The Chaos Continues

Alright. I need to stop making proclamations. Today kept me out of the house for most of the day, so no time for a Spider-blog. I’ll pick up with that tomorrow. In the meantime, let’s talk about another Barnes And Noble Clearance Buy

The Pile

Avengers: The Initiative Volume one: Basic Training

Writer: Dan Slott

Artist: Stefano Caselli and Steve Uy

I’ve read some of the later Initiative stuff, but I was pretty happy to pick up the first volume for about $3. The premise is that this book follows the first group of cadets at Camp Hammond, the U.S’s super-human training camp.

Civil War, as a concept, is a great idea, but I thought the execution was lousy. But the great thing about Avengers Initiative is that it is able to pick up from Civil War and actually do the concept justice. Slott really deserves some credit for not only introducing some really cool new characters like Komodo and Cloud 9, but managing to balance their storylines with all the company-mandated crossover stuff. If anything, The Initiative is one of the only comics where having to tie-in to Marvel’s barrage of crossovers really helps the story. In this trade alone, the story transitions from Civil War aftermath to World War Hulk and the crazy thing is that none of it feels forced.  The WWH story is practically a tutorial on doing these kind of things: it’s not required to understand World War Hulk, but it still plays a semi-important role in the overall story.

Art-wise, Caselli was kind of a surprise to me. I wouldn’t have picked a manga-y style for this book, but he puts out some really gorgeous pages. His facial expressions are insanely expressive and everything’s just crisp and clear. Steve Uy’s fill-in on the last issue was pretty disappointing, though. Visually, it’s really close to Caselli’s stuff, but the manga aspects are even more exaggerated. The end result is the last issue just looks way too simple compared to the the rest of the collection.

Should I Buy It? The Initiative is, along with Brubaker’s Captain America, one of the strongest, consistent books Marvel’s put out in the last five years.  Even at full price, it’s a good value.

Where Do I Get It?

B&N has it for $12.81, but they’ve got the second volume up for $4! You’re better off getting the first one at Amazon for $10 and some change