New Comics 6/22/05

New Avengers #6: The story is getting muddier and the writing is weaker than on the first five issues. Also, the art looks more Liefeld-y than it did before. I may just be nitpicking the visuals because I was unimpressed by the writing this time. This issue provides the Big Reason for the Avengers to reform. Unfortunately, the details behind the reason seem rather contrived. So, the U.S. government (or a faction thereof) is doing something dastardly and the New Avengers are gonna New Avenge the bunches of people who died because of it, or something.

The problem here is that all of the evidence for this dastardly stuff is either revealed or explained in this issue. They make some references to things that happened earlier but the setup for the big moment seems rushed and tacked on. I have enjoyed the series up to this point and I'll pick up #7 but if the story doesn't tighten up I'll drop it.

House of M #2: I was pretty lukewarm about the first issue of House of M but I really like #2. The art is excellent and the alternate reality (semantics be damned - if it's going to go back to normal it's an alternate reality) is very cool. It's like Magneto's version of the Top Ten setting. Apparently, Logan's powers include the ability to smell cosmic changes to the order of things. I'm definitely picking up #3. My only complaints about this issue involve the pacing of the scene between McCoy and Pym (the two Henrys) and the cover which uses a muted palette when brighter colors would have made the figures stand out better. They're probably saving that for the inevitable variant cover.

Astro City: The Dark Age #1: I've been waiting for this one for quite a while. It wasn't what I expected it to be at all but it is a very engaging story about a pair of non-powered brothers and how they are affected by all of the ca-ray-zee superheroes around them. It distinguishes itself from Marvels and other "regular people reacting to superpowers" comics by focussing on the relationship between the brothers. The art is good and the Alex Ross cover is cool even if it depicts a relatively minor scene. I guess a picture of a couple of guys talking very intensely doesn't just pop off the shelves.

The Iron Ghost #2: Still liking this one. I care about the major characters and I'm even more curious as to why this guy is going around murdering Nazis. Murdering these specific Nazis, that is. The art in #2 is even better than it was in the first issue and we get more of the detectives who are really cool. Chuck Dixon seems to have done his homework on what it was like in Berlin during the constant bombings. Great stuff. The violence (and there's plenty of it) is handled well both in the writing and in the art.

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