Monday, 29 October 2012

Atoll Comics: Round 3

Or Changes to My Top-Ten Comics

Due to poverty and an urge to buy better comics, I have decided to be super-selective about which superhero comics I read. Harnessing the Awesome Power of Maths, I have determined that I can afford to read 10 ongoing titles. So I get to read 10, and only 10, titles published by either Marvel or DC as well as one trade paperback a week of my choosing.

A complication of this is that I am forced to drop an on-going title if I want to try reading a new on-going title, an act of very tough love. Being financially responsible is the worst.

I will be adding Uncanny Avengers to my ten comic list and dropping Ultimate Spider-Man.

Why after the cut:

Why Uncanny Avengers?

This one is pretty simple: come for John Cassaday, stay for the dynamic writing of Rick Remender. To elaborate a bit, John Cassaday is an absurdly talented artist who drew two of my earliest favourite comics: Planetary (with Warren Ellis) and Astonishing X-Men (with Joss Whedon). In a way, you could say that Cassaday has had a formative role in my comics experience. His art in Uncanny Avengers is as sharp, dynamic, and iconic as ever and worth the price of admission. Thing is, Rick Remender seems poised to write the hell out of this comic. I mean, I've only read the first issue, but it was pretty much a perfect a pilot episode and if every issue is on the same level this book is going to be a tentpole. (Although, one might argue a book that is Uncanny X-Men meets Avengers was always going to be a tentpole...)

(Also: Laura Martin is doing colours which is ace given her role in Planetary and Astonishing X-Men as well.)

Why Not Ultimate Spider-Man?

Ultimately (hah!) this book was brought down by all the great looking projects coming out of Marvel NOW. Since every new book I pick up comes at the expense of another... some books are going to have to go and in this case its Ultimate Spider-Man. Ultimate Spider-Man, while still very good, just isn't working for me as much as it used to. Now, this has nothing to do with the Miles Morales switch: I still think that is a fantastic and inspired choice and Miles is a character I would love to learn more about. I think the trouble is that they are telling an Ultimate crossover story instead. I haven't been invested in non-Spider-Man Ultimate books in forever, and having them invade Ultimate Spidey is like going to visit a friend and spending time with their racist sister instead. Well it's not that bad, but it's not something I'm interested in if I'm only going to read ten comics. And while its not why I'm dropping the book, Ultimate Spider-Man features some extremely decompressed storytelling. Don't mistake this for Bendis-bashing: the man is super talented and has written some of my favourite comics. It's just his style is very open and airy, and while it reads beautifully (especially in larger collections), it suffers in an episodic book format released monthlyish. Especially when compared to hyper dense books like Hawkeye or Uncanny Avengers. 

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