Weekly Awards For The Comic Books From April 1, 2009

All right, let’s go ahead and dish out The Revolution’s weekly awards.

The nominees for the Che for the best read of the week:

Destroyer #1
The Flash: Rebirth #1
Irredeemable #1
Jersey Gods #3
Secret Warriors #3
War of Kings #2

The Winner:

Last Wednesday’s selection of comic books was fantastic. There were no real stinkers at all. With so many strong reads, it is going to be tough to decide which comic book should receive the Che for the best read of the week.

Destroyer #1
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Art: Corey Walker

Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Destroyer #1 was an incredibly entertaining debut issue to this five issue mini-series. The Destroyer is an old Timely Comics Golden Age character that first appeared in Mystic Comics #6 in 1941. This continues Marvel’s trend of dusting off various Timely Comics characters from the Golden Age and trying to re-integrate them into the 616 universe. This is a brilliant idea by Marvel since DC’s biggest advantage has being their incredible roster of Golden Age characters that gives the DCU a much more vibrant, storied and deep history compared to the 616 Universe which historically does not venture past the 1960’s.

Robert Kirkman does a wonderful job on this issue. I always try and maintain objectivity concerning writers and I try and remain neutral and avoid being a fanboy of a certain writer in order to be able to write reviews that are as objective as possible. But, I have to admit that Kirkman is one of the very few writers in the industry that I have developed a total man-crush on. I love Kirkman. Still, I will always do my best to remain objective when reviewing his work.

Destroyer #1 is a balanced read that offers a great mix of bone crushing action and nicely crafted dialogue heavy scenes. Kirkman has incredible range and is as comfortable performing character work and cranking out dramatic scenes as he is with whipping up furious action scenes. And plotlines are never at a shortage when Kirkman is at the helm of a title.

I am fascinated with the Destroyer’s character. I dig that he is an old man still out there kicking ass on thugs that are half his age. You rarely see an old man as a super hero that is still a total ass-kicker. This is what makes the Destroyer so unique as compared to other super heroes. I am glad that Kirkman went the route of having the Destroyer being an old man versus retconning him into a younger man or replacing the original character with a younger version.

The main plotline of this mini-series is that the Destroyer is dying and it could happen at any moment. The doctors simply do not know how much longer he has to live. What the doctors do know is that the Destroyer still using his powers and fighting bad guys is greatly increasing the odds that he will die sooner than later. The Destroyer’s response? That he better go out and kill as many bad guys as possible before he dies.

Kirkman certainly delivers plenty of bloody and violent action in Destroyer #1. I would not recommend this title to readers who do not like blood and guts action. Destroyer #1 is definitely not your positive and bright super hero comic book. Still, this is not a dumb title full of over the top action.

Yes, the action is bloody, but it works with the character and the story. And Kirkman gives plenty of depth to the Destroyer’s personality. And Kirkman spends some quality time fleshing out the relationship between the Destroyer and his wife. It is neat to see this bad-ass super hero slip out of his costume and become that kind grandfather who loves his wife, daughter and grandchild.

Definitely give The Destroyer #1 a chance. It is a quirky title that offers up an entertaining story.

Secret Warriors #3
Story: Brian Michael Bendis and Jonathan Hickman
Script: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Stefano Caselli

Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10

Secret Warriors #3 was another good read. This title keeps getting better and better. Secret Warriors is becoming one of Marvel’s better reads. Bendis and Hickman make a great team. Bendis is a fantastic idea man. His weaknesses are his pacing of a story and his dialogue for a team title. Luckily, those are Hickman’s strengths.

The pacing has been steady as the reader never feels that Bendis and Hickman are intentionally dragging their feet with the trade format in mind. And Hickman crafts some fine dialogue. Hickman is able to give the various characters their own unique external voice. And Hickman has been able to generate some nice chemistry between the various characters.

Hickman reveals all of the players on Hydra’s side of the fence. And the reader gets a better idea of the task at hand for the Secret Warriors. I liked that we saw Allegra de Fontaine in this issue. She is a great character and Fury and Fontaine always make for a good team. I loved the ending of this issue as Fury makes a call to Dum Dum Dugan and asks for Dugan’s help along with some of the other old Fury loyalists from the now defunct SHIELD

Hickman and Bendis give the reader a balanced read as we get a good amount of action to go along with the dialogue heavy scenes in Secret Warriors #3. This title is a neat blend of the super hero genre, the black ops genre and the spy/espionage genre. This should give Secret Warriors #3 mass appeal.

Stefano Caselli does an amazing job with the artwork. Caselli is incredibly talented and delivers a fantastic looking comic book. Caselli is adept at conveying the characters’ emotions necessary in pulling off dramatic scenes. And Caselli certainly can draw some dynamic looking action scenes. I love the detail and smoothness to Caselli’s artwork.

War of Kings #2
Writers: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Pencils: Paul Pelletier
Inks: Rick Magyar

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10

This was another excellent installment of War of Kings. DnA deliver an issue that is heavy on the drama with the first half and then heavy on the action with the second half. The pacing is just right and the plotting continues to be perfect as DnA deftly juggle the various plotlines. I love all of the political intrigue and machinations going on in both the Kree and Shi’ar camps. War of Kings is already the most entertaining big event that Marvel has published in years.

The Revolution already posted a review for The Flash: Rebirth #1 and Jersey Gods #3. They were both good reads, but they weren’t quite good enough to garner the Che for the best read of the week. Instead, I went ahead and awarded the Che to Irredeemable #1. I already posted a review for that issue. Suffice it to say, I was impressed with what Waid gave us in the debut issue of Irredeemable.

And now the nominees for the Sequential Methadone Award for the worst read of the week:

Invincible Iron Man #12

Trinity #44

The Winner: Invincible Iron Man #12

I went ahead and gave the Sequential Methadone Award to Invincible Iron Man #12 because it was the weakest link out of all the great reads that we got last Wednesday.

Invincible Iron Man #12

Writer: Matt Fraction
Art: Salvador Larroca

Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

This title continues to be such an unimpressive read. It appears that Fraction’s plan for this title is to give the reader a thin story with some mindless action and then get the hell out of Larroca’s way and let Larroca’s artwork carry this title.

There appears to be little to no effort by Fraction to craft a complex, interesting and original story for Invincible Iron Man. All Fraction has done is recycle older themes and stories created by former Iron Man scribes. The only thing “original” that Fraction has brought to the table are incredibly uncreative concepts like Iron Pepper Potts.

And the current storyline of deconstructing Tony Stark and his company is tired. We have seen Tony lose his company and have to rebuild it from scratch several times before. And the tact of deconstructing a character is often the lazy way out for lesser talented writers when they do not have any good ideas of what to do with a character. Never mind the fact that we have already seen Tony deconstructed already and in a much better fashion.

This title continues to be plagued by a total lack of character work. All of the characters come across as mere cardboard cut-outs. Fraction has failed to demonstrate any knowledge or understanding of Tony Stark’s character. It does not even appear that Fraction even likes Tony’s character in the least bit. There is no chemistry at all between any of the characters. The dialogue continues to be resolutely pedestrian. It truly feels that Fraction is just collecting a paycheck and going through the motions and letting Larroca do all the heavy lifting on this title.

Invincible Iron Man #12 wastes half the issue on Iron Pepper Potts as we see her testing out her new suit of armor and then promptly getting arrested. Why in the world Pepper would have sat around after saving the plane is beyond me. She knows that she is a fugitive of the law, but she is more than willing to stand around like a dumbass and wait for the HAMMER agents to arrive on the scene to arrest her.

Fraction has also failed to get me interesting in Iron Pepper Potts. It is an uncreative concept. The last thing the Marvel Universe needs is another uncreative derivative character.

We also get a mindless fight scene between Namor and Iron Man that does nothing at all to advance any plotlines or achieve anything of real substance. It seemed more like a time waster than anything else. The only actual plot development that occurs is that the Controller captures Maria Hill.

The plotting is weak on this title. There is a lack of focus and a lack of intriguing plotlines. The pacing is terrible as Fraction appears to be meandering about with no sense of purpose or urgency.

What is enjoyable about Invincible Iron Man #12 is Larroca’s artwork. If it weren’t for such nice artwork then this title would be practically unreadable. I would only recommend Invincible Iron Man #12 to new readers whose first exposure to Iron Man was from the Iron Man movie and to readers who just love Matt Fraction’s writing.

So congrats to Irredeemable #1 for winning The Che Award of the week and “congrats” to Invincible Iron Man #12 for winning the Sequential Methadone Award for the week.