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Comic Proportions 

X-Men: Messiah Complex No. 1, The Flash No. 233

X-Men: Messiah Complex No. 1

Published by Marvel Comics. Plot and script by Ed Brubaker. Pencils by Marc Silvestri. Inks by Joe Weems and Marco Galli.

The Deal: Presenting the first chapter of the first big X-Men crossover in years. If you haven’t been keeping up with the latest mutant happenings, here’s the skinny: Scarlet Witch cast a spell that wiped out all present and future mutants (except for 198 or so). X-Men Messiah picks up with the birth of the first mutant baby since the Witch wiped them out. And everybody — good and bad — wants the kid.

The Good: First up, I think it’s good that Marvel is finally going to deal with the whole mutant extinction storyline. It’s been a while since Scarlet Witch spun her magic, and I can’t say that things have been more interesting for the X-Men since then. Focusing in on the actual story, consider this first issue the set up. And with Ed Brubaker as the writer, things (as usual) start off a tad slow ... but tons of mysterious bits are scattered throughout the comic. Some of the elements that Brubaker has thrown in seem a tad too familiar, but he’s got my interest. On the art-side of things, I like Silverstri’s take on the characters; he’s changed up a few costumes and hairstyles, but he’s done so for the best. Oh, and his action sequences feature loads of kinetic energy. Kinetic energy is a good thing.

The Bad: Silverstri doesn’t have much in his bag of tricks when it comes to facial features. Everyone seems to look the same. And, just analyzing the project in general, we haven’t had a big X-Men crossover in decades — but do we need another one? Any self-respecting fan boy knows this is just a ploy to get us to buy books we don’t normally read. At best, most folks will pick up a book to follow the story and then never pick it up again. But maybe that’s just me being cynical.

The Verdict:
This is a decent enough comic. I’ll follow a few issues of this crossover, but I’m prepared to drop it like a bad habit when it turns wack.


The Flash No. 233

Plot and script by Mark Waid. Pencils and inks by Freddie Williams II.

The Deal: Bart Allen is dead, Wally West is wearing the red costume again and Mark Waid is back writing The Flash. And, this time around, Wally is not working solo: His two children (and his wife, sort of) serve as partners in his war against evil.

The Good: Freddie Williams is a good illustrator. He can draw things — people, buildings, machines, etc. — very well. His style is minimal and a little cartoony, but he’s good at what he does.

The Bad: I was so happy to hear that Mark Waid was coming back to The Flash. But, uh, what the hell is this? Who the hell thought it would be cool to have Wally fight bad guys with his kids? Bad idea. I mean, on Waid’s first run back in the day, The Flash was a fun, action-packed adventure comic. Now, the book comes off more like a corny Saturday morning cartoon. It’s just not interesting. And, sadly, I see a writer coming along one day and finding a way to get these kids out of the picture. And as much as I like Williams’ illustration skills, sometimes his work is just too damn cartoony.

The Verdict: Man, I don’t like this. I really wanted to like this, but it’s corny and wack.

Reviewed materials furnished by Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find: www.heroesonline.com.
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