Starbrand and Nightmask 1

Alternating Currengs: Starbrand and Nightmask, Drew and Patrick

Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Starbrand and Nightmask 1, originally released December 16th, 2015.

Drew: You’ll often hear comic book fans complain about superheroes being overpowered — that they’re simply too powerful for a villain to pose a credible threat. I’d actually argue that it isn’t a problem with the actual power-levels of the characters, but rather with the precedents set by the threats they face. There’s no reason Superman can’t get a kitten out of a tree, but when he’s otherwise occupied with fighting off planetary invasions, his street-level attentions seem like small potatoes. Unlike Superman, Starbrand and Nightmask were designed (or revived, as the case may be) specifically to fend off those planet-wide threats, putting the street-level conundrum at the center of their character descriptions, which makes the “Starbrand and Nightmask go to college” premise of Starbrand and Nightmask 1 particularly head-scratching. Continue reading

New Avengers 1

new avengers 1

Today, Spencer and Taylor are discussing New Avengers 1, originally released October 14th, 2015. 

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Spencer: I love “team” books. There’s just something fun and exciting about throwing a bunch of heroes — be they A-List or Z-List — together and seeing what happens. Despite the potential for almost endless variations, though, many team books find themselves repeating certain familiar combinations, tropes, and ideas over and over (look how many books started using the “traitor” plot once Terra first popped up in the Teen Titans, for example — and even she was a riff on Kitty Pryde’s role in the X-Men). Thus, my favorite part of Al Ewing and Gerardo Sandoval’s New Avengers is how quick they are to acknowledge and subvert many of those tropes. This book is clever, fun, and gets right to the point; it’s pretty much everything I look for in a team book. Continue reading

New Avengers 30

new avengers 30

Today, Spencer and Mark are discussing New Avengers 30, originally released February 25th, 2015. 

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Spencer: Jonathan Hickman and Dalibor Talajic’s New Avengers 30 reads a bit like a textbook on multiversal theory. It’s about as dry as beef jerky, and is focused so strongly on explaining every minute detail about the Ivory Kings that it largely fails to address why they’re doing what they’re doing. The information contained within its pages will likely prove important as Secret Wars grows closer, but for the moment, New Avengers 30 feels like an issue that highlights the greatest weakness of Hickman’s Avengers books: a focus on plot that supersedes “story” or characterization.  Continue reading