Phoenix 'End Song'
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    Presentation:
Wr. Greg Pak
Ill. Greg Land

Will the hype machine ever break down?

For me this was a series that never delivered. The much much publicized (within the comic book community) return of the Phoenix was a prime example of the current hype that is somewhat hurting comic books in general. This book was scribed by the much ballyhooed Greg Pak and artist extraordinaire Greg Land.

Joe Quesada went on record and stated that Greg Pak has been the hardest working writer in comic books without receiving any merit. Apparently he has been writing hundreds of scripts without a project of his own. Finally he got his chance with the Phoenix End Song. Unfortunately for him, I now understand why none of his projects got out from proposal hell.

Phoenix End Song by Greg Pak & Greg Land.Before traversing to comic books, Pak was an acclaimed director. And with that cinematic knowledge, he clearly has the visual style necessary for a writer to succeed in creating complex scripts. There are no awkward moments in any of the issues contained within the trade that pertain to the craft. Clearly he has learned a tremendous amount. But with the hype surrounding this book, I expected a lot more in terms of content and story. And all it transmuted into was a small blip on the comic book radar.

Jean Gray is dead. And the only way she comes back to life, is because the Phoenix force seeks her out as a host again. If you have nor read this before...let me ruin this moment for you as well...Jean Gray dies...again...by the end of the series. This redundant theme within comic books in general is as much perplexing as it is disgusting. And as you will find out towards the end...this is not really an end song.

Marvel must think all fans are Alchzimers patients because in a year or two will once again see another reincarnation of the Phoenix. All in all, the reason this book as created was to garner large sales. And it did...with a mediocre story at it's helm. To give credit to Greg Pak, his dialogue is interesting enough to keep tense moments tense, and emotional scenes emotional. He also plays well to each established character within the X-men roster. What it makes him is a generic writer, not one that deserves any hype because so far he has not delivered...

The beauty of this trade however is the art. Gorgeous, exuberant, beaming with abnormal energy, it becomes the focus point of the story. I wish Pak's scrip would not have involved claustrophobic panel character talky scenes, so that Greg Land could fully show off his Perez like details. Either way, each character is distinct, the women beautiful and the male physiques represented without unnecessary exaggeration. Greg Land's art style in this book is as good as ever and as real as any artists' works out there. If anyone tracked his career through DC Comics and Crossgen, for him to fully realize his potential with Phoenix End Song, is a great thing.

The book itself is bounded in leather with a few pages of amazing pencil sketches but at $25 it may be too much...especially with the lackluster story. But you may just get it because it looks pretty on the pages.

But be warned of the double edged hype...

- Pawel Goj


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