This is a mini review of two mini sized comics. The first one was a HUGE disappointment. I didn’t pick up The 8 issue mini “Thor -The Mighty Avenger” when it came out originally in standard comicbook form. But I’ve read review after review where people go on and on about how GREAT it was. So I looked at some art samples online and liked what I seen of Chris Samnee’s art. Marvel originally put this out as part of their kid-friendly line of books under the “Marvel Adventures” imprint. This is a totally separate line with it’s own continuity. It’s not part of the classic Marvel Universe or the Ultimate Marvel Universe. And since I just can’t buy and READ everything it’s something I’d normally take a pass on. But I ordered the trade paperback from Amazon based on the great reviews and good art. This was truly a mistake. What I didn’t realize until I got it in my hands is that this thing measures only 6×9 inches in size. It’s similar to an Archie Digest or Marvel’s “backpack sized” trades from a few years ago. It’s an interesting size. It would be easy for the collector in me to trash it outright simply because it doesn’t fit well on the shelf with standard sized trades and hardcovers. But I gave it a chance. I TRIED to read this thing. But the reduced size truly does NOT give the great art by Chris Samnee any justice what so ever. It really suffers being shrunk down like this. The text/fonts look kind of OFF this small as well. There are ELEVEN editors (counting assistants) listed in the credits for this. I find it astonishing that one or more of them didn’t speak up and question the wisdom of putting this out in this format? Am I the only one that thinks this looks terrible? I really hope they release a full size version that collects all 8 issues so I can give this another shot one day. Oh yeah and did I mention the price? $14.99! The standard price does not match the substandard size!
This is in SHARP contrast to the little hardcover by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming called “Takio”. This is a true gem of a book. It’s roughly the same 6×9 size of the Thor TPB but this is an original graphic novel not a collected series or story arc. This is published under the creator owned Icon imprint also by Marvel. At $9.95 for 96 pages it’s a bargain. It’s also an absolutely charming story that any fan of the comic medium or the super-hero genre will love. It’s appropriate for any age. This is the PERFECT book to hand to a young kid to spark their interest in reading and/or get them into comics specifically. This is a story about two sisters (ages 13 and 9 I think) that accidentally get super-powers. If you think you’ve heard that before too many times think again. This is a fresh spin on an old idea. It’s told mostly from the point of view of the girls themselves and it’s a winner. Anyone familiar with Brian Bendis’s other work on Marvel’s Avengers or Ultimate Spider-Man knows that he is a master of dialogue. This is no exception. The banter between the two sisters (especially the over the top excitement from the little one) is terrific. The cartoony artwork by Michael Oeming does NOT suffer at this smaller size. The backgrounds are pretty sparse. I think more detailed backgrounds would suffer badly at this digest like size, but it just works great here. The colors really pop. Buy this book. Buy it for yourself and buy a copy for any young people in your life. They will thank you & probably come back wanting more. Hopefully Bendis & Oeming won’t make us all wait too long for volume 2.