Archive for Journey into Mystery

This week in comics

Posted in Comics, Fantasy, Superhero with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2012 by Cara Marie

Panel showing Kara looking distressed, while Tycho stands behind her, saying, ‘Our daughter? You mean Mom shot Dad?! And Dad was experimenting on you?! That is rough!’ ‘No,’ Kara says. ‘No, this can’t ... this can’t be true!’

Super-Girl #13, Michael Johnson + Sami Basri

In this issue, Kara has a confrontation with a villain from earlier in the series, as well as an epiphany about her past. Tycho is dispatched with rather easily, but the angst, I suspect, will remain.

The more exciting part of this issue was that Kara gets an awesome undersea fortress, and calls her girlfriend new BFF Siobhan when she gets lonely. I was worried we wouldn’t see Siobhan again after Kara’s little ‘I’m putting you in danger’ meltdown, so I was pleased to see her here.

The artist for this issue was Sami Basri. His style is quite different from Mahmud Asrar’s. It reminds me a bit of Jamie McKelvie with Matt Wilson on colours. I liked it. It’s maybe not quite as charming as the felt-tip look, but definitely has its own appeal.

The Mighty Thor #21, Matt Fraction + Alan Davis, Mark Farmer, Javier Rodriguez

Over in The Mighty Thor, the finale of ’Everything Burns’ happened. I was underwhelmed. Which was a shame – it should have ended the arc with a bang. Instead it lacked the gut-punch of the previous issues, didn’t read smoothly, and, while I am not opposed to Leah and Loki having a snog, I felt Leah was way too nice in this issue.

I know it was a stressful situation, but she’s always been sharper before. I’m not sure if this is meant to be development, or if story!Leah is different in this way from handmaiden!Leah … it just felt a little off.

Oh well. Next for Loki: the final issue of Gillen’s run on Journey into Mystery. I’m preparing to have my heart ripped out.

Hawkeye #3, Matt Fraction + David Aja, Matt Hollingsworth

Hawkeye was also a bit confusing (also by Fraction!), because it jumped around in time some … but it’s so stylish I can’t hold such a small thing against it. I cannot even describe how much I love the art for this comic. I’ll just have to stick in a bunch of scans instead.

Panel showing Clint leaping out of bed in the nud! With a strategically placed Hawkeye-icon over the interesting bits.

 I enjoy Clint’s POV a lot too. He’s impossible not to like – a good guy, a little scattered in a very human way, a hero still with his enthusiasm intact. Also, he properly appreciates how awesome my girl Kate is. (So awesome. He’d be lost without her, natch.)

Panel showing Clint with a gun pointed at him – and Kate with an arrow pointed right back at the gunman.

I’m also intrigued by the redhead! Hopefully more will be revealed next issue …

Series of panels showing Clint talking to the redhead. ‘See?’ he says. ‘Look at how great you are. Why on earth would anybody want to kill you?’ She answers, ‘Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies. ‘Okay,’ Clint says, ‘now I want to kind of kill you a little bit.’

My eternal favourites

Posted in Comics, Fantasy with tags , , , , , on September 30, 2012 by Cara Marie

So, I just found out that Tim Hunter had made an appearance in Jeff Lemire’s Justice League Dark. Not the same Tim Hunter I followed for some hundred issues as a teenager; still, Tim Hunter. And the following felt very him:

A young Tim Hunter narrates that he'd had enough of magic. 'So I performed my last and greatest spell,' he says. 'I culled every bit of magic I'd acquired, and I gave it a form, a shape. I made it tangible. And then I exorcised it from me.'

Justice League Dark, issue 12. Writing by Jeff Lemire, art by Mikal Janin.

 

By which I mean, really incredibly stupid. There’s no way it could ever turn out badly :D

I’d always intended to check out Justice League Dark once it came out in trade, but it looks like I might have to follow it more closely than that. It’s funny, because Tim was often the least interesting thing in The Books of Magic, but I really am very attached to him.

So that happened. AND THEN I decided I couldn’t wait  for my copy of Journey into Mystery to arrive this Wednesday and I’d have to read it online first. (It was a pragmatic decision. I might not be able to resist looking at spoilers another three days.)

LEAH. LOKI.

God, my heart. I am so overwhelmed right now.

Many issues in quick succession

Posted in Comics, Fantasy, Superhero with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2012 by Cara Marie

The Flash

I find the speed force kind of bewildering. How does being able to go really fast result in all these different abilities?

Random bystander says, 'Thanks for thawing us out, Flash. How'd you ...?' 'Friction,' Flash says.

But, I find Barry kind of adorable and I really like the art. I never intended to read The Flash? But it was apparently my mother’s favourite when she was young, and the covers were pretty …

All the good characters are really decent people, which is a refreshing change. Particularly when some characters you don’t expect to have a nasty streak end up having one …

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman I have yet to get the latest issue. The first couple of issues were great but it’s rapidly gone meh for me. Also I expect Wonder Woman to be a superhero, not a Vertigo heroine. And I’m not opposed to Vertigo heroines, but Wonder Woman going to shows and smashing glasses into people’s hands (gods or no) and having an identity crisis is not really what I signed on for.

I’m just going to blame it on Brian Azzarello. It was his run I stopped reading Hellblazer the first time I was reading it. (Which I think is a pity now – because I was so close to Mike Carey’s run! Which I loved! But hey, the comics aren’t going anywhere.)

Demon Knights

Demon Knights is still fun. The dinosaurs are still wtf. I enjoy the tone of it, the mish-mash of high fantasy and all the things Paul Cornell thinks are awesome. I’d quite like to be consuming it in larger chunks.

Batwoman

Amy Reeder is good, but I feel a bit sorry for her, taking on Batwoman. Because she’s no JH Williams III. Some people might find the layouts easier to follow though! And Kate doesn’t look quite as anaemic.

Journey into Mystery

JiM is still charming. I like Hellstrom better here than anything else I’ve read him in.

'So,' Loki asks, 'Why the leather trousers and the lack of shirt?' And Leah says, 'I like the lack of shirt.' Me too, Leah.

Also, Leah has a lot of nice moments. Even the ones when she’s not there. ‘Even in a dream, Leah wouldn’t be nice!’ Loki says. Yup. Also, the bit where Thori’s  asking Hellstrom to be his master … it’s just great :D

Avengers Academy

I may be going off Avengers Academy. But then, I dislike time travel so it may just be this particular plotline. And Gage has a lot of characters to juggle now. (I just want my Finesse + Quicksilver bonding.) I’m not sure how well that’s going to work out? I would have preferred sticking to a smaller group. More time for character development. Less forgetting people exist (Sentinel boy).

Supergirl

I am a sucker for felt-tip colours at the moment. Still quite enjoying this, ignoring how on earth Kara managed to survive this issue (other than the power of love). There are some rather touching moments, where you see how young and on-the-verge-of-living Kara is.

Also, I have always been biased towards Supergirl :D

Sometimes alternative canons grate

Posted in Comics with tags , , on February 4, 2012 by Cara Marie

Okay, I know the comics don’t equal the mythology. But. Since when does Heimdall see the future? Why is Freya, who is a witch and most likely a seeress, asking him for assistance? If she had to ask someone, there are a billion seeresses and seers in Norse mythology. Who aren’t Heimdall.

I like the All-mothers better in Journey into Mystery when they’re schooling Loki not to use sexist language. (That’s not fair. I like everything better in Journey into Mystery. And maybe Heimdall has been a seer for ages in the Thor comics. Just. Sometimes it is hard.)

The gift of friendship

Posted in Comics, Middle fiction, Superhero with tags , , , on January 23, 2012 by Cara Marie

After Leah has asked what it is, Loki says, 'A Yuletide fist!' and thups her in the arm.Apparently, I like friendships where both parties commit violence upon each other. I’m talking Loki and Leah from Journey into Mystery here, but there are others, like Cable and Deadpool, where it’s just a normal part of the relationship.

Loki tells Leah they’re going to be BFFs, sure, but he also insults her regularly. Not that she’s not happy to strike back. Or steal his milkshake.

Loki stumbles out of the cave with his new dog Thori, looking the worse for wear. Green flames, courtesy of Leah, trail out around him.I was briefly confused as to why Leah fire-blasting Loki (in issue 632) didn’t seem to me a bad thing for their friendship. Violence should be incompatible with friendship, right? Even when you are a god and can deal.

Except, no.

When we were teenagers, I gave my friend L a bag of plastic cutlery for his birthday (this wasn’t that weird a present for us). We then proceeded to throw knives and forks at each other, for quite a while. Even the forks can draw blood if you throw them hard enough, who knew?

(More recently, I had to suffer through him getting a Nerf gun. I may need to get my own so I can retaliate.)

We insult each other often, we argue all the time, but I also spend more time talking to him than probably anyone else except maybe my mother.

So it’s weirdly familiar, watching Leah and Loki interact. And it’s not something I had thought to miss from my fiction. But now I am getting it it is awesome. I hope to be reading their wacky BFF antics for a long time.

Avengers Origins: Thor

Posted in Comics, Superhero with tags , , , , on January 9, 2012 by Cara Marie

Written by Kathryn Immonen, pencils by Al Barrionuevo

I know this series of one-shots is called ‘Avengers Origins’, but I was really hoping for Thor and Loki’s wacky teenage hi-jinks for this, not an Origin Story with a capital O. The sale material had led me to expect hi-jinks! So I was disappointed in that regard.

But then it had to add to the offense by just not being very good.

The structure is incoherent. At one point I was flicking back pages to make sure I hadn’t missed anything – quite a bit of the comic is about Thor (and Loki’s) relationship with Sif, and Sif being kidnapped is the fulcrum of Thor’s origin here. But we go from Thor intending to rescue Sif to ‘and then Thor ran around the nine realms killing things’ without actually seeing any details of the rescue, or the two interacting afterwards.

I felt sure I’d missed something, but no. Instead of going on to complete a story about Thor and Sif, the comic goes on to a speedy recap of Thor’s whole origin story (getting banished and so on). The pacing is all off, and instead of feeling like a whole, satisfying story, it feels like a mess.

The other thing that bothered me about this comic was Thor being sent to get treasures from the dwarves, because it takes a story I really like and then removes all the good bits. That is, the very motivation (Loki trying to cover his arse), the reason why Loki tries to stuff up the dwarves’ progress (in the comics, it’s to make Thor fail; in the mythology, it’s so he doesn’t have to pay up if the dwarves win the the bet), and the fantastic ending where Loki says he offered his head to the dwarves if they won, but he didn’t say anything about his neck, so the dwarves sew his lips shut instead and leave pissed off. Such a fitting punishment for the liesmith!

It takes those things away, all the character and the humour, and gives us something altogether less interesting. I know that the Marvel characters don’t always have much to do with the gods, but dammit, they shouldn’t be serving up such a bland retelling!

The only thing Immonen’s added to the story is a motivation for Loki’s shearing off Sif’s hair in the first place – it’s for a spell to make Sif fall in love with someone other than Thor (are we to assume Loki himself?) There’s no explanation for that act in the mythology (I personally subscribe to the ‘calling her an adulterer’ theory :D).

And I guess that illustrates the difference between mythology!Loki and comics!Loki. Mythology!Loki motivations are generally:

  1. Getting himself and/or the other gods out of trouble
  2. For the hell of it.

And comics!Loki’s motivations are generally:

  1. Villainy!
  2. Because he’s so jealous of Thor and everyone hates him.

Which has its appeals too, but in this instance it just means the story’s way less fun. (This is probably why I like Gillen’s kid!Loki so much: he seems to be drawing more on the mythological Loki.) And that on top of everything else wrong makes me wish I hadn’ t bothered with this issue.

Thor, Journey into Mystery, and Wolverine and the X-Men

Posted in Comics, Fantasy, Middle fiction, Superhero with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 27, 2011 by Cara Marie

Thor: The World Eaters

Matt Fraction and Pasqual Ferry

This was rather underwhelming. If Asgard is now on earth, what is in Asgard’s place? I like the idea, and I can see what it was going for – but it didn’t have nearly the length to develop it. This is a seven-issue arc, and it really needs, oh, twice that. More time on the bit players and the exodus from the other realms. A greater sense of dread.

On the other hand, it does introduce kid!Loki, who is totally my fav.

Journey into Mystery c. #632

Kieron Gillen and various artists

I feel this is just getting into its stride. I’ve loved it from the start, but I feel like having to tie into Fear Itself – and having quite important character stuff appear offscreen, in The Mighty Thor – meant it didn’t sit together as well as it could.

But it seems to read smoother now, having found the right tone. And Gillen is happy to spend issues with characters other than Loki – Volstagg telling Thor’s death to his children I especially like (Gillen just writes awesome Volstagg in general).

This issue is a light one, though it is still replete with how much of an outsider Loki is. And his determined cheer in the face of that. He and Leah make a great team.

'Oh, such dainty words,' Leah says. 'I feel something move, deep within me.' She proceeds to knee Loki in the groin, saying 'Vomit or bile, I'd wager.'

From issue 625, pencils by Doug Braithwaite, colours by Ulises Arreola.

Okay, not always. I love how, when Loki first encounters Leah, he tries to charm her with flattery. After she tells him to shove it, he moves to insulting her delightedly.

'You are a wonderful woman, Leah,' Loki says, 'Weave your magic and, assuming survival, I'll commission statues in your honour. And I'll make sure the sculptor makes a flattering one, disguising that hideously distended chin.'

Issue 629, pencils by Whilce Portacio, inks by Allen Martinez, colours by Arif Prianto and Jessica Kholinne.

More recently he has decided they are to be BFFs. Which Leah is not so happy with. Being as she’s living in a ‘dirty great hole in the ground’. But also, how much do I love Loki’s priorities when he talks about outfitting it for her. All the important things, ‘rugs and bedding and food and books’. Anyway. I will be most excited to see this friendship resolve itself!

Artwise, it’s varied quite a bit … Whilce Portacio I don’t like, I don’t like the character’s faces or the scratchy inkwork that goes with it. It probably doesn’t help coming after Doug Braithwaite either, who I think is awesome.

The latest issue is Mitch Breitweiser, who I do like and would be happy to see stick around. Although he may just be for the one issue. His style reminds me of old children’s illustrations, which works really well for this Yuletide issue. Also just the characters look like themselves and the right age.

This is my favourite comic coming out at the moment, and I hope it sticks around a long time to come.

Wolverine and the X-Men

Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo

I read the first two issues, but was not really pulled in. I find the art overly stylised and the layouts hard to follow. (I feel like I’m getting lazier when it comes to reading comics, by which I mean I expect the artists to do more of the work and actually think about how the eye is meant to move across the page, dammit.)

Reading a preview from issue four, I was sorry to read some of Idie’s dialogue, which just didn’t sound like the Idie I was reading in Generation Hope. Which makes me sad, because I liked Idie – I know a lot of people found her annoying – but it’s upsetting to see her moved into a new book, where she should have the chance to develop as a character (in a more positive environment) but instead she’s just changed into someone else. Someone easier. It’s like the writer read her dossier but didn’t look at her actual portrayal. So I don’t think I’ll bother keeping on with this.