Friday, January 09, 2009

A note on War Machine...

Marvel has put out a press release entitled "War Machine #1 is a hit with critics everywhere". "Critics can't stop raving about his new series," it says. "Marvel urges retailers to check their orders on War Machine, as the series continues to draw acclaim from all corners."

This came as news to me. I could have sworn I thought it sucked. I thought I said so. And I wasn't alone.

"This isn't unique. This is just bad." - Comics Bulletin
"It would be great if it was actually meant to be funny... Bloody awful, really." - Comiks Debris
"Pretty lacklustre... The artwork was great for the material and its possble without it, the book would be terrible." -

Perhaps none of us are corners.

But Marvel quote positive reviews from Timothy Callahan at CBR, Brendan McGuirk at Newsarama, Bryan Joel at IGN and Tonya Crawford at BrokenFrontier.

Crawford did indeed give the book a positive review. So did McGuirk, although it was a one-paragraph capsule following on a decidedly mixed full review by David Pepose ("I'm not quite sure if this series will triumph or collapse (sic)").

Bryan Joel, however, gave the book 6.7 out of 10 and said "the issue seems to punish longer-term readers... [There are] new supporting cast members, neither of which have the spark that Rhodes and Suzi did. In terms of plot, the book is on the flimsier side... The New Nation story crammed more edge and wit into eight pages than the entirety of issue #1... I'm personally a little underwhelmed."

And Callahan gave the book two stars out of a possible five, describing it as "a pretty shallow basis for an ongoing series... Ultimately, this comic reads like a concept from 1992, when the way to make a comic more interesting was to load a couple extra rocket launchers on a character's back. ... [A]fter one issue, it really just seems like an armoured Punisher riff, and that's just not enough."

And these guys, remember, are being cited by Marvel as examples of universal critical acclaim.

Look, I know it's advertising, but there's a line between hype and outright lying, and claiming that War Machine #1 is a critically acclaimed comic - let alone trying to back that claim up with selective quotation from negative reviews - is just outright lying.