Comic Reviews: New Avengers and Superman Unchained!


marvel-new-avengers-issue-13inhNew Avengers # 13.INH

“Inhumanity” finally hits the New Avengers, but not in the way that you think. Cleverly playing with our expectations, New Avengers #13.INH (that’s to let you know it ties into “Inhumanity”, in case you couldn’t tell from the cover) switches gears and shows us a parallel Earth with it’s own Illuminati, and its own spin on the Inhuman gas that was released during Infinity.  Writer Jonathan Hickman continues to build on the events that have been occurring during his entire New Avengers run, but the art by Simone Bianchi definitely hurts this issue.

That’s a shame too, because the story behind this issue is very cool. Seeing the alternate version of the Illuminati team (which has not only Professor X on the team, but Magneto too) was very cool, and it was refreshing to see the ongoing “convergence of two Earths” plot seen from a completely different viewpoint.  This adds to the weight of the decisions that our Earth’s heroes have to make every time a convergence occurs. When our Earth survives a Convergence, a different world ends.

I really wish Simone Bianchi’s art didn’t bother me so much this issue, but it really does. After great work from Steve Epting and Mike Deodato, Bianchi’s loose style just doesn’t fit with the art styles that came before. The opening pages, which mirror an early event from the series, look good, but as the book continues the art gets worse and worse. Unfortunately it seems like Bianchi will be on board for the next few issues, so we’ll have to grin and bear it until Epting or Deodato return.

Readers who were wondering if the Convergence plotline would ever be continued after Infinity will have a lot to be happy about with this issue. While Jonathan Hickman doesn’t expand on the ongoing Black Panther/Namor feud, there’s still plenty in this issue to be excited about. I just wish the art lived up to the narrative.


Superman Unchained #5Superman_Unchained_Vol_1_5_Textless

After a bit of a delay, Superman Unchained #5 has finally been released to the masses, and while it’s very light on action, there’s a lot of awesome character work from Scott Snyder and pretty pictures from Jim Lee.

Much of this issue finds Superman working with Wraith to try and uncover Ascension’s next step in their master plan for global catastrophe. At the same time, members of Ascension currently hold Lois Lane captive. They take this time to fill her in on their plans, and how her Army General father plays into them. There’s also a great flashback to Clark Kent’s time on his parent’s farm as a kid that does some pretty interesting things with Clark’s time growing up in Smallville.

I know I fan boy out on him a lot, but man, Scott Snyder is truly one of the best writers in comics today. The conversation between Wraith and Superman about his place in the world is fantastic, and one that the writers of the next Superman film should really look at. Wraith brings up many important points to Superman regarding his relationships with the humans around him, and Jim Lee beautifully renders these pages. The images of Clark visiting his aging friends while he stays the same age are heartbreaking, and really shine a light on something that I feel isn’t addressed that much whenever someone writes Superman: How long can he really continue pretending to be Clark Kent?

Jim Lee’s art is worth the wait as always, but the flashback portions of the issue are a little too loose for my tastes . I’m sure it’s just to showcase that this part of the story is in the past, but I feel like it could’ve been tightened up just a little bit. Aaaaaannd I just realized that Dustin Nguyen handles the art for these portions, hence why it looks so different, so disregard everything I just wrote about that.

While it’s probably going to be a little bit of a wait for issue six, the surprise cameos at the end of this issue have me extremely excited to see what happens next.Superman Unchained continues to be the best Superman series DC is publishing, and a treat for old school Superman fans and those who have never touched a book starring the Man of Steel before.

Posted on December 31, 2013, in Comic book reviews, Comic reviews and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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