Axel-In-Charge: Navigating the "Civil War II" Landscape, Bringing DMC to Marvel
Late last month, writer Paul Jenkins launched his new ongoing collaboration with artist Carlos Magno, BOOM! Studios’ Deathmatch. In Comic Book Resources’ review of the specially priced $1 first issue, Kelly Thompson rated it four out of five stars and wrote: “A Battle Royale concept of heroes pitted against each other to the death in an arena has the potential to be pretty tired at this point, what with the proliferation of these types of stories including some comics already out there … However, in the deft hands of Paul Jenkins and Carlos Magno, ‘Deathmatch’ is not only good, but far better than I ever expected given the concept and title … Jenkins and Magno have set up a very cool and smart story that, although it could easily fall into seen it all before cliché, is so far expertly avoiding all those traps and delivering a great reading experience.”
Jenkins recently took time to talk with me about the new series, as well as the Kickstarter success of his and Humberto Ramos’ Fairy Quest. Deathmatch #2 will be in stores Jan. 30.
My English teacher in high school taught me that ‘cavalier poetry’ was described at it’s time as so effortless and easy in its adventurous style as to be ‘written while falling off a horse’. This phrase stuck with me throughout the years and, little did I know, that it would come back once again to describe Brian Michael Bendis.
Some days, I wonder if DC fans feel this same way about Geoff Johns or Grant Morrison, that every time you open your mouth the name has to follow; it’s not that you’re centered on their work it’s that their work is so central to everything you read…
Anyhoo, Bendis. Bendis Bendis Bendis. Looking at the Sentry as he was created and written about way back in 2000 (I know! I’m surprised, too.) up to now, where Dark Avengers #12 has left us, it seems we’re at this great chasm between original and highly introspective concept and clearly repetitive character. Since ‘joining’ the New Avengers or Mighty Avengers (man, he’s really been on all three?), the Sentry has been out of place or out of mind; he’s ripped and tossed his way through some of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’ dangerous and world-threatening villains like so many discarded gum wrappers, enough to where throwing your enemy into the sun is now an in-character in-joke. Or he’s flown past terribly human Hawkeye as he uses a glass cutter to break into the Avengers’ Tower. Or he’s been defeated by logic loops. Or he’s handily explained as ‘crazy’ and discarded off panel to explain his convenient absence.
Is this just poor planning on behalf of a man trying to tell a larger story than the characters that shape it? Or is Mr. Bendis truly writing poetry while falling off his horse?
(WARNING: Yes, I’m going to drop a fairly decent bombshell from Dark Avengers #12. Better you hear it from a real writer rather than me, so go grab a copy and learn first hand!)
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