Saturday, December 24, 2005

This Christmas Comic Is Good - Marvel Holiday Special 2005

I really appreciate Marvel's willingness to let new talent (new to Marvel, at least) have a whack at this special, as the resulting effort was really quite good. All wrapped in a beautiful wrapping (namely Stuart Immonen and Christina Strain's cover).

The first story is written by Shaenon Garrity, but the star of the story is undoubtably my fav'rit', Roger Langridge, who does an outstanding job on the Fantastic Four and Moleman, as the Fantastic Four must find out why the Moloids are kidnapping Santa Clauses for the Moleman. There is a great scene with Namor that was particularly inspired, but all in all, I was SLIGHTLY disappointed that Garrity decided to go with a twist-y ending (a twist-y ending that really didn't make much sense) rather than go with the sappy one she had set up for the comic. It was a really good sappy ending, too!

The second story was the best of the lot, as Jeff Parker showed off his mad phat writing skillz by showing us a New Avengers Christmas, complete with a Santa robot that was built on an Ultron, so Santron decides that the Avengers are naughty and must be killed.

Reilly Brown's art was very nice (cute, but not TOO cute), and Parker hits all the right comedic notes, and dramatic ones at that. It was also nice to see these heroes all acting, well, nice.

And the speech at the end by Captain America? Cle-ver.

Finally, Mike Carey, Mike Perkins (with colors from Laura Martin) give us a pretty standard "villain and heroes reconcile for the holidays" story, but the art was really nice, and it didn't stink or anything.

In any event, the Parker story and the Langridge art by themselves would make this special worth buying.

Good stuff!

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Blogger gschienke said...

On Attack of the Show, the resident comic critic took the Internet-traditional line and trashed this comic for all the things that made it delightful. I had a feeling she was little full of herself and after reading this comic, that feeling was confirmed.

This really is a good comic book. The Internet, at least to me, seems to be the new coffee house hang-out of the comic fan who is a nihilist; God forbid that super-heroes occasionally extract themselves from the muck of modern comic writing and embrace their science fiction/fantasy roots.

Personally, things have been south regarding fun at the Big Two for so long that I am still leery whenever either DC or Marvel offer up a Christmas/Holiday comic book. All too often their lip service to "all ages comics" is just lip service. (I'm old school. I want "all ages" to apply to mainstream comics on the whole, not just to a small sub-line like Marvel Adventures.)

I don't want a "realistic" Christmas comic book from either company. I want the implication that Santa Claus does exist. I want The Christmas Spirit to take care of problems for one evening. I want Batman singing carols on Christmas Eve in a Gotham station house. I want Captain America "speechifying" a slightly rewritten version of the "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" editorial.

This is a good comic that doesn't apologize for the stories it presents. Santa, after world peace and all that, could we possibly get some comics like this one?

12/24/2005 10:40:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Here's what I don't get. It sounds like Attack of the Show's comic reviewer is lame, but I don't get the whole bashing of the Internet-thing. I mean, who on the Internet is ripping this comic?

Heck, who is ripping comics LIKE this one?

Fin Fang Four is similar to this comic, and that book got rave reviews on the Internet.

New Frontier is like this comic, and who on the Internet HASN'T loved New Frontier?

So, sure, the Attack of the Show lady might be lame, but the internet is still cool in my book!

12/25/2005 05:03:00 AM  
Blogger gschienke said...

I apologize for making an overly broad statement regarding the Internet. Narrowing it some, my ire is turned upon those reviewers and fans who post to the Internet denouncing anything that even hints at fun in comics, the people who refuse to look at a Captain Marvel story from the forties with Mr. Tawny because a bipedal, talking tiger doesn't mesh with thier sense of what a super-hero comic book should. In the world of physical interaction, rarely have I met a comic fan quick to denounce fantasy (more likely they will pounce upon a continuity error) in super-hero comics, but on the Internet there are just more people willing to speak out against silliness for its own sake (as opposed to Grant Morrison-derived silliness, but I digress). Maybe I'm hitting the wrong sites, and I'm not saying I didn't read a few upbeat reviews regarding this particular comic, but in general I read more complaints regarding silly moments in mainstream comics than messages of support.

Again, I apologize for the broad overstatement against the entire Internet.

12/25/2005 11:22:00 AM  
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