Published on February 8th, 2012 | by Gavin Jones1
Stack Attack Wednesday (SAW) Reviews – Thief of Thieves & Wolverine & the X-Men
Welcome to what will hopefully become a new feature on the Sidekickcast, Stack Attack Wednesday (SAW) Reviews. We do the main Stack Attack in our regularly scheduled comic book podcast but as the schedule keeps getting less regular, we at Sidekick Central figured we’d try and get some up-to-date reviews for you here on the website, beware though, these comics are released today so here be *SPOILERS*
Written by Robert Kirkman and Nick Spencer
Art by Shaun Martinbrough and Felix Serrano
Published by Image Comics
With a story by Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead, Invincible, Marvel Zombies) and a script written by Nick Spencer (Morning Glories, Infinite Vacation, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents), Thief of Thieves has to be one of the most anticipated comic books this year…okay I know it’s only February but you get my point? The thief of the title, named simply Redmond, is the kind of guy who wouldn’t look out of place wandering on to the set of AMC’s Mad Men, a man carved out of wood with a blunt charm and a wit we rarely see in leading men these days. Most of these characteristics are played out in a series of recounted encounters with Redmond’s unnamed would-be apprentice, a young bad girl cliché herself, she serves as an effective foil to our almost pulp protagonist. Rather than one complete story you actually get three intriguing vignettes, building a pretty complete idea of who Redmond is and then flipping that perception by the time you reach the last page, thats some pretty good story-telling in just 22 pages.
I haven’t always been a fan of Shaun Martinbrough’s art, especially in some of his superhero work but his noir stylings really shine here, giving the book a 50′s look that really suits as a setting even though we know it’s actually modern day (by the inclusion of a modern cell phone). The book is laid out very much like a movie, with simple widescreen four panel pages and splatterings of one page splash pages but only when absolutely necessary to really stress a point or demonstrate some death defying acts of thievery. In fact the whole story feels like a movie, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was intended as a back door pitch to show Hollywood exactly what Kirkman and Spencer can do.
There is plenty in this story to enjoy and it revels in it’s setting, bringing in all the cliches you’d expect from a grifter//theif story but twisting them enough to keep you wanting more. A great opener and worth sticking around to see how it pans out. 3/5
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Nick Bradshaw
Published by Marvel Comics
The last we time we saw Wolverine’s X-Men, things were getting a little bit Days of Future Past and in this issue we’re getting even more Claremont inspired craziness in the form of The Brood. I have to admit here, I’ve always hated The Brood, their origin in Uncanny X-Men is one of my least favourite sections of Claremont’s run. However, Jason Aaron has introduced me to the Boodling known as Broo, an alien student at the school, so naive and trusting that he even warms my cold, dead heart. Aaron gets the X-Men, he understands that what makes them great is obscure scifi concepts and stories centered on how these fantastical elements affect the characters and their relationships with each other. I don’t want to say too much but Beast’s Biology 101 has to have been one of the best scenes in the series thus far, so great, so Fantastic Voyage.
The central team are really starting to come together and it’s a testament to the writing that I actually prefer seeing these new characters interact with each other, over any of the tried and tested X-Family, with the exception of maybe Beast, who’s always good value in the right hands. The way Aaron is writing the characters, they feel important, they actually feel like they may be the next generation of X-Men and a strong foundation is being built here to carry the next wave of classic x-men stories.
That being said, there were things I didn’t like. Although very good in it’s way, Nick Bradshaw’s art suffers greatly from coming off the back of the Chris Bachalo intro and as much as it shouldn’t really bug me, he draws Bobby Drake (Iceman) to look like he’s fourteen, he’s an original X-Man, one of the youngest sure but still [X-Fanboy moment over]. And even with the inclusion of Broo, I still hate the bloody Brood, they just piss me off, I can’t even give it rhyme or reason, I guess I’m just a xenophobe.
Not the best X-book out there, that honour still belongs to Uncanny X-Force but Wolverine and the X-Men is nipping at it heels, once Bachalo returns for the Avengers vs X-Men stuff, there may be no stopping it. 4/5