Weekly Awards For The Comic Books From November 19, 2008

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:

Fantastic Four #561
JSA Kingdom Come Special: Magog #1
X-Factor #37

The Winner: JSA Kingdom Come Special: Magog #1

X-Factor #37
Creative Team
Writer: Peter David
Pencils: Valentine DeLandro
Inks: Craig Yeung

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

The Revolution has been a fan of X-Factor for a long time. I have been vocal in my praise for David’s work on this title. X-Factor has been the best written X-title over the course of the past three years. However, the past couple of issues of X-Factor have not been up to the quality that I have come to expect from David.

There are two main reasons why X-Factor has cooled off as of late. First, Messiah Complex did absolutely nothing for X-Factor except wreck several plotlines that David was busy working on. While Messiah Complex may have been a wonderful boon for the other X-titles, it most definitely did not have a positive impact on X-Factor. X-Factor is a title that truly needs to remain separate from the rest of the X-titles. Second, David had to deliver the obligatory Secret Invasion story with the past story arc. And it was less than impressive.

Well, David appears to have gotten X-Factor back on track. With the Secret Invasion storyline over it looks like David is going to try and pick up the pieces from Messiah Complex and continue to make X-Factor a quality read. X-Factor #37 was certainly a step in the right direction.

This issue deals with two main plotlines. One is concerning Jamie, Guido, Monet and Longshot investigating the facility owned by Mr. Manu and the Karma Project in their mission to free Darwin from the Karma Project’s clutches. The second plotline is Valerie back at the X-Factor’s headquarters talking with Siryn and Rictor about what ONE can do for X-Factor.

The plotline involving Darwin is the action driven plot that provides the fight scenes that keep the issue lively. The plotline involving Valerie and Siryn back at X-Factor’s headquarters provides for the drama in this issue. Valerie spills the beans that Jamie has been secretly having X-Factor work for ONE. Of course, Siryn refuses to believe Valerie while maintaining that Jamie would not lie to her.

David then gives the reader a double hook ending with Mr. Manu unveiling an army of Darwin clones that he has created and then back at X-Factor’s headquarters we see that Siryn’s water has just broke. Next issue should certainly be an exciting and eventful read.

X-Factor #37 was a joy to read. David continues to deliver technically well written stories. The writing on X-Factor continues to be a notch above much of what is currently offered on the market.

David treats the reader to plenty of well crafted dialogue. The character work on X-Factor continues to be some of the best that you will see in a Marvel comic book. David clearly loves and understands the various members of X-Factor. The chemistry on X-Factor is fantastic and is certainly better than what you get on your typical comic book.

David also displays a wonderful sense of humor. X-Factor #37 is peppered throughout with funny dialogue. This excellent sense of humor is much needed on a title like X-Factor which can tend to get a bit depressing and grim at times. David’s humor is what keeps this title from being a parody and allows the darker and more serious scenes to carry more weight.

Jamie is still the star of the show and that is fine with me. David has made Jamie one of the most interesting characters in the 616 universe. Jamie’s inner narration always provides a though provoking and intriguing spine to the issue that ties everything together. And that is certainly the case with X-Factor #37.

I already praised Fantastic Four #651 in my review. Millar turned in an excellent issue that was certainly worthy of the Che. It was a tough decision, but I ended up awarding the Che for the best read of the week to JSA Kingdom Come Special: Magog #1

JSA Kingdom Come Special: Magog #1
Creative Team
Writer: Peter Tomasi
Pencils: Fernando Pasarin
Inks: Mick Gray

Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 10 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9.5 Night Girls out of 10

This issue focuses on David Reid. The story begins with Reid, Amazing Man and Damage attempting to save an African village from a contaminated stream from some of the militiamen. The JSA’ers take out the militiamen. At that point, Reid learns about his old Marine unit having been captured by some militiamen. Reid breaks off from his JSA teammates and goes to rescue his unit.

Along the way we learn more about Reid and how the men in his family have always served in the military. We get a great sense of his background and why he does what he does. We then see Reid arrive at the camp of the militiamen and he is unfortunately too late to save the men in his unit. However, Reid does get vengeance as he kills the militiamen. Reid then joins back up with the rest of the JSA’ers following Gog.

JSA Kingdom Come Special: Magog #1 was simply an amazing read. Tomasi has continually blown me away since he has come onto the scene for DC. His work on Nightwing has been impressive as he made that horrid title into a title that is actually entertaining. Final Crisis: Requiem #1 was one of the best written issues I have read in a while. Tomasi has become one of The Revolution’s favorite writers and is quickly establishing himself as one of DC’s top writers.

JSA Kingdom Come Special: Magog #1 was practically poetry. This is a wonderfully written issue that is a cut above of what I have come to expect from most comic book writers. Tomasi does an excellent job taking an incredibly vanilla and generic character in David Reid and fleshed him out into a compelling, interesting and well developed character. The amount of character work that Tomasi pulls off in this one issue is more than what some writers give readers over the course of an entire story arc.

Tomasi never overwhelms the reader with excess dialogue like many writers. Instead, Tomasi carefully crafts his dialogue and narration and allows the artwork to do the heavy lifting during some of the more dramatic moments. I loved that Tomasi makes Magog a heroic character that the reader can easily understand. This is much more appealing than just making Magog a mindless and villainous zealot.

I also enjoyed how Tomasi dealt with what it means to be a soldier. Both Magog and his fellow Marines in his old unit exemplify what good soldiers are. And why they deserve our respect and support.

I loved the artwork in JSA Kingdom Come Special: Magog #1. Fernando Pasarin is an incredible artist. Pasarin helps Tomasi’s story spring to live in a vivid and dynamic fashion.

This issue also has a back-up story by Geoff Johns concerning Starman. It is basically all of the background information on Thom that we have already learned over the course of the past year on the JSA. This back-up issue serves to deliver all that information in a condensed fashion in order to bring newer readers up to speed on Thom’s rather convoluted back-story.

What I am not too sure of is when the three versions of the Legion meet prior to the Legion of Three Worlds event. I just do not ever remember that happening. But, according to this back-up story, the three Brainiacs design Thom’s costume as a map to the Multiverse before the Lighting Sage story takes place that sends Thom back into the past.

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

Trinity #25
Uncanny X-Men #504

The Winner: Uncanny X-Men #504

Actually, this past week was a strong selection of comic books. None of them really jumped out to me and begged for the Sequential Methadone Award. I continue to find Trinity to be a pedestrian read and Trinity #25 continued that trend. However, I had to go give the Sequential Methadone Award for the worst read of the week to Uncanny X-Men #504.

The fact is that I can live with Trinity being an average read. On the other hand, Uncanny X-Men is a flagship title and even though this issue was the best one that we have gotten in the past couple of months, I still expect much more from this title than what we got with Uncanny X-Men #504.

So congrats to JSA Kingdom Come Special: Magog #1 for winning The Che Award of the week and “congrats” to Uncanny X-Men #504 for winning the Sequential Methadone Award for the week.

1 Comments

  1. Although I liked Larry Stroman’s art on Alien Legion way back when, his stint on X-Factor has been atrocious (and blessedly short). I am happy to see another (decent) artist take over.

    — werehawk

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