Thursday, 18 October 2012

A quiet week, but a good week (comic wise)

So this week was a quiet week for me as all I picked up was Daredevil #19, Dark Avengers #182 and The Activity #9. Having gotten through them all first thing this morning (because, apparently, there just isn't any time on new comic book day), I was surprised to find myself rather realizing that I actually enjoyed everything that I picked up.

Of course, that view was gonna go without saying when it came to Daredevil #19, which saw the Man without Fear continue to investigate the death of a mobster while, at the same time, possibly going crazy. Since the beginning of his run, Mark Waid has taken a character that is usually very noir-esque and made him more "swashbuckling" (as I recall Waid putting it in an interview). But that looks like it's all change as the series has taken a darker turn of late. Waid has made this so compelling now, especially with the revelation of who is responsible for both murder in question as well as Murdock's questionable mental health coming completely out of left field, but fittingly tying in from the first issue.
And while the story is compelling, the art just elevates it and brings a very macabre beauty in. Chris Samnee's stuff I just couldn't get into initially, but here it looks like he's picked up the beats from his predecessors seamlessly. The book is just gorgeous from cover to cover, with the the neo-contemporary look that Paolo Rivera introduced along with the radar sense never looking better.

And then there was The Activity #9 from Nathan Edmondson and Mitch Gerads, which continues to act like my guilty little pleasure, a book of one-shot stories that makes a refreshing change from the continuing plot-thread style books I normally get. This issue saw Team Omaha take part in a hostage extraction along with a British SAS team which, while not out of the ordinary (well, for them anyway), occured while higher powers were bringing in to question if someone is giving up intel and comprimising all their ops.
For a book Nathan Edmondson has established in my eyes as a episodic comic book, it is actually refreshing and intriguing to follow this whole traitor conspiracy angle that he has subtley implanted in various issues through the run. It gives the series something of a focus regarding it's overall narrative and makes this book all the more of a must read. Sadly, the art here does the opposite as it looks very rough at the beginning although it does improve. I can only surmise that Mitch Gerads has simply had an off issue and hope he'll be back to his best next time round.

Then I was hit with a big surprise this week when I delved into Dark Avengers #182, as Earth's deadliest heroes had (to some degree) made up for the last few months and issues in my eyes with a much improved end to the story. This is because, unlike most of the arc so far, detailing the Dark Avengers attempting to steal the power of a mad man while the Thunderbolts attempted to return to the present, this final part felt more like I was pulled into the story, with more action given and greater urgency inferred. I found this issue far more exciting than any of its previous entries which carried the Dark Avengers name, Jeff Parker appears to have found his groove again and Neil Edwards pencils certainly look good in here, providing a nice style that is what made Parker's run good in the first place. This book is a vast improvement to what's it's been of late, just in time to see off the Thunderbolts who, sadly, are not staying in this book.

Though it's been a quiet week in terms of what I buy, it's definitely been a good week. It's also brought with it a troubling dilemma as Dark Avengers, which I had convinced myself to drop, has fought tooth and nail to prove itself worth my coin, while Daredevil and Activity, though certainly not perfect, I feel still deserve a place on my pull list. I guess I'll just have to try and make some cuts with something else.

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