Friday, July 9, 2010

The List #33 Part 2

Scarlet #1
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Alex Maleev
The basic idea of this series is it's a girl-who-kicks-ass tale about her fighting against a world of corrupt authority. Seen that one before? Yeah, me too, and it's why I almost didn't pick it up. The reason I did give it a chance though was because it's done by Bendis and Maleev who had not too long ago produced the gorgeous Spider-Woman limited series. To say the least, I don't regret it.

We meet Scarlet as she's killing a plainclothes cop. Obviously it raises some questions, but not to worry, she's ready to answer them directly afterwards. So direct that she breaks the fourth wall, and does so for the majority of the rest of the issue. I tend to be weary of this tool after having seen Deadpool constantly break the 4th wall to crack lukewarm jokes, but Bendis uses it well.

Anyway, Scarlet explains that the cop was hardly a saint; although whether or not he deserved to die is questionable. As she goes through explaining her views on the world she also ends up beating the balls out of a guy trying to steal a bike. Basically, she thinks the world is corrupt, and she's decided to take it upon herself to right it by kicking or killing the shit out of anyone she thinks is part of the corruption. From there we see her life explained in important moments:

Then we get the story of what set her off on this path, and it's definitely a tragic story. It's a story that I'm sure anyone who's been considered "different" in their life has been paranoid at one point about it happening to them. What happens is while she's hanging out in public with friends and the man of her dreams a crooked cop approaches them. He's a messed-up addict, and for no reason he starts insisting on searching Scarlet and company. Scarlet's guy ends up smacking the cop, grabbing Scarlet, and running. From there they quickly realize they're fucked in a serious way, and right in the middle of their dilemma, the cop catches up to them and shoots the guy dead. He also shoots Scarlet, but she eventually recovers to find out the entire situation has been blamed on her guy. And this is where we end off, with the explanation for what's got her motivated to kill those she perceives as corrupt. The issue ends with her saying that she's going to do something about it and that we the readers are going to help.

Conclusion: Totally worth the $3.95, not just because it's 40 pages, but because the story's intensely good with Maleev giving art that's just as beautiful as it was on Spider-Woman. Definitely pick this one up.

Avengers: The Children's Crusade #1
Writer: Allan Heinberg
Artist: Jim Cheung
Before we begin, I just have to raise a few wth's about the cover. First, what's with Ms. Marvel being all awkward over the letters in tiny form? Another thing is what's going on with Spider-Man being shown looking like he's with the Young Avengers? Anyway, things that struck me as odd, so yeah, let's jump into this because we have got A LOT to talk about.

First off, I have to express my intense feelings of gratitude towards Heinberg and Cheung for coming back to the project. They really are irreplaceable to the project, and it's not YA without them. Some have said that other writers did a great, seamless job maintaining the YA with the one-shots and mini-series we had in between Heinberg's stints, but uh, NO. The thing is none of those writers ever did anything more than mediocre with them, and while Heinberg's grip on the characters was tight and thought-out, these other writers just seemed to have a basic understanding of the personalities and just packed the rest with typical ideas of what teenagers are like.

This issue opens with our heroes battling it out with the Serpent Society, who just are prejudiced against life itself, and we're given re-introductions. Hulkling has some trouble with one is specific who's spewing his Bible quotations, so Hulkling decides to just make him all out lose his shit. How?

Not the same sex kiss you were hoping for, right?
So anyway, the homophobe completely divas out like men trying to reassert their heterosexuality do. Not helping his day is the appearance of Iron Man, Capt. America, and Ms. Marvel which really sets him off. So much so that he decides to hold Teddy as hostage and threaten to set off the nuclear bomb he has on him. In reaction, Wiccan's totally not having any of that shit, and magics it away as well as knocks out the SS.

This is hardly a joyous occasion for the 3 Avengers as this means to them that Billy might be another Scarlet Witch. They explain their concern and wanting to keep him with them until they can figure out his limitations. They also explain what happened with the Scarlet Witch which also reminds us that Wanda's antics before she disappered aren't public knowledge in the MU. Something said that struck me as completely wrong:

Hardly. Aren't we forgetting the character who Wanda's breakdown was based on?

And at least her body count stayed dead.
Old tensions come out as Ms. Marvel explains that the Scarlet Witch was a killer, and throughout this talk Carol's kind of a hardass about the situation. Frustrated, Wiccan then asks what would happen if it turns out that he is the grandson of Magneto which is met with no answer from the Avengers. He storms out and the YA follow him. They start to try and talk about what happened with him, but considering they're sounding like they're on the side of the Avengers, he takes off on them as well. Now usually, I'd say these pissy storming outs are irritating, but Heinberg does it convincingly, I can see why Wiccan would feel betrayed by his teammates by their not automatically taking his side. And while he's pissed, he's not running off crying or throwing a massive fit; he's frustrated by being singled out and he wants someone to have his back.

Wiccan decides to go home to get away from the issue, but instead finds Captain America talking to his parents telling them that he would need to take Wiccan back to do some tests. How Cap planned to get back was definitely amusing:

Can you imagine being the cab driver who picks them up?
Instead Wiccan flies them there which I think totally spoiled an awesome scene that probably would've looked like the McDonalds trip in Bedazzled. During the flight Teddy shows up saying that Billy's not doing this alone. Cap says it's ok and has Jarvis set up a room for them. And the rest is just too much for me to handle talking about so here it is:

But then Speed cockblocks them by running in to tell them that him and the rest of the YA are breaking them out. They do and from there the team decides that the best way to deal with this is to find the Scarlet Witch. And at the shocking last second, someone appears that agrees with them: MAGNETO.

Conclusion: This issue was everything I ever dreamed of and more the only problem is that I have to wait two months until the next issue. Besides that, it's just heaven. Also if anyone's disappointed about the non-kiss deal, the thing is I'm pretty sure Heinberg knows we want it to happen really bad, so he's probably going to save it to capitalize on a dramatic moment. Anyway, buy this issue.

1 comment:

Wonder Man said...

This was great. I might check out Scarlet