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    The Good, The Bad, The Meh by Alex Correa


    GOOD
    Young Avengers #1 (Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie)

    I'm always interested to read new team books just to see what sort of approach they will take. When I first got into comics, I hopped into the world of 90's Scott Lobdell X-Men books, which were rich in character development and humour. An interesting take when most team books usually take a Michael Bay/end of the world tone that some writers actually do quite well (Grant Morrison JLA, I'm looking at you). Young Avengers finds itself somewhere in between those two types of team books. By combining the close family dynamic that Lobdell used in the 90's with action movie tropes seen in all kinds of fiction, Kieron Gillen delivers something very unique: a teen comic that doesn't rely on the fact that it's a teen comic. It's a team book that features teen characters, that is it.

    Uncanny X-Force #1 (Sam Humphries & Ron Garney)

    This book has had an interesting history from the easy to hate Liefeld series, to a quirky and eccentric Mike Allred drawn hit, to a Wolverine lead covert ops mutant team to what we have now: TWO X-Force books. Has X-Force really hit this height of popularity to demand two books? Not exactly. Cable and X-Force is what you get when you have nothing else to do with popular characters who have no place in any of the main books. On the other hand, Uncanny X-Force is an interesting melange of UNPOPULAR characters (sorry to break your hearts but no one has been asking for Spiral, Puck or the female Fantomex clone). They come together in an interesting premise that is based on the fact that they are, in fact, out of place in their respective roles (Psylocke and Storm, in particular, haven't really stood out as X-characters in a really long time). Ron Garney's art looks crisper and better than it's been in his over 20 year career. And did I mention Bishop returns?

    Wolverine and the X-Men #24 (Jason Aaron & David Lopez)

    Interestingly, one of my favourite X-Men comics from the 90's happened to be issue 24, where the X-Men had a day off from adventuring and decided to just have a day off. The main feature of this issue was the first date between the most popular comic book couple of the 90's (screw Lois & Clark),Gambit and Rogue. That brings us to issue 24 of Wolverine and the X-Men, where the exact same premise repeats itself, with Kitty Pryde and Iceman going on a date this time around. It's a fun read, much like the rest of the series has been and it ends with an interesting twist that may blossom a romance between two characters that may overshadow Gambit and Rogue, but it's not who you think.

    Deadpool Killustrated #1 (Cullen Bunn & Metteo Lolli)

    Deadpool kills Don Quixote. That is all.

    MEH
    Uncanny Avengers #3 (Rick Remender & John Cassaday)

    Let me get right to it. The most glaring problem with the book is that it's character driven but the characters aren't exactly written very well. No subtlety or nuances, just extremes in personality. For example, Captain America is very obviously the will-driven American icon; so much so that Havok needs to remind him of his "strength of will" to overcome mind control (which he already did in the scene prior to this, which is a bit odd). Wolverine, the killer. Red Skull, the Nazi. Thor, oafish god, easily seduced by evil? We get it. What this comic is good for is the old school comic book storytelling of good guys and bad guys hitting each other. That and John Cassaday's near-flawless, albeit late, artwork. Need I say more?

    BAD
    Gambit #8 (James Asmus & Pasqual Ferry)

    Usually, when you want to integrate a character into part of the Marvel fold or give him that extra push he needs to gain some popularity, you would team him up with some of the more popular or iconic characters available. Or include him in popular story arcs in some way. At least, that's my line of thinking. Instead, Gambit is tucked away into this corner of Marvel continuity where interacts with characters from Captain Britain & MI:13 (a cancelled title) and going on adventures in long forgotten settings of Marvel comics universe (High Evolutionary had a city?). No one is going to care unless he joins an Avengers team or meets up with the FF or is actually featured in one of the X-Men books in a way that DOESN'T involve getting seven shades of shit knocked out of him by Captain America (which happened TWICE in the span of one month!).

    Step it up, Marvel.