Thursday, June 12, 2008

Captain Britain and MI: 13 #1 & #2

Captain Britain and MI:13 #1

Captain Britain and MI:13 #2

Man, this is turning into a really good week.

First I need to say that these issues were thrilling. Second thing I need to say is what the hell is going on?

Secret Invasion tie-ins! Yes, this much I know. And this much I also know, the Secret Invasion tie-ins are outclassing the main series in every which way. I'm not sure if this is good or bad. Either the main series just sucks or the tie-ins are just that good at providing for a fuller, more satisfying reading experience.

So the Skrulls are in Britain and the British are getting their shit handed to them. on a plate. The Captain Britain, Pete Wisdom and a couple of others are assembling to fight the invasion and protect the magic realms which, it seems, are concentrated on the British Isles. Sweet. Strategizing with Prime Minister Gordon Brown (with all respect to Leonard Kirk, Brown looks nothing like that) they realize the Skrulls are going after the Siege Perilous (which any long time fan will know from Uncanny X-Men and their subsequent "deaths"). Haul ass over to the Siege Perilous only to realize that the Skrulls have launched a missile onto that location. Captain Britain dies in the attempt to stop it. Thus ends issue one.

Issue two begins with the immediate reaction of the British to the death of Captain Britain. The immediate reaction, cause apparently everyone in Britain senses it intuitively. Cool! Skrulls are really doing a job of fucking shit up and start slaughtering mystical fairy types in Avalon. Of course, this leads our core cast to find Excalibur (the sword, not the team) and, uh...attempt to pull it out. And fail utterly. The last couple of pages are the Skrulls killing the Lady in teh Lake, killing the Green Knight, stealing holy relics and merging them together so they can take control of magic.

Kudos to Paul Cornell for creating some tight and tense action and taking the blassy step of killing the title character at the end of the first issue. Seriously, if it wasn't spoiled for me I would have never seen it coming. And thank you for making Pete Wisdom a character I can actually like. I remember reading his debut in Excalibur and thought what a totally shit character he was (and the notion that Kitty Pryde would fall for a douchebag like that? Fuck!). Well, either Cornell made this turd shine or I'm just older but the right bastard schtick worked well for me. And thank you Cornell for injecting some serious win into the Black Knight. I don't know what's going on with him and his sword, but I'm intrigued. And thank you for showing us his innards. Or, maybe not. Thank you For Buffy Summe...I mean Faiza Hussain. The character is pretty cool and has the ability to make people's insides go all inside out and shit. The dialogue does need work. Seriously, Buffy The Vampire Slayer has been done. Season eight is being published right now. I read it, it's good. I love that Faiza is an enthusiastic geek girl, but the dialogue needs tweaking. Tweak, minor tweak. I also love the idea of a Skrull posing as John Lennon. Dude, where does Cornell get this shit? Jesus... One character I don't recognize is this Spitfire girl, a speedster. I can't say I'm familiar with her but that intro in issue one was all I needed.

And kudos to Leonard Kirk! Solid artwork, old school style.

Starting right in the middle of a giant corssover event, I would think it would be a risky thing. Hell, I thought this was a miniseries until a few minutes ago. Turns out this is not only a new ongoing but it was supposed to be a new Excalibur series too. Instead, they said screw it, there have been far too many Excalibur series at this point, do something else and lo, they did. Fantastic start. From the word go, this series has been running at top speed without a chance for a breather. The mysteries are fresh, the endings shocking and the action intense. I assume they'll take some time for character work eventually, but not when everyone is busy dealing with Skrulls.

I do have!...complaint. What the hell is with this "Faiza Hussain Oversight Team" shit mentioned in the final "next issue" page? Seriously, is it so bad for the British that infidels who wish to write a muslim character must have their work approved by their new Islamic overlords? I googled the names to see if these ladies were some sort of crazy terrorist apologists, but nothing showed on the page one search results. One is a wannabe film maker. Media wannabe types? Cornell states, at least on Wikipedia, that the character's religion won't really play a role, she's too damn bubbly to take seriously as an overtly (nevermind the headscarf) religious character, so I guess he just wanted a muslim character. I'm kinda coming to the conclusion that this means she's probably some sort of composite of these four girls mentioned, but I wouldn't have any clue as to why that is or what their relationship to each other is. I just found this...disturbing.

That aside, these issues were tight and I thoroughly enjoyed them. Pick 'em up!


Blogger Paul Cornell said...

Hey. These are four ladies I met while I was planning the series, and I asked them to take a look, because I don't know the lives of Muslim women in Britain as well as a writer should know people they write about. I find your assumptions about them odd to say the least. Why and how would they have been foisted on me? 'Oversight team' is a funny title for them that was again, my idea. I'm rather freaked out by your reaction to all that, and I think a bit of a rethink on your part might be an idea. Having said that, thanks for the kind words about the book.

2:44 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

Greetings Mr. Cornell, it's a pleasure to make your acquaintance.

I apologize for the tone of that last paragraph. The reason I initially wigged out is that I try to keep up with the news and the state of free speech (among others) around the world, especially in the English speaking world, and unfortunately the impressions I get are usually very poor.

Yes, after googling I realized I was just over-reacting and I appreciate your taking the time to elaborate.

3:16 AM  

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