Categories
Comics

Comic Book Review – Black Bolt #1 by Saladin Ahmed and Christian Ward

Creative Team:

  • Writer: Saladin Ahmed
  • Artist: Christian Ward
  • Letterer: Clayton Cowles

The Inhumans are in a tough spot, as far as the fandom goes.  They’ve been around a long time, created by Lee and Kirby no less.  But they’ve always been a bit of a niche group, mostly centered around the Fantastic Four.  It doesn’t help that in modern times, the Inhumans are being pushed hard by Marvel, and it’s seen by some that it’s to the detriment of Marvel’s Mutant characters.  I’ve never bought that particular conspiracy theory, but it’s left some fans with a sour taste in their mouths.

I’m happy to report that Black Bolt #1 is absolutely worth your time, even if the Inhumans have never been your thing.  The story will follow Black Bolt as he’s thrown in a cosmic prison by his brother, Maximus the Mad.  It’s for the worst of the worst, and was supposed to be Maximus’s new home.  BB’s not alone, however, and chief among the other incarcerated folks is Carl “Crusher” Creel, the Absorbing Man.  If you mostly know Marvel from the movies and TV show, he’s made a few appearances on Agents of SHIELD.  The writer, Saladin Ahmed, has something to say about prison and what happens when you toss people aside, but promises not to forget about the guy who can shout mountains apart.  When you combine that with the insane, trippy art stylings of Christian Ward (ODY-C), I’m definitely in to see what happens next.

Categories
Comics Review

Comic Book Review – The Vision #8

Creative Team:

  • Writer:  Tom King
  • Art:  Gabriel Hernandez Walta
  • Colors:  Jordie Bellaire
  • Letters:  Clayton Cowles

Last month, the cover shown for this issue (shown in part above) seemed to indicate the arrival of the Avengers and the beginning of the final battle.  Well, as usual expectations are twisted.  There IS a new arrival, but it’s Victor Mancha, Runaway, former Avengers AI member with the Vision when he was not exactly this version of the Vision (long story), fellow ‘son of Ultron’.  He’s got an internship on the Hill, you see, and he’ll be staying with the Visions for a while.

Taken at face value, the issue unfolds with little excitement.  Victor has a moment with each family member, getting to know them.  It’s gotta be weird for him, finding a whole set of new ‘family members’ created and living this seemingly normal life.  Even with only being shown short interactions with each of the Visions, Victor can’t help but see that something is off.

Vision8Int

The reveal in the final pages will have you going straight back to read the story again, viewing the conversations in a new light.

I find my self dreading the end, because I’m afraid something might happen to Viv.  She’s seemed the most like a normal teen throughout this whole story, and has gone through a lot…and I can’t see anyone in the family left unscathed, with what we have been told all of this is building up to.  Kudos all around, especially to Walta and Bellaire for art this week.  I love the little details, like you see above, Virginia’s hand passing through the vase, the way she’s standing inside the coffee table.  Or the face on one of the other diners as they ‘eat’ in a restaurant, nervously looking over his shoulder.  The tension just keeps building.

Categories
Comics Review

Comic Book Review – The Vision #7

Creative Team:

  • Writer:  Tom King
  • Art:  Michael Walsh
  • Colors:  Jordie Bellaire
  • Letters:  Clayton Cowles

The Vision #7, as usual, plays with expectations.  You might think, considering the big tease at the end of the last issue, with Agatha Harkness warning a bunch of heroes about the Visions going off the rails, that you’d see some fallout from that.  Maybe Cap going to talk to Vision, or T’Challa or Tony.  Instead, we get taken back into the past, when Vision and the Scarlet Witch were together.  It’s skillfully used to inform on what’s happening today, the nightmare that the Vision has created.  It’s a great set-up if you are coming in to the comic without knowing the twisty, convoluted background of the whole Vision/Wanda/Wonder Man thing, and really illuminates the tragedy of it all.  All of the Vision’s history has brought him to this point.

Vision7notrealkids

Michael Walsh fills in admirably on art this week – an issue like that, almost all flashbacks, is a good one if you need to have a fill-in artist step up.  I run out of superlatives for the rest of the team but it’s all good here again, man.  Next week will bring in the Avengers…I hope they survive the experience.

Categories
Comics Review

Comic Book Review – The Vision #6

Creative Team:

  • Writer:  Tom King
  • Art:  Gabriel Hernandez Walta
  • Colors:  Jordie Bellaire
  • Letters:  Clayton Cowles

Much of the unease and tension in The Vision thus far has come from what we haven’t seen as much as what we have.  Tom King and company pulls that trick again here in The Vision #6.  Again, we get the mundane – neighbors George and Martha and a lost dog – which escalates into something much worse, all framed by the narrator’s description of the classic computer science problem P vs. NP.

There’s a lot of reveals in this issue, as there should be for the final issue of an arc, but it also sets up the (sadly) final arc for Tom King before he goes DC exclusive.  We learn who the narrator has been and Vision discovers what Virginia did to the Grim Reaper.  That’s where P versus NP comes in – the Vision chooses to keep trying to fix his family, to keep them safe so they don’t get dismantled or taken from him.  By the end of the issue, the various Avengers/Ultimates are made aware of Vision’s choice, and well, Agatha Harkness says it best:

ohshitvisionwhatdidyoudo

If you’ve been enjoying the comic but wishing for more punching/blasting, I think you are about to get it.  Yikes.  At this point I can’t see this ending well for anyone involved.  I have to see it, but I don’t want to see it.  Especially for Viv who seems to have suffered the most.  I’ll be devastated if she doesn’t make it out of this.

Categories
Comics Review

Comic Book Review – The Vision #4

The fourth issue of The Vision is one of contrasts, something Tom King and the team have mastered so far.  We see the ideal for what Vision was hoping for when all this started.  The kids playing football in the yard (with humorous synthezoid banter reminiscent of Charlie Brown and Lucy), his wife in the house, a family.  But it can’t last – it won’t last, we KNOW this from the narrator – and Virginia gets a call on the blackmail phone.

The emotional seesaw continues from there.  Viv bonds with her lab partner, Virginia meets with the blackmailer.  I won’t spoil the climactic scene, but I will say it was an excellent example of suspense.  I saw the tragedy coming, actually held my breath hoping it would be different than what I thought, but no, it happened just as I dreaded.  Vision himself doesn’t know it yet, but his familial experiment just ended in disaster and I both can’t wait and can’t stand to see it coming.

I’d like to give a final shout-out to the art team of Gabriel Hernandez Walta and Jordie Bellaire (along with letterer Clayton Cowles), for the facial expressions and body language throughout the book.  Just great stuff.