Wednesday, December 14, 2011

WGTB reviews FF #12, Uncanny X-Men #3, Swamp Thing #4 & Defenders #1

This past week I crossed the Atlantic to visit to my hometown of Toronto for the holidays. Having purchased FF#12, Uncanny X-Men #3, Swamp Thing #4 and Defenders #1 last Wednesday for the flight, I read them over Iceland and thought I'd write a short review of each on this early jet-lagged morning. 

Let’s start with FF#12. In many respects this is the first issue of a new series because two weeks ago Marvel released Fantastic Four #600, a 100 page mega-comic which spilt the two Jonathan Hickman titles Fantastic Four and FF, the former having been on hiatus since the ‘death’ of Johnny Storm in #587. On December 21, the original title is back with Fantastic Four #601 and now FF is dedicated entirely to the stories of Franklin and Valeria Richards and the Future Foundation. 
From Marvel's FF #12, January 2012
The book was quite good and Jonathan Hickman is by far one of the best at weaving high level science-fiction into comic books. This one could have used a re-read of past issues just to get the story straight, but it was a good tale and Hickman was great at writing for the younger demographic found in this book. Juan Bobillo and Marcelo Sosa's cartoony art matches the youthful dimension to the comic and all in all, I think I'll keep going back.  

Uncanny X-Men #2 continues with the Sinister vs Extinction Team on the California coast and I really enjoyed this one. As a Canadian living in London, I further appreciated Briton Kieron Gillen's Nathaniel Essex/Sinister back-story which included a great image of Greenwich. While I wasn’t initially convinced Sinister was the right villain for the X-Men in the lead-up to this series, I really liked the ending of #2 and think the new ‘Sinister Species’ seems like a great nemesis for the X-Men. I’m definitely going to keep this title, which was a success for Marvel because I was considering dropping it after the first issue.  
From Marvel's Uncanny X-Men #2, January 2012 
From Marvel's Uncanny X-Men #2, January 2012


Moving to Swamp Thing #4, this was probably my favourite comic of the four books I read. I have to say (AGAIN!) Scott Snyder’s story-telling ability is simply fantastic. Also, as a long-time JRR Tolkien and Alan Moore fan, I really loved seeing the Parliament of Trees (Ents!) again, and I really appreciate how the New 52’s Swamp Thing is drawing on the rich history of the Saga of the Swamp Thing, the great run in the 80s. Moreover, seeing that great duality of the Green v the Rot was just awesome and I can't wait to see the conflict come to the fore. Keep ‘em coming, Scott.
From DC's Swamp Thing #4, February 2012
I close today with Defenders #1, a book I have been looking forward to since I first heard about it. As a long-time fan of the Silver Surfer and enjoyer of Matt Fraction’s work, I knew this book was something I would enjoy. Frankly, it did not disappoint, but because the first issues of team books are rarely more than set-up and introductory stories, I think we will have to wait until #2 to see how good it actually gets. I am looking forward to the battle/meeting that awaits us with the old Fantastic Four/Thor opponent Prester John in the next issue.  

From Marvel's Defenders #1, January 2012
So there you go: some quick reviews for mid December. Have a great holiday and I should be back with a couple more before the end of 2011. All the best!

1 comment:

  1. i'm a long time Swamp Thing fan but i'm really not to sure what to think of the new series. it got off to a great start with issue #1 and although i like the art and creepy 80s Allan "Moorish" tone of the writing i'm just digging how there isn't an actual "Swamp Thing" in the story so far. i almost dropped the series after 3 but later picked up 4 on a whim. at this point if i pick up 5 it's probably more because of that wicked kid and what happens next with him.