Comic Reviews 8/24/16 – Marvel and Snotgirl

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Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #10

A mostly middling issue where, despite a lengthy appearance by Ms. Marvel, nothing notable really happens. Ms. Marvel scolds Kid Kree for being a jerk and offers Lunella some help and understanding regarding being an Inhuman. Kid Kree’s parents finally notice he’s missing. And Lunella grumbles about how things never go her way. The coolest part of this issue is seeing Ms. Marvel in a more senior role, finally given the change to give instead of receive guidance, but that’s nothing too exciting. If anything, this issue reminds us that as smart as she is, Lunella is still just a kid, and that means making mistakes and having bad days where it feels like nobody understands you.

 

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Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat #9

Patsy and friends go to karaoke to let off some steam, and Hedy organizes a couple of Patsy’s ex-husbands against her.

The pacing of this issue is excellent, giving the human moments plenty of room to breathe while slyly stringing the plot from the first page to the last. A huge chunk of this book is various characters stressing over everyday problems: paying bills, raising children, worrying about friends; that the karaoke night feels like an earned respite. And when the plot re-enters the story in the last act of the book it feels like a natural story beat instead of an “oh shit – we forgot to do plot” moment that so many other comics fall into in these slower issues. In fact, the plot feels like it’s interrupting the karaoke story, because that’s how invested in the characters the book is.

This issue also welcomes the Scott Pilgrim comparisons, “Evil Exes” is right on the cover; and includes a cool shout-out to @skullmandible.

 

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Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #11

Squirrel Girl defeats dream-based villain Nightmare using basic computer science and programing techniques – and as a reader, you get to learn how to do them too!

It’s more fun than it sounds. Super fun, actually. And the book still has the Squirrel Girl humor we’ve come to expect, including a goof referencing Sesame Street, and teasing Chip Zdarsky.

 

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Steve Rogers: Captain America #4

This issue takes the story in a direction I didn’t think it would go in, and keeps increasing the intrigue surrounding Steve’s goals and motivations.

In this exposition heavy issue, Steve tells Dr. Selvig why he saved him, and the part he plays in Captain America’s plans. Without wanting to spoil too much, it is genius how this issue positions Cap at the center of things like Civil War II and the current collapse of SHIELD while simultaneously keeping him out of the spotlight.

Roger’s plans are still too complicated to be fully revealed, but his final goal is both very expected and unexpected in the context of this still being a book about Captain America. Needless to say, this is not the Steve Rogers comics fans are used to.

 

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Snotgirl #2

Snotgirl #2 has the unfortunate job of following the first issue’s book-defining cliffhanger, and manages to fill in some details while building the mystery.

Lottie wakes up the morning after the first issue wondering why everything is so normal. Why aren’t the cops after her? Why is nobody reporting on Cool Girl’s death? Did last issue actually happen?

Besides the mystery, Snotgirl’s characters also make the book worth reading. Sure, they’re shallow, and kinda ditzy – almost a caricature of what a comic book reader would think a fashion blogger acts like – but their also human. They’re vulnerable, they have relationships, and they get scared and jealous.

The art too, is fantastic. Half of the each characters’ personalities can be read just from their body-type and posture, much less their facial expressions; and the colors feel almost like stage lighting. But I want to highlight the lettering in this issue. More than anything else, it’s the size and weight of the lettering that propels this book forward and marks changes in tone.

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