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The Sunday Pages #46

8th February 2009 | by | 3 Comments

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The usual capsule reviews, this week of Astonishing Tales #1, Buffy #22, Secret Warriors #1 and The Authority #7!

divx 30 000 leagues under the sea Review: Astonishing Tales #1
Oh dear. This re-naming exercise isn’t really fooling anyone, is it? This is Marvel Comics Presents, back for another punt, and with absolutely nothing to make it stand out from any other failed attempts at an anthology. Couldn’t Marvel learn something from their recent X-Men anthologies and try crossover-themed, property-specific series rather than bung out another doomed attempt at MCP? Virtually nothing of interest in here, unfortunately. Jonathan Hickman’s first few pages of Marvel pencilling is all this book will ever be notable for. Although, if you know any Iron Man 2020 fans (I sure as hell don’t) let them know this is the return they’ve been waiting for… [JHu]

Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer #22
The book’s transformation into Uncanny the Vampire Slayer continues, with the super-powered girls now officially “hated and feared” globally. Steve S DeKnight makes Satsu a more rounded character than Whedon’s incarnation, but unfortunately falls short with the story’s central gimmick. The transformation brought about by the brainwashing Vampy Cat dolls is played for comedy, with one character undergoing a Stepford Wives-style change, but in the process the story’s potentially sharp commentary is lost. It’s still a nicely observed character piece, but observations about the infantalisation of women through popular culture are sadly clouded. [JHa]

Review: Secret Warriors #1
Jonathan Hickman is a welcome addition to Marvel’s stable of writers, and the fact that he’s managed to breathe life into a group of characters as utterly limp as most of the cast of Secret Warriors is a good reason to be pleased he’s here. It’s good to see Nick Fury finally take more than a peripheral role in a series, and with the Skrull threat over, a good reason to keep the team together is quickly unveilled, though it’s a revelation that makes about as much sense as concrete giraffe, and will probably cause the issue to eject as many readers as it captures. [JHu]

Review: The Authority #7
There’s a distinctly cautionary note to this month’s tale, with Apollo the only character who’s actions are not rewarded by the plot. Stormwatch’s visit concludes faster than expected, and its clear that the improvement in the Authority’s lot is mercifully small-scale. They’re not in control of London, but their use of a 4×4 to investigate the new plotline smartly underlines their limitations. A particular mention is due to Simon Coleby, who handles the change in visual style for the cliffhanger magnificently. [JHa]