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Reading Pile: 9/21/12

Sword of Sorcery, Avengers Assemble and Incredible Hulk

Sword of Sorcery Featuring: Amethyst #0- I was pleasantly surprised by how solid this entire first issue was and that it actually made me want to follow it into the next issue at least. Amethyst, to be brutally honest, is not exactly a major draw. There is however a gaping hole in the New 52 as far as fantasy goes that can’t be filled solely by Demon Knights, plus it never hurts to expand the roster of lead female characters. Christy Marx presents a decent introduction, and Lopresti’s art is a nice fit for a fantasy genre. I was actually really impressed by the back-up Beowulf story as well. The Jesus Saiz artwork was great, but Tony Bedard can be really hit or miss. Tentatively I’m thinking this might me a nice mini-hit, so I’m crossing my fingers it maintains its appeal. The only major drawback I really see is that charging $3.99 for a book starring Amethyst and Beowulf is sort of……not a great idea? Considering  that to any new fan there is no draw to those names, and to any knowledgeable fan of these properties it’s a bit much to ask people to fork over extra cash. Yes, it’s thirty pages, and yes it’s a fairly fulfilling read as far as story density goes, but I don’t think the best pitch should be, ‘Hey everybody! It’s Amethyst! GIVE US MORE MONEY.’ On the plus side, that is a nice Josh Middleton cover. B+

Avengers Assemble #7-Thanos stories should be something special and interesting, but all I feel when I read this is the cringing need to brace myself for the upcoming rage I’m doubtless going to feel about another Bendis Avengers story. It feels fairly cargo cult to me as Bendis seems to understand that Thanos has a history with the elders of the universe and the Guardians of the Galaxy, but he couldn’t spare the time to actually read the necessary material to tell a good informed story. Unless there is a MAJOR turn in quality or concept, I’m pretty sure I see a nice aneurism in my future. C

The Incredible Hulk #13- I love it when there is an issue that brings all of the thread closer together in a story arc, and this issue does a fun job of pulling together all of the previous weird sub-plots together for a nice big picture set-up. The speech about the Aokigahara Forest was a bit forced simply because that subject has been making the rounds on the internet for a while now and it just felt like Aaron wanted to cram it in somewhere, but it doesn’t detract from the story and if you’ve never heard of it before I’m sure it just seems like some colorful metaphor. Regardless, I’m looking forward to the big pay-off that Aaron is working towards. B+