Comics Briefly: The Ray #1-4, Wolverine and the X-Men #9

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

This week: two titles that have a good handle on the balance between humor, drama and action. This post is half me just catching up, thanks to a back issue sale that netted me the entire Ray miniseries.

Wolverine and the X-Men #9 was new in stores today (4/18/12), while The Ray came out over winter/early spring.

The Ray #1-4 (4 issue miniseries)
Writers: Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti, Penciller: Jamal Igle, Inker: Rich Perrotta, Colorist: Guy Major

I had heard good things about this series, but I wasn't convinced enough to pick it up until I saw some excerpts online a few weeks ago. I'm pretty glad I did. It's a cute series, with likable characters and a smart sense of humor. It does feel a little copy-pasted from the great pre-reboot Blue Beetle run, but since what it's copying is a minority hero with a good heart and a down-to-earth sense of heroics, who has friends and parents that are both plausible and entertaining, I think I'm okay with that. The villain is intriguing, although we don't end up getting a lot of him, and Lucien is just so darn likable. The plot is serious and scary while managing to skirt most of the darkity-dark-for-dark's sake nonsense that's plaguing most of the DCU right now. The dialogue made me laugh out loud multiple times. The end was a little deus ex machina, but I'd rather that than doom and gloom at this point.

Wolverine and the X-Men #9 (Avengers Vs. X-Men Crossover)
Writer: Jason Aaron, Penciler/Colorist: Chris Bacalo, Inkers: Tim Townsend, Jaime Mendoza & Al Vey

THIS WAS AWESOME! This was so much more interesting than Avengers Vs. X-Men #1. It's official, the interesting parts of the crossover are all in this book. From Idie's thoughts on Hope and the Phoenix, to a much more interesting conversation between Cap and Logan than in the other book, to the ramifications caused by Phoenix both within the school and out in the galaxy, it's all great. The art is gorgeous and the dialogue zips along. I was particularly impressed that the issue managed to ratchet up the tension in a believable way while still keeping the zany touches that this title does so well. I laughed, I gasped, I want the rest of this story!

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