So to our first contender. Surrounded by much hype this year, bearer of a reset button, and with a premise as sturdy as a paper dove...
|DO NOT PRESS BUTTON|
|No body retcons Morrison. Nobody.|
The biggest slap in the face is that at the end f it all, the story retcons itself out of existence. That's right, the story you spend $12 USD (if you get it now from Amazon) on purchasing, and about 30 minutes reading, wraps up so well that it never happened. Almost. A lot of comparisons were made between this and the Age of Apocalypse from Marvel back in the 1990s and it's an obvious comparison. The difference is that this is really more like House of M in terms of impact, depth, and time to read. If that's so, we'll be getting new Flashpoint stories for another 2-3 years yet.
Recommendation: Pass. Or read it in the 5 minutes it takes someone else to get the shrink-wrap off your copy of the New 52 omnibus without damaging it.
Clearly didn't like that one... so how about something that I really shouldn't like. Something like...
The Complete Ben Reilly Epic Book 2
|If this doesn't trigger 1990s flashbacks,|
go ahead and pick it up.
Recommendation: Good read for Spidey fans, Reilly fans, and 1990s fans,. If you want great work, it's not here, but there's a least some solid work.
So maybe the 1990s is your favourite era. And maybe you like The Avengers. And cosmic stuff involving the Kree, Skrulls, or Shiar. You do? Great. Try reading...
Operation Galactic Storm (Volumes 1 and 2)
|They're Avengers? Okay then.|
Operation Galactic Storm is a tale from the other time there were multiple Avengers teams (East and West), and deals with The Avengers (first the West Coast team, then both) getting caught up in an intergalactic war involving the Kree and the Shiar (mainly - there's a little bit of Skrullishness) by way of a Rick Jones abduction./ At its core, this is a story about the horrible things people rationalise as acceptable in times of war, and how people from different backgrounds, and at different points in their lives act when faced with the atrocities of war. For example Thor (Eric Masterson, not Donald Blake) is a relative novice and his lack of prior experience leads him to vacillate wildly from outraged violence to subdued humanitarian, while Captain America resolutely claims the need to stop the war without casualties. Interestingly, there's some very familiar riffs throughout this story: Cap vs Iron Man on a a moral battlefield, Hawkeye not feeling he's been afforded enough respect, Wonder Man and Vision as two sides of the same coin, and Cap doubting his ability to lead The Avengers. These are things we've seen repeatedly over time, and that they're all brought to the fore during what was a showcase cross-over event is evidence that a cross-over can be done properly.
There's really only two things to complain about here: that the story was split over two volumes, and that the What If stories in the second volume are so appalling. The split makes sense in that the editions I have are paperback. Going to a single volume would have resulted in a book where the spine breaks after one reading. The other alternative is to go to a hardcover/omnibus which raises costs, and reduces the likelihood of reprint. The What If stories... are a demonstration of all that was wrong with the concept. The concept (What If The Avengers Los Operation Galactic Storm?) is not that compelling unless you really have a lot of time (see Flashpoint review above), the art is not that great, and at times it's completely unclear what the hell is happening.
|Again, they're Avengers?|
The list of contributors (writers and artists) is extensive, but not over the top (Bob Harras, Tom DeFalco, Mark Gruenwald, Gerard Jones, Len Kaminski, Roy Thomas, Dann Thomas, Greg Capullo, Steve Epting, JEff Johnson, Stephen B. Jones, Rik Levins, Dave Ross, Paul Ryan, Rurik Tyler, Paul Olliffe, Craig Brasfield, John Czop, Darren Auck, and Dave Simmons).
Recommendation: Pick it up. Both volumes. Read it. Then read a modern "event" book (either of the big two will have something for you). Then sit back and wonder why "events" are so awful these days. You don't need to be an Avengers fan, and you don't need to be too worried about continuity (this is so far back it really isn't referenced).
Whew, big lot of books out of the way. Next week I'll do another batch review, but we'll focus on the one title.
|Whaddya mean your girlfriend won't read The Boys?|