BOOK OF THE WEEK: Age of Sentry #5 (0f 6) by Tobin / Parker / Galvan / Dragotta
Age of Sentry is nearing its conclusion, and it has actually been far more than I was expecting. Despite finding the Sentry a very interesting character, I debated long and hard over whether to pick this series up, worrying that it would be nothing more than a shallow silver age parody. Thankfully I have been proven wrong. This issue, in a similar vein to the others features two goofy silver age paradies, the first of which in particular is a hoot, with some very silly, but cute ideas (interstellar mailman?!) and humerous dialogue. The second story is a slight step down, with a very clever idea, that sadly appears to be too clever for its own good, and is let down by the overcomplex, confusing execution. It does however boast fantastic art from Nick Dragotta, whose style is the perfect blend of silver age simplicity and more sophisticated modern day storytelling techniques. There are also the usual hints that something is not quite right with the Sentry, which do a good job of building tension ahead of the final issue. The simplicity of this series may not be to everyones taste, but for me it is a welcome relief from the darkness taking over modern marvel comics.
The Invincible Iron Man #10 by Fraction / Larocca
Matt Fraction is without doubt one of Marvel's most critically acclaimed up and coming writers. His work on Immortal Iron Fist is widely recognised as a character defining run, and he has now deservedly graduated onto a higher status title; Iron Man! This storyline has been a radical departure from the last few years of Iron Man, where he found himself leading S.H.I.E.L.D. Following his failure to deal with the Skrull invasion Stark is now on the run from Norman Osborn, who is in charge of a restructured S.H.I.E.L.D. The premise of Stark being on the run is an interesting one, and certainly helps give the issue more of a sense of urgency. However, this arc has been a little slow for my tastes, and title characters appearances have been far too sporadic. In the three issues he has bought, Iron Man has only actually appeared in about five pages, the result is that the issues have lacked action. However the pluses do generally outweight the minuses, Fraction's dialogue is very modern and realistic, each character has its own voice, his Tony Stark being particularly inspired. Frank D'Armata's typically fantastic colours also enrich Salvador Larocca's pencils, that as usual have been very hit and miss on this title. Overall, a solid, well written issue, part of an arc that I hope will kick into high gear soon.