Daily Archives: April 22, 2011

Molestation Situation

Among this week’s new releases from Marvel Comics was Thunderbolts #156. I’ve been enjoying the new direction for this series since writer Jeff Parker took it over last year, and regular artist Kev Walker’s gritty, harsh depiction of some of the unsavory and unusual characters who comprise the cast adds to the non-traditional take on the super-hero genre that’s been a part of this property from its inception in the 1990s. On its cover, this particular issue — and many of those that came before it — boasts a T+ rating. Marvel’s website defines its ratings as follows:

“Each Marvel comic gets a rating: A is appropriate for ages nine and up, T+ is appropriate for ages 12 and up and Parental Advisory is appropriate for ages 15 and up. Other ratings you may see are self-explanatory.”

Given that information, Marvel’s saying that the content in its T+ comics is appropriate for 12-year-old children and older. So you tell me… is the following image OK for a 12-year-old?

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‘It’s Not a Too-mah!’

Malignant Man #1
Writers: James Wan & Michael Alan Nelson
Artist: Piotr Kowalski
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Steve Wands
Cover artists: Trevor Hairsine/Rael Lyra
Editor: Matt Gagnon
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Price: $3.99 US

I’ll say this about this comic book: the title does grab one’s attention.

This inaugural issue is made up of two very distinct parts: one is a human drama of a man’s despair in the face of an inevitable, painful death, and the other is an action-driven story of men in black, conspiracies and the paranormal. I found both stories to be compelling, but in completely different ways. The problem is that I found it difficult to resolve the two together. There’s obviously logic in the progression from one to the next, but in terms of atmosphere, of the reactions the two different modes evoke from the reader, they don’t work all that well together. Fortunately, I think this is a problem only with this first episode. The artwork is effective, but more importantly, the colors convey the mood and tension in the story incredibly well. Malignant Man proved to be a fun if flawed read with a rather unfortunate title.

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