New Avengers, Vol. 5: Civil War – A Graphic Novel Review

I had the distinct advantage of reading this collection well after I read the unified edition of Civil War, so I must admit my perspective would be different from someone unfamiliar with the outcome of Civil War and its fallout.

That said, knowing what I know about Nick Fury, Iron Man, and Captain America’s current storylines, this volume of New Avengers was incredibly insightful and pertinent.

Though Brian Michael Bendis is the writer throughout, each separate issue making up the larger volume is drawn by a different artist and focuses upon a different character from the New Avengers.

While I don’t believe any of these issues are “must-reads” in order to understand the larger storyline of Civil War, they certainly help illuminate character’s motivations and set up plots to come in New Avengers and Mighty Avengers.

I’d also like to say that there is a component to this volume featuring Sentry drawn by Pasqual Ferry that alone makes the entire volume worth buying. I could take or leave Sentry as a character, but Ferry’s rendering of Sentry interacting with the Inhumans is an absolute delight. Certainly Dean White’s colors add to the beauty of Ferry’s art, and I really hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. In my opinion, Ferry is the go-to guy when it comes to interplanetary adventure, as I first learned with his stunning art in Adam Strange: Planet Heist.

New Avengers: Civil War is a great volume if you’re looking for different artists interpretations of some of your favorite New Avengers; it’s enlightening if you desire further character motivation during Civil War; and finally, it’s a nice springboard to new plots in New Avengers.

Had I read this in “real” time I don’t know I would have enjoyed it as much, but with 20/20 hindsight, I thoroughly relished New Avengers: Civil War.

Adam Strange: Planet Heist – A Graphic Novel Review

Up until just a mere few months ago, I honestly thought that Adam Strange was the lamest character ever created in the world of comic books. His costume was terrible, his entire storyline outdated, a relic of ’60’s sci-fi. Nothing, and I mean nothing, could ever turn me into a fan of Adam Strange.

That is, of course, until I read the recently released Adam Strange: Planet Heist.

Thanks to a smart script and crisp dialogue from Andy Diggle, as well as jaw-dropping art by Pascal Farry, this trade paperback that collects an eight-issue miniseries has given me an entirely new (and prior non-existent) appreciation for this character.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still the sci-fi space opera stuff, but it’s done so originally without all the old clichés that I didn’t even mind. It didn’t feel like the typical sci-fi comics of old. Adam Strange is now conveyed as a man in love who crosses galaxies to be with his other-worldly wife, a father willing to do anything to protect his only daughter, a stranger when on Earth, though he’s an Earthling, an alien totally at home when on his adoptive planet of Rann. And when the world he protects is seemingly destroyed, we witness Strange take on a grand voyage in the hopes of finding his loved ones, refusing to accept their demise.

Thank goodness, his costume was updated to one of the coolest looking outfits in all of comics today. He’s now got mind-blowing technology at his disposal instead of one idiotic, pistol-shaped ray gun, and he’s got the attitude of a hero, but also that of a commander of an army bent on protecting those he’s sworn to watch over.

We get lots of old, formerly goofy characters cast in a new, respective light, and we also have a lot of old plot threads summed up, and new plots born that are playing out in other comics even as we speak (figuratively, of course).

I bought this trade paperback for the exquisite artwork alone, but I was more than floored by the excellent storyline. This is a can’t miss. Oh, and, I promise, you’ll never hear me make fun of Adam Strange again.