Daily Archives: October 24, 2007

Quick Critiques – Oct. 24, 2007

Annihilation: Conquest – Wraith #4 (Marvel Comics)
by Javier Grillo-Marxuach & Kyle Hotz

This series started out on a really strong note, bringing together science-fiction with a Western genre feel, but that was lost by the time the plot reached its conclusion. Javier Grillo-Marxuach’s story for this final issue is a typically cliched ending about the triumphing underdog in the midst of a sci-fi war. Despite his efforts, there’s no dramatic tension to be found here. Furthermore, the Wraith’s angst and a message from his dead father come from out of nowhere, interrupting the flow of the storytelling and shifting away from the edgy intensity that made the title character so cool in the first place. I did enjoy the Super-Skrull’s role here, but Praxagora’s presence adds nothing to the story at all. It’s not clear why she’s been included. While the story is a misfire in just about every way, artist Kyle Hotz does just as solid a job here has he has on previous chapters. His vision of the Super-Skrull’s shapeshifting powers strikes me as different from what we’ve seen before, emphasizing the character’s alien origin rather than making him look like a Plastic Man knockoff. He also does an excellent job of presenting Ronan as a huge, imposing and powerful figure; that makes for a great contrast with the desperate, wailing man he becomes by the end of the issue. My only qualm with the art is the two-page spread toward the end; it’s not at all clear what’s happening. Of course, the script’s description of the deux ex machina resolution is confusing as well. Despite my appreciation of Hotz’s work, this was a disappointing conclusion and a sample of squandered potential. 4/10

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