Since Carl hasn't received this week's comics yet I'll be avoiding spoilers. And man, it's going to be tough. Two books came out for me this week, Civil War #4 and Astonishing X-Men #17. I also picked up three more digests for Runaways (digests 3, 4, and 5) but I was only able to read one of them so far (I spent most of the evening at my brother's place last night). So what did I read first? I was leaning towards Astonishing but I knew that my brother wanted to talk about Civil War so I made sure to read that first. So on to the reviews:
Civil War #4: Just to get it out of the way, the art on this series has been pretty amazing. In saying so, I'm including the colouring as well (the neutral tones really bring a sense of seriousness to the story). The emotions, the action, it's all good. So I think Marvel picked the write people for the job there. Writing wise... Well I can see why people are upset but I can also see what is trying to be accomplished in the grand scheme of things at Marvel. In this series (maybe not so much in the other Civil War tie ins) the pro-registration side takes a serious beating in the eyes of the reader. You see a quick glimpse of "We're doing this for the right reasons" but it's quickly taken away by a scene where the reader can't help but think "You're doing THAT?" It's up to the reader to say to themselves "This is a war. These people see it as life or death and are doing what it takes to win this war." The problem is that you see what depths the pro-side is willing to go to when fighting their friends but the anti-registration side still seems to claim the moral high ground. And that's a tough pill for fans of the pro-reg. heroes to swallow (and somewhat rightfully so).
Astonishing X-Men #17: This one is going to be tough to review without spoiling scenes. Like the scene where Kitty [REMOVED AS IT WAS A SPOILER], I had goosebumps. The scene with childlike Logan [AGAIN, REMOVED AS IT WAS A SPOILER], you know I was [REACTION REMOVED AS IT MIGHT SPOIL THE [WHAT IT MIGHT SPOIL REMOVED AS IT MIGHT BE A SPOILER]]. And the last page with [REMOVED] holding [REMOVED] after [YOU GUESSED IT, REMOVED], I nearly [REMOVED, REMOVED, REMOVED]. Ok, moving on from the actual story, the art continues to be amazing. The scenes I mentioned above were all excellent, the childlike Logan scene ... [EMOTION REMOVED YET AGAIN][PUNCTUATION REMOVED... SPOILERISH]. The story, the dialogue, it's Joss. If there's a justification for human cloning, Joss is it. If we could just clone him we could lock all those clones up in a basement somewhere. Then we wouldn't have to wait so long for the next issue and his run could continue, or we'd be seeing the Serenity series sooner, or the Buffy series, or the Wonder Woman movie, or his Runaways run. You would have to keep the original locked safely away some where so he'd be available for more cloning because you don't want to start making copies of copies, they are never as good as the original (although still probably better than many of the writers out there). Yes, I'm stealing ideas and jokes from a Michael Keaton movie.
Runaways Digest #3: So we bring to a close our introductory storyline. I'm sorry to see some things go but it wraps up rather nicely. Vaughan doesn't seem to be too concerned about letting things/characters go. That's probably a perk of writing new characters that don't have millions of dollars of merchandise relying on them. The art is back to the original artist (which if you read my last reviews I said I preferred). The only downside is that with most things wrapped up so nicely this almost seems like a decent point to stop reading. You still have the characters to read about but the storyline seems pretty much ended. There doesn't seem to be anything dangling like most writers do (leave something to hook the reader into buying the next story). My only real gripe with it, the covers they show for the individual issues. They bug me. In the book the kids are cartoony but natural looking (ie. not the super wafer thin women you usually see in comic books). Gertrude isn't the prototypical thin comic book character. Molly is young (pre-pubescent) girl wearing children's clothes. Nico, again more natural looking than most comic book characters you see. Then the covers come out and Gertrude is your typical comic book thin young woman, Molly has aged and wearing midriff revealing clothes, and Nico is much more sexualized. It's too bad the covers can't show the characters as they appear in the book. But despite that little rant, I'm looking forward to reading digests 4 and 5 this weekend.