Over the past couple weeks, Nothing But Comics has been providing a variety of coverage on the 2015 New York Comic Con. From the creators to the cosplayers they inspire, we have offered reflections on the different facets of fandom. The last in this series of articles is a compilation of comments from some of the panels attended during the convention.
At the Dark Horse Comics Classified Panel, there were a few announcements, but the main pleasure was hearing the creators discuss their craft. These observations included a healthy sense of humor, such as when Matt Kindt was asked what it was like playing the role of both writer and artist on a series. He replied that collaborating with himself was a pleasure, as “most of my deadlines get along.” For his part, Brian Wood offered that he always wants to be enthusiastic about the art in one of his titles. His wish is to be a “fanboy” of it just like any other reader.
Continue reading NYCC: Panel Roundup
After three years of transcendent success on the refurbishing of the Carol Danver’s character as Captain Marvel by Kelly Sue DeConnick, the title and it’s character have a new writing team. While they manage to provide a story with some interesting idea’s and potential, the loss of it’s former writer is still felt in the voice and spirit of the series.
Tara Butters & Michelle Fazekas have a thankless job here, DeConnick’s run on Captain Marvel is undeniably iconic for it’s influence & fan support. This has been forgotten somewhat, but Captain Marvel was a book that helped completely shift Marvel & DC’s approach to female led comics to where they were actually conscious of female readers. Without DeConnick’s Captain Marvel, it’s hard to see the success of Ms. Marvel, Jane Foster Thor, Gotham Academy, Spider-Gwen, DC Bombshells, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl or any number of successful superhero comics that have treated their female readership with the same respect as their male counterparts. Moreover, the success of Captain Marvel completely elevated DeConnick’s profile; it was her first hit book and surely had a hand in her getting her own Image series while creating a large fan base for the writer in the form of the Carol Corps. That’s because DeConnick’s voice and style felt so distinctive to the title, it was on Captain Marvel that her writing strengths in humor and heart really shined though. Because of that, Captain Marvel feel’s much closer to a Kelly Sue DeConnick creation then a legacy character. Considering all that; Butters & Fazekas are in an impossible spot.
Replacing DeConnick with another comics writer would have been difficult enough, Butters & Fazekas had never written a comic in their life prior to this. Butter’s & Fazeka’s are TV lifers who’d found success writing for Marvel’s Agent Carter television show. Coming on to script Captain Marvel, there is no way they couldn’t attempt to keep the voice & tone of the series that DeConnick established but how do they do that for someone that is as singular as DeConnick? In the first issue they can’t pull it off and it ends up being the comics weak point. There are attempts at humor and personal moments here, but it lacks the insight & warmth of the previous series. The dialogue fails to capture the vibrancy and rhythm that DeConnick was so natural at and while what Butters & Fazeka is doing is not outright bad per say, it’s not measuring up to it’s predecessor either. That said, Butter & Fazeka do manage to build an interesting plot by introducing he character to a new environment that still feels consistent with the books mytho’s. There is a twist on the books conclusion that will make Carol Corp fan’s want to read the following issue. Artist Kris Anka is good enough here albeit a little flat in some moments, but his visual narration feel’s like some of his best in that regard. Colorist Matt Wilson continues to be among the elite in his profession for how he contrasts the brights with different blue hue’s.
There is enough going for this comic to be good enough but it’s also lacking in what made the original title feel special. Captain Marvel was so unique and singular, and most of what made it unique and singular was the vision of writer Kelly Sue DeConnick. Without her, it feels very much like another superhero comic and while that’s fine in the abstract, the whole reason that Captain Marvel stood out in the first place was how it surpassed that. DeConnick’s Captain Marvel was a book that legitimately inspired it’s readers, it created movements online, shifted the direction of it’s publisher and made a star out of it’s writer. This new era of Captain Marvel is doing a lot of things right, but it’s first issue is not doing any of that and if it’s not, what’s the point?
By David Mandel, Michael Walsh & Matthew Wilson
Whether labeled foot soldiers, cannon fodder or redshirts, they are a standard trope of genre fiction, comic books included. For Hank Johnson, David Mandel turns the spotlight on one of these nameless faces in the crowd by giving readers a look at the daily struggles and hardships of Hank Johnson, Agent of Hydra. What Mandel reveals is banal, satirical and thoroughly entertaining.
Continue reading Review of Hank Johnson, Agent of Hydra #1
Overview: This week I read quite a few fantastic comics. It was a Wednesday full of exciting new books by established creators, but in the end the book that stuck with me the most was Wic + Div #3. This issue picks up with Laura having snuck out to a secret and literally underground concert where one of the Pantheon has appeared to have met their end. Then we encounter police, upset parents, a grounded teenager, and more investigating into who framed Luci.
Gillen’s script is delightfully crass, McKelvie and Wilson once again prove they’re incapable of doing anything less than stellar art, and we’re all left to run off and Google all these new and exciting deities for clues as to what will happen next month. So let’s dig in a bit, yeah?
In the relaunch of Secret Avengers Ales Kot and Michael Walsh introduce a new style to the title that is an excellent balance between action, adventure and hilarity at a break neck pace that drops you right into the action, ratchets up the plot and doesn’t let up all the way to it’s cliffhanger ending. Kot manages to retain his voice while playing on the recent iterations of characters like Hawkeye, Spiderwoman, Nick Fury Jr (get over it), Maria Hill and Black Widow showing a steady hand that respects his fellow writers continuity without sacrificing his own will on the characters but his dialogue truly shines when writing MODOK which is insane yet totally makes sense and is just fucking perfect. Plot wise this is everything you’d want from a Marvel super hero team book right out the gate with an eclectic cast getting thrown together from contending external crises that essentially all pile up on the team within the first issue. Artist Michael Walsh just kills his first Marvel comic work with more detail then I’ve ever seen from the illustrator while still retaining his strong pulp action sensibilities that he’s done on Image series like Zero and Comeback. The synergy in tone and style between Kot and Walsh is an inspired revelation and is further evidence of the importance in the relationship for the collaboration between writer and artist. Number one issues of relaunched titles are supposed to introduce you to the premise, give you an intriguing hook into the title and let the reader enter it’s world. Secret Avengers fulfills that criteria and so much more in it’s opening salvo. There have already been a lot of quality new series coming out in early 2014 but this is one that you will want to jump on for the ride. Just make sure to hold on tight.