I gave up on this series after the 1st couple of issues I had pre-ordered, it seemed like it was going to be another standard Marvel event with a lot of hype and not much substance. I’ll let others debate the quality of the series overall, since I just read the bookends.
I was compelled to read #10 by the worst kept “secret” on the internet and the following solicit:
The biggest secret in comics will be revealed to you! An ending so confidential…even the artists of this book don’t know what lies on the final pages…! A surprise so big that comic book legend Joe Quesada himself returns to the pages of Marvel Comics to draw a sequence that people will be talking about for years.
Well, I certainly won’t be talking about it for years. Let me get it out of my system here.
On the plus side, the opening “Previously in” page was effective in bringing me up to speed, coupled with reviews I’ve seen on the net over the past several months. Looks like I saved myself ~$28 retail by skipping issues #3-9 of this series. To Brian Michale Bendis’ credit, he writes the beginning of the issues in a fairly accessible fashion. Based on my knowledge of Marvel I knew what was going on and didn’t feel lost at all. A good balls-to-the wall action sequences ably illustrated by Bryan Hitch & Paul Neary.
Then, at the staple, reality is shattered and we get a couple of pages that are cool, especially for Marvel fans who like to dig for Easter eggs in the art.
Where this story went off the rails for me is in the “ending which is not an ending”. I’m so tired of multiple issue stories that don’t leave the reader with any sense of closure. The ending of this story is a setup for what’s coming NEXT from Marvel. The big reveal of the character Neil Gaiman created over in Spawn years ago being introduced into the Marvel Universe fell flat for me as the last double-page splash. So what? I’d rather have seen the character introduced before the last page & actually do something to contribute to the story. I don’t like a finale to just be a cliffhanger. Write a continuing series if you want to go from cliffhanger to cliffhanger. Your mileage may vary.
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall – firstname.lastname@example.org
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