Thursday, April 16, 2009

Marvel Assistant-Sized Spectacular #1

I do love these in-jokey type things when they are packaged well. I have no idea who any of the current assistant editors are like, but each one gets some good, quick development in the framing story surrounding three pretty strong tales in this one shot. I have been shying away from 3.99 books to wait for the trade, but I'm not sure these would ever be reprinted anywhere, so I'm willing to fork over the money for neat ideas like this one.

The D-Man story by Brian Patchett and Xurxo Penalta is decent, and has some nice ideas. The core concept of D-Man trying to make it in the military is fun (check out his uniform with added GI helmet!). I liked seeing the different ways his team looked at him when they found out his past too. This was an interesting little story in a different style than we usually see from Marvel.

In most anthologies, Jason Aaron and Richard Isanove's story would steal the show (see below why it didn't). I loved Aaron's use of American Eagle as the official hero on the scene, where the Initiative's team had no jurisdiction, and seeing him take on a great old villain like Cottonmouth was great. I loved the whole feel of the short story, with Eagle functioning as both sheriff and judge. Isanove's backgrounds are pretty sparse, and I'm not sure that is by choice of if he's skimping. His figure work is strong though.

Chris Giarrusso is the man. I think there is a good chance my love of the Hawkeye character is partially due to the great work Giarrusso has done in the mini-Marvel stories. Hawkeye and Dr. Strange have to deal with the Crimson Crown and Archeology Jackson and it is hilarious. Heck, Iron Man leaves a note that says "We didn't bother waking you up because you have no powers and are useless to us. You are only an Avenger because Captain America thinks it will stop you from being a bad guy or something." That's just awesome.

Fair + Good + Excellent = a strong Good for this anthology

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