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Post By
Omar Karindu

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,242
In Reply To
Nitz the Bloody

Subj: Re: More reposting from Comics Should Be Good
Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 07:12:24 pm EDT (Viewed 550 times)
Reply Subj: More reposting from Comics Should Be Good
Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 06:35:32 pm EDT (Viewed 521 times)

Previous Post

"Vague technobabble and creepy metaphors" might sum up Hickman's entire ouvere at Marvel. I'll go further and admit that I found Hickman's Avengers not only underwhelming, but actually a bit aggravating. All the character moments I read (crossing about New Avengers 1-6 and Avengers 1-10, as well as the first few issues of Infinity) were the most basal, obvious character beats needed for the story structure; stuff like "Cap gives an inspiring speech to the Avengers", "Thor makes a badass boast at the villain", "the new Starbrand is a loser nerd", "the new Smasher comes from the salt of the Earth but wants to go into space", "the etc. They give the impression of being necessary justifications for the story with which the writer would rather not bother. The places where the story feels more passionate are when the villains are talking about (or in the case of Black Swan, cryptically teasing) the complexities of their master plans, when the heroes (and the New Avengers) are showing off their impressive toys and schemes, or when the story is making big proclamations across narrative captions of the Hickman Double-Page spread ("One was life! And one was death!" That's a groan-worthy line on the level of Chris Claremont, who would at least use more interesting vocabulary). It's the polar opposite problem of the Bendis Avengers, which had flimsy plotting and glacial pacing but some impressive character bits. Speaking personally, I'm much more likely to forgive a poor larger story if it has strong character work than a complex plot that reduces its "actors" to grace notes or cryptic hints.

It's impressively laid out and structured, but its technical merits are more like those of an accounting spreadsheet than a satisfying narrative. What's most frustrating is that the Hickman Avengers get so many great artists who I would read for their illustrations alone (Opena, Kubert, Weaver, Larrocca, Epting, Morales, etc.), and I find myself wishing they got a script about actual characters, as opposed to chess pieces for a one-man game.

It doesn't help that a lot of these characters are clearly DC Comics archetypes that Hickman wants to play with, which makes them single-trait Captain Ersaztes, not single-trait originals.

It's also worth noting that Hickman has a poor track record for paying off his elaborate setups. Michael at these boards has noted that the "War of the Four Cities" in his FF never really happened, for example, and Secret Warriors ended with a set of last-minute twist that negated most of the plot up to that point. And the SHIELD series is apparently on long-term hiatus at issue #4 of the second mini, which was supposed to wrap everything up.

That said, I stand by my note that New Avenegrs was good; Secret Warriors got some great character stuff in as well, even after Bendis formally left the title. But yeah, other than those instances, both of which are otherwise swamped by the intricate yet hollow plotting, the majority of Hickman's Marvel work has been remarkably flat.




- Omar Karindu
"For your information, I don't have an ego. My Facebook photo is a landscape."
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