alone kind of forces the book in there. The “Hell” and “Hel” stuff was hilarious and awesome.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Cypher is an excellent, underrated character.

 

GREY SCHERL:
His return was the best thing about Necrosha.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I agree with that fully.  New Mutants – where formerly dead awesome mutants turn up to be awesome.
Rating?

 

GREY SCHERL:
It gets a 7, if the art was better it would be in the 8 range.

 

AARON GLAZER:
5.0 The contradictory plot and the horrible art ruined an issue I would have otherwise loved.
Finally onto your book of the week, the final issue of Batgirl.

 

GREY SCHERL:
It is my best of the week, and while you should ask for my rating at the end, a teaser is that it rhymes with “den”.

 

AARON GLAZER:
We wrap up with  Batgirl 24 with her father and, well, I had issues with the issue.  Shouldn’t we have explained what the heck that flower was?  Or really, her father’s plan made more sense?

GREY SCHERL:
The flower was Black Mercy, that explained plenty to me. I mean, God knows how he got it, or why he did what he did, but the end result worked amazingly.

 

AARON GLAZER:
*Shrug* I feel like they needed another issue to explain and ran out of space.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Miller could have spent a great deal more time fleshing out her father’s involvement, but given the time he had I think he did better than anyone else could ahve.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I can dig that, but his fault or not, it keeps the book from a “den”

 

GREY SCHERL:
I found peace in it, I mean, sure, I’d have liked to have had more, but I was satisfied with what we got here.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I liked it a lot, but it wasn’t perfect.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Bryan gave us a goodbye to Stephanie as Batgirl without her having to say goodbye to us. As far as endings go, hers was sweet and awesome.
The scene with her mom at the end worked magic too, there was just a lot I liked here, and it was enough to cover up that I wanted five more pages of her dad explaining stuff.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Ha, fair enough.  So you give it a ten, I give it a 9, and we both say track down this series in trades! See you next week!

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