So now that the news about Disney’s acquisition of Marvel comics is public knowledge, and it looks like they’ll have no problem getting past the anti-trust panel, I think it is safe to have my fanboy freak out followed immediately by the calm realization that the publishing end probably won’t change all that much.
I expect to see an Iron Man ride at Disneyland before the world ends on December 21, 2012.
Now on to the reviews!
This is the final issue of a great series that died before its time. Maybe it’s the Anglophile in me, but I really enjoyed how “British” this comic book felt which was due, in no small part, to to the excellent writing of Paul Cornell. He had no small task to achieve with this issue seeing as he needed to end the whole series and complete the current Dracula storyline at the same time. I won’t lie, there are sections that seemed rushed. You can tell from reading it that there are characters and plot lines that were clearly going to be drawn out longer, especially the return of Meggan. I enjoyed the device of Pete Wisdom taking a girl on a date and using that to basically explain everything that was going on.
There are some continuity questions I have, mostly stemming from the issue where the skull was “destroyed,” but these are small gripes. The reappearance of Death’s Head was a nice surprise as was the final battle against Dracula. Cornell’s ability to make Dracula such a great villain makes me hope that he’ll get his hands on more lesser known characters and give them a reboot. He’ll certainly have the opportunity now that Marvel has moved him on to four different books!
As usual Leonard Kirk’s art was dynamic and fun and it continues to make me wonder how such a great book can get canceled. The trades of this series will be out and complete by October. If you like good stories you’ll pick them up.
There are times in the life of a comic book that you have an issue or two that are used to push forward an overall plot line as opposed to the tight single issue plot line. In issues like this it is customary to have a big guest star to help fill out the book. In my opinion, this is one of those issues for AoA. Jimmy Woo leaves to investigate an old branch of the Atlas Group with the robot M-11 and, just as he leaves, the rest of the team is called to action by a secret base in Nevada. What danger could require the whole inner circle? The Hulk!
Seeing the team come together without Woo or the power of M-11 was actually really nice. The action was not played simple or without consequence. The team goes through all the “expected” ways that you’d try to suppress the Hulk and the final solution ends up being creative and, while not surprising, satisfying. Jeff Parker really understands his characters and their team dynamic. He does it so well that this issue, which is actually quite good, seems mediocre by the standards set in the rest of the series. That can be a problem with a book that is so regularly good, you get accustomed to it and it’s hard to be “wowed!”
Art duties are well executed by Carlo Pagulayan on pencils and Jason Paz with Noah Salonga inks. The story flows very well and the creature designs are suitably creepy. It’s just a really solid book. The end cliffhanger actually has me wondering what’s next, and that’s not something many comic readers are accustomed to!
That’s it for today, see you tomorrow!