Two comics. Two tie ins to big company crossovers. How do they stack up?
For those coming off the Thor movie, Journey Into Mystery by Kieon Gillen and Doug Braithwaite is the perfect comic. Like the movie, it is grandly poetic about Asgard, condensing much of the plot of the recent issue of Fear Itself into a couple of pages that sound far more entertaining and impressive than the comic it references. It is epic, it is beautiful, it is… mysterious. And it has lines such as, of the Asgardians, "They knew Ragnarok. What was this?"
That's the one. And, like the movie, it recognises that Loki is a far more impressive character than Thor, even if he has slightly less prominent pecs. And, as last issue, while the book starts off in poetry, it soon switches to very down to earth action, plots and plans, even in the boweles of Asgard itself. We also get a story about goats, that again fills in the history of Thor and Loki for this new version of the god of mischief.
It's a complex book that doesn't lose the reader. If you know anyone who likes the movie but is rightfully put off by the main Thor books, this has the emotional complexity they may well, be looking for. No Jane Foster though, just saying.
Flash #12 is also a book of two parts, delineated by the artists. The first, Scott Kollins is also co-writing the book with Geoff Johns, while Francis Manapul draws a scene set apart from the action.
This is the final Road To Flashpoint issue, just as well as Flashpoint #1 also comes out today, and chops off mine, Doug and Kieron's testicles. And while Journey Into Mystery is reflective of Fear Itself, Flash sets it its own event all up itself.
There's been some speculation as to why Kid Flash wasn't seen at the beginning of Flashpoint #1. This might give you an inkling.
Some Flashpoint #1 readers may wonder who is talking to Barry Allen's mother in that issue. You'll also get your answer.
And you'll also get a real understanding of why and how the events of Flashpoint #1 are happening. Certainly more than you'll get from the comic itself.
You see? But it does do it in a rather clumsy way though. Even Manapul's secluded, peaceful, considered scene has monologuing straight out of a bad day time soap opera. It feels the very opposite of Journey Into Mystery, but it does the job. There's a lot that needs to happen here and the book makes it happen, whatever the cost. It's not in any way a complex book, but it's passable. And it may well make for a necessary companion to Flashpoint in a way Journey Into Mystery simply isn't to Fear Itself.
The artwork is very interesting though. It may be reading too much into the art to see Kollin's art rushed, pushed out to hit a deadline, but it does actually benefit the book. There is a real kinetic feel to the art this issue, in some places almost Rob Liefeld using crayons (although he can draw feet too) which make the pause pages of Manapul's section so much more effective too. It's an interesting trick and I'm not sure if it'd deliberate. If not, it may be worth encouraging the circumstances to reoccur.
It may not be a perfect comic, but it's an effective one that crashes straight into the back of Flashpoint. Just make sure you read it first for maximum effect.
Journey Into Mystery #623 and Flash #12 are published today.