Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Infinity Heist #1-4

I'm torn. I always enjoy Frank Tieri's focus on the underworld of the Marvel U, and there is no doubt that this is the only place to check in with d-listers like the ones that star in this comic. But uneven art and a fairly generic, impact-less story keep me from recommending this too highly.

So yeah, if you wanted to catch up with Whiplash, Firebrand, Spymaster, Whirlwind, Unicorn, and Blizzard (who is almost the star), this is the book for you. It starts off in a pretty amusing fashion as the group plans to steal a bunch of Iron Man's armor while the Avengers are off fighting in the Infinity crossover. (Iron Man is one of the Avengers to stay on Earth, but that doesn't seem to be a problem.)

Things go along fine until the book earns its place as an Infinity tie-in when Blizzard suddenly gets Inhuman powers. It seems he can overload machines... why? Blizzard was a perfectly good D-level villain and part-time Thunderbolt, now he's got a confusing new skin color and a power that seems worthless when combined with his alter ego's ice powers. Worst of all, this Inhuman connection barely ties into the plot; it is there to show a connection to the main event, that's all.

The main book has a surprise villain with a pretty silly master plan. Taking over New York? I suppose that small scale mission is about right for the cast, but it seems silly. It doesn't help that I don't know who the suprise villain is and I never really learn more about him in the comic. He's too generic to ever really make an impression.

Tieri does his best work when dealing with the interactions among the team of thugs. Whirlwind is likable and stupid, and Tieri does include a callback to his obsession with the Wasp. Blizzard seems like a pretty decent guy, an everyman who somehow became a villain. The other characters don't get too much time to shine, but what we see of them works nicely, especially when interacting with each other.

Al Barrionuevo handles most of the art, and he's OK. The modern redesigns of the villains are all weaker than the originals, making me pine for the classic 70's and 80's looks of Spymaster, Blizzard, and the rest. The art gets confusing when Iron Man shows up, it sure seems to me that he switches armor halfway through the fight (he's in his space/Guardians armor for a bit, then the black and gold Earth suit on subsequent pages).

This book attempts to give us a glimpse into the world of "normal" supervillains, but when that same type of story is being done SO well over in Superior Foes of Spider-Man, it is hard to recommend this take. This book is EVIL.

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