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I Love Trouble #2 – Review

I LOVE TROUBLE #2

By: Kel Symons (writer), Mark A. Robinson (art), Paul Little (colors) and Paul Brosseau (letters)

The Story: Felica gets into hijinks.

Quick review: Much like I Love Trouble‘s debut, this issue is defined by the art and the main character, whereas I’m not too sure I’m following “the story”.

The art is so different than what we usually get in comics these days.  In an era where we get too many splash pages and often feel lucky to have four story-telling panels per page, it’s refreshing to see a guy like Mark Robinson go in the other direction: He’s putting down 10 panels per page for much of this issue.  What’s more, he’s keeping it really fresh by mixing up the page designs and panel locations.  The pages have a wonderful balance to them too.  Overall, it’s very freshly designed book.  It’s almost hard to describe how much I enjoy the look of the comic without blathering, “I like the little layout vignettes and I like the cartoony characters and I love the coloring and I like the…”
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I Love Trouble #1 – Review

By: Kel Symons (writer), Mark A. Robinson (art), Paul Little (colors) and Pat Brosseau (letters)

The Story: A tattooed, con artist woman named Felica runs afoul of the mob and gains a superpower.

A few things: 1). Never know what you’ll get. - I’m sure I saw this in Previews a few months ago, but now that I read almost all comics on my iPad, I tend to forget what these stories are about.  I look at the Diamond shipping list every Sunday and make a list of what I want to buy that week and see “I Love Trouble” and have no recollection of the pitch.  I’ll try most #1s from Image Comics, but to borrow from Forest Gump, Image #1s are like a box of chocolates; you never know what will be inside.  Often the issue is “okay”, sometimes I can’t erase it off my iPad quickly enough and every once it awhile, we come across an issue like I Love Trouble #1 that is a sneaky gem of a comic.
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Ms. Marvel Annual #1 – Review

By Brian Reed (Writer), Mark A. Robinson (Artist), Mark Irwin (Inker), and Antonio Fabela (Colorist)

Anyone out there read the Marvel Adventures books? My son gets them and I read them when he’s not looking (which is pretty easy since he just leaves them all over the house). They’re actually pretty fun. Easy to read, plots aren’t too complicated, nicely if simply drawn, and when you’re done reading, you’re done. No waiting for the next issue or worrying about picking up other crossover issues.

Ms. Marvel Annual #1 is kind of like that. Here’s the set-up: an eccentric billionaire genius named Stuart Cavenger has somehow divvied up the aspects of his personality and downloaded them into a few dozen androids. The “ambition” part of his personality has decided they ought to travel the galaxy, and has sent out some sort of techno-virus that dismantles cars in midtown Manhattan, transforming them into robots, which will then assemble themselves into a giant spaceship which the Stuarts will ride to the stars. Ms. Marvel is trying to apprehend Spider-Man for being unregistered (again) when they encounter the chaos being caused by the scavenger robots and try to set things right.

I can tell you all this without spoiler alerts because what really makes this book worth reading has almost nothing to do with the plot. The banter between Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel, and between Spider-Man and the Stuart clones, is fast, witty, and hilarious. For the most part, poor Ms. Marvel actually takes back seat in her own book, playing Abbott to Spidey’s Costello. (Ms. Marvel: “Do you ever shut up?” Spider-Man: “You know, it’s really weird how often I get asked that question.” Also, there’s a lot of back-and-forth over which team is better, the “New” Avengers or the “Mighty” Avengers. And then there’s a whole routine about whether or not Ms. Marvel wears socks under her thigh-high boots.)

The balance that Reed strikes here is to be funny without losing the drama of the action. Any writer will tell you: it’s not easy, but Reed does it. Robinson’s art is appropriately whacky, if awkward at times. I would have thought it would be impossible to draw Ms. Marvel in her French-cut black leather costume and not have her look hot, but somehow Robinson and Irwin have managed.

Anyway, such stories always end with a wink, or in this case a mischievous smile, which is close enough. Even if you don’t normally pick up Ms. Marvel’s books, get this one. (Grade: A-)

- Andrew C. Murphy

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