Monday, February 11, 2013

mini Reviews (Feb 6-12, 2013)

------- DC Reviews

Normally, each issue gets four dedicated sentences, but because Animal Man and Swamp Thing interconnect on such a basic level, I've gone ahead and combined them in one, eight-sentence review that covers the entire "Rotworld: Finale."

Animal Man #17
(w) Scott Snyder & Jeff Lemire  (a) Steve Pugh, Timothy Green III, and Joseph Silver

Swamp Thing #17
(w) Scott Snyder & Jeff Lemire  (a) Andrew Belanger

This week, "Rotworld" finally came to a close with Animal Man #17 and Swamp Thing #17, a one-two punch finale that, unfortunately, succumbs to the law of diminishing returns and just doesn't feel all the satisfying after nearly two years of build-up. Even though the connections between Animal Man and Swamp Thing have only been official over the past six months, these series have been connected since issue one, and the threat of the Rot is starting to become a little long in the tooth. While nearly every other title in the 'New 52' has gone through at least two distinct story arcs, both Animal Man and Swamp Thing have been greatly decompressed to the point where it's hard to imagine either of these series outside their plight against Anton Arcane and the Rot -- when heroes start to be defined by their villains, you know something is wrong. "Rotworld: Finale" just doesn't live up to the hype Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire have been promising for what seems like forever now.

And the truth is, I don't really know why; Snyder and Lemire invested so much time, effort, and energy into crafting this massive crossover that would have lasting ramifications on these characters, yet in the final moments, it all comes down to something that's been in the equation since the beginning. I'm not a fan of "deus ex machina" situations like this where the answer has been sitting there the entire time because that kind of story betrays the intelligence of the characters and, by extension, the readers. I didn't dislike or hate "Rotworld: Finale" as a closing chapter of the ongoing Rotworld saga, but it's just not as explosive as I imagined it would be, and switching out Yannick Paquette for Andrew Belanger for Swamp Thing #17 was a mistake on DC's part because there's now a disconnect between the rest of the arc, which looks beautiful, and this final issue, which looks just passable. I'll continue to read both titles going forward, because Snyder and Lemire have amazing track records with them as well as their other work, but Animal Man #17 and Swamp Thing #17 both dropped the ball when it came to delivering a satisfying conclusion to the months-and-months long "Rotworld" narrative.

GRADE: 7/10 (Animal Man)

GRADE: 6.5/10 (Swamp Thing)

------- Marvel Reviews

Iron Man #6
(w) Kieron Gillen  (a) Greg Land

Kieron Gillen and Greg Land are taking Iron Man into space with "The Godkiller", a story arc designed to preface Tony Stark's membership in the newest iteration of the Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as provide some proper aftermath to last year's Avengers vs. X-Men. For the most part, Gillen is having fun with Tony in space because it's a setting where the character doesn't have a lot of experience, which means his normal processes -- both on the job and at-play -- have to be adjusted accordingly. Iron Man #6 mostly takes a look at Tony experiencing the wonders of deep space by trying to hook up with a purple alien babe made to look eternally from the 80s by Greg Land. Being the first of only three parts, I expected a bit more plot-wise from Iron Man #6, but it's still an enjoyable issue that fulfills it's goal as a bridge between bigger ideas.

GRADE: 7/10 

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