The Beat’s Gregory Paul Silber has been accused of having a bit of an … obsessive personality. Each week in Silber Linings, he takes a jocular look at the weirdest, funniest, and most fog flakes of comics and pop culture that he can’t get out of his head.
You may have noticed that there weren’t any Silber Linings parts the past few Fridays. One might assume that this was due to the fact that I started a brand-new copywriting day enterprise three weeks ago, and I’m still struggling to make room for freelancing and personal/ creative “ve written” my new schedule. But the truth is more disturbing: The Secritic Invasion has arrived at the door of Stately Beat Manor, and I am The Beat’s last hope against the Skrulls threatening to take over the princely macrocosm of comics criticism.
[ EDITOR’S NOTE: “Secritic,” huh? I approximate my offer to participate got lost in the mail with my Hellfire Gala invite. — Overlooked Avery Kaplan]
I’m saddened to report that many of your favorite comics analysts have already been compromised and replaced by Skrull imposters, including The Beat’s own Zoe Tunnell and former Comics Beat managing editor Samantha Puc. I can’t hold off the Skrull attackers much longer, and suspicion it won’t be long before I, very, am replaced by the following text a shapeshifting green alien with a eerie wrinkly chin. So while I still can, I’ll tell you what I think about The Mighty Avengers # 16 by writer Brian Michael Bendis, penciler Khoi Pham, inker Danny Miki, colorist Dean White, and letterer” Artmonkey’s Dave Lamphear ,” with a cover-up by Aleski Briclot.
1963 pinup by Jack Kirby
All kidding( OR AM I ?!?!) digression, I was exhilarated when Shelfdust benefactor/ editor Steve Morris reached out to me privately( secretly, even !) wished to know whether I’d be interested in participating in a cross-outlet celebration of Marvel’s Secret Invasion and, metatextually, comic book crossover phenomena as a concept. It resounded like accurately the sort of wacky fun I started this editorial for, and I’ve experienced working with Steve on all the portions I’ve written for Shelfdust. There was just one difficulty: I never speak Secret Invasion.
For those not in the know, Secret Invasion was a crossover contest published under Marvel from April to December of 2008, a few years before I started following Marvel Comics( and interpret comics in general) every single period of my life. The main series, written by Bendis with skill by Leinil Francis Yu, follows the Marvel superheroes trying to figure out who among their grades has been secretly replaced by evil alien aggressors known as Skrulls. You may recollect them from the 2019 Captain Marvel film, in which the Skrulls turned out not to be evil and inexplicably all had Australian accents.
There’s no particular reason why I never predict Secret Invasion, beyond the fact that there’s a nigh-infinite number of other comics in the world and I chose to read a bunch of those instead. I know Secret Invasion has a bit of a mixed reputation, but I believe I’d loved it more than most if I read it. I like Yu’s art, and as I wrote in( the Eisner Award-nominated !) PanelXPanel #33, I’m a bit of what I’ve called a “Bendis apologist.” I scheduled on reading it for this article, but back when Steve first mail me a Twitter DM about the Secritic Invasion project I was still unemployed and slightly less tired.
[ EDITOR’S NOTE: Vote for PanelXPanel at this year’s Eisners! — AJK]
But no matter. This wouldn’t be the first time Steve asked me to be done in order to cold to a single Marvel issue mid-arc with just any framework, and I’ve had a lot of enjoyable refreshing comics that way in the past. He assured me all I’d have to read was one of the Secret Invasion tie-ins, and knowing I’m a huge Daredevil fan( the Daredevil comic itself has no such Secret Invasion issues ), appointed me the Elektra-focused Mighty Avengers # 16. Better hitherto, it’s a mostly-wordless issue, which is great for my tighten schedule.
In all seriousness, I adoration me a” silent interlude ,” especially in corporate-owned superhero comics. Due to the assembly-line production style that is generally frames writers and creators into definite characters putting the writer in a position to enjoy the bulk of the glory, it can be refreshing to see columnists( especially ones known to be as verbose as Bendis) said shut up for an issue and let the prowes do the talking.
While The Mighty Avengers # 16 isn’t an entirely speechless question, as the first few prologue sheets are comprised of a speech between Elektra and Electro( no relation !), the rest of the issue is essentially a showcase for Pham as he proceeds Elektra kicking and piercing a bunch of Skrulls disguised as familiar superheroes like Daredevil and Wolverine. Between that and the facts of the case that I can’t tell you much about how this issue relates to the rest of the Secret Invasion patch, I’m left without a whole lot to say about The Mighty Avengers # 16, so I hope you’ll forgive my charmingly-rambling tone.
I do want to talk about Pham’s art though. I must profess to being a bit prejudiced towards it initially, because my first meeting with it was Daredevil # 10.1( recollect when Marvel used to do” Point One” issues to indicate new jump-on stations, which simply aimed up uttering things more baffling ?) from 2012.
That 2011 -2 015 Daredevil run written by Mark Waid is my single favorite superhero comic of all time, boasting prowes from Paolo Rivera, Marcos Martin, and chiefly Chris Samnee, among many others. It’s not that Pham’s artistry is bad, but for a pas that includes the lists I just mentioned as well as incredible guest artists like Mike Allred, Emma Rios, and Marco Checchetto, Pham’s contribution didn’t quite measure up. It didn’t help that Waid’s narration was comparatively shaky in that issue extremely. For a series that felt so vital every month, it predicted more like a throwaway concern, and I got in my top that Pham was a mediocre artist.
After read Mighty Avengers # 16, I can tell you I was wrong. I get the impression that Bendis’ write predict something like” Elektra fights a knot of dudes the next few pages, I dunno, go nuts .” Even if Pham wasn’t given the amount of leeway I’m imagining, it’s clear that he’s having a ton of fun here. The action is thrillingly kinetic, and since the Skrulls’ light-green blood probably meant Pham could get away with more overt brutality than a mainline Marvel title could otherwise allow, it’s delightfully merciless very. And there’s a nice little adoration to the classic Frank Miller/ Klaus Janson Daredevil run in there too.
Beyond that, I don’t have much to say about The Mighty Avengers # 16. It’s fun. I enjoyed it. I’ll probably forget most of it by next week. But that’s fine. Not every comic needs to change my life like that Daredevil comic about recession. Sometimes a comic precisely needs to be about a sizzling ninja female knifing space aliens.
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