The Shopping List 3-9-11

A nice, light week this time. It’s a good thing. I’ve been sick as death. This week has been

I'm Sick

OK, maybe it wasn’t that bad. But I can’t do much more than lay on the couch without something hurting. It sucks. Enough whining. Here’s the books.

Onslaught Unleashed #2Onslaught Unleashed #2 by Sean McKeever and Filipe Andrade ***

With Onslaught Unleashed, Sean McKeever is writing a fun team-up between the Young Allies and Secret Avengers. The biggest strength of the partnership is the juxtaposition of some wildly different characters. Could any be more dissimilar than Gravity and Moon Knight?

The biggest problem though is the point of the team-up: Onslaught. There’s not much past the idea that he’s the combined “darkest impulses of Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto, along with all of their power, made manifest.” Great idea, but doesn’t exactly lead to a clashing of ideals. It’s going to be a slugfest. I also have a problem with Steve letting Toro go off on his own. Whether it’s Toro’s duty to face El Drag√≥n or not, Rogers has to know that this is bigger than any one hero, especially someone so inexperienced. That’s the whole reason Steve didn’t let the Allies handle this on their own.

Despite the uneven nature of the story, Filipe Andrade’s art shouldn’t inspire too much debate. It’s not good. It’s very sketchy and pointy. I’ve seen artists with more detailed page breakdowns. I understand that no artist will impress everyone, but even compared to some of the other new names in Marvel’s art department, this guy just doesn’t cut it. I mean, he’s not the kind of guy I’m looking to get a convention sketch from.

If you’re interested in following these two teams, you should check it out, but Onslaught Unleashed in no think piece. That’s for sure.

Zatanna #10Zatanna #10 by Paul Dini and Cliff Chiang ***

Zatanna is one of those C-list Justice Leaguers that most people don’t feel strongly one way or the other about. I lean toward the positive side, but Cliff Chiang handling the art tipped me toward picking it up.

With Zatanna, Paul Dini is crafting one of the brightest books DC offers. Sure, there’s a homicidal puppet, but at least there’s no one being shot in the head. That said, “Strung Along” is a strange issue. I went into it thinking it was the conclusion of “Pupaphobia,” but … it’s not. It’s just the end of Chiang’s run. It’s also the Empire Strikes Back portion of the story, but instead of being frozen in Carbonite, Z gets turned into a puppet. It’s a cool twist. Instead we have to come back next month, with a new artist, to get the end. This is a trend I don’t like in comics. I don’t need a Bagley-esque 110 issue commitment, but I’d like to see an artist at least complete an arc. Instead, the final issue will stick out like a seven-foot black man in China. Also, I don’t remember seeing this Detective Colton in the past two issues, but here he is. Couldn’t the main story here have combined with the abridged issue #9 to make one complete issue? Instead we get extra issue and extraneous plots. Just saying.

As I said, I picked this up for Cliff Chiang’s work. You may have seen his art in the OGN Greendale or a great issue of JMS’s Brave and the Bold. He uses a different, more jagged style here. I don’t like it as much as his standard work, but it’s alright. He still uses the great amount of detail I love in his work. I’m also beginning to think no one frames his art better. I don’t mean the actual borders, I mean deciding what is/isn’t in the frame and where he places his camera. There are some really cool shots as Zatanna and Hempel tour her home.

Zatanna is not a bad book by any means. I might pick up the next issue to wrap up this story, but beyond that, if Cliff Chiang’s leaving, so am I.

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