Black Vortex #1
By Sam Humphries, Ed McGuinness and Kris Anka
There seems to be a bit of a trend at Marvel where they like to have these little crossovers that don’t get a ton of press like Axis or Original sin, but still demand you buy all the connecting issues. These little team-ups can sometimes be a little tiresome, but if you have good writers and a good story things will work out just fine.
Black Vortex kicks off and we see the teaming up of the Guardians of the Galaxy and the All-New X-Men. This will also bring teen Cyclops back into the fold with his old team if things work out. Sam Humphries kicks the mini-event off and things are a little crowded off the bat. This issue is bigger than a normal comic, but it still feels very quick. As a reader we kind of dive into the action and it feel very fast and rushed. Star Lord and Kitty explain how they got the black vortex and that they are dodging villains, and then boom, the bad guys show up to fight. There are some moments of humor courtesy of Star Lord, but it would have been nice if the entire plot wasn’t crushed into one oversized issue. Sam Humphries has the best grip on Star Lord and Kitty, and they are the characters that shine this issue, but it would be nice if things were taken a little slower and things had a chance to evolve.
The art this issue is split between Ed McGuinness and Kris Anka with colors by Marte Gracia and Marcel Maiolo. McGuinness’s art looks very good this issue and starts the book off on a good note. Kris Anka comes in after a while and kills the vibe and flow McGuinness establishes. Anka’s art is not bad, but it is a fairly drastic change from Ed’s style. Even the coloring from McGuinness to Anka is different and those conflicting styles can take a reader out of the story. Anka draws the fight scene near the end of the book, which looks good for the most part, but some characters have slender faces or misshapen parts which might seem like a minor gripe, but one that matters to some readers. The art was decent overall, but two different artists with unique styles are an odd pair on a book.
The introduction to Black Vortex was a bit underwhelming. The story shouldn’t really wow anyone and if you are buying this book it’s because you read one of the characters involved regularly. The art had some solid panels but would be better if it were handled by one penciler if possible. Overall it feels like a gimmick to boost sales rather than tell a decent story.