Robot 6

The Fifth Color | Vengeance is a State of Mind

Vengeance #1The Marvel Universe sure does a lot of “venging,” don’t they? Avenge, revenge and now this new mini-series Vengeance by Joe Casey, Nick Dragotta and Brad Simpson.

Without getting into spoilers, I can tell you it’s a six issue mini-series for $3.99, and it’s a high concept for a high price. I can tell you that Brad Simpson is the colorist, gets third billing on the book and is pretty awesome. Likewise Nick Dragotta has an awesome name and an awesome website. Joe Casey is a Man of Action and has plenty of fantastic comics under his name. So by the creators alone, this book should be added to your pull list.

Or should it? Shakespeare and Michelangelo could make a really bad comic book, so why pick up anything on name alone? What is Vengeance about, really? It’s got Magneto on the cover; is it a mutant book? It’s got quote from someone about the generation gap; is it about kids? Is it about Ghost Rider?

From the solicitation, “When MAGNETO of the X-Men tries to rescue a young Mutant on the run, he accidentally kicks off a series of events that will shake the very Marvel Universe to it’s core! Who are the new TEEN BRIGADE?! Who are the Brotherhood and what do they want with the YOUNG MASTERS OF EVIL?! And how is the RED SKULL pulling the strings from beyond the grave? Joe Casey (AVENGERS: EARTH’S MIGHTIEST) joins Nick Dragotta (FANTASTIC FOUR) for some major acts of VENGEANCE!

Aside from all the questions posed, we know that Magneto starts off something and that there’s gonna be some vengeance.

WARNING: Yeah, I’m going to tell you what Vengeance #1 is all about. The long and short of it is it’s a great book, so go get one, read it and let’s compare notes, shall we?

Okay, so they weren’t kidding about that Teen Brigade thing. In fact, what they should be promoting is that there are tons of weird and awesome loose threads being woven up through this like you would not believe. It’s kind of like the New X-Men, where new and kind of gonzo ideas are being brought in on the back of common comic continuity. You want the Red Ghost, we got the Red Ghost at a bar. You want the Red Skull, we got a flashback of him talking to Hitler. You want a bunch of hackers sitting around in a dark room like it’s a LAN party? Well, if you really want it, we have that, but one of the kids has Forge’s Neutralizer Gun from that time Storm got shot with it and lost her powers.

This series would make for some great annotations, because there are things coming at you that go by very fast and seem rather obtuse until you think on it for awhile. I think maybe Marvel doesn’t have this in the X-Book camp or as a Fear Itself tie-in or as a Youth in Revolt back-up because it’s all these things and none of these thing at once. There are interviews with Joe Casey and Nick Dragotta, and they try and couch their terms in as broad a language as they can, calling it an “exploration of villainy in the Marvel Universe” or the youth reaction to Fear Itself. Both those ideas are cool, but they don’t tell us anything of what content we’ll get, what “really matters” and with a $3.99 price tag, I fear a lot of people aren’t going to find out.

Sometimes a comic book is just a comic book. Vengeance is one of those books you are going to have to define by terms it’s already using. There’s no breaking it down into small, more digestible bits, because the book is going to jog your brain for heroes unmentioned and villains rediscovered and people, the most important ingredient of the Marvel Universe.

Please buy this book. Give it a chance and see what just telling stories can be outside the hype where your brain lives.

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Comments

9 Comments

This and the last two issues of Batman, Inc were my only comics this month. Picked them up today on my walk back from classes. I found Vengeance pretty damn spectacular and well worth the extra dollar. New characters, old characters in new roles, smart use of continuity to push forward new ideas, gorgeous art. Dense storytelling. Wonderful.

My only little qualm wasn’t an issue with the issue itself but possibly with the X-Franchise. Has Magneto always been portrayed as such a … fuddy-duddy? Maybe it’s because my only modern experience ( ie non-Claremont X-men) with the character has been New X-men, Ultimate X-men, and X-men: First Class, but I always envisioned him as more … magnetic? Charismatic? Is that how he’s been characterized recently in Uncanny? Wow. Not to spoil a plot point, but he breaks into a hotel room in order to call Stacy X out on being so sexually available, accusing her of holding back the mutant race. I mean, I guess that makes sense for someone who has been around since the 1940s. Maybe that was even the point.

Not to mention his costume redesign on the cover is 1000x better than the underwear-on-the-outside Kirby throwback he wore in the issue itself.

I’m coming back into monthly comics with the upcoming DC Relaunch, but this is one of the few Marvel books that I’m very interested in. This and Daredevil and the Ultimate Relaunch. I’m glad I got in on the ground floor on this one.

Joe Casey continues to be everything right with comics.

Thanks for the reviews, guys. I was wary of buying this because of the lack of promotion, unknown characters, and untested creators. I had this in my hand but had a pretty thick stack of comics this week so I passed on it. My LCS had quite a few left over as of Thursday, so I’ll likely pick it up next week.

speaking of being a fuddy duddy, I’ve read some stuff about this, and it sounds pretty great.
However, I’ve drawn my own line, and if I pick this up, it won’t be until it shows up in cheap bins.
$4 … even $3 just is too much for comics these days: economically, I simply can’t get that much enjoyment out of a single issue of any book.
The exception being SECRET SIX, which I’m going to miss so so much come September.

I had already planned to pick this up but saw it was 3.99, nonetheless, reading Casey’s interviews on it have really amped me up and I’ve heard nothing but good feedback. I’ll definitely put a title on the back burner to support this mini.

@ James part of me thinks the way that Casey portrayed Mags that way just to screw with his fans and those who take him seriously. Knowing Casey that’s highly likely, he’s probably one of the few active writers who gives negative fu*ks about negative fan response and I love that devil may care attitude of the guy.

I can tell you that I’ll be buying the hardcover from Amazon for about $16.

@ JRC

I understand and have been a vocal practitioner of that policy in the past. But Vengeance is not the title to make your stand on.

Not only is it well worth the extra dollar (or however many dollars it is above what you think is reasonable for a monthly comic book) but, even more than 3 dollar comics, it’s the kind of comic that Marvel has shown themselves quite uninterested in producing in the past.

More than just that, if you enjoy Secret Six, this is going to be right on the mark for you. It’s the same exploration of the logistics and idiosyncrasies Marvel’s criminal underworld with a healthy dose of youthful rebellion thrown it in.

Bought it and I’m glad I did. Casey is one of the standout writers withn commerical comics, which has too few of them.
Dragotta impressed me from the FF silent issue where Spidey spent time with Franklin after Johnnys’ death.

What will make me buy comics is simply the combo of an interesting concept plus the creators involved if they have enough work to have a track record.

That’s why Morrisons’ Batman and anything by Jonathan Hickman with dashes of Mark Waid have been the mainstays among my stack of comics the past 3 + years.

Casey is creator who always has a nice spin on things. I like it when creators want to say something with their work but know how they can say it with out hammering their point home.

When people say that they won’t buy a $4 comic, I understand.
Perhaps, for them, it makes more sense since they’re working from a pull list.

As for me, I have a set idea of what books I’ll cop but not having anything set in stone gives me the room to change my mind and try something else.

Like with most things in entertainment, the most hyped surely doesn’t mean the best story. I don’t fault the companies for hyping up their events and rebirths, they’re just trying to dotheir job. The job is to sell comics.

I have a mind of my own. They can tell book x is the one to get but I keep a lookout for other books that “just don’t seem to have an audience”. Whichever one or both that I choose to get is on me.

I’m just glad that the books are out there to give me a choice.

And please believe, the books are out there. Just look out for them.

The thing that concerns me is that you’re asking us to give the book a chance when Marvel didn’t. Pricing an experimental book that doesn’t fit into anyone’s “must-read” categories from the start at $3.99 is giving it an unnecessary handicap – especially for the first issue.

This is where I think Marvel is really starting to fall down, especially in comparison to DC’s new plans. They’re too focused on extracting money from the existing customer base, rather than making their books available to as many people as possible.

It sounds like it could be a great book – but Marvel really needs to make these books accessible so people will buy and read them.

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