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Posted December 30, 2014
I was tempted to give this book only two stars it was only because I appreciate all the effort that goes into putting a graphic novel together that stopped me. This book did not impress me at all. For a start it was too short at only four issues and Marvels decision to pump up the page count by adding a completely unrelated two issue spider-man story from the seventies that seemed to be there for no other reason than to beef up the page count. This book is taken from the Skrull invasion story that Marvel put out a few years back and it's little maore than a reprint of Captain Britains involvement in that story arc. The problem is that the book doesn't stand on it's own. It just rehashes the existing comics without providing any additional backstory to help the reader along and although this is sold as the first volume I got the feeling that I had joined the story half way through so the characters and their overall storylines were presented to me as if I knew them in advanced. I did not and so the book seemed a little slipshod and rushed to me meaning I had to pause to many times to get my bearings. It also is a very fast paced storyline as it begins right at the time of the invasion and the cast of heroes are thrust straight into the middle of things. Expect to be jolted around a lot as a reader because the book follows the heroes in full action mode in a very disjointed and unfocused way. On one page you be involved with one group of heroes and than no sooner do you turn the page and with another group of heroes fighting a different Skrull army in another part of the country. Turn the page again and yet another group in another dimension is doing the same. And the book carries on this way with no real link or lead in panel to help the reader along. The artwork also leaves something to be desired. Because there are so many battle scenes the panels become too cluttered and busy with the characters not being clearly defined. I could tell what was going on I just wasn't sure where it was happening and had lost track of the narrative due to the disjointed nature of the book. The writing also suffered from this style because the characters were usually left responding to situations instead of controlling the narrative leaving me to feel no real connection to them or their circumstance - not easy to do when the world is in peril. The book did have some strong moments though. The rebirth of Captain Britain was a great piece of comic artwork and the character of Spitfire was memorable although under-written. All in all I was underwhelmed by this book and felt that the book should have been longer by some more issues.
Instead of adding in more issues or beefing up the existing issues Marvel decided to tack on two back issues from Spider-man from back in 1978. The only connection between these two comics and the previous ones is that they both feature Captain Britain although not the same incarnation of the British hero. The Spider-man issues feature the Captain Britain of my youth in a full costume with the Star Sceptre and all. This book is not a classic by any means but it is a good piece of fun that features an original story about when these two heroes met for the first time. They basically get along at first before a misunderstanding results in them flying about NYC in full fight mode. These heroes vs heroes concept was common in the 1970's and Marvel didn't miss their chance here. That isn't the crux of the story though because soon enough they are captured by a mad assassin who traps them in a madhouse murder world that involves a life-size pinball machine and a bizzaro world funhouse. It's like an old episode of TV's the Avengers - the British show with John Steed and Emma Peel - and is a great piece of fun but, alas, it also is too short and everything is left unresolved. I enjoyed it enough but it didn't save this book. Skip this one.
Posted August 18, 2009
No text was provided for this review.