Reviewed this week, in ascending order of awesome:
Cataclysm: The Ultimates’ Last Stand #4
Guardians of the Galaxy #11
Thor: God of Thunder #18
East of West #9
Uncanny Avengers #16
-THE ART OF EXPANSIONARY STORYTELLING
I recently read through the whole of Scalped for the first time, and one of the things that struck me was that the book did a fantastic job of adding new characters that seem small and inessential at the time, but blow up into major players down the road, all while moving the story forward without fault. It was so exemplary that it’s caused me to look through the prism of how well the books I’m currently reading are doing this, and two of these books are having big problems in this category.
Guardians of the Galaxy has had next to no forward movement outside of adding Angela (who still seems like a forced fit and a cheap sales ploy and an excuse for MOAR BEWBS). Anything new they add to the book matters for that storyline and is then forgotten and/or written off. They made it their job to search for Thanos for exactly one issue before giving up and moving on to the next thing. It’s embarassing.
Meanwhile, East of West has the opposite problem. For the last four or five issues it seems to exclusively add a whole new element to the story without explicitly fitting it into the narrative. I’ve enjoyed just about every issue, and I’m sure it’ll tie together eventually, but it’s just been a mess for months now. Come to think of it, I had the same problem with Hickman’s Avengers, so there’s a pretty good chance that’s on him.