Friday, August 8, 2008

Comics Round-Up, Part Deux

I have to say my favorite read of recent months has been the (justly ballyhooed) Runaways. I found the first digest-sized trade paperback for $ 4 and I can't wait to pick up more. The story begins with an original twist, as a group of teenagers discover their parents are cold-hearted, murderous super-villians. Each of the teens has a unique and interesting personality, and their dilemma in trying to figure out what to do is really well-written with just the right amount of tension and humor. I wasn't quite as big a fan of the ending which makes it seem like this might become yet another teen super-hero book, but I'm willing to see what happens next.

Of a more mixed quality, the first volume of Spider-Man's: Tangled Web was another find in the bargain bin. The conceit here is that the stories are designed to feature Spider-Man only as a supporting or occasional character, with the spotlight on friends, family members, bystanders, villians, or basically anyone who gets caught up in Spider-Man's web. Each story arc is written by a different author. The first few issues, featuring a new villain named "The Thousand" felt pretty blah, but the last story arc centering on long-time enemy the Rhino was a really fun read. Long Spider-Man's doormat because of his sheer lack of intelligence, the Rhino finds some mad scientists to amp up his brain power with interesting and ironic results. A good read if it can be found cheaply.

I'm not really sure what the thought-process was behind Omega Flight, the heir to the long-standing Canadian super-hero team Alpha Flight. The beginning of this limited series holds out promise, as refugee villains and heroes from America's super powers registration act (the driving force behind the major Civil War event) flee to Canada and cause all sorts of trouble. Since all but one member of Alpha Flight was killed in two panels of an issue of New Avengers a couple of years back (an event I still find annoying and unworthy of twenty-year old major characters), the Canadian and American governments decide to field a new team in Canada to deal with the mess and named it Omega Flight. The odd thing is that they fill it with American heroes like U.S. Agent, Spider-Woman, and an American in the traditionally Canadian Guardian suit. The first couple of issues are halfway decent and it's always fun seeing some Canadian landmarks (poor ROM!), but the second-half of the series devolves into a long and somewhat indecipherable slugfest versus The Wrecking Crew. Disappointing on the whole, and not something that makes me yearn for more Omega Flight adventures.

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