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Friday, January 22, 2016

Reader's Diary #1247- Tamora Pierce and Timothy Liebe (Writers), Phil Briones and Alvaro Rio (Artists): White Tiger / A Hero's Compulsion

Not having ever been big on the fantasy genre a book here or there— the name Tamora Pierce was unfamiliar to me. That, and missing the tiny ampersand in the bottom left corner, led me to initially believe this book was called "White Tiger: Tamora Pierce." 

However, I quickly learned that Tamora Pierce's name is so big because, like Stephen King, John Grisham, and Margaret Atwood, she, herself, is a big deal and her name sells books. 

But I can't imagine that Tamora Pierce fans were impressed with this comic. It's decidedly fantasy-free, except of course in the sense that all superhero stories are fantastical. It's really just another superhero comic. And substandard at that, disappointing regular comic book readers as well.

White Tiger: A Hero's Compulsion is set in the Hell's Kitchen corner of the Marvel Universe. As I've said recently, this corner has really grown on me in no small part thanks to Netflix, but also a couple of comics by Bendis. I'm unconvinced, however, of White Tiger's place in that world.

Largely the biggest problem with this collection is how hard they tried to shoehorn her into that world. Her origin story is rushed, we barely get any sense of who Angela del Toro is behind the costume, and yet other superheroes are coming out of the woodwork to help her and let her know she's just one of the gang now. Some of these she's supposed to have had prior dealings with and be related to (Luke Cage and Iron Fist), but Spider-Man is also there, as is Black Widow, and the most nonsensical and unnecessary cameo of all comes from Deadpool. It's a major problem when your special guests outshine the headliner. (Are you listening Coldplay?) Worse, the reason they're all showing up to help involves a terrorist organization that's smuggling illegal immigration papers. Immigration papers, seriously? This is why they bring in a renown fantasy author? In one scene, Spider-Man explains that Iron Man and Captain America couldn't show up because they were fighting over the remote to watch CSI or Grey's Anatomy. It would have been funny except yeah, either of those would have been more interesting.

Bland artwork by Briones and Rio don't help matters.  A small, nearly saving grace, were covers by the uber-talented David Mack.


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