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Nothing But Comics is about to hit our two year mark and in observance of the sites anniversary, every Tuesday from now until we finish, one of our staff members will list off their favorite series, runs or issues of all time. This week it’s Dean Continue reading Tuesday Top Ten: All Time Favorites Dean
It’s almost summer of 2015 which means Marvel comics will be dropping another event much to the delight of comics shops & corporate shareholders. But this time around feels a little different, this time we are getting something bigger, something different and something that feels like uncharted territory. Starting in May of 2015 and going throughout the summer and beyond, Marvel comics will possibly alter, stop publishing or shake up their entire universe in it’s Secret Wars initiative. Instead of Avengers comics there will be a series of titles upon titles that appear out of continuity. What is going on here? What does this all mean? Is there anything worth reading out of all this? Let’s try an extrapolate what we know below.
Simon Spurrier may not be a household name, but I assure you he has the talent to be. Spurrier is always right on the brink of writing a popular book, but it just never seems to take off. I think 2015 is Simon Spurrier’s year to show us what he has. Spurrier received a story spot in Secret Wars Journal Issue #2, he started a BOOM! series called The Spire, which has been well received and now he’s paired with big time artist Kev Walker in one of the most entertaining Secret Wars tie ins.
Kev Walker has this amazing gift to turn the comic world’s attention onto lesser known writers. Back in 2013 he was placed on a book that should not have worked; the hunger games with Marvel characters. At the time, Dennis Hopeless had not written anything that grabbed my attention but I knew Kev Walker’s pages usually look good so I tried it out. Avengers Arena became one of my favourite comics of the year and in turn Dennis Hopeless became a name I will always check out. It is a little early to tell but I think Kev Walker has succeeded again here with Marvel Zombies. The creative layouts, wide eyed characters and pouring rain panels are beautiful to look at. The clean, sharp panels allow Spurrier to have free rain on bringing these characters to life. This book feels very similar to Avengers Arena and that is high praise.
The story is of Shield Section Commander Elsa Bloodstone who was transported into the middle of the Deadlands and must find her way back to her domain. Elsa is an extremely sarcastic woman, never letting down that guard, never allowing anyone to see what is really inside. Taught to abandon all emotion for the mission by her father, Elsa’s journey back is filled with sarcastic comments in the face of danger, splashed with flashbacks of her lacking childhood. Along this journey she finds an abandon child with the unfortunate issue of memory loss. Elsa is not what you would call mothering but it’s very enjoyable watching her give this kid the gears as they make their way out of the Deadlands.
Marvel Zombies is one of the most enjoyable Secret Wars tie ins for me. Kev Walker is brilliant as usually, providing some great looking pages and Spurrier is taking full advantage of this artist pairing. Just as Elsa this book is funny on the surface with a little heart underneath.
Way back in the early days of Marvel Now, there was a little book called X-Men Legacy that gained a small cult following for it’s quirkiness and surrealism that probably pushed the comic way past the point of it’s expiration date then anybody could have predicted for an ongoing series about Legion. It was funny, satirical, insightful, charming, heartfelt & just weird enough to be consistently enjoyable, unique and engaging even though it ultimately suffered from crap interior art & redundant plot mechanics. This was an entire credit to writer Simon Spurrier who was able to create a comic flirting with greatness in face of impossible odds. On the low, Spurrier felt like a writer worth watching out for once he got a competent artist and worked out his kinks. This Wenseday Spurrier released Marvel Zombies, a debut issue for a series about fan favorite Elsa Bloodstone fighting the undead inhabitants of Secret Wars zombie execution pit and based on the results, maybe it’s time to stop waiting because is actually feels like Spurrier is regressing on Marvel Zombies #1
Marvel Zombies is more a story about Elsa Bloodstone than anything else and there is nothing wrong with that. But while it’s meant to be a character study on the protagonist, it’s lack of any nuance prevents the story from getting to anything interesting about the character or her situation that isn’t surface level. Instead Elsa Bloodstone is an insufferable jerk because her dad was an insufferable jerk and when she meet’s an orphan in the zombie pit, she’s a jerk to him, until she remembers her dad being a jerk to her and then she is a little less of a jerk. In other words, it’s a cliché. Kev Walker is one of Marvel’s best artist, he does great slightly cartoonish work with rich detail, dynamic action and engaging layouts. Here he does an honorable job with very little to work with. Unfortunately, the visual story telling can only get the book so far with such a lack of content from the writing. Marvel Zombies is ultimately disappointing for what it’s lacking, no one is expecting the fun and thought provoking weirdness or X-Men Legacy or Six Gun Gorilla, but the book fails more on a base level then anything else, just as a simple story about a bad ass fighting zombies it doesn’t work because it’s so one dimensional. What your left with is talented creative talent with nothing to say doing a comic that is devoid of context or content worth the effort it took them or the reader.