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GLA #4

Posted: Friday, July 29, 2005
By: Shawn Hill



"Countdown to a Miscount"

Writer: Monkey Dan Slott
Artists: Monkey Paul Pelletier (p), Monkey Rick Magyar (i)

Publisher: Monkey Marvel

Plot:
Maelstrom, an idiot with a big hat and cosmic awareness, readies his Big Implosion device, but no worries: Mr. Immortal is over his maudlin wailing. In fact, he?s full of ideas! Uh oh.

Comments:
I was confounded by this series at first. Now I'm astounded. I had expected the humor to be a very focused parody of some recent stories I found antithetical to the comic books of two companies. Slott's targets were broader than that, but he's pulled me along for four issues, along the way flinging shots at targets far and wide (and almost all of them deserving, cheap shots not allowed), and now this issue levels final blasts exactly where they should go, while giving us funnybook hijinks to boot and even a last glimpse at several dearly departed.

What's interesting:
It took me awhile to get on board with She-Hulk, too, but I think I understand Slott's humor now. Certainly I giggled, chortled, guffawed, smiled knowingly and, what's more, CARED at many points while reading this issue with glee. That's such a better feeling than the angry ball of tension that resided between my shoulders after Identity Crisis, or the fetal position I assumed by the end of Avengers #503 (surely the worst ending ever of any cancelled comic).

Here Squirrel Girl gets to channel all my angst, the poor thing (mourning for the hideously violated Monkey Joe), while Craig Hollis (despite spending much of the issue in his underwear) gets his stuff together, and resumes leadership duties of what's left of his team. All this plus a coming out story or two!

Also interesting:
Pelletier at first seemed an unlikely choice for a humor title (don't know why, since he's cartoony in the Bagley school rather than strictly realistic), but he gets every single one of Slott's jokes, and what's more, enhances them by throwing in visual puns as well. He clearly had a ball on this series, and moves pretty briskly from the cosmic scale to action scenes to scenes of pathos and slapstick. That?s a hard tone to maintain (and still be funny, without being crass) but both artist and writer succeed beyond expectations.

Most interesting:
What a final splash page! The exact opposite of the downer endings of so many recent stories, and a counterpoint to the maudlin (but still somehow giggletastic) cover art. Does everyone recognize Bertha's fashion inspiration? What a brilliant last minute realization in six panels!

The best comic of July!



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