Tuesday, 18 November 2014

All-New Invaders #2 - Marvel Comics

ALL NEW INVADERS No. 2, April 2014
There’s something vaguely unsatisfying about Issue 2 of “All New Invaders”; a sense that none of the expectations generated by this title’s exciting opening edition are actually met. Indeed in many ways there’s a real ‘step backwards’ feel to the book, as a lot of its content actually concentrates on events which took place before those of the previous issue.

This aura of disappointment frankly starts with the comic’s cover by Mukesh Singh, which is a disconcertingly awkward looking illustration of the bombastic Tanalth standing in triumph over the broken bodies of Captain America, the Winter Soldier and the original Human Torch; the latter of which seems to have obtained arms the length of which would rival an orang-utan. Any artwork depicting a book’s titular super-heroes being both so brutally bowed and beaten is going to be a depressing sight. But it is the composition of Singh’s artwork, such as the bright red boot of ‘Cappy’ oddly jutting out from beneath the dark green cape of the Kree High-Elite, which jars the eye.

In fact there’s a good deal of this comic book’s artwork which appears somewhat off key and as such actually caused me to believe that the title’s main artist had changed between issues. Certainly the opening few pages capturing the action of a night-time fire-fight between James Barnes and the Kree in the streets of Vienna are below the usual standard of Steve Pugh. Bizarrely the British artist’s illustration work during the Invaders battle against the Pursuer in Blaketon, Illinois isn’t all that much of an improvement either, with the eight-page action-sequence containing poorly detailed figures, oddly exaggerated limbs and an increasingly podgy Tanalth.

Perhaps most displeasing though is the outcome to the comic’s climatic confrontation between the former World War Two freedom fighters and the arrogant, overbearing and overconfident leader of the Kree Purser Corps. Writer James Robinson has Captain America describe Tanalth as being “…on a par with Ronan from the look of [her] powers and invulnerability” so defeating the Kree High-Elite was always going to be a tough challenge for a trio armed with just a shield, a bionic arm and the ability to produce some seemingly non-effective flames. But to have a battle which has technically spanned two issues, suddenly just end with Tanalth simply flying off for no other reason than she can is extremely disappointing; especially as moments before the aloof Kree warrior was threatening the heroes with a slow painful death after they finally caused her some momentary discomfort.
The variant cover art of "ALL-NEW INVADERS" No. 2 by Salvador Larocca

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