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Friday, June 12, 2009

Comics: Why I Don't Like Messiah War

Friday, June 12, 2009 Posted by Chris Tung , , , , No comments
My biggest reason why I think Messiah War is a let down for me is because of the art in the books. I don't like Crain or Olivetti's work in the books. I think they both have great potential to draw for other Marvel books, but for a book where childish innocence, violence, and humor take place both artists fall short.

Ariel Olivetti's females are (to be totally candid) horrific. I find that he is unable to capture the femininity of the female super heroes. Yes, we understand that they are a bit more masculine because of their body types, super powers, etc. But the way he draws X-23 here is awful. She looks so masculine, and his attempt to capture realism in the line of Alex Ross makes her look more like a transvestite than anything else.

Then there is Clayton Crain. His painted style looks great on the battle scenes of the plot, but since Kyle and Yost are great with dialogue and characterization, there needs to be moments where the entire group is assembled and we can actually see the faces of the people talking. Crain does not provide this. It can be attributed to the limitations of painting, but in certain moments, the background characters almost have no eyes or mouth. Especially Elixir who is golden looks like a human shaped bar of gold.

But both artists are not bad (the only person I would give that word to is the man--or was it child--that drew What if? Fallen Son) they simply needed to be assigned to books that fit their type. I would say Olivetti could do great work on some of the space books (Nova, Annihlation, etc.) or even maybe the Hulk where he can really use his ability to capture strong masculine facial expressions. And Crain could be placed on a book like Punisher where his dark paints and his effort to hone in on the central character of each panel would do well for the battle scenes.

But for a book like Messiah War, I wish they just kept Mike Choi. I love the guy's work, and his females look like females and his men look like men. And one of my biggest gripes about the series is that Hope's design is constantly in flux. It's difficult to draw children because of their proportions and also the character of Hope is a war torn child and trained by Cable. She's no playground princess, but both Crain and Olivetti struggle to capture the youth in the character. If anyone could draw what Hope is supposed to be Mike Choi definitely would have rocked it.

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