As I mentioned in my last review I am going to do the Disassembled storylines here. So I will be looking at Thor, Iron Man, Spiderman, and Captain America trades in this post. I should have probably done these with my last review but I wanted to review them separately as they are all kind of their own story.
I will say right from the start Thor and Spiderman are my favorites. The others two really seem to just be filler while they are working on another story for those characters. In saying that, I think Thor and Spiderman titles actually have an impact on what happens down the road, in particular Thor. I am skipping my usual author bio’s because this is a lengthy post as it is, plus it would be silly to talk about all the different writers on these titles.
I will start with Thor as it is my favorite of the Disassembled series. Ragnarok has just kicked off and Asgard is in shambles. Thor is doing everything he can to keep his kingdom together, but some things are even beyond his power. This story is a mythical and spiritual journey as Thor does everything he can to stop the destruction of his kingdom.
This one is a little odd, and by odd I mean different, which is not a bad thing. This is not your normal shoot em up fight laden superhero comic. This story journeys deep into the lures of Norse mythology and it is really cool to see Marvel go there and try something different. As you know most of the other Avengers are having somewhat of a bad day while this is going on, and the same goes for Thor.
What I like best about this is how the story unfolds going forward. Again this was Marvel’s attempt to shake things up for the god of thunder. After this mess he got a new suit and was missing from the main stream for a while. He set out the Civil War only to make his grand entrance in Dark Reign. That is what is really neat about this title, if you put in a little time in you really get to see the character come full circle. He is at his most vulnerable during this storyline. Then you get to see his dramatic comeback, which if you follow the story it pretty cool. I got lucky that I picked up Thor vol 3 number 1, it seems that was a pretty important title that subsequently had a lot going on in it. It shows Thor’s return to earth, which sets off the events in Dark Reign and Siege, pretty cool.
The artwork in this one is pretty solid, and mostly traditional. It does have some slight stylized undertones, but nothing over the top, and is very simple. There is plenty of detail but I believe is still a simple style. I did like the artwork in this one. The colors are well done and compliment the style very well. There are plenty of earth tones and bright colors to jump off the page as well. Scene selection is mostly normal nothing much to talk about, but there are some cool full page splashes in this one.
In this one Spidy seems to be mostly minding his own business when a villain known as the Queen rolls into town and starts making a ruckus. She easily subdues Spidy and later finds out that he is in some major trouble after she seemingly poisons him. He starts to undergo some changes, shall we say, that are not normal. She has a master plan that involves a nuclear weapon, and soon Cyclopes, Storm, Nightcrawler, and Captain America are called in to help fight the Queen.
I thought this story was okay, nothing special. But the point I want to talk about in this one requires a spoilers ahead comment. So stop here if you don’t want to know what happens in this one. As I mentioned something happens to Spidy in this one and he is more or less transformed into a giant spider, yes you heard that correctly. What is cool is when everything settles down he is left with a new power. The old Spidy made his own web shooter and always had to carry extra web fluid and what not, seemingly always running out at the most inopportune moment either during a battle or what have you. But after this transformation his DNA or something has changed to where he can now make web though small opening in his wrists exactly where the web shooters use to be. Basically it is just like in those terrible movies with Toby Mcguier. Anyways this is pretty cool. The other interesting thing is that Stan Lee thought this was a cool idea and said something to the effect that he would never have thought of this idea. The weird thing is that I think now this new power has gone away and he is back to making his old web fluid again. O well, still it was a neat idea while it lasted.
The artwork in this one is very strange. The first few chapters it is very stylized and cartoony but yet does have a polished feel to it, and that is mostly due to the way it is colored in my opinion. The artwork is good, but just has that cartoony overtone that to me makes the story vey childish, and that only gets worse in the later chapters. The artwork goes from cartoony to just plain Looney Toon style. As you know I am not a fan so I don’t have much else to say about that. The colors as I said above are really different in the first chapters, and I think really give the cartoony style something more real and actually help toughen up the artwork. It is a neat meshing of the two very different styles but it works quite well. Scene selection and page layouts are nothing out of the ordinary.
So here is the deal, after I went back and looked over the other titles in the Disassembled series I realized that they are all pretty terrible. Yeah that is right they are not very good. The Iron Man story is okay, but nothing great, (I will give credit where credit is due. The cover art is really cool, and it is all done in the gundam Japaneese style, so it’s a new take on Iron Man. Pretty neat) and same goes for Captain America. So I have decided not to even review them and save you time reading this post and in the future the trades themselves. As always if you are a big fan of these characters then by all means check out these titles, but for me I felt they were very, almost silly sorties that really had next to nothing to do with anything else that was going on. I felt like they were almost a waste of time to read. If I had to read one of these I would go with the CA story, I felt it was a little better and better thought out. And honestly I was not even going to mention the Fantastic Four Disassembled, but I felt obligated to. Don’t waste your time on this one either. This one might be the worst of them all. The artwork is terrible, straight cartoon style, and the story is not much better. However I will say the story ends with a very interesting cliff hanger that compelled me to purchase the follow up trade that is called Rising Storm. So if I get bored I may review that trade here soon.
Looking back at all these titles I am having a hard time really recommending any of them. I did like Thor and felt it was worth the read for the fact that it sets up quite a few different things down the road. As for the rest I honestly say skip it all. But if you must choose the Spidy and Cap stories are my next favorites. Just to be clear there is a Cap and Falcon story as well along with the FF title. Again I will leave the reading up to you, but if I could do it over again I would probably just stick to the main story of Avengers: Disassembled can’t go wrong with that one.